No One Cares About Crazy People
By: Ron Powers
Review by: Maria Salvucci
This book chronicles the lives of the author and his family whose two sons were diagnosed with schizophrenia. The author intersperses his family story with the history of mental health treatment in the US. It’s an eye opening look at how mentally ill people have been treated in harsh, cruel and ineffective ways throughout time due to the lack of compassion and understanding of mental illness. The author and his wife experienced this while trying to get help for their sons. It is obvious they are a family of means so could afford better care than the average American and it was still difficult to find.
There were a number of important people that took on changing mental health treatment as it existed such as Harry Truman, Dorothea Dix and Tim Murphy. I was unaware of their pivotal contributions. A big point was made that we’ve substituted mental institutions with the prison system therefore failing the mentally ill. The numbers of prisoners with mental health issues is staggering. They often experience solitary confinement which just exacerbates their illness. This book gets to the heart of the need and it is with empathy that I read about one family’s struggle. For anyone who has or has had loved ones who have suffered from mental illness this is a worthy, interesting read.
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About the reviewer: Maria Salvucci, retired school counselor, is an avid reader and volunteers her time to elementary children as a reading and math tutor. She has participated in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention walk to raise money for research and programs.
This review is part of Book Your Summer, our 2017 Adult Summer Reading program.