You Are Not Alone: The NAMI Information to Navigating Psychological Well being by Ken Duckworth, NAMI’s medical director, is the primary e-book launched by the Nationwide Alliance on Psychological Sickness. The e-book consists of excerpts from interviews with 130 individuals who both self-identify as having a psychological sickness or have a cherished one who does, and the creator writes, “Psychological sickness and restoration are human experiences, so I contemplate experience-based proof an authoritative supply for this e-book.”
The e-book opens with the creator speaking about his historical past with NAMI and his household’s expertise along with his father’s bipolar sickness. All through the e-book, he comes throughout as speaking with readers on the identical stage slightly than being an knowledgeable speaking at readers.
The e-book is split into 4 elements. The primary half appears to be like at psychological well being situations and psychological well being care, the second half focuses on folks’s experiences with their restoration journeys, the third half focuses on relations, and the ultimate half is dedicated to conventional consultants answering generally requested questions.
The creator acknowledges the failings with the DSM diagnostic system, and he’s additionally life like concerning the issues with the psychological well being care system, or lack thereof: “The psychological well being ‘system’ all through the USA is chaotic and filled with gaps. It has lengthy been damaged and fragmented, and if you happen to attempt to look forward to the system to be much less complicated and irritating, you may be ready a really very long time.” The e-book talks about medical mannequin and restoration mannequin methods (specializing in signs and residing a great life, respectively), and the creator encourages a each/and slightly than an both/or method.
Subjects coated within the e-book included peer help, cultural points, turning into an advocate, and authorized points round issues like involuntary therapy, privateness, and police and felony justice system involvement. The ultimate part included an FAQ chapter with numerous consultants answering questions, in addition to a chapter with clinicians and researchers addressing questions on look after melancholy, OCD, borderline persona dysfunction, trauma, co-occurring problems, bipolar dysfunction, and psychosis. It felt like a number of disparate issues to cram into two chapters.
There was a chapter on making which means of suicide loss, and there have been a few feedback I discovered fairly attention-grabbing. An interviewee who had misplaced a brother to suicide mentioned “The final engagement he had was with one other one that was speaking to a classmate about the best way to divide homework issues, and I discovered him twenty minutes later. In case you’re combating suicidal ideation, you’re not speaking about homework issues.” The creator, whose brother died by suicide, wrote “My brother ordered a pc monitor the day he died, and it arrived the day of his funeral. People who find themselves considering suicide don’t do this.” Besides they do; if the motion hasn’t occurred but, there may be a point of ambivalence, and duties of residing proceed in that area of ambivalence.
Whereas the purpose was to be complete, I discovered the e-book sort of unfocused, and I felt like that detracted from the general usefulness. I’m all for sharing folks’s tales, however the way in which excerpts from the interviews have been pulled collectively (typically a paragraph or two at a time) created a little bit of a hodgepodge that made it exhausting to really feel linked to the people. Whereas I can see the potential worth of interviewing 130 folks and interspersing bits of their feedback all through the e-book, I feel it does make it more durable for readers to really feel like they’re actually getting a way of who these individuals are.
As you may count on from a NAMI e-book, there’s a NAMI promotional factor. Though it wasn’t sudden, I did assume it was just a little overdone. One other factor that wasn’t sudden was optimism about restoration and tales of individuals doing very well. There was loads of acknowledgement that issues have been exhausting up to now tense, however there wasn’t a number of current tense struggling conveyed. As a present-tense-struggler myself, I discovered it a bit unbalanced, however I feel most likely a number of the individuals who find yourself studying this e-book will just like the restoration emphasis.
At over 400 pages, this e-book is a critical dedication. The size and the dearth of focus and construction don’t make an ideal mixture; it tends to advertise skimming, which takes away from the ability of a number of the interviewees’ contributions.
I can see this e-book being helpful for relations who want to be taught as a lot as they will about what this complete psychological sickness factor is about, and that’s most likely the principle target market that NAMI is aiming for. It’s most likely going to be much less helpful for individuals who’ve been across the block just a few occasions coping with their very own sickness.
You Are Not Alone is accessible on Amazon (affiliate hyperlink).
I acquired a reviewer copy from the writer by Netgalley.