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Posted December 11, 2011
I am a psychology student in Tennessee and found "Out of The Fog" very handy to have today. All the computers were tied up in the library and I had the resources I needed right there on my tablet and iPhone with me all the time.
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Posted December 8, 2011
Hi. This book is a collection of web pages from an online forum where members share their frustrations about their estranged mothers and former spouses who are suspected of having mental illnesses that have not been diagnosed.
This book, which focuses on how damaging and hopelessly incurable mom or ex-husband are, dedicates fewer than 4% of its pages to the subject of how the reader can rise above. Most telling are the contributing author statements at the beginning of the book. One by one, they explain how they were victimized. Not a word is mentioned about how they overcame.
This book lacks a recovery map or a pathway to success. And the psychology theories presented are not at all conventional. There is little insight. There is little perspective. The book just wanders from page to page and from one list after another.
The greatest weakness of this book is its avocation to blame relationship problems on the mental illness of others in your life. In the book there is no questioning ¿if they are mentally ill¿, it is more a matter of which mental illness. And the words ¿self awareness¿, ¿self analysis¿, and ¿self discovery¿ do not appear anywhere in the book.
For some reason, the author abandons the conventional definitions of the ten DSM personality disorders / mental illnesses and attempts to describe them using 100 common relationship problems. The problems include such things as picking fights , blaming, anger, entitlement, favoritism, false accusations, mood swings, name calling, shaming, and silent treatment ¿ the presence of ¿some¿ are indicative of mental illness.
The logic is something like
~ If people with personality disorders often get into circular conversations (arguments which go on almost endlessly, repeating the same patterns with no real resolution),
~ And if you find yourself repeatedly engaged in circular conversations with someone,
~ This is an indication that they a have a personality disorder.
Of course, by using a scheme like this most anyone can be labeled as mentally ill. That pretty much sums this book up.
I should mention that the book contains an abundance of data, but most of it is not directly relevant to the topic nor is there any attempt to explain why it is included in the book. There is a data table, for example, from a 1996 US study on perpetrators of abuse to people over 60. There is a data table from 2002 survey of 15-16 year British school children that had suicidal thoughts. There is a 1999 table on missing children statistics.
There is also a chapter dedicated to assigning personality disorders to fictional movie and carton characters. Did you know that, for example, the Charlie Brown cartoon character, Lucy, has Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
The book cover shows a car driving in a deep fog. It's sorta how I felt after reading the book.
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Posted January 5, 2012
The Out of the Fog forum has been a lifesaver for me, and this book compiles the information, tips, and tools in one place (that I can consult discreetly on my Nook in occasions where browsing the website is impossible or inadvisable). If you have someone in your life with a personality disorder, this book is a must-buy.
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Posted December 26, 2011
The members of this support group are obviously very hurt and angry and exiting emotionally troubled relationships.
Oddly this book, rather than focusing on processing of hurt and rebuilding of lives, attempts to recast information from the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual into a tool for some kind of a modern day Salem witch trials. It is a very perverse use of a body of professional work intended to help people suffering from debilitating mental illnesses.
From reading the website, the author appears to be well intentioned. The book is just poorly researched and the subject matter not well understood. There is no acknowledgment that people tend to enter into relationships with their emotional equals.
Imagine going to an Al-anon meeting to find the members complaining and demonizing alcoholics and writing a book warning others to stay away from anyone that goes to a bar.
The book isn't any deeper than this hypothetical comparison.
In this book there are the "PDs" (bad people) and the "Nons" (good people). The author calls himself a "non". The author has blogged about a history of childhood sexual abuse, alcohol dependence, and cheating in relationships, events that would qualify him as having a personality disorder sing the formulas in the book.
I'm not suggesting that the author has any mental issues. I am suggesting that the book has some weaknesses.
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Posted February 27, 2013
This book personally helped me a lot to understand dysfunctional dynamics. I wish I'd had it when I had contact with my mother. It would have been my bible.
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Posted December 12, 2012
Absolutely Fantastic and without equal to the mass audience whom have to suffer these traits -
often totally unaware that most people close to them may in fact have a PD which is giving them
fleas as if they are in the stages of developing one themselves.
The author points to INTENT as key in the complex problems PD situations create and has advice
like a 51% rule over your own state of mind/ looking out for yourself so not to break and go into
abusive mode yourself.
In fact a simplified version would be better for a pocket guide then you can beef it out on the website.
Some of these academics talk about tit for tat - which is unavoidable in many ways - for sure there is ZERO
help available for most people and ZERO advise to wise them up. FULL MARKS to the author for getting
OUT THERE amidst the FOG people keep smoke screening us with.
Psychology students note: Millions are NOT top 5% academics.
Also note: some of them are the worst PDs on planet Earth!
Good Job Out Of The Fog!
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Posted August 3, 2014
4.5 stars. "Personality Disorder" is a phrase that unfortunately sounds like
someone CHOOSING to be a jerk. Not so; people with these mental illnesses
have been shown to have different brain wiring than neurotypical people.
(Although, like most mental disorders, there is not nearly enough clinical
research on record.)
With an estimated 8-12% of the population having a personality disorder, this
means if you know more than 10 people, YOU know someone with a
personality disorder. An in-law, a neighbor, a co-worker, an ex or current
partner, a sibling, a parent, a child. Possibly yourself (in which case, this book
may be uncomfortable reading for you, though it may be helpful in finding ways
to deal with the people in your life who ALSO have PD's). Like most mental
disorders, there are spectrums and cycles - someone may show severe
symptoms, others may show symptoms only occasionally.
Where this book excels is in the descriptions of what each personality disorder
is, how it presents from the neurotypical's point of view (this would be
especially helpful to a writer who wants to include a character with a personality
disorder), the descriptions of what each PD is from the DSM-IV (although there
is now a somewhat controversial DSM-V that is out) and sometimes from the
World Health Organization's criteria for that PD. What works, in dealing with
someone with a specific PD, and what DOESN'T work. (Bringing home flowers
as a surprise can actually cause distress and suspicion for people with certain
PD's, rather than delight and gratitude.) Where support and resources can be
The book is packed with links that take you to other sections of the book. For
example, if you are reading the "Top 100 Traits" section, which includes the
term "Engulfment," with a snapshot definition of what that means, clicking on
the underlined word will take you to an expanded section on what "Engulfment"
The downside to this feature is that, should you choose to read the book cover
to cover, there appears to be a lot of repetition. The current edition of this book
does NOT have a chapter of contents, which would be handy, and there are
also minor typos and occasional formatting glitches, which is why I'm
subtracting a half star.
This book is fully excerpted from the Out of the FOG website - so why buy the
book? #1, odd as it may sound, people don't ALWAYS have internet access,
and you may want to check something when you don't. #2, if you have found the
website helpful, it is an easy way to support it.
I recommend this book to anyone who has a problem relationship in his/her life
(maybe it's NOT you), and to all writers, because we love to create characters
who are damaged from a prior relationship or from their family of origin. This
book will help us describe the long-terms damage and/or create flashbacks or
backstory more realistically.