Co-Written and Co-Edited by Daniel Mackler and Matthew Morrissey, with Contributions by:
• Patch Adams, M.D., inspiration for Robin Williams film
• Joanne Greenberg, author, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
• David Oaks, director, MindFreedom International
• Will Hall, co-founder, Freedom Center
• Annie Rogers, Ph.D., professor, author, A Shining Affliction
Family conflict can wreak havoc on people diagnosed with psychiatric disorders. A Way Out of Madness offers guidance in resolving family conflict and taking control of your life. The book, the first in the ISPS-US book series, also includes personal accounts of family healing by people who were themselves psychiatrically diagnosed.
Excerpt from Will Hall’s Essay in the book:
My mother was in therapy and she realized my father’s violent past was taking a terrible toll on our lives together. But she couldn’t see her own role and was helpless to change it, to talk, to break the spell we were all under. To this day I have never had a conversation with my father, mother, or brother about being diagnosed with schizophrenia. Years of trying to speak only led back into my worst mental states. And so at different times in my life I’ve broken contact from them entirely. When I do make plans to visit I hope for a snowstorm to cancel the flight, or some other reason not to go. I live in a kind of exile from my family, and a silent and unbreakable taboo is still in place against who I am. We continue trapped in the codes and dramas of our past.
I spent a year looking for help in the public mental health system before I began, slowly, to look within myself. My freedom and recovery eventually came through trusted friends and support groups, holistic health and acupuncture and nutrition, meditation and spiritual discipline. I stopped taking psychiatric drugs, and I stopped believing in the diagnosis I was given. I’ve gained enough clarity to make a fragile but lasting peace with madness, and live with my wild mind, voices, and altered states of consciousness. I now trust that when the demons come, the angels will soon also have their turn.
Today I work as a mental health advocate and counselor, and I get calls and emails from people searching for an answer different from what they’ve been told by doctors and TV ads. When parents contact me, desperate to help their sons and daughters, I do hold out the possibility of change. I believe these frightened and traumatized fathers and mothers can grow and become a source of freedom for their children. I tell them that families can heal, and that people can recover.