Friday, November 16, 2018
BOOK REVIEW: NO ONE CARES ABOUT CRAZY PEOPLE by Ron Powers
From the centuries of torture of "lunatiks" at Bedlam Asylum to the infamous eugenics era to the follies of the anti-psychiatry movement to the current landscape in which too many families struggle alone to manage afflicted love ones, Powers limns our fears and myths about mental illness and the fractured public policies that have resulted.
Braided with that history is the moving story of Powers's beloved son Kevin--spirited, endearing, and gifted--who triumphed even while suffering from schizophrenia until finally he did not, and the story of his courageous surviving son Dean, who is also schizophrenic.
A blend of history, biography, memoir, and current affairs ending with a consideration of where we might go from here, this is a thought-provoking look at a dreaded illness that has long been misunderstood.
Powerful! Ron Powers' life seemed pretty normal during his two sons' formative years, but then in adolescence, both boys began to exhibit signs of mental illness and were eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia. One boy committed suicide at the age of twenty. The other, now in his 30s, still struggles with his disease. Mental illness turned the Powers' lives upside down, and the author uses his tragedy as an opportunity to inform the rest of us of the urgent need to do something about the growing problem in our society.
Against the backdrop of his family's story, Powers explores the often shocking history behind mental illness as well as the successes and failures of society in trying to treat it. This book is a scathing indictment of government's lack of interest, but more so, of society as a whole and our tendancy to "look the other way" rather than seek viable solutions to so much suffering.
A must-read for everyone, in my opinion.