Mad House: Growing Up in the Shadow of Mentally Ill Siblings
Penguin, 1998 (1997)
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
lea Simon was shattered when her older brother Daniel began hearing voices, making it impossible for him to function. A schizophrenic, he later committed suicide. Clea's sister Katherine also succumbed to the disorder, moving from one institution to another through the years.
ccepting that home life was not
, Clea - as many before and after her - began to develop strategies to cope. These coping mechanisms followed her into adulthood and colored her relationships with others. Trust was lacking in any of her romantic relationships as well as in the work place and with friends. The fear of becoming like their afflicted siblings proves a real problem for adults whose siblings were mentally ill. I picked up Simon's book because I have a granddaughter who has been diagnosed as bipolar. I am as concerned about her brother and sister as I am for her.
is a step in the right direction for anyone with the same concerns. Reading of someone
who has been there
gives me the impetus I need to be sure they get the help they need while their older sister is being treated.
is not a phrase whispered behind one's hand any more. We need to accept what has gone wrong, work to correct whatever we can, and give the support and love that are desperately needed.
Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.
Find more NonFiction books on our
or in our book