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If Your Adolescent Has Schizophrenia: An Essential Resource for Parents Paperback – Dec 23 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Gur and Johnson present a solid overview of schizophrenia in this current, accessible volume, which, though geared toward parents, will also be useful for educators and guidance counselors. The authors (Gur teaches psychiatry, neurology and radiology at the University of Pennsylvania; Johnson is a medical writer and psychotherapist) explain that schizophrenia is a complex, chronic disease that often strikes during adolescence and young adulthood, and that while there may have been subtle signs before the initial episode, parents are often shocked to learn that their child has schizophrenia. The mental illness alters thinking, emotional responsiveness and perceptions of reality. Researchers have linked its possible causes to brain abnormalities, genetics and environmental factors (though there are still many unanswered questions about its origins.) However, early detection and intervention can significantly influence the course of schizophrenia over the long-term, and this book will empower parents to seek out the proper professionals, therapies and medications to help their teen manage and treat the disease. In particular, "How Parents Can Help" sections in each chapter outline such topics as how parents can proactively seek hospital admission for their child, maintain a proper medication schedule and become involved in the politics of mental health. (Apr.)
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"Truth rings out from every page of this incredible book that can be devoured in one sitting. It is exactly what parents need to know, delivered with precisely the right measure of science and personal story. Our son was diagnosed with schizophrenia six years ago at age 21. How I wish we could have had this book 12 years ago when the bewildering nightmare began. All my own strong opinions about the mental health "system" are here. I found myself constantly exclaiming, 'Yes!'"--Minnesota State Representative Mindy Greiling, Chair of the National Board of Director's Policy Subcommittee on Children, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
"Unique and invaluable, concise, accurate, informative, and instructive. This is the first book I have seen that speaks directly and clearly to the primary questions and problems that overwhelm parents trying to cope with the tragedy of schizophrenia in their family. From making sense out of diagnostic uncertainty, to explaining about genes and the brain, to no-nonsense advice about treatment and rehabilitation, this book fills a gap that has long been needed." --Daniel R. Weinberger, M.D., National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
"This book is a very informative addition to any parent's library. It tells caretakers what they need to know in a straightforward and practical manner. Schizophrenia is one of the most misunderstood and difficult mental illnesses for anyone to grapple with. Adolescents with new-onset schizophrenia need much support and guidance. This book gives parents the tools to help." -Dr. Suzanne Vogel-Scibilia, National President, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
"The National Schizophrenia Foundation is always delighted to have new resources made available that will inform persons with schizophrenia and their family members about the disease and provide tools for dealing with it. First-person accounts are extremely important in allowing people to truly understand the reality of schizophrenia and the road to recovery. Kudos to Drs. Gur and Johnson!" --Eric C. Hufnagel, President and CEO, National Schizophrenia Foundation
"Whether this is your first venture into learning about the realm of adolescent schizophrenia, or your latest addition to a growing library, this book will be of invaluable assistance. With the perfect blend of scientific expertise and down to earth explanations, Drs. Gur and Johnson provide a very useful guide for all people affected by adolescents with schizophrenia and for their relatives." --Ming T. Tsuang, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., Professor of Psychiatry, University of California at San Diego
"Parents must cope with illness in their child, and the challenge could hardly be greater than when the diagnosis is schizophrenia. This book provides expert knowledge, perspective, and guidance in a practical, reader-friendly format. The information will support each step in the recovery journey." --William T. Carpenter Jr., M.D., Director, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center
"Gur and Johnson present a solid overview of schizophrenia in this current, accessible volumethis book will empower parents to seek out the proper professionals, therapies, and medications to help their teen manage and treat the disease. In particular, "How Parents Can Help" sections in each chapter outline such topics as how parents can proactively seek hospital admission for their child, maintain a proper medication schedule and become involved in the politics of mental health."--Publishers Weekly
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It is very easy reading, short, and has some good real-life short stories from parents. It is the type of book every Psychiatrist should hand out to a parent with an adolescent newly diagnosed with Schizophrenia, or even if the adolescent POSSIBLY has Schizophrenia.
Because Schizophrenia is such a complex illness, a comprehensive resource would be several volumes, and have to include Torrey's "Surviving Schizophrenia". This is a short, easy-to read book that can get a parent mentally prepared for the task ahead. It briefly explains what Schizophrenia is without getting too technical. It gently teaches some terms that will be necessary to know in order to understand anything they will be reading on the Internet or even to talk with the doctors.
It warns parents that they are going to have to fight for the proper care of their child. That is an understatement! It doesn't go into details of how to do that - how to get 504 plans, accommodations in school, proper medical tests, etc... but it does give the parents a "heads-up" - you have a battle ahead of you, and a lot to learn.
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