The ordeal began innocently enough. "Joseph" was happily raising a middle class family in the California suburbs when he was diagnosed with cancer. The operation was successful and prognosis good until a routine follow-up procedure was botched. Doctors corrected the issue and sent "Joseph" home from the hospital, but he was never the same again.
At age 53, Joseph suddenly became prone to fits of rage and hallucinations. His new and disturbing religious obsessions and proselytizing alienated his grown children and got him fired from his job, while his wife began to fear for her life.
Depression, anxiety, and paranoia overtook this once-vibrant man. Frequent hospital stints and a persistent refusal to stay on medication ultimately led him to flee his home and travel the world homeless as a self-proclaimed religious prophet, eschewing wealth, belongings and family.
Joseph's colorful descent into psychosis featured a journey that stretched across thirty countries, four continents, and thirteen wives. He faced down drug dealers and prostitutes, advised the Italian Mafioso and was hailed as a prophet in Africa.
Losing Dad not only features Joseph's harrowing -- and still ongoing -- flight from reality amidst anosognosia, but also valuable information about severe mental illness, a crippling disease that affects 1 in 17 people and can develop inside any mind at any time. It provides a list of resources, a discussion of current mental health laws, and plenty of food for thought. The Foreword is written by Dr. Xavier Amador.
"I highly recommend 'Losing Dad' both as an educational tool and as a heartfelt tale. Beautifully woven between the facts are the feelings. [Amanda LaPera] shows that behind every severe mental illness there is a human being."
-- Xavier Amador, Ph.D., Founder, LEAP Institute
Author, I am Not Sick, I Don't Need Help! (Vida Press 2012)
A portion of proceeds from sales of Losing Dad will go to NAMI-OC, an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, a nonprofit dedicated to improving lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The book "Losing Dad" was highly informative and gave me great insight into the pain the family members experience.