Books Magazine

B. Morrison Reviews David’s Story by Jill Sadowsky

By Gran13

B.Morrison Barbara Morrison reviews David’s Story by Jill Sadowsky. (Jan. 14, 2013.)

Sadowsky has written a wrenching memoir of her son’s mental illness, which was eventually diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenia. The film A Beautiful Mind, based on a true story, characterises the most common course of the disease: onset in young adulthood, auditory hallucinations, paranoid delusions, and social disfunction. It is not multiple personality disorder, now commonly known as dissociative identity disorder, but rather a disruption of cognitive processes. It is far more common than I thought. Sadowsky quotes a doctor saying:” One in every hundred people in the world suffers from this illness at some time or other. More than a quarter of all hospital beds in the world are filled with patients who suffer from schizophrenia.”

As a parent, my heart ached seeing the disease gradually take hold in their beautiful son in spite of the family’s best efforts. Initially they were stymied by a lack of information, as Sadowsky and her husband battered themselves against the medical profession trying to get a diagnosis.

Still, the book is not as dark as I expected. There are many moments of joy and humor and family togetherness. There’s a lot of love in this family. But Sadowsky’s fear and worry for her son came through, as well as at times fear of him, what he might do in the grip of a delusion. I appreciate her honesty and openness. This is no saccharine afterschool special. We are not spared her frustration at his limitations and failed attempts at independence or her weariness at having to go through it all again when he relapses or stops taking his medication. Most difficult is her concern about her two daughters; not only were their parents distracted by their brother’s needs, they could not bring friends home to a house made chaotic and were themselves sometimes targets of their brother’s  violence.

Most frustrating is the lack of support for the family. They were not given a diagnosis for years because the doctor was hesitant to diagnose someone so young as suffering from schizophrenia. Instead, the parents werre openly blamed for causing their son’s problems, either through neglect or malicious intent. Once he was diagnosed, the mental health professionals continued to blame the parents – in the face of overwhelming proof that parents cannot cause schizophrenia – and refused to offer any advice on how to deal with their depressed son.

Through all the fear, anger and frustration, what is most apparent is the love, not just for this diffiult and damaged boy, but between all the members of the family. Sadowsky reminds us of the smart and generous child, the avid surfer that David had been. Her husband does not leave a difficult situation as many do. The daughters complain but in a supportive way.

Sadowsky did not begin to get answers or assistance until she discovered a support group. She continues to speak to parents and health professionals about her family’s experience and what can be done to improve support for those suffering from schizophrenia and their families. She also works to erase the stigma associated with mental illness that hampered her family every step of the way.

The author sent me a copy of this book to review, knowing from this website that I share her goal of confronting social stigma. I approached the book with caution. I knew there would be tears, and there were, but I found comfort in the love binding this family together. I read the book all in one go, unable to pull myself away. I’m grateful to Sadowsky for giving us this authentic account and encourage everyone to read it and re-examine your ideas of mental illness. Check out her website for more resources for caregivers.   http://jillsmentalhealthresources.wordpress.com/


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • When You’re Fueled by Fat, Traveling is a Relative Breeze

    When You’re Fueled Fat, Traveling Relative Breeze

    Setting off on a journey, for most carb-eating people, usually means planning snacks for the trip, being sure to have something to munch on hand. When fueled... Read more

    5 hours, 42 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • It’s Time to ShiftShiftShift. Right Now.

    It’s Time ShiftShiftShift. Right Now.

    "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." ― Galileo... Read more

    6 hours, 48 minutes ago by   Berijoy
    CREATIVITY, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Unito Review: An Excellent Synchronization Platform for Your Project Management

    Unito Review: Excellent Synchronization Platform Your Project Management

    Project management tools play a vital role in the company’s growth and success. There is a number of employees in any organization, everybody works differently... Read more

    6 hours, 54 minutes ago by   Seogdk
    MARKETING & ADVERTISING, SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Stronger

    Stronger

    Brand trips are one of the coolest parts of blogging... but can also prove to be one of the most stressful. You know you will be photographed the entire time... Read more

    7 hours, 17 minutes ago by   Wardrobeoxygen
    FASHION, SELF EXPRESSION, SHOPPING
  • Purposeful Abandonment for Tomorrow’s Event Success

    Determine When to Let Go, and When to Tackle New Challenges You seldom hear a management guru advocating that you give up, but that's essentially what Peter... Read more

    7 hours, 17 minutes ago by   Marketingtango
    BUSINESS, MARKETING & ADVERTISING
  • Northern Thailand: The Best of Lanna

    Northern Thailand: Best Lanna

    To date, through 4 separate road trips in Northern Thailand, we have now covered all 9 provinces, and have put together a simple road... Read more

    7 hours, 27 minutes ago by   Allanmwilson
    DESTINATIONS, EXPAT, TRAVEL
  • Telling Your Kids They Are Smart: It's The Kiss Of Death!

    What the hell is this woman talking about? What do you mean, don't tell my kid that he/she isn't smart? If I don't say that, they will think I think that... Read more

    7 hours, 39 minutes ago by   Joanigeltman
    FAMILY, PARENTING