NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF: Growing Up with Mental Illness in Your Family by Sherry H. Dinner

NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF: Growing Up with Mental Illness in Your Family

Email this review


A clinical psychologist elucidates mental illness in the context of a memorable point of view: the mentally ill, who experience exaggerated forms of normal reactions to stress, in a sense speak a different language, live in a different culture, and follow different roles. Addressing (in the second person) the teen-ager with a relative who is mentally ill, and using fictional adolescents and families based on composite cases as examples, Dinner discusses mood disorders (e.g., depression), anxiety disorders (e.g., agoraphobia), post-traumatic stress disorders, eating disorders, Alzheimer's, and schizophrenia, explaining possible causes and distinguishing the conditions from normal ups and downs. She describes such common responses within the family as guilt and embarrassment and offers suggestions for coping--increasing communication, asking for what's needed, accepting what's beyond control. Support groups are highly recommended; guidelines for evaluating them are given. This is not really a self-help book, although there are helpful suggestions here (getting over a reaction like shame, for instance, is not addressed in depth). Rather, it is an evenhanded, informed survey of these mental conditions and their effect on other family members--especially on teens--with a strong plea for learning to cope constructively and for getting help when it is needed. Resource list; glossary; bibliography.

Pub Date: April 20th, 1989
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard