The Thing Inside My Head

The Thing Inside My Head

by L Chaber
5.0 2


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The Thing Inside My Head 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
SuzabelleST More than 1 year ago
This book is a searingly intimate history of one young woman's struggle with OCD. It also is a love story, written by the family that loved her. The extraordinary attention to detail brings the reader so wholly into Sybil's story that reading the book is, at times, painful. It makes real what it can mean to live with OCD. Although the National Health in England is different from the health care system in the U.S., our U.S. system becomes increasing complex, raising ever higher barriers to good care, not unlike what was experienced in Sybil's case. More than anything, the book presents OCD as a very serious disorder worthy of our attention. It confirms that a family's intervention is critical and needed on an ongoing basis to assure that proper care is received. This was done for Sybil. At the same time, the book acknowledges that families reach a physical limit of time and energy and need the reassurance of knowing that this is inevitable and not a failure on their part. The book also serves as a guide to parents in helping the well sibling/friend to manage her feelings at the loss of the sibling/friend to OCD. Childhood, once idealized as a carefree time, now is known often to be stressful. This book fills in more of that picture. And the over-riding presence, presiding over every page, is Sybil's own, sweet voice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I went to High School with Lois, Sybil's mom. I remember her as a driven hardworking alto sax player. She was two years my senior, so I wouldn't have known her at all except that she was best friends with a close neighbor of mine, and we all spent a rough year in band together getting used to a new director. Recently we reconnected through a common friend, the daughter of Mr. Goldberg, my Latin teacher at Hicksville High School. This personal connection gave Lois's book an added intimacy for me, but it would have been a compelling read anyhow. None of us are really prepared to be parents, especially not of troubled kids. Somehow most of us catch a lucky break and our kids muddle through. Not so for Lois and Sybil, and for Neil, Sybil's dad. This book is mostly about Lois, who is troubled in her own way, about how unprepared we all are to be parents, about how little help is available for us when we reach the limits of our ability, and about Sybil. For me the best sections are where Lois lets Sybil speak for herself from her own diaries. Sybil is sensitive and troubled. She sees and tries to fix it, but is unable to repair her own situation. We fall in love with Sybil, find ourselves rooting for her as she confronts her demons, the convoluted mental health system with its many wonderful caregivers, and her family's well-intentioned but ultimately unhelpful efforts. It tears us up as we see her concluding that her death is the only solution to her problem, and that only her own death can release her family from its troubles. The book may be more formal or stilted or academic than it needs to be, but the power of the situation speaks through from every page. Curl up with it in front of your fireplace and read it as the wintry blasts or overflowing rivers circle around outside.