Behind the Wall: The True Story of Mental Illness as Told by Parents provides a shared voice for millions of people who advocate for a child or loved one living with mental illness, fosters understanding for society at-large, and delivers an ultimately hopeful read.
The seven true stories in this book, told by nine parents, were selected from interviews conducted by sisters Mary and Elin Widdifield, and interwoven with one sister's own experiences. Told with remarkable candor, these stories offer more insight than any single story or academic analysis.
When mental illness enters the national discussion, it typically comes in the wake of a violent tragedy, attracting temporary attention and further misunderstanding. Behind the Wall posits that the true story of mental illness can be told most accurately by the people in the trenches: the parents who watched it all unfold.
|Publisher:||Langdon Street Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Elin Widdifield received her MA in counseling psychology from Tufts University and completed an externship in family therapy at The Philadelphia Child Guidance Center. She has worked extensively with adolescents, families, young adults, and sexual assault survivors. Elin has documented oral histories, including life experiences of combat veterans. Elin resides in North Carolina where she is on the boards of NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness), and the UNC Center For Excellence in Community Mental Health. She is the mother of two sons.
Table of Contents
Part I The journey begins with chaos, diagnosis, and seeking treatment 1
Chapter 1 Meet My Child (multi-narrative): The way we were. 3
Chapter 2 Esme and Jennifer: The journey begins, chaos erupts, and diagnosis seems elusive 11
Chapter 3 Kerri and Thomas: Will anyone believe what I'm going through? 41
Chapter 4 Bianca and Miguel: Looking for the little bit of normal 57
Chapter 5 Tessa and Riley: Parents shouldn't have those thoughts 79
Part II From a parent's worst fear to hope, recovery, and coping 113
Chapter 6 Catherine and Philip: Remembering Philip and the isolation of mental illness 115
Chapter 7 Nathalie, Delia, and Gianna: Treatment, hope, and gratitude 153
Chapter 8 Dan, Rebecca, and Stella: What recovery can mean, and meeting your child "where they are" 189
Part III Our new normal 223
Chapter 9 Our Own Roller Coaster (multi-narrative): Grief, guilt, advice, and coping 225
Chapter 10 What We Dream for Our Children (multi-narrative): Revised expectations and recovery 251
Appendix: Parent Questionnaire: Questions designed to guide parents toward exploring and understanding their own journey 281
Glossary of Brain Disorder Diagnoses 287
References and Resources for Further Reading 291