4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
A very important reading for families of consumers and mental health professionals, March 11 2010
After Her Brain Broke is an insightful first-hand account of a journey through schizophrenia from the perspective of a mother.
Through her personal account, the author illustrates how schizophrenia affects both the sufferer and his or her family. Ms. Inman's story not only describes the mother's relentless struggle to help her daughter Molly, but constitutes a very valuable resource for families struggling with having a member suffering serious mental illness. Throughout her book, Ms.Inman demonstrates the importance of establishing a collaborative relationship between mental health professionals, community resources and the consumers' families.
Susan's account reveals how parental involvement and education on mental illness is crucial and, in many cases, this knowledge is what can provide families with the necessary tools to collaborate with the professionals in the treatment plan. The author advocates for approaches that educate, empower and mobilize families.
Ms. Inman's experiences in navigating the mental health system highlights the need for adopting an approach that involves the family members in the treatment. Molly's progress with those mental health professionals whose approach involved the family as part of the treatment, challenges the misguided view that some mental health practitioners have about blocking any family involvement in the treatment of consumers. Susan's account constitutes an eye opener to the deficiencies that still pervade the mental health field where some practitioners' poor training in serious mental illness can result in poor management practices for their clients and serious obstacles for their progress. This account leaves the readers wondering how come unprofessional behavior is not accountable.
Susan's account exposes the limited resources in the community for helping consumers and their families deal with the challenges embedded in the daily lives of people with serious mental illness. However, she does not respond passively to this lack of resources but takes a proactive stance and works in envisioning innovative ways to tap existing resources and use them to help her daughter. Susan becomes Molly's "case manager" and organizes a rehabilitation program for her daughter involving university students studying health care whose involvement in Molly's daily life would provide her with a "constant invitation to try to rejoin this world". Susan also brings a novel element to courses taken by consumers and families by stressing the importance of inviting consumers who have recovered to present their stories to other consumers and families who are in the midst of their difficult journey. The author's creation of a Mothers Group, where mothers of consumers meet to share and discuss their experiences, is another example of Susan's commitment to envision creative ways to help families of consumers.
In addition to presenting readers an inspiring and engaging account of her personal journey navigating through the system and learning about serious mental illness, Ms. Inman offers medical and literary perspectives on mental illness, She explains the workings of psychotropic drugs, giving an account of their effects. Susan provides the reader with excellent resources and a bibliography.