Customer Reviews for

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

Average Rating 4
( 66 )
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5 Star

(41)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(3)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

No change of diet, no drugs, just psychotherapy

This book is a fictionalized version of the author's recovery from schizophrenia within the confines of a mental institution. Her journey (the book was published in 1963) was undertaken without the use of antipsychotics and her progress rested on good old-fashioned psyc...
This book is a fictionalized version of the author's recovery from schizophrenia within the confines of a mental institution. Her journey (the book was published in 1963) was undertaken without the use of antipsychotics and her progress rested on good old-fashioned psychotherapy. It stands in refreshing and sharp contrast to the way mental illnesses have been treated since the 1970s.

Through personal experience I have come to see the sorry state to which modern psychiatry has fallen in the intervening decades. Psychotherapy has been largely rejected as a therapy for schizophrenia in favour of antipsychotic medication. This situation is changing slightly because the drugs are finally beginning to be acknowledged as ineffective in the majority of patients. Psychotherapy is now getting a "re-think". What is remarkable about I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, apart from the sheer brilliance of its prose and insights, is that the author's recovery happened without a change of diet, the use of supplements or even energy medicine. It came about painfully, over time, through exploring the belief system that the young girl had constructed in order to protect herself from real and imagined family hurts. The exploration of the family belief system between the girl and her psychiatrist is very relevant to the Family Constellation Therapy that our family underwent.

There is hardly any information on the market today about recovery from schizophrenia, beyond advice on continuing to take your medication, to have "realistic" expectations and to monitor yourself for signs of relapse. I believe that one of the explanations for this lack of information is that many doctors believe that recovery from schizophrenia is not possible and that anyone who "recovers" probably didn't have schizophrenia to begin with. (Joanne Greenberg would beg to differ.) Just getting off the medications is not recovery for most people. It is only the beginning of recovery. The roller coaster ride of recovery is painful and long. Set-backs often look like relapse. The temptation is always there to go back on the medications, which adds a further painful dimension, the worry over whether you are doing the right thing. Very few people believe, thanks to the power of the pharmaceutical lobby, that recovery is possible without medication. Many people believe that the medications are meant for life (and the doctors will tell you so). Many people are waiting for the next miracle drug - a drug that, in my opinion, will never fix the problems of the psyche.

posted by Rossa_Forbes on May 25, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

I Never Promised You A Rose Garden

I Never Promised You A Rose Garden is about a 16-year-old schizophrenic girl named Deborah Blau. It tells of Deborah's life in a mental hospital, but it is quite confusing as it switches back aand fourth from Deborah's hallucinations and reality. I would recom...
I Never Promised You A Rose Garden is about a 16-year-old schizophrenic girl named Deborah Blau. It tells of Deborah's life in a mental hospital, but it is quite confusing as it switches back aand fourth from Deborah's hallucinations and reality. I would recommend to people 16 years of age and older. For younger people, just read carefully, and try to recognize which is Deborah's mind, and which is real life.

posted by Anonymous on January 3, 2004

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  • Posted May 25, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    No change of diet, no drugs, just psychotherapy

    This book is a fictionalized version of the author's recovery from schizophrenia within the confines of a mental institution. Her journey (the book was published in 1963) was undertaken without the use of antipsychotics and her progress rested on good old-fashioned psychotherapy. It stands in refreshing and sharp contrast to the way mental illnesses have been treated since the 1970s.

    Through personal experience I have come to see the sorry state to which modern psychiatry has fallen in the intervening decades. Psychotherapy has been largely rejected as a therapy for schizophrenia in favour of antipsychotic medication. This situation is changing slightly because the drugs are finally beginning to be acknowledged as ineffective in the majority of patients. Psychotherapy is now getting a "re-think". What is remarkable about I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, apart from the sheer brilliance of its prose and insights, is that the author's recovery happened without a change of diet, the use of supplements or even energy medicine. It came about painfully, over time, through exploring the belief system that the young girl had constructed in order to protect herself from real and imagined family hurts. The exploration of the family belief system between the girl and her psychiatrist is very relevant to the Family Constellation Therapy that our family underwent.

    There is hardly any information on the market today about recovery from schizophrenia, beyond advice on continuing to take your medication, to have "realistic" expectations and to monitor yourself for signs of relapse. I believe that one of the explanations for this lack of information is that many doctors believe that recovery from schizophrenia is not possible and that anyone who "recovers" probably didn't have schizophrenia to begin with. (Joanne Greenberg would beg to differ.) Just getting off the medications is not recovery for most people. It is only the beginning of recovery. The roller coaster ride of recovery is painful and long. Set-backs often look like relapse. The temptation is always there to go back on the medications, which adds a further painful dimension, the worry over whether you are doing the right thing. Very few people believe, thanks to the power of the pharmaceutical lobby, that recovery is possible without medication. Many people believe that the medications are meant for life (and the doctors will tell you so). Many people are waiting for the next miracle drug - a drug that, in my opinion, will never fix the problems of the psyche.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A journey through the mind

    All I have to say is wow. This book blew me away. It literally took you on a journey through a dark and tortured mind. You almost felt like you were in a nightmare/dream world. Everything felt real in a way.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2011

    My favorite book

    I read this book for the first time when I was about 14 and absolutely loved it! I have since read it at least 30 more times since then. My mom recommended it to me, still have her original book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2011

    Awesome

    Its different but it is an amazing read i recommend it to anyone

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2007

    Very well written, lots of details involved.Totally reccomended.

    Eh, this is a great book!, it has helped me a lot in my life. Ive been thru an awful lot and I used to retreat into myself a lot, not the point of insanity tho. This book has helped me to understand the depths of it all. It is very well written, confusin at the beginning, but just keep on reading it and read it slowly to grasp the meaning of it all. Totally reccomend it to everyone who is interested in good psychological-like books.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2005

    My Favorite Book of all time!!!

    I first read this book when I was twelve or thirteen when I was going through a similarly rough time and I was so caught up in the book I forgot if IT was real or just a book. I have read it many times since then and almost know it by heart. Its a book I never get sick of and I have recommended it to several friends

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2005

    Provocative

    This is a very thought-provoking read. I was thirteen when I read this, and I remember being extremely impressed by it. Deborah's inabliity to cope with reality touched me, because I identified with her dilemma. This book is so unique, it deals with adolescence in a way that is intriguing and non-conventional. Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2004

    I Never Promised You A Rose Garden

    I Never Promised You A Rose Garden is about a 16-year-old schizophrenic girl named Deborah Blau. It tells of Deborah's life in a mental hospital, but it is quite confusing as it switches back aand fourth from Deborah's hallucinations and reality. I would recommend to people 16 years of age and older. For younger people, just read carefully, and try to recognize which is Deborah's mind, and which is real life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2003

    From the first page

    A more vivid picture of insanity and mental illness could not be created with words alone. From the first page I was hooked. Joanne's description and story telling drew me in to the story so that I was more than a reader, more than an observer. I was an active participant. This story shattered the illusions of insanity that we have created and shows the reality of the afflictions that have changed little in the last 50 years.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2003

    A moving story

    I Never Promised You a Rose Garden' is an engaging, insightful story. It's hard not to identify with our young heroine, regardless of whether you're afflicted with mental illness or not. One of the main messages I gleaned from it is that medication may not be the answer for everyone, and the relationship with one's doctor is critical for proper healing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2003

    Travel to a world within

    If you don't understand how someone can be a stranger in her own world, her own family and her own body - you should read this book. "I never promised you a rosegarden" is a tragic, yet uplifting, story about a girls struggle to be free from her schizofrenia. It also gives you a little understanding of how living itself can be an enormous struggle.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2002

    Amazing

    I am an avid reader who always wants a good book. My mother found me a copy and i started reading it... I couldn't believe how amazing it was. For all those other teens who feel insecure and need a heartening, true story, or anyone who just wants a wonderful book, I wish I could give it 10 more stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2001

    A terrific novel

    This book is spell binding and wrenches at the heartstrings. I highly reccomend this wonderful, insightful book into the world of mental illness

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2001

    A book I never forgot

    This book was required reading when I was in HS over 10+ years ago! I'm looking forward to reading it again as an adult and rediscovering what touched me so many years ago.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2001

    In search of answers or a great book? Read this!

    I never promised you a rose garden was amazing! I picked up the book because my 16 year old friend is going throught the same thing Deb (main character) is and at first thought i would skim it. The first paragraph hooked me! I now recommend it to all my friends!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2001

    Beautiful!

    I read this book in 8th grade (I'm almost through my 9th grade year now) and the memory of it surfaced after I watched the movie 'Girl, Interrupted.' This was a wonderful book... Now that I finally remembered the title, I can't wait to buy it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2000

    A Great Book, 15 years later

    I first read this book when I was sixteen, and I just reread it. (I'm now 31.) I loved it when I was sixteen, and I still love it. The story is well-written, and insightful. The main character's experience with schizophrenia is frightening and compelling.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2000

    I chance to peek inside a strange new world.

    Sometimes you find a book that touches a deep core inside you. Those books don't come along often, but this is one of them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2000

    GREAT!!!!!!

    This book was great. Joanne Greenberg is one of my favorite authors because she never lets you down.I am in 9th grade and I had to read this book for an out side reading project and it kept my attention the whole time that I was reading it. This book is great for people that like stories with a twist.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2014

    My LA teacher was talking about this book

    My LA teacher was talking about this book and im glade i got to read it :)

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