Author: Jewers, Robin
Date published: October 1, 2010
After Her Brain Broke; Helping My Daughter Recover Her Sanity (2010) Susan Inman Bridgeross Communications 54 Melville Street Dundas, Ontario, L9H 1Z9 166 pages: $14.95 ISBN: 978-0-9810037-8-8
In this book Susan Inman provides an account of her daughter's journey through the mental health system. Her story begins with her daughter's initial signs of mental illness as a teenager and progresses through nine years of struggles to obtain proper diagnoses and treatment. Along the way, Ms. Inman vividly describes her frustration with the limited, and often confusing and conflicting, services that were available to young people with mental illness in British Columbia at the time. She also describes her own journey through the grieving process and the impact her daughter's schizoaffective disorder has had on her family, friendships and career.
Ms. Inman describes her story in great detail. She includes information about the trend toward understanding mental illness from a neurobiological rather than a psychodynamic view. As well, she emphasizes the need for more education about mental illness to families, to those diagnosed with mental illness and to the community as a whole. There is a brief - and favourable - reference to the role of occupational therapy in her daughter's path through various treatment settings.
This story was difficult to read as a mother of two teenagers knowing that Ms. Inman's agony could very well be mine, depending on how life circumstances and family genes unfold. I also found the book a bit difficult to navigate because of the many and detailed descriptions of shifts in treatment and medication changes and dosages. Putting aside these issues, I would recommend this book to parents of young adults with mental illness who are seeking some validation for their own experiences.