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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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2008

    Not as good as I thought

    I was very disappointed when I started reading the book. Not because of the plot line. But because of the content. It didn't keep my attention and it was extremely boring. The plot line is amazing, but they way it was put was disappointing.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2006

    Disappointing

    After all the hype from this book, I was expecting a lot better. It was confusing and hard to tell what was real life, what wasn't. I wouldn't recommend it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2000

    disappointing

    okay sorry, i am halfway done with this book and i dont even plan to finish it it's so boring. gross.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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