Losing Control: Loving a Black Child with Bipolar Disorderby Cassandra Joubert, Linda Thompson Adams, Jan Hutchinson
A true story, Losing Control chronicles an African-American mother's struggle with her daughter's mental illness, which after more than a decade of help-seeking, heartache and confusion, is finally determined to be bipolar disorder. Her difficulties in managing symptoms of her child's illness, the lack of social and emotional support, and the grief this mother
A true story, Losing Control chronicles an African-American mother's struggle with her daughter's mental illness, which after more than a decade of help-seeking, heartache and confusion, is finally determined to be bipolar disorder. Her difficulties in managing symptoms of her child's illness, the lack of social and emotional support, and the grief this mother faces as the diagnosis is finally determined are vividly and courageously discussed. A medical perspective on bipolar disorder, including definitions, symptoms and treatment in a cultural context is provided. Resources to help families deal with the stigma attached to mental illness, and resources that can be helpful in managing its course are also provided.
- Advantage Media Group
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
Dr. Joubert offers all readers a bold, brilliant and intimate look into the sorrows, secrets and often hard to yield successes that come with raising a beautiful, yet beloved black child with mental illness. And though I am not black, as a clinician and as a mom of a special needs child, I I found this book's efforts to help destigmatize mental illness in the black community to be an important gift to that community, as well as a great contribution to the many ethnic communities that still do not not avail themselves of mental health services due to cultural/social stigmas. In this brave journey, Dr Joubert truthfully recounts incredibly personal family, physical and environmental attributes, incidents and conditions that might have caused or excarberated Maya's disorder. It's clear that Dr. Joubert is not afraid to ask the questions most parents like me with special needs kids only ask themselves in the dark, still of the night. Instead,, Dr. Joubert poses those questions forthrightly with a bright, illuminating beacon of light and hope for learning the cause but, more importantly, for finding good care. Furthermore, by sharing hard fought battles on behalf of Maya, she teaches all of us- teachers, clinicians, parents and medical professional alike- that diagnosis and effective treatments must be individualized for each patient at every evolving, vulnerable stage of child and adolescent learning and development. We also learn that Maya, like many other young people with bi- ploar disorder , sometimes also suffers more needlessly because the medical, therapy and school communities have not yet successfully learned or been trained how to diagnosis and offer appropriate early and consistent treatment and learning interventions. Additionally, Dr Joubert does an outstanding job of detailing many effective and practical examples of advocacy and adaptive home and behavior strategies she employed to help keep Maya safe. She also discusses the vital need to find ways to take care of herself so that she can focus her attention and energies on just loving, and not controlling, her beautiful child of God. Thank you, Dr Joubert: this book should be required reading for all teachers, clinicians, parents of special needs kids and health and mental health care providers!
In this heart-wrenching account, Dr. Cassandra Joubert details her struggle to both love and help her bi-polar child. This book did many things for me. It reaffirmed the strength and tenacity of African-American women in the face of adversity. Strength and perseverance are our legacy. Were it not we would have perished as a people. Two, as a clinician, this was a real-eye opener because I know so very little about bi-polar disorder in children. Dr. Joubert brings insight into this disease sometimes with pain, sometimes with laughter, but always with love. Three, again as a clinician and a child advocate, Dr. Joubert demonstrates what it means to be an advocate for one's own child. She walks us through the mental health system in Michigan, a system that was not always responsive to her child's needs. Yet she persevered, standing up to authority figures when she felt she needed to, challenging treatment recommendations, and generally fighting for a child who could not fight for herself. Yet, with all the angst and frustrations, Dr. Joubert continued to lovingly embrace Maya, even when Maya was not so lovable. Very few mothers can make the transition. Dr. Joubert shows that it is possible. Finally, the question in my mind as I was reading the book was what do mothers do who don't have the level of education and advocacy skills of a Dr. Joubert? How do they cope? And who helps them? This book revealed the need to provide an avenue through which mothers of bi-polar children can obtain information, advocacy training, and mentoring from women like Dr. Joubert. This book is a must-read, even if you don't have a child with bi-polar disorder for it demonstrates strength and perseverance regardless of what your situation is.
Losing Control provided me with an eye opening experience. I recognized many of our community's secret ills being brought to the forefront through Dr. Joubert's candor and transparency. Anyone who is a parent or who plans to be a parent, including but certainly not limited to African Americans, must read this book. Losing Control will stir you up! It identifies many of the behaviors that we have sought to ignore or simply bandage with punishment. Children are God's gift and Maya's story allows us to see the beauty in them, even when they may not always express what we deem as acceptable behavior. I now have a different view. I am committed to not looking at any child as a lost cause, but I am challenged even more so to advocate for them and our families to make sure that what may appear as deviant behavior is met with the proper attention.