well, i suppose i should thank julie holland for reinforcing yet again why i think psychotherapy is better than psychiatry at least in terms of where...morewell, i suppose i should thank julie holland for reinforcing yet again why i think psychotherapy is better than psychiatry at least in terms of where i want to be and what i want to be doing with my life.
this is a woman that loves to push pills. don't get me wrong, i am certainly not against psychopharmocology. but three days a week in private practice, dr. holland has 20-30 minute sessions where she convinces people to go on psychiatric meds, and then lets them go. she is dismissive of psychotherapy (despite the fact that we hear oh so much about her and mary, her own therapist for three years) and while i certainly agree that some diagnoses (bi-polar, schizophrenia) warrant a drug regimen almost without thought, i do not agree that the worried well she treats in her private practice necessarily need all the prozac, paxil and lamictal they can withstand. i am sure she's charging somewhere between $350 and $450 for it, as well. sure, julie, you can start to "dig deep" with these patients now that you've quit bellevue. sure.
even her assessments leave something to be desired - she rarely sees the complicated patients, giving those instead to the resident. instead she focuses on the "T&R"'s - where her job is basically to decide if the person is suicidal or not - in the briefest of terms. i understand that her job puts demands and limits on what she can do in the ER. but i still think you can do that and be compassionate. besides, you don't even have time to get through ANY of the standardized assessments, much less motives, in the time she gives to these patients. i'd like to see her try to give a hamilton depression inventory while watching tv because her patient is "boring".
she is so arrogant, "butch" and basically condescending toward all her patients that it makes me sad.
clearly, holland has issues with loss. when her best friend becomes sick, she withdraws and leaves her to deal with the knowledge of her death alone (all the while resenting daniel, the one doctor that doesn't ignore lucy's illness and works along side her), when 9/11 hits, she hides in a bath tub with her daughter upstate and doesn't come in (everyone deals with trauma like this differently, i know, but dang, it was her job), and mostly she sees the world as revolving around her and everyone only in reference to her. who cares what daniel was going through? who cared really about lucy's daily struggle with her illness and her fears? who even really cared about the patients in handcuffs in the middle of the night in a locked ward while dr. holland taunted them, holding all the keys to the castle?
i found a lot of what dr. holland did, said and thought morally reprehensible. especially when she admits that she lied to a patient about what meds she was giving him, and got the medical student in it, and got her lying too. i mean, what the hell? i get that the end justify the means sometimes. i do. i really, really do. but she manages to trivialize everything that these people are suffering through.
this was no step forward for mental illness. and that makes me quite disappointed. but maybe if i just get myself some psychotropic meds, i'll get over it! (less)
i read this pretty quickly. it flows the way you would expect a YA book to, in this category, which is not supposed to demean th...moreTHANK YOU, MISS ABBY.
i read this pretty quickly. it flows the way you would expect a YA book to, in this category, which is not supposed to demean the genre, but just saying it flows a little easier.
there were a lot of things i wanted more of. i wanted more of dr. rubenstein. of the doctors after. of more time back in school. how it felt to graduate. if he still has scars. etc. etc.
it was written though, in the first person, when he was 14. i think the best thing was how realistic the burn unit was. i have done some work on a burn unit, and god. i can't even imagine the pain of grafts and cleaning the new skin. i mean, really. i was very pleased that this was not glossed over, not at all.
however, i was a little disturbed by the fact that brent never acknowledged why he did what he did. there were things at play that dr. rubenstein touched on. i don't think it's true that he didn't know why he did it. maybe he had this great wake-up moment upon setting the fire, but he does know why he did some things. even at 14. there's fear there, of failure, of disappointing people, etc. i was sad that he didn't take the time to acknowledge that, that he left the book on the end of "yay, happy ending! i'm all cured!" and boom. life doesn't work that way. i wish it.
so, i love the realism of the burn injury, but i don't love the false-realism of the whole "i'm saved!" shock-attack. or, really, that the psychological repercussions were so weak. i mean, craig! his parents! etc! stephen leaving! megan!
i want a follow up, personally. i want life at 20. i want more.
but it was really quite good. life on a burn unit - not a place i think i could stay for a long time. (less)
i don't know why, but i expected more from this book. i mean, i guess that i shouldn't have expected that much, but i wanted more! that said, there is...morei don't know why, but i expected more from this book. i mean, i guess that i shouldn't have expected that much, but i wanted more! that said, there is a lot here.
it's a kind of no-holds-barred look at janice's life. she doesn't hide things, though i have liked more of the decisions she's made to do things like plastic surgery, etc. than her sexual encounters with sylvester stallone.
and more pictures! i wanted more pictures.
it was a fun easy read. i realize now why she's so angry all the time. why she has a reason to be a bitch. i mean, she definitely has had a hard life. it was kind of refreshing to read about her history with drugs, alcohol and sex in such a frank and open manner. (less)
kathy, i freaking love you. this book doesn't get five stars because i wanted more. it felt a bit like an outline. also, i don't think i can get the d...morekathy, i freaking love you. this book doesn't get five stars because i wanted more. it felt a bit like an outline. also, i don't think i can get the d-list on dvd to watch the earlier seasons again, and i can't deal with that.
but man, she's funny. and true to what i love most about her: she never pretends to be someone other than who she is. she knows she's not the prettiest or smartest or anything, but she's accepted herself, and that's awesome.
oh, and the author interview and "reading group" section are possibly the best part.
i am so happy this book was written. not just for PPD women, but for people dealing with depression in general. it's so true; it's so real to the way...morei am so happy this book was written. not just for PPD women, but for people dealing with depression in general. it's so true; it's so real to the way it feels, and the way it breaks families and relationships apart.
it is a selfish thing, and it is so difficult to understand when you aren't in it. i love the way brooke's perspective changes, how you can see the despair begin and then the climb out, and how meds aren't the end all.
i really felt a kinship with her struggle to decide to go on meds, and the thought that you can get off them just fine, and the importance of the therapist.
if only tom cruise wouldn't spout his shit about it . . . i very much recommend this book for anyone interested in seeing how depression works - and i am so proud of Brooke Shields for actually writing it. it's hard to come out and say that things are rough - and admitting a clinical diagnosis. i heart this book. (less)
oh, if i could give one book to people to considering suicide, this might be it. i would also give it to anyone considering writing a memoir. so. beau...moreoh, if i could give one book to people to considering suicide, this might be it. i would also give it to anyone considering writing a memoir. so. beautiful.
so much of this is brilliant - from the questions of how even to write the book, to the difference between a biographer and a memoirist, to the emotions on every page.
set up as an index, literally, the story can't stay chronological. you know her father died, and how, but then she leads us through the painful agony of surviving a suicide, especially one that left no note (though it's clear a note probably wouldn't have made things much better).
everyone is affected, and it's so hard to see that - that while you think you might be doing people a favor, or that it's simply too hard, or whatever - it's so selfish. i wish i still had the book (got it from the library first, now have it ordered for my personal collection), because there were some quotes that were just dead on. painful and yet so true.
i highly, highly recommend this book that tries to work through death while working through life. astonishing. (less)
it's well written, doesn't skirt around any issue or topic. Kerry Cohen fully acknowledges where she made st...moreso the addiction here is sex. (kind of.)
it's well written, doesn't skirt around any issue or topic. Kerry Cohen fully acknowledges where she made stupid decisions, where she might have made changes but didn't.
however, i thought it was too short for so big a topic - promiscuity is so kind of taboo for women that i wished she had said more. not about her dalliances - there was enough about that. but about what was also wrong with the men she was choosing and why, and more importantly, how she got from where she was to being married with 2 kids. (i really felt like that happened over the course of about ten pages.)
the outline is there - she got the same fulfillment from writing as she did when she was with men. but i can't imagine that she didn't face rejection from the writing world - the picture she paints is one of success after success after success, with tons of things getting published. there HAD to be a rejection in there somewhere. and how did she deal with that, in comparison to how she dealt with men?
i just think it had a lot more potential, and i wish there was more of it, because what there is is very good. it's written excellently, and what seems like very honestly, which i always appreciate in this genre. (less)
honestly, i was surprised at liking it this much. i kind of dragged my heels - the idea of reading the journal of an eleven year old isn't my usual cu...morehonestly, i was surprised at liking it this much. i kind of dragged my heels - the idea of reading the journal of an eleven year old isn't my usual cup of tea - but somehow (i'm sure through some very clever editing), a real person emerges, with a story that is important to tell.
more than the scenes of her in the hospital, more even, really, than i think lori's actual anorexia, the importance of the this story is how it all started, how seemingly innocuous comments about weight and food and dieting can effect so many people on so many levels. it makes me wonder what would happen if dieting and any talk of it were just banned from our society. would women be happier, or would we find something else to obsess about?
her mom was the most depressing character in the entire thing, i thought, and i was kind of flummoxed by the psychiatric care she got - then again, this was decades ago, when The Golden Cage was apparently the only book to give someone when thinking about anorexia.
surprisingly insightful, though it's clear little lori didn't know what she was doing, really, she was just writing down what she heard, and what she perceived as injustices.
i would just counter her final comment that men don't have the same body issues - it's true, not to the same degree, but eating disorders and body image issues are on a total rise in males - it's just supposed to be a "woman thing" so there's even more shame attached to it for men. not only that, but men "getting into shape" and "building muscle" and eating weird diets are things that society takes for granted at times. (less)
i have to say, she totally won me over. it was amazing because i wasn't sure if Marya Hornbacher could do it, but she redeemed herself by being more...morei have to say, she totally won me over. it was amazing because i wasn't sure if Marya Hornbacher could do it, but she redeemed herself by being more honest and upfront and REAL about her illness and willingness to get better than she was in Wasted, and more than Elizabeth Wurtzel ever, ever did.
this is best example of mania i have ever read. it is so true to life, and so true to form. it's really impressive how much insight she has into her illness when she lacked so much before - but it's like the eating disorder was just a cover for the bipolarity, and once she got the "true" diagnosis, she was able to kind of figure things out.
but she doesn't take the easy way out. she admits the mistakes she makes, she says that she does things she doesn't understand herself. it's so true - when you are manic/depressed, there often isn't any rationality to your behavior - or at least any that you can see at the time. it's amazing how honest she is with herself. she admits her mistakes, she knows when she is screwed up - she doesn't blame the fact that she doesn't listen to her doctors on anyone other than herself.
i'll probably write a more glowing review later, but this really is one of the most incredible books that actually grasps mental illness and what it's like without blaming anyone at all. and unlike the end of Wasted, i really believe that she wants to get better, and that she knows what she is facing.
this book was so timely when it came out, and now it seems a little dated, but it still has a lot of resonance. there are parts of me that hate Mary...morethis book was so timely when it came out, and now it seems a little dated, but it still has a lot of resonance. there are parts of me that hate Mary Pipher, but there are parts of me that love her too. oh, the beginning of the studies of adolescent girls! (less)
okay. so it's not the most insightful book as to the motivations behind her actions. it's also not best about encouraging someone into recovery, or st...moreokay. so it's not the most insightful book as to the motivations behind her actions. it's also not best about encouraging someone into recovery, or stopping self-injury, or whatnot.
but. i wish, wish, WISH that someone had given me this book when i first dealt with PTSD. because the book i was handed was Prozac Nation, and let me tell you, there was nothing i could find in there that really resonated with me - and i tried.
this is why, i think:
"I changed the subject, and he let it slide, which only confirmed my suspicions that he hadn't meant it in the first place. It was one thing to fret and pace and think about killing yourself over your laundry, and it was another thing to be so self-indulgent as to believe that your whiny, narcissistic, middle-class preoccupations amounted to anything of substance."
"We believe so strongly in the face value of things. What would there have been about me, with my honor-roll standing and my respectable cross-section of friends and the wordplays I tossed into our English class vocabulary quizzes, to have suggested any alarm?"
basically, with the exception of the boyfriends, this could be my story - and a lot of people's stories. there's talk of the way they feel the weight of the world is on them, the decision to keep things secret -
what i think i respect most about this book is that there is no real sensationalism. caroline kettlewell could be anyone: she hides what she does, she uses cutting to ground herself, to help herself find identity and self, to punish, to remind herself she was alive, she's successful and leads the seemingly normal, perfect life.
so many girls are hiding the same way. i heart this book because it speaks for a population that usually is quiet.(less)
this is a fairly brilliant book. i have to read it again to give it five stars, but honestly, anything by this author is worth picking up.
this book t...morethis is a fairly brilliant book. i have to read it again to give it five stars, but honestly, anything by this author is worth picking up.
this book talks about the story of one woman's struggle with eating and appetites, and also the cultural phenomenons that play into women not being "fed". it has been said before, but it is said eloquently and beautifully in this book. i am so sad caroline knapp passed away - she was such a great writer (and person). (less)
apparently people have criticized the author for being "ungrateful" for her heart transplant - i would argue that they did...morevery smart, very real book.
apparently people have criticized the author for being "ungrateful" for her heart transplant - i would argue that they did not read the same book i did, because she grapples with the fact that she herself thinks she is ungrateful, and what that means.
this addresses all the real questions of life and death and hope and despair, and what to do when you've hit the end of your rope and you've already added all you can to it. it's a little bleak, it's not exactly uplifting, but it is REAL. i would recommend this to anyone who wants to know what it's like being defined by an illness - whether by heart transplant, a mental illness, or something like chronic fatigue. while amy's life is certainly in the extreme end of the "bad luck" scale, most of what she says holds true to so many people i know.
especially the duality between how you feel and how you present yourself - amy's story of her wedding day will resonate with me for a long time. because it's true, you set out wanting to fool people but at the same time you want them to understand - but of course they can't, because you haven't told them anything except how fine you are. (less)
i wish this had been longer. i wish there was more substance to it. however, there are moments, when her prose is so perfect it makes me love it. like...morei wish this had been longer. i wish there was more substance to it. however, there are moments, when her prose is so perfect it makes me love it. like the time she talks about how her life is being measured out by spoons, but not coffee spoons, twisted teaspoons. oh eliot references!(less)
this was good, but not great. but it's a sweet story of a woman who saves a horse and instead has the horse save her. true, and still cliche, but true...morethis was good, but not great. but it's a sweet story of a woman who saves a horse and instead has the horse save her. true, and still cliche, but true nonetheless. also makes me miss horses so much. it's good though, a quick read. (less)
oh, to be young in new york in the late eighties . . . when all the coke you could ever want was just waiting for you in washington square park.
yet a...moreoh, to be young in new york in the late eighties . . . when all the coke you could ever want was just waiting for you in washington square park.
yet another tale of a girl-gone-bad, but written later in her life, so her self-awareness is refreshing. i found myself rooting for her to get her act together with the simulatenous dread that she was going to repeat those same mistakes endlessly. (i was usually right.) i hated her friends for her, i hated her stepfather, but i loved her poor mother, and i think jan really did too.
ultimately, it's a story of running away and coming back and what "home" means. it's about growing up young when you aren't forced to, it's about being the one that never fits. and somehow, she found her way. i really liked it. the writing was strong and not overly victimizing. everyone seemed to be given a fair shake. good, but not great. (less)
so. much. about boys! where is the depressed sylvia? or the sylvia that wrote "ariel"?
disappointing only in that i wanted more . . . of her. this fel...moreso. much. about boys! where is the depressed sylvia? or the sylvia that wrote "ariel"?
disappointing only in that i wanted more . . . of her. this felt very superficial, which i think disappointed me, but then again, i imagine most people's journals are going to seem superficial. we don't all sit around thinking deep great thoughts all the time. so maybe it's good to balance out the "crazy" sylvia with the more "normal hormonal" sylvia. (less)
this would have been a much better book if she had waited until she was a better writer to write it.
which is unfortunate, because a lot of the ideas...morethis would have been a much better book if she had waited until she was a better writer to write it.
which is unfortunate, because a lot of the ideas and the things she was saying were really actually quite interesting and refreshing, but it's so bare bones and so . . . choppy, that it's hard to get a narrative out.
i especially wanted an epilogue, or something. but no.
it's the story of a girl who gets sent to one of those "tough love" camps, and does really well. i do think the book does a good job of saying WHY those camps work for some kids, and it really portrayed the camp and all the staff (by the end) in a positive way, which i liked.
what i didn't like was the interspersing of her narrative with notes from her file. often times the file notes had NOTHING to do with either what you just read or what you were about to read. i don't know if it was supposed to create the awareness of an untrustworthy narrator, but that seemed odd, given that this was a memoir she was writing. there were apparently over 500 pages of notes - i want to know why she chose the ones she did, why she put them where they went. it would make sense if they went by day, but like i said, they don't match up to what she writes, so i got really confused. maybe it's just me.
not bad, not great, quick read, and actually insightful into what a tough love camp looks like. (less)
hmmm. weird book. i mean, i get it, in that it sought to let teens give voice to their own lives/struggles. the problem, i felt, was that there wasn't...morehmmm. weird book. i mean, i get it, in that it sought to let teens give voice to their own lives/struggles. the problem, i felt, was that there wasn't enough really there. the pieces of poetry worked better than the prose, for that reason, but i read through this so fast and really didn't learn anything new. i can't decide whether or not i think it was detrimental to have the seventeen year old author write intros to each piece - i think i would have preferred an older, more objective voice. or a more understanding of the issues voice.
however, i am reading this much later in my life. i can't say that i wouldn't have loved this when i read Reviving Ophelia for the first time. so. i don't know. i would probably give this to girls i was treating in the very early stages of our work together, if they were having problems with the idea that they are not alone in their struggle.
(i actually kind of hate that phrase, because the truth is, we all experience things differently. you can never know truly how i feel. even if two people share a diagnosis, that doesn't mean much. but it's true that i felt better once i realized that people survive with the things i was dealing with - though honestly, Prozac Nation almost killed me.) (less)
it was hard for me to get through this book, mostly because of the writing style. it was difficult for me to understand where her "reality shifted" an...moreit was hard for me to get through this book, mostly because of the writing style. it was difficult for me to understand where her "reality shifted" and what was real, her jumps back and forth to her time with the "cult" were confusing. i never really knew where she was, or why she was reacting the way she did. i still don't know what she means when she says her "reality shifted", i still don't fully understand what happened to her. in a way, i don't think she did/does either.
i was slightly annoyed with how she never really took agency herself, but this tends to be common with people who characterize themselves as victims, so. (that was kind of mean of me, but.)
there is one scene where she is clipping away at her skin with toenail clippers and it was the first time i've been actually disturbed at the image that the words created. i don't know why, exactly. also, the mormon fundamentalism seemed too easy to ascribe for everything - why would she fall into with viktor, etc? especially when she doesn't like therapists?
i still don't know if she went into therapy, if she tried her meds. she says she was diagnosed with everything from PTSD and BPD to schizophrenia, and well, frankly, i think there is more than PTSD at work here. her disassociative states are not just because of the PTSD - they really do seem to be part of her personality. but. that's me splitting hairs.
it was okay, but not great. it was hard to follow, as well. the writing was strange in terms of the way things jumped around - like i said, the narrative was hard to follow.
interesting, but nothing essential in any of the categories i tried to classify this book as. (less)