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72 Hour Hold by Bebe Moore Campbell
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72 Hour Hold

by Bebe Moore Campbell

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This is not a story about drug addiction. It is a story about bipolar disorder. The narrator is a single mother who must cope when her formerly bright and promising daughter starts showing signs of bipolar disorder as a teenager. The narrator must accept that her daughter's bright future is gone and she will be lucky simply to survive. Bipolar is a trendy diagnoses these days, and it seems "everyone" has it. However, in reality, true bipolar disorder is very rare and very debilitating. Doctors would do well to stop applying the diagnoses to anyone and everyone who gets a little naturally sad and moody because such an abuse of the diagnoses leads to ignorance about how serious real bipolar is. The best thing about this book is that it reveals a true case of bipolar disorder. When the narrator's daughter is in a manic phase, she really is manic and maniacal. At her worst, she cannot function in society and must be institutionalized on strong medications, (which is incredibly different from all the people who are misdiagnosed as bipolar in the real world yet go to work and easily find relief with a fad antidepressant.) The most valuable aspect of this book is the author's revelation of what real bipolar is like for its victims--both the patient and the family.

As a novel, this book is lacking. The writing is not that great nor is it inviting. In fact, towards the end, the story gets ridiculously unbelievable as the mother "kidnaps" her daughter and gets involved with an underground railroad style, grass roots group that claims it can help bipolar patients with intense experimental therapy.

So to summarize, this book is great for revealing a true case of bipolar disorder rather than the watered down misdiagnoses we see every day. However, the writing is blah and the outcome of the story is completely unbelievable. I wish the author had found a better way to express the horrors of bipolar disorder. ( )
  MaryWysong | Dec 12, 2010 |
I heard this book was kind of based on her own struggles with her daughter, but not really. It was still a heartbreaking story about addiction. As someone who likes happy endings, this was a start reminder that drug addiction is a beast! This story was sad for me, but I certainly gained a healthy respect for families dealing with this issue ( )
1 vote Ezinwanyi | Oct 8, 2010 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Campbell tackles the tough issue of mental illness with a sense of realness and you can tell the book is written from personal experience. The heartache of dealing with a family memeber who is suffering is evident. The ups and downs of mental illness are apparent. It's well written and, as always, her voice is so entertaining. ( )
1 vote Toyi | Apr 23, 2009 |
As I work supporting individuals with varying disabilities some even having a mental illness I could relate to a lot of what was being said.

Often times a mental illness is looked at as Taboo people don't want to admit they have a mental illness never mind there child does.

I felt Bebe Moore Campbell did a great job of showing what it is truly like for a mother to fight the battle of helping her daughter get help for her mental illness, while dealing with others views of the illness and fighting her ex-husband who feels that their daughter is not sick while fighting her own battle of guilt.

Bebe Moore Campbell tells a story that pulls you and has you pulling for Keri, a mother with a mission she is going to help her daughter no matter what it takes. Keri goes as far as getting help from a group that takes any means necessary to help an individual with a mental illness even as going as far as kidnapping them.

From the beginning you root for Keri to get the help for her daughter Trinia. 72 Hour Hold definitely shows people that a mother will do anything to help her child even when her child curses her and calls her the devil and hits her. 72 Hour Hold absolutely demonstrates the saying that a mother will always love her child no matter what. ( )
1 vote bgale11 | Feb 8, 2009 |
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Epigraph
Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in.

--Leonard Cohen, Anthem
Dedication
To Nancy, Lynn, JoHelen, Bunny, Linda, Judy, and mamacita Rosina. Y'all some baaad sistuhs. To Sharon Dunas for showing us the way. And to all the members of NAMI-Inglewood: Be Blessed.
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Right before the devastation, I had a good day.
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"In this novel of family and redemption, a mother struggles to save her eighteen-year-old daughter from the devastating consequences of mental illness. Trina suffers from bipolar disorder, making her paranoid, wild, and violent. Watching her child turn into a bizarre stranger, Keri searches for assistance through normal channels. She quickly learns that a seventy-two hour hold is the only help you can get when an adult child starts to spiral out of control. After three days, Trina can sign herself out of any program." "Fed up with the bureaucracy of the mental health community and determined to save her daughter by any means necessary, Keri signs on for an illegal intervention. The Program is a group of radicals who eschew the psychiatric system and model themselves after the Underground Railroad. When Keri puts her daughter's fate in their hands, she begins a journey that has her calling on the spirit of Harriet Tubman for courage. In the upheaval that follows, she is forced to confront a past that refuses to stay buried, even as she battles to secure a future for her child."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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