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Mad House: Growing Up in the Shadow of…

Mad House: Growing Up in the Shadow of Mentally Ill Siblings

by Clea Simon

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140274340, Mass Market Paperback)

Tales of family dysfunction have become so commonplace that a postcard witticism suggests that a conference for children of functional families would be sparsely attended. Certainly Clea Simon, whose two older siblings were gripped by schizophrenia in their teens, wouldn't be there. She lays out a bleak, affecting story of growing up in a family where the spotlight necessarily shone on the insistent dissociations of a brother she remembers as once gentle and brilliant and a sister whose screeching, violent terrors sent young Simon scrambling for safety. Cogent explanations of mental illness and slices of therapy interweave with Simon's stories and those of similarly besieged families and siblings who must dismantle huge emotional barricades in order to live fully as adults. Sometimes this mix is uneasy, such as when a professionally cool distance too swiftly replaces the white heat of painful memories.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:44:55 -0400)

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