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My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  7,874 ratings  ·  902 reviews
A heart-wrenching, yet hopeful, memoir of a young marriage that is redefined by mental illness and affirms the power of love.

Mark and Giulia’s life together began as a storybook romance. They fell in love at eighteen, married at twenty-four, and were living their dream life in San Francisco. When Giulia was twenty-seven, she suffered a terrifying and unexpected psychotic b
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ebook, 320 pages
Published May 2nd 2017 by Harper Wave
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Frances Brady I think it depends on what kind of fiction you enjoy. If you are looking for cutting-edge literary fiction, which pushes boundaries, then this is not…moreI think it depends on what kind of fiction you enjoy. If you are looking for cutting-edge literary fiction, which pushes boundaries, then this is not the book for you. However, if you enjoy novels which are well written, with good plot twists, good characterization, and make you think about yourself, those around you, and how you relate, then, yes, this book stands up to any novel. I don't enjoy memoirs, generally, and much prefer either well-written novels (I'm a librarian who majored in literature) or exceptionally written & well-researched non-fiction. However, I found this book quite engaging and readable. (less)
Helen Corton I personally think so, they might need to be guided round some of it but I think they should get something out of it especially if they are the child…moreI personally think so, they might need to be guided round some of it but I think they should get something out of it especially if they are the child of someone with a mental illness. Keep an open discussion about the issues and use it as a chance to educate them and support them especially around mental health, suicide and the burden it places on a family. (less)

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4.08  · 
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 ·  7,874 ratings  ·  902 reviews


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Mischenko
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the past I've dealt with my own mental health issues, mainly after developing a thyroid disorder and after having children. It isn't easy and in my opinion isn't taken seriously enough. Many medical professionals are less than compassionate and often times family members look at it as a weakness and feeling that it's crippling to their own lives as if the actual person with the disease chooses to be ill. The mentally affected person's life stops, while everyone else expects to move on with th ...more
Petra Eggs
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm out of sync here. Everyone loves the book except me. The story is of how a husband adapts his life to that of his bi-polar psychotic wife who is suicidal when depressed and needs hospitalising. He is so traumatised by his wife, Gulia's first psychotic episode that he has to take 3 months off work as a teacher, and thereafter the rest of the book details just how much time he and his wife take off work. I'm amazed that either of them kept their jobs. The US must have very generous sick leave ...more
Elyse Walters
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s very hard to stop thinking about this story.....
Ruthless- Brutally Honest -
AT SOME POINT ....not too far into this memoir....I COULD NO LONGER PULL MYSELF AWAY.

It’s GUT WRENCHING....on so many different levels.
It’s not only an inside look at the onset of a psychotic breakdown- a full blown breakdown- the realities of suffering - ( frustration- fear - grief- anger- resentments - remorse- hopelessness- etc. on the caretaker), but this book exposes imperfections - complications- and limitat
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Brenda - Traveling Sister
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mental-health
My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward gave me a different perspective that I have been searching for, the perspective of a caregiver of a loved one with a mental illness. Some understanding that as caregivers I am not alone in the feeling of being overwhelmed, exhausted, and frighten. Mark Lukach also gave me some understanding that maybe we can't beat mental illness but we can learn to live with it.

I highly recommend this beautiful, raw, honest, and hopeful memoir to caregivers of loved ones with a
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Michelle Donovan
I wanted to like this book. I really, really did.

But I just couldn't.

Don't get me wrong -- Giulia's rapid descent into her first psychotic break grabbed my attention right away, and it was both horrifying and amazing to read about the rapidity with which her illness manifested itself.

But as the book wore on, while my sympathy for Giulia remained, my sympathy for her husband Mark -- the author of the book -- dissipated like the fog he so often references in the book.

Don't get me wrong -- I kno
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Rebecca McNutt
I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

Books about mental illness often irk me. Now, that's not because I think mental illness makes a person bad; nobody with mental health problems should ever be ashamed of it and there should be more support out there for those afflicted with it as well as their family and friends. But just because a person is a "survivor" of mental illness, does not entitle them to some sort of martyr status. To be fair, this book didn't wallow completely on t
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Brandon Forsyth
"Scared to death, scared to look /
They shook."
- Mobb Deep, "Shook Ones Pt. II"

I'm trying to deflect how much this book affected me by starting off with a hip hop lyric, but it's actually the most appropriate way to review this book for me. It scared me.
I've been incredibly fortunate in my life in many ways. I am the product of unbelievable privilege. I have never had to deal with mental health in any substantial way, personally or amongst the people I care about. For that reason, the idea of a p
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Amanda
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Sometimes a title of a book stands out and cries out to be read and for me this screamed “read me”

From the first page you get a deep sense that Giulia and Mark, are in a very loving relationship. When she gets a new job she doubts herself and isolates herself from Mark. This is the first chink in their relationship!!

I really felt for Mark having to watch the one you love slide into despair and not being able to help is soul destroying. This book beautifully dealt with mental health and the batt
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 Sarah Lumos
I am a sucker for love stories, and “My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward” was no exception. As an aspiring allied health professional, memoirs about mental health and mental illness are invaluable to me. Sure, in school we learn about psychopathology, but we rarely cover the human side of mental disorders. Who is the person behind the diagnosis? What are they like outside the hospital walls? This year, I read some astounding memoirs by patients and medical professionals. But this was my first tim ...more
Corinna
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Reader looking for accurate mental health portrayal
I am a book snob. I admit it. I rip apart verbage, punctuation, pace, character arcs, you name it. I am critical.

I give this book five stars without batting an eye. I don't think people can possibly recognize how personally terrifying Mark's level of candor and transparency is. The courage it took for both him and Giulia to agree on publishing his memoir is staggering.

Mark's wife, Giulia, has her first psychotic break shortly after they are married. He shares the story of the struggles, victor
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Krista
Jul 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, nonfiction, memoir
Giulia grew intolerably frustrated by our inability to understand her. She rolled onto her back, pulled her knees toward her chest, and chanted, “Voglio morire, voglio morire, voglio morire.” I want to die, I want to die, I want to die. At first she hissed through her teeth, then started shouting, “VOGLIO MORIRE, VOGLIO MORIRE, VOGLIO MORIRE!” in an aggressive roar. I'm not sure which scared me more: listening to my wife whisper her death wish or scream it.

As author Mark Lukach concludes at the
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Terry
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
Yikes. This was really closer to one star, but I've noticed that other reviewers who give this book less-than-stellar ratings get harrassed, so I'm...hedging my review a tiny bit.

I spent this book alternating between bafflement and a kind of low-grade rage fever. I am baffled by other readers who feel this has "searing honesty" and "raw pain" and "deep introspection"--it felt a mile wide and an inch deep. It's so painfully clear that the author has never, once, in his entire life, been told "no,
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Heather
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, kindle
The courage it must’ve taken this man to write this book and then let the world read about it is really astounding to me. I read, in detail, this entire novel that described his wife’s episodes of psychosis and depression, the shift of her personality before and after, and I have to say, I felt it. It was visceral. The astounding thing about that is the knowledge that my feelings of confusion and desperation and frenzy (among other things) don’t even come close to what dealing with it firsthand ...more
Stephanie
My first reaction to this book: WOW. I loved it… or as much as one can love a book about mental illness and difficult subjects, which is a lot even if it’s sometimes hard to read.

Mark and Giulia were leading a “charmed” life with a beautiful love story. They had recently moved to San Francisco and were settling into married life and careers when, at the age of 27, Giulia inexplicably and out of nowhere suffered a psychotic break. Recovery was long and painful after a month long stint in the loca
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Valerity (Val)
This book was well written and really took you through the experience of being a family member of someone with mental illness episodes that take over your life at times. I found it rather gripping and read it at one go. Author Mark Lukach met his wife Giulia when they were teenagers, they married and moved to San Francisco and life was looking good when they were blindsided by a psychotic episode that turned their world upside down. This was an enlightening read that was very honestly done.
||Swaroop||
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Memoirs are, in general, not easy to write. But, books like My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward are not just difficult to write, but are also heartbreaking and difficult to read.

Mark Lukach provides an account of his journey and experiences, after his wife develops a mental situation, which relapses multiple times. He shares his feelings, frustrations, stressfulness, limitations and also the lovely, memorable and hopeful moments.

The major takeaway from this memoir is "It's worth it." It's worth it
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Tracy
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is a memoir written by a non-author and it seemed clunky and almost like a diary format.
This book is supposed to illustrate the struggles one faces when suffering mental illness, and it does to a point. The main focus is on how crappy everything is for ill person's husband, the author. We get it, it's hard. But, he has a ridiculously accommodating support system, hardly works, and complains about everything! His wife was grumpy. She didn't say "Thank you." His mother in law wants to cook to
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Lauren
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was painfully beautiful. I loved it all, my copy is so marked up with notes and tabs on the pages. I only hope to be loved in this life the way Mark loves Giulia. A heart catching read about love, family, and mental health.
Sara Strand
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have always dealt with a bit of depression, my whole life. Right after Olivia it was at its absolute worst, and it was the first time that I felt like I had to medicate myself. I felt shame and absolute humiliation. After about eight months I felt nothing at all so I wanted to get off of them so I just stopped. About a year later our marriage hit a major bump in the road and I thought for sure we were getting a divorce but the day I went to file I found out I was pregnant, so there I was, my h ...more
Liza Fireman
There were many parts that I really liked in this book, the story is mostly terrifying. A woman, maybe one that tend to be much more stressed than the average person, one day loses her sanity completely.

Giulia grew intolerably frustrated by our inability to understand her. She rolled onto her back, pulled her knees toward her chest, and chanted, “Voglio morire, voglio morire, voglio morire.” I want to die, I want to die, I want to die. At first she hissed through her teeth, then she started sho
...more
Kim Ebner
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Please check out my book blog: www.thebuzzingbookmark.com

I found this one to be a really fascinating, sad, eye-opening memoir. I've always had a little bit of a fascination with mental illness and how people cope with it in their lives, if they ever do.

This book is ultimately both a memoir and an autobiography. In the book, the author talks about his relationship with his wife, how he coped with his wife's sudden onset of mental illness and the struggles that he went through. This is the memoir
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Diana
Dec 08, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: discarded-shelf
I wanted to like this one, really. But I found it to be a bit too much "bubbly" at the beginning, which it also was very fast moving because they presented us the main characters which went from unkowns to married in no time. I guess the author wanted that part introduced and done with so we could settle for the rest of the book, but too me it seemed a bit to fast.
Laura K
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. I listened to audiobook. Looks like I am in the minority here but this book was just ok for me, and more often than not the author got on my nerves. I do really feel for anyone suffering with mental illness or living with a family member that has mental illness. I was drawn in quickly at the beginning and it was both fascinating and so scary to hear how quickly his wife went from seemingly normal to having a psychotic breakdown. I liked when the author said that he thinks the cliché i ...more
Jaclyn Day
Sep 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Who are Mark and Giulia? After spending an entire book with them, and despite the honesty Lukach injects into the story, I'm still not sure. Giulia's undiagnosed mental illness, which manifests in debilitating, psychotic episodes, is the crux around which Lukach writes this book. But in the telling of their story, he reveals little about her other than these relatively late-life health crises. A memoir is a tricky thing. Raw emotion and honesty, typically the hallmark of a good memoirist, are he ...more
Cynthia Dunn
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Be aware that this is a very difficult book to read if you suffer from any type of panic or anxiety disorder.
Michael
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-memoirs
Mark knew he was in love with Giulia the first day he laid eyes on her. Young at eighteen, he knew that there was no other person he will rather spend his life with. Giulia was the love of his life, she was beautiful, smart and the two of them were blissfully happy together. There is nothing he will do without her, she was the life of his party and his heart. While the two of them had separate lives work wise, they still were connected intimately, never fearing that they would ever part ways. Ho ...more
Torrie
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

Knowing this book is about mental illness, I knew it was going to be depressing, emotional, etc. but I really underestimated how heartfelt the author's words would be, as well as how involved I would get in the ups and downs of Giulia & Mark's journey. The author's writing is descriptive, insightful, and raw. Giulia & Mark's story helps puts things into perspective and I think there is probably something we can all learn from their relationship/journey to apply in our own relati
...more
Debbie Carnes
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book , so full of love, commitment and hope.
It a must read, even if you do not know anyone going through this in their life.
Liza Fireman
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
There were many parts that I really liked in this book, the story is mostly terrifying. A woman, maybe one that tend to be much more stressed than the average person, one day loses her sanity completely.

Giulia grew intolerably frustrated by our inability to understand her. She rolled onto her back, pulled her knees toward her chest, and chanted, “Voglio morire, voglio morire, voglio morire.” I want to die, I want to die, I want to die. At first she hissed through her teeth, then she started sho
...more
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“In fact, maybe love, in the purest sense, is about being kind to someone with no expectation of how they’re going to respond. They can ignore your kindness, reject it, or return it tenfold, but you just continue to be kind, and that is love.” 14 likes
“I realized then why people call suicide hotlines. The person on the other end of the line wasn’t a therapist, wasn’t going to prescribe medicine, wasn’t going to try to convince the caller to feel differently, wasn’t going to love the caller the way a family member would. The person on the other end of the line was going to listen without judgment or fear, an invaluable gift that the suicidal rarely receive.” 8 likes
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