All posts tagged: psychiatry

NYT bestselling author Bob Kolker talks about his oprah book club pick HIDDEN VALLEY ROAD, the history–and future–of schizophrenia, family trauma, resillience, & so much more

By Leslie Lindsay  A razor-sharp tale of one American family ravaged by the devastating effects of mental illness, schizophrenia, in particular. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ WEDNSDAYS WITH WRITERS OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES TOP TEN BOOKS OF THE YEAR ONE OF THE WALL STREET JOURNAL TOP TEN BOOKS OF THE YEAR PEOPLE’S #1 BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR  Named a BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR by The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, TIME, Slate, Smithsonian, The New York Post, and Amazon  Meet the Galvins. They are your all-American family living in Colorado in the 1950s-70s, except they have one big secret, and one big family: half of the dozen children are afflicted with mental illness. Welcome home to HIDDEN VALLEY ROAD: Inside the Mind of an American Family (Doubleday, April 2020) and meet Don and Mimi, their ten good-looking boys, and equally stunning daughters. After WWII, Don’s work with the Air Force brings them to Colorado, where the baby-making doesn’t seem to cease. But not to worry, Mimi has it all under control. She’s …

Maya Shanbhag Lang talks about her sublime memoir, WHAT WE CARRY, how it’s really about negotiating adulthood, but also about traditional family roles, estrangement, how her daughter is such a gift, plus living with compassion.

By Leslie Lindsay  If family shapes us, how can we break free from the myths and injustices? What if those stories were never true in the first place? ~MEMOIR MONDAY|ALWAYS WITH BOOK~ A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK PICK Featured on GOOD MORNING AMERICA Starred Review LIBRARY JOURNAL “What if we aren’t really mothers at all, but daughters, reaching back to be mothered?” This is a paraphrased section from Maya Lang’s exquisite memoir, WHAT WE CARRY (Dial Press, April 2020), which I absolutely loved. This story shimmers with precision and perception; it’s at once raw and graceful, a tender exploration of family and fraught mother-daughter relationships. Maya Shanbhag Lang grew up idolizing her ‘can do’ physician mother, who immigrated to the U.S. from India to complete her residency in psychiatry, while raising her children and keeping a traditional Indian home. Maya’s mother had always been caring and supportive, but then…something shifted, something Maya didn’t understand. Now, in Seattle, 3,000 miles from her mother, Maya is married and expecting her first baby. She’s alone in a new city and a husband who travels for work. And …

With stunning grace and precision, openness, and empathy, Sarah Fawn Montogomery talks about her outstanding memoir & her struggles with mental illness

By Leslie Lindsay  Brilliant and incredible debut work of nonfiction, about the author’s life with myriad mental health diagnoses, QUITE MAD, should be required reading for all, but especially those who have been touched with mental illness, either in a personal or professional manner.  With searing intelligence, unflinching honesty, and a breadth of research, Sarah Fawn Montgomery has left me in complete awe. QUITE MAD (Mad Creek Books, 2018) is a gorgeous melding of literary journalism meets memoir and is focused mostly on women in the U.S. and their relationship with mental illness. But. Sarah Fawn Montgomery had a challenging family of origin, too. Much of this tumultuous upbringing is chronicled throughout the pages–delving into both of her parents’ backgrounds, their own anxiety, their desire to adopt a houseful of ‘special needs’ kids (abandoned at birth, drug-addicted babies, and those who otherwise weren’t cut out for foster care and their subsequent diagnoses). I read with interest, with disbelief, with shock. “A wrenching account of a difficult upbringing and a chaotic brain that will leave readers marveling at the author’s …

Dyane Harwood shares her gripping account with postpartum-onset bipolar in BIRTH OF A NEW BRAIN

By Leslie Lindsay  Dyane Harwood talks about her stunning memoir on postpartum bipolar disorder, family psychiatric history, & so much more in BIRTH OF A NEW BRAIN When I was pregnant, my husband heard on NPR that a mother’s brain drastically changes during pregnancy and then again during labor/delivery. It’s why some expecting mothers are a little flaky, a little preoccupied. And then, after the birth, a woman’s brain actually becomes better–she is able to better multitask, sense danger, and even retain more information. But what happens when a severe mental illness is triggered? That’s what happened with Dyane Harwood. In her touching, unflinching, share-all memoir, she dives right into that abyss of madness. Having a family history of bipolar (her dad was a gifted concert violinist and suffered from regular bouts of bipolar), Dyane never thought she’d bear the brunt of the same diagnosis. With the birth of her second daughter, Dyane slipped into a full manic episode, with the compulsive need to write (hypergraphia). She wasn’t bonding with her children (she also had a toddler), she wasn’t …

Wednesdays with Writers: Dr. Melissa Deuter Tackles ‘Emerging Adulthood,’ Mental Health Crisis & More

By Leslie Lindsay  What Happens When your Emerging Adult Needs to Come Home? Dr. Melissa Deuter Talks about this and so much more in her book, STUCK IN THE SICK ROLE In her psychiatric urgent care practice, Dr. Melissa Deuter has been an expert in assisting families with ‘failure to launch’ young adults who seem to be stuck—whether that’s in a sick role (broadly defined as struggling with mild-to moderate depression or anxiety but may include more severe psychiatric diagnoses), but also those who are unready emotionally and socially to move into the next stage. Through a series of vignettes, Dr. Deuter takes us on a journey in which we ‘meet’ these young,  emerging adults. Her style is down-to-earth and conversational; in such a way it feels as if one is eavesdropping on friends at a coffee shop. You may recognize familiar stories as if they were your neighbors, your best friend’s son, or your brother’s daughter. Don’t worry, everyone mentioned in STUCK IN THE SICK ROLE has a pseudonym.  The point is, the phenomenon …

Wednesdays with Writers: Fiona Davis on several of my favorite topics–psychiatry, journalism, architecture & design; oh and The Dakota, NYC, and her stunning new historical novel, THE ADDRESS and how she was once a very horse-crazy girl

By Leslie Lindsay  Fiona Davis’s brilliant new book, THE ADDRESS, takes readers on a journey to historical NYC and into the famed Dakota Apartment building.  With 2016’s debut of THE DOLLHOUSE, Fiona Davis made one of the most stunning entrances as an author who knows her way around historical fiction. I was mesmerized and couldn’t wait to get my hands on THE ADDRESS. Rest assured, this is no sophomore slump; I adored it. The Dakota. You may know it as the apartment building where ROSEMARY’S BABY was filmed, or perhaps where John Lennon died, or maybe you just think of it as a Bavarian monstrosity on the Upper West End where may playwrights, actors, writers, musicians live. THE ADDRESS is constructed in dual-time periods, 1884 and 1985 respectively, which draws a natural suspense. The writing is evocative, historically rich, and mysterious.Beginning in London, we meet Sara Smythe, a housekeeper at the Langham and follow her on a journey across the Atlantic where she lands in the outskirts of a developing NYC.  Sara is to be the new managerette …

Wednesdays with Writers: Natasha Tracy talks about the delicate diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, the difference between book-ready and blog-ready, how writing is like slogging through swamps, and not sugar-coating mental illness.

By Leslie Lindsay  Understanding what it’s really like to live with bipolar disorder (BD) is impossible to share with someone who doesn’t have experience with serious mental illness. Natasha Tracy, a writer living with bipolar takes you under her wing and walks you through the labyrinth of questions and quandaries as if she were your cool, more experienced older sister. She gets it; she’s lived it for the last 18 years. And we all need to care. At some point in our lives, we will know someone with a major mental illness. It might be invisible to the naked eye; you may never see the affects, but it might still be there, lurking under the surface and it may very well be your friend, your neighbor, your spouse, your coworker. And in my case: my mother. I was just ten years old when she had her first major manic episode. It was about the time when The Bangles song, “Just Another Manic Monday” was playing on the radio. We had a cute house in the …