Friday, January 8, 2016

All the Things We Never Knew: Chasing the Chaos of Mental Illness by Sheila Hamilton

All the Things We Never Knew: Chasing the Chaos of Mental Illness by Sheila Hamilton is open and raw in a way that forced me to remind myself that I don't actually know her as I read. I cheered for her and her daughter, Sophie, but also for David, her husband suffering from mental illness. I winced when she was brutally honest about missing signs, mistaking the symptoms, and dismissing both as just his personality. I nodded as she demonstrated how charismatic David was in the beginning and how alluring, even intoxicating, that was. I blinked back a tear when she told her daughter when David's body had finally been found even though I knew before I even started reading that he died. Hamilton's examination of way mental illness is handled by the medical profession, the legal community, and even by family members left me gasping. There are so many glitches in the system where one little mistake, one little misstep, one little denial can be deadly. Hamilton writes an engaging story that reminded me why I am so fascinated with psychology and pushed me to pay closer attention to those around me. All the Things We Never Knew is a very personal story, but it is also a call to action for all of us to understand the dangers of stigmatizing mental illness driving people away from seeking the care they need.


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