Jennie's Reviews > A Lethal Inheritance: A Mother Uncovers the Science behind Three Generations of Mental Illness

A Lethal Inheritance by Victoria Costello
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's review
Mar 20, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012, first-reads, non-fiction
Read from February 28 to March 19, 2012

The first part of the book was a little slow for me. It was more of the research and part memior of her son Alex's schizophrenia. It was a heavy subject so I often only read 10-20 pages at a time. I'm sure it would be more applicable to families that face similar situations.

My interest was more in the correlation of mental illness and addiction. I have a family history of both. It was interesting Victoria's findings of the mental health issues when she did some digging into her Irish heritage. I also have some Irish heritage in my family with the mental health issues. Just little things that make you think wouldn't matter but maybe they do.

I am glad that she told her own story of depression. We gets hints of it in the beginning when she talks about her sons but I thought that would be all of her own story. I'm glad that she took the time to tell her story and not just her sons. I thought it important that she shared her sister's struggle and how different there paths ended up being. It's been my experience that her sister's story is all to common.

It is also sad about the amount of secrecy and shame that mental health issues are clouded in our family histories. Victoria demostrates that truth when she looks into her own grandfathers death.

She makes so many good points with research studies, medications, suicide prevention and the importance of counseling for ongoing recovery. I agree that it seems that many of these issues are not put in the forefront and we only end up dealing with end results.

Overall I enjoyed the book and I think the important message that she conveyed by writing this book is becoming increasingly important.
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02/28/2012 page 46
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