STRANGER IN THE FAMILY: A Guide to Living with the Emotionally Disturbed by Claire Burch

STRANGER IN THE FAMILY: A Guide to Living with the Emotionally Disturbed

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Assuming that the co-sufferer of a victim of mental illness of one kind or another -- ranging from epilepsy to senility to the less diagnosable disorders -- is generally uninformed, this is a just-all right preliminary book. To some extent Ms. Burch cannot help reflecting the failure of both definition and differentiation in this area and, drawing loosely as she does from the literature from say Jung to Laing or Menninger to Szasz, she extends the range of interpretation while confusing the immediate application. Thus in two successive paragraphs under treatment (all therapies if they work receive approval) you are told that re insulin shock ""the patient. . . improves. No one knows actually how or why this treatment works"" and re convulsive shock ""many of the patients are helped. . . no one really knows how this treatment works or why the patients improve."" No mention is made of when this treatment is indicated or contraindicated or when the patients do not improve. The author discusses in a sanguine but realistic fashion various problems in the young, in precipitous situational neurosis, in addiction (drugs or alcohol), in treatment of the mentally retarded, and in general attitudes toward accepting the illness itself or the necessity of shorter or longer term institutionalization. Perhaps as she should be, she is most explicit on home care and management but essentially this is ""A Guide"" in the most introductory sense.

Pub Date: June 30th, 1972
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill