Susan Doherty Free The Ghost Garden – PDF, Kindle eBook & eBook

Summary Î eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ´ Susan Doherty

Free download The Ghost Garden ´ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF Through their days With their full cooperation she brings us their stories which challenge the ways we think about people with mental illness on every page The spine of the book is the life of Caroline Evans not her real name a woman in her early sixties whom Susan has known since she was a bright and sunny school girl Caroline has given Susan complete access to her medical files and her court records; through her we experience what living with schizophrenia over time is really like She has been through it all including the way the justice system treats the severely mentally ill at one point she believed that she cou. Susan Doherty s The Ghost Garden offers wonderful insights into the lives of people suffering from mental illness and does so in a way that does not demean them or devalue their humanity If anything Doherty elevates the people whose journeys she follows to a level where the average person can begin to understand them For a group that it is far too often shunned even by their families this is a blessing Thank you Susan Doherty for having the courage and the compassion to place yourself in the midst of those so marginalized by society and to tell their stories with such elouence and resounding honesty

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Free download The Ghost Garden ´ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF Ld save her roommate from the devil by pouring boiling water into her ear Susan interleaves Caroline's story with vignettes about her other friends human stories that reveal their hopes their circumstances their personalities their humanity She's found that if she can hang in through the first ten to fifteen minutes of every coffee date with someone in the grip of psychosis then true communication results Their madness is not otherworldly instead it tells us something about how they're surviving their lives and what they've been through The Ghost Garden is not only touching but carries a cargo of compassion and empath. Note I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I read this book primarily as a way to do research for my own book a science fiction novel with a main character sent to a state mental hospital where he meets and spends a lot of time with a character who has schizophrenia Ghost Garden provided what my in person on foot research had not details about what it s actually like to live with the illness and what the inside of a mental hospital might look like More than that though it provided an amazingly deep view into the lives of people who suffer from schizophrenia and other severe mental illnesses It did so with compassion for the sufferers and lack of judgement of the family membersHaving had a brother in law who succumbed to severe mental illness loving several people with moderate mental illness and having depression myself I know that no matter the type of illness and the severity it can be an incredibly complicated journey just to get to diagnosis And that journey often becomes even so after It s miserable for the sufferer but it s also unspeakably difficult for the family members tasked with trying to help their loved one It s heartbreaking to think that Ghost Garden depicting not only Caroline and her family s journey but also several others is but a fraction of the whole bramble of lives distorted trapped and siderailed by mental illness governmental and societal mental health treatment infrastructures rendered inadeuate by insufficient funding and understanding pharmaceutical approaches that have made a huge difference but still have a long way to go and family support systems that can be difficult to discoverHopefully though Doherty s fluid and compassionate writing will become a springboard upon which to build awareness and encourage discussion about an issue that affects so many so deeply

Summary Î eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ´ Susan Doherty

Free download The Ghost Garden ´ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF A rare work of narrative non fiction that illuminates a world most of us try not to see the daily lives of the severely mentally ill who are medicated marginalized locked away and shunned Susan Doherty's groundbreaking book brings us a population of lost souls ill served by society feared shunted from locked wards to rooming houses to the streets to jail and back again For the past ten years some of the people who cycle in and out of the severely ill wards of the Douglas Institute in Montreal have found a friend in Susan who volunteers on the ward and then follows her friends out into the world as they struggle to get. I didn t set out to do this but I have inadvertently created a forum that allowed the psychologically afflicted medicated or self medicated the walking wounded to voice their truths Those who are ignored and stepped around on the streets the homeless who cycle in and out of wards and through rooming houses are hardly seen as human and are left to wander in a ghost garden an interior haven where emotional pain can be suppressed In 2009 after author Susan Doherty spent months researching the history of mental illness treatment in the archives of Montreal s Douglas Institute she decided to give back to the facility by volunteering her time Doherty assumed she would be given some clerical duties and was surprised when she was asked to simply spend time with one of the residents a woman with schizophrenia whom Doherty calls Camilla all of the patients and their families in The Ghost Garden have had their names changed for privacy Doherty writes that she and Camilla became friends that day and in the ten years since the author has become friends with many other of the Douglas Institute s severely mentally ill patients taking their calls at all hours of the day and night keeping in touch with those who return to the community giving physical human contact to the feared and marginalised many of whom with no one else who will take those calls or hold their hands Meanwhile a woman that the author grew up with contacted Doherty and after explaining that her own sister has struggled with schizophrenia for over thirty years offered the author access to Caroline s medical files interviews with the family and time with Caroline herself in order to trace one person s entire history of the disease s onset efforts at management its effects on social and domestic relationships etc The book that resulted is mainly Caroline s story and it is thorough and honest and affecting interspersed with what Doherty calls eighteen vignettes brief sketches of some of the other troubled friends she has made in the past decade of her volunteer work This book is kind of amazing forcing us to look closely at the kind of people that we usually avert our eyes from forcing us to recognise the people behind the illness There s nothing prettified in this narrative there are body fluids and violence and families pushed to the brink but it s also not a gratuitous freak show schizophrenia is an aspect of the human story and Doherty is simply asking us to recognise that fact Amazing Note I read an ARC and passages uoted may not be in their final forms Psychosis does not discriminate The worldwide prevalence of schizophrenia is one percent across all nationalities professions income brackets Schizophrenia is not the domain of the needy neglected poor the marginalized lower classes but its sufferers can uickly descend to rungs reserved for the downgraded I don t want to go over all of Caroline s story but I will note that she was from a well off family in Montreal s Westmount neighbourhood one of ten siblings born to a respected doctor and his homemaking wife When she began to exhibit signs of mental illness Caroline s parents reacted with shame and denial her father s sister had been institutionalised but neither that fact nor his medical expertise garnered Caroline any understanding from him and ultimately Caroline became so abusive and embarrassing that she drove away all of her family except for a couple of sisters Throughout all of Caroline s story and the vignettes Doherty is never judgmental about how families deal with a mentally ill member always stressing that schizophrenia is a series of never ending and all consuming tidal waves that some people understandably eventually need to shield themselves from There are stories of parents who cut off contact with their schizophrenic children parents desperately searching for the schizophrenic children who cut them off and stories of those who have been left with no one Caroline herself has a huge heart and a desire to care for everyone around her but when she s suffering a psychotic episode she hurls accusations of neglect and imagined sexual abuse at family members which has left her isolated from everyone she wants to pour her love into The book s title comes from one of Doherty s friends Aleks who is essentially alone in the world but who often reports that he has spent the night with his girlfriend Jennifer Love Hewitt When Doherty teasingly asked Aleks where the two of them meet he replied Susie I met her in the Ghost Garden It s where I meet all the souls of people I love I had to marvel Aleks had just given me another gift access to the hidden realms of mental illness With that gentle correction he d shown me that a place of comfort exists for many who suffer from schizophrenia an alternate world as real as Dorothy s Oz So often we see the severely mentally ill as less than fully formed human beings as ghosts of their normal selves As ghosts they can appear to be inanimate unreachable and frightening but they like all of us tend an interior garden that is lushly alive With the knowledge that Doherty has gleaned from her encounters with Caroline and others who are afflicted with schizophrenia she has come to some perhaps controversial opinions about overmedicating the disorder Caroline has never found a perfect pharmaceutical cocktail and the brain numbing side effects of what she has been prescribed prompted every one of her relapses when she has decided to stop her meds and as Doherty sees it the main goal of an institution at the moment of admitting someone who is displaying a violent psychotic break is to immediately subdue and sedate to prevent harm to the self and others Although Caroline has admittedly had many caring and hands on teams working with her in institutions over the years Doherty notes the ineffectiveness of the drugs to keep her safe and stable after her eventual release into the community Doherty takes a couple of swipes at Big Pharma specifically calling out one company that markets both an antipsychotic and a drug to manage the diabetes that that antipsychotic causes and uotes one of Caroline s sons when he recalls his disbelief that Caroline in a diminished mental state was ever able to consent to shock therapy and ultimately Doherty concludes that even today not enough is known about schizophrenia or how to control it and in the case of creative geniuses uestions the necessity of suppressing it A crisis reveals the mind s need to fix something that has been damaged Psychosis is a sign of that need for repair just as a fractured bone can be a signal of insufficient calcium Without a psychotic break there is no indication of the problem and so no opportunity to address the issue But when the breakdown is treated only with medication the person suffering has no chance to dig into what s going wrong Despite calling for alternatives Doherty does ultimately conclude Clearly there are times when the drugs are beneficial At the margins of every one of these stories is Doherty herself someone who was initially scared to death to be asked to visit a ward for the severely mentally ill someone who eventually befriended emotionally supported and held the hands of suffering humans who had no one else I find that to be an impressive and inspirational transformation and the book she made out of this experience has educated and changed me Kind of amazing I ll end on a favourite uote attributed to the therapist of a schizophrenic s parents that I couldn t fit in anywhere Living with a child with schizophrenia who isn t capable of accepting treatment is like eating a hippopotamus The solution lies in the number of people at the table willing to take one bite at a time

  • Hardcover
  • 360
  • The Ghost Garden
  • Susan Doherty
  • English
  • 27 June 2018
  • 9780735276505