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The Price of Silence: A Mom's Perspective on Mental Illness

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  327 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Liza Long is the mother of a child with an undiagnosed mental disorder. When she heard about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, her first thought was, What if my son does that someday? She wrote an emotional response to the tragedy, which the Boise State University online journal posted as I Am Adam Lanza s Mother. The post went viral, re ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 28th 2014 by Avery
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Aug 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I am aware that there may be some controversy around this book. Part of the issue is that nobody who deals with mental illness has the same experience, part of the issue is the stigma and political conflict around care of those with mental illness. However, I found it fascinating. I am particularly interested in the state of mental health services available to children and adolescents, and that is mainly what this book is about. It is primarily an advocacy book, but she uses her personal experie ...more
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-books
If you want to know why you should never ever judge a parent of a child with mental health issues, you should read this book. This book details what it's like for us parents as we try to HELP our kids. Even being incredibly privileged and able to afford any care we need to get help, it has been a long tough road filled with worry, fear, sadness, and concern for the future.

She lays it all out in this book. The lack of mental health professionals for children. The expense. The long wait times for
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A brave, disturbing account one American family dealing with mental illness on a daily basis written by Liza Long, the author of the Internet essay, "I am Adam Lanza's Mother." This book is thoroughly researched and accompanied by a long bibliography and footnotes, and one fact that sticks in my mind is this "One in five children suffers from a diagnosable and debilitating mental illness." That is a huge number! Here is another memorable line: "We treat mental illness differently from the way we ...more
Nov 06, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a difficult book to read. Emotionally and logically. It's written with some number of redundancies, but regardless it does have a message. To me, that message was that it is nearly impossible to parent a mentally ill child or teen ager well. And it also takes big bucks. Not saying that having the big bucks to spend will enable you to find adequate assistance.

Having some association with both psychology paths for help and with youth populations, I find that her "eyes" as a parent have al
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is SO IMPORTANT. Mental health issues are kept hidden and not talked about for fear of the stigma that are attached to them. That needs to stop. Those who need help and support aren't getting it and that only makes the situation that much worse. If one can be open about having cancer and being supported and treated through it, how is a health issue with the brain any different? It's not like people with mental health issues WANT to act the way they do. It's not a choice, which makes it ...more
Jan 18, 2015 rated it liked it
I wanted to read this book because I, like most people in the country, am saddened and shocked by the school shootings that have happened over the last fifteen or so years, and my background in psychology has me absolutely convinced that mental illness is the culprit for most (if not all) of these horrific acts. I am not a mother, but I cannot imagine what it might be like to be a parent of a child that chooses a crime like this, and I was interested to hear from the point of view of a mother wh ...more
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was fantastic. Well written and chock full of great information wrapped around a story with which I could relate. Highly recommend.
The Price of Silence is an important book that everyone needs to read. Long writes that she wrote this book with two audiences in mind: those involved with the care of mentally ill individuals and those who have no idea of what it is like to live with such individuals. I think she succeeds in making this book an attractive read to both groups. I myself fall into the second group. I like to think of myself as an open, caring and patient individual, but as I read the book I realized that I have ab ...more
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I admit I know Liza personally, well before her internet fame and before she became a mother.

It does not change the fact that this book should be read by any adult who has an interest in mental health and policy making for it. In highlighting the personal struggles she has had caring for a child with mental health problems, she also sheds lights on a growing problem of how children with illnesses are divided by the disease location above or below the neck.

Her struggles are very real. I wanted
Devera Chandler
Sep 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars - but deserves more! This is ONE AMAZING BOOK!!!!!!!

Everyone parent and anyone who knows someone who has a child on the autism spectrum should read this book.

I felt as though (for the first time ever) someone had read my thoughts, felt my heartache, and been through the emotional battle that is the warfare of parenthood of a child with autism. I can't tell you how many times I read something that Liza wrote that I stopped and reread it to my husband. All he could keep saying is, "Wow. S
Michele Pfrogner
May 30, 2021 rated it liked it
Liza Long is NOT "Adam Lanza's Mother." If Nancy Lanza had lived, I wonder if Long would have been sued for using the metaphor when her blog post was published; however, the presumptuous title, suggested by a friend, certainly got attention. If that was not the original intent, this book certainly reflects the attention she has since received, including career aggrandizement and her "authority."
As a retired, 35 year teaching veteran, I do agree with the author that schools are not adequately ser
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Price of Silence is an excellent introduction to the world of mental illness through the experiences of our most treasured, our children. In America we take pride in our beliefs that our children receive our best, the honest story told here provides a different view. This book tells a story of mothers' love and the complex and often contradictory world of illnesses obfuscated by stigma, political posturing at all levels, and a general breakdown of care. Correlated data offers statistical acc ...more
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Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lately, I've become more aware of how necessary it is for me to learn the facts of other people's situations and perspectives before I can ever even form an opinion or personal conclusion. I make it my responsibility. This is one of the most profound books that I have ever read, which has gifted me with a better awareness and view point of someone who is actually fighting this given fate. I had absolutely no idea how poorly our country addresses the needs of children and families dealing with me ...more
Julia Busby
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
As an educator I work closely with parents who struggle with their children's disability ,but also our educational and health system. It was a great read coming from a parent who accidentally became an advocate for her child. She has brought mental illness and the lack of services into the light. Would recommend. ...more
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
The subject matter is complex, thought-provoking and heart-breaking. To call Liza Long "brave" at this point would seem like something of a cliche.

The structure of the books feels somewhat repetitive (in that Long has a habit of restating something she has addressed earlier with no new ideas or commentary).
Alexis Dosal
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While I don’t agree with everything in this book, I DO agree that there is a sore lacking of attention paid to our mental health care system and the treatment of children. This book shares a peek into what parents go through when trying to get their children some form of help. Definitely worth a read!
Dec 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
An invaluable insight into chaotic life with a mentally/emotionally challenged child. She does a great job taking you through the frustrating journey of trying to find answers, trying to be your child’s advocate, and trying to hold your life together while being a parent. I gained a deeper appreciation for how complicated parenting a child whose emotional psyche falls among the the tails of the bell curve.
Tracy Conner
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a must read for all parents! 1 in 5 children in America have a mental illness. This books talks about what that looks like day to day, barriers to overcome, stigma associated with mental health issues, and so much more! Very informative and eye opening!
Jennifer Bowers
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Troubling. Our country's handling of mental illness in children is a mess. ...more
Diane S. Kaczmarek
Tells it like it is

If you don't have a child like this, you don't know what it is like to raise one, until you read this book.
May 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book was written by the mom of a violent mentally ill son. It was a lot of info-- more research statistics than memoir.
Judy G
May 16, 2015 rated it liked it
this book is not for everyone. It is about childhood mental illness and its burden on others told by an honest mother. She wanted to write something to address a major problem in society of young disturbed and their violence. I think a new diagnosis is needed altho the child she writes about who is her own son is diagnosed with autism spectrum and bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder. She is the person who wrote after the killings by Adam Lanza in Sandy Hook - I am Adam Lanza's Mother. This cat ...more
Karen Mayes
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
The book mostly addresses Utah's approach to the resources for children and youths' mental health. Most, if not all, states in America have the similar resources as well. The big concern is how the society handles people with MI... the corrections system is overflowing with the prisoners with MIs. In fact, I read that at least 80% of juvenile youths have mental illnesses.

The reason for the sudden rise in the incarnation for the juveniles is the restricting or/and closings of inpatient psychiatri
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Liza Long offers a first-person view of what it's like to have a mentally ill child, to have a child that you love but don't necessarily like, to fear for your safety and the safety of others because your sweet angel also happens to have violent outbursts. Long discusses the issues parents face when struggling to obtain mental health care for their sick child and how those issues tend to grow as you dip below the poverty line. She discusses the shame that accompanies not being able to help your ...more
Oct 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this book: parents of mentally ill children, as well as parents of neuro-typical children and non parents. Mental illness and the lack of access to care, social stigma, failing families and the anonymity granted by social media to bully are all part of the perfect storm that will affect and that has already affected all of us. I thought this book was going to be one mom's sad story; instead, it is one woman's exhaustive exploration of the state of mental illness healthcare, ...more
Aug 12, 2014 rated it liked it
I won this book as part of Goodreads Giveaway; I'm glad I did. Though the book has a "first book of an author" feel to it (as it is), the book provides great insight into the physical, emotional, and spiritual toll that parents with children with mental illnesses endure on a daily basis. It has helped me to try and be more cognizant of those people and families that I know (and will encounter in the future) who must face mental illness challenges. I hope to be more mindful to lend help where I c ...more
Lynnette Lyesmith
Aug 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
I won a copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads giveaways.

I found this book to be a fascinating insight into life with a child with a disability. The book is written in such a way that those on the outside, those without children with mental illness, are able to read and sympathize and begin to understand where families of those with mental illness are coming from, and those who are on the inside can find resources and hope.

The information provided is stirring. Ms. Long presents the argume
Kate Cronin
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Liza Long's blog post after the Newtown shooting "I am Adam Lanza's mother" went viral and then prompted her to write a full length treatise on the realities of being a parent of a child with mental illness. She very clearly outlines the difficulties families face in getting accurate diagnoses and treatment, how stigmatizing mental illness is for both the child and the families,how difficult it is to secure a public education for their children and the toll all of this takes both emotionally and ...more
Kyarra Keele
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Now what?" That was my first thought upon finishing this book. Because despite this being such an honest, bold, and important book that I am so grateful to have read, I still don't know how to to chip away at the to get individuals the love & support they need instead of a jail cell. And that frustrates me. I ripped through the book in a few hours & it was certainly worth the time. I'd like to go back through it to re-read her solutions. For readers who get bored easily, ...more
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