NAMI
National Alliance on Mental Illness
page printed from http://www.nami.org/
(800) 950-NAMI; info@nami.org
©2014
 

NAMI Bookshelf: September 2010

Editors' note: Click the book title to order the book from Amazon.com and NAMI will receive a portion of the proceeds.


When Someone You Love Has a Mental IllnessWhen Someone You Love Has a Mental Illness
Rebecca Woolis, M.A., M.F.T.
(Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2003)

The new Spanish translation (see below) of the classic manual for families is a worthy reason to revisit the secnd English edition. Reading this book is like having a long conversation with someone who deconstructs—and then reconstructs—the feelings that family members of people living with mental illness commonly experience. The advice found in When Someone You Love Has a Mental Illness is always informed by both the social realities and the mental illnesses that affect individuals and their family members. Beginning with basic questions like "What is a hallucination?,, the manual debunks myths and builds a perspective from which families can understand the worldview of someone living with a mental illness, communicate with them and take steps towards recovery—side by side.

When Someone You Love Has a Mental Illness creates an atmosphere of acceptance of the frustrations, shames and fears that many caregivers experience, as well as of the place where their loved ones are in their recuperation. This honesty also influences the discussions of difficult subjects such as people who refuse to take medication. The author recommends that families be honest about things like possible side effects.

One of the best elements of the manual is the section about alcohol, drugs and insight. The Spanish edition contains even more exercises and charts.

Reviewed by Kim Puchir

Order this title


Cuando un ser querido sufre una enfermedad mentalCuando Un Ser Querido Sufre Una Enfermedad Mental: Un manual para familiares, amigos y cuidadores
Por Rebecca Woolis, M.A., M.F.T.
Traducción por la Prof. Dora C. Pozzi
(iUniverse, 2010)

Leer este libro es como tener una larga conversación con alguien que desgrana y después reconstruye los sentimientos de los familiares de las personas que viven con enfermedades mentales. Los consejos de Cuando un ser querido sufre de una enfermedad mental vienen de un entendimiento del entorno social y la situación particular de cada persona. Empezando por preguntas básicas como "¿Qué es una alucinación?" el libro desmiente los mitos y construye un punto de vista desde el cual los familiares pueden entender el mundo de una persona gravemente enferma, comunicarse con ellos, y ayudarles a tomar pasos hacia la recuperación.

Cuando un ser querido crea un atmosfera de aceptación—de las frustraciones, vergüenzas y temores a menudo experimentados por los cuidadores, y del punto, cualquiera que sea, donde se encuentra la persona con su enfermedad. Esta franqueza también influye las discusiones sobre temas difíciles como las personas que rechazan la medicina—la autora recomienda que las familias sean honestas sobre los posibles efectos secundarios.

Quizá el mejor elemento de este manual es la sección (nueva en esta segunda edición) sobre el alcohol y las drogas, que muchas veces aumentan los problemas que los cuidadores tienen que manejar. Especialmente útil es la tabla en que "Las etapas de cambio" y "Las etapas de tratamiento" muestran los pasos de la recuperación y las medidas que las familias deben tomar en cada caso, el uno al lado del otro.

Todas las virtudes de este libro no destacarían tanto en una traducción menos competente, pero esta guía mantiene su tono conversacional y sus explicaciones practicas en la versión español tan bien como en la original.

Crítica literaria por Kim Puchir con la ayuda de Carmen Argueta

Order this title


Radiant DaughterRadiant Daughter
Patricia Grossman

(TriQuarterly Books, Northwestern University Press, 2010)

Grossman's sixth novel focuses on the impact of mental illness on the relationship between Irena Blazek, a Czech immigrant, and her daughter, Elise.

The novel spans 30 years, opening with the family preparing for Elise's departure from her hometown to attend Princeton University. Grossman toggles between mother and daughter perspectives, simultaneously revealing their unshakeable need for one another and the generational and cultural chasms that strain their relationships over several decades.

An onset of bipolar disorder disrupts Elise's years as a student and later, her career in higher education as a Russian literature professor. Over the years, Elise's loyal college roommate Wiley goes above and beyond to get Elise help, often assuming the role of surrogate mother. The highs and lows of Elise's illness further complicate her relationship with both Wiley and her long-distance relationship with Irena. Irena remains devoted, but increasingly troubled by her daughter's behavior. She fears the illness ultimately will derail her daughter's pursuit of the American dream, or worse yet, rob her of her only child.

Reviewed by Christine Armstrong

Order this title.

 

Back