Beyond Trauma

I had the pleasure of presenting with Linda Appleman Shapiro, author of Four Rooms, Upstairs: A Psychotherapist’s Journey Into and Beyond Her Mother’s Mental Illness, last week at the library in Ridgefield, CT. Each time I tell Ben’s (and our family’s) story, I see at least one face in the audience that seems to open with relief: Can we really talk about these secrets? Is mental illness really not the source of shame I’ve been assuming it is?

Yes, let’s talk. A mental illness is just that: an illness. It is no one’s fault. It just is.

Great books for practical advice:
When Someone You Love Has a Mental Illness by Rebecca Woolis
I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help – Xavier Amador – great info, “system” doesn’t always work, but helps understanding greatly
and – believe it or not, for basics – there are “dummies” books for schizophrenia, bipolar, etc.

What familes need:
Support
Education
Acceptance (Letting Go)
Reality check, Respect, Resilience
Communication
Hope – and, yes, Humor

It spells SEARCH.
My son Ben is living a very worthwhile life, filled with love, even with paranoid schizophrenia. Even so, my expectations have changed. It is a new normal. R for reality…

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One thought on “Beyond Trauma

  1. Hi,

    I attended the Author Talk at the Ridgefield Library. It was a spellbinding evening because of the wonderful author presentations and the Q&A session afterward. I've never seen an audience that engaged.

    There's a great blog written by a woman with BiPolar disorder. It's called BiPolar Cocktail. It might be of interest to you.
    Here's the address:
    http://bipolarcocktail.blogspot.com/

    She and I are both members of a group called Network for Wives.

    Best,

    Lauren
    http://thinkspin.blogspot.com

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