Mental Health Book Review: It’s not your Journey by Rebecca Lombardo

Overall Rating:

The Mental Health Book Club Podcast really liked this book. Sydney gave it 5* and Becky 4*. Sydney felt a particular connection with this book as she shares a Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis. Rebecca also talks about her Bipolar, Anxiety and Depression diagnosis.

Rebecca’s honesty and sincerity comes through in her writing. She is so open about how her life has been and is affected by her mental illness. She discusses medication, treatments and hospitalisation as well as the daily struggles she faces. Her honesty is so moving especially as she discusses her attempt to take her own life.

The courage she shows as she navigates her illnesses is incomparable. The strength she shows as she faces grief, family and other life events is relatable to everyone. Even after publishes let her down she continues to move forward.

The raw emotion and honesty in this book will make it hard for anyone to put down. We were lucky enough to also get an interview with Rebecca to go alongside our review.

Find it at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com, iTunes or where ever you get your Podcasts.

Episode 85 – Personality Disorders with The Secret Psychiatrist

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses all personality disorders, suicide, self-harm, impulsivity, substance mis-use and unusual behaviour

If you feel suicidal call 999/911 immediately.

You may have noticed that the first episodes we recorded for the podcast are no longer showing on iTunes. That includes our most popular episode on Borderline Personality Disorder / Emotional Unstable Personality disorder. If you want to get access to those and additional audio recorded with our authors, head over to Patreon.  Support us with as little as $2 a month to get a range of other rewards. We would like donate money to a range of mental health charities once we reach certain  targets.

If you need to talk you can contact:

Samaritans on:

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness

Mind The Mental Health Charity

  • Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
  • Text: 86463
  • http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Social Media

Twitter:

Becky: @BLawrence85

Sydney: @sydney_timmins

The Secret Psychiatrist: @thesecretpsych

Podcast: @MHBC_Podcast

Facebook

Podcast: https://www.facebook.com/MHBCpodcast/

Sydney: https://www.facebook.com/Sydney-Timmins-1695774814065575/

Episode 84 – Re-release of Episode 6, Sydney talks about Borderline Personality Disorder

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this episode contains discussion about suicide, panic attacks, anxiety, self-harm and depression.

This Episode supports Episode 4,  Episode 5 and Episode 83

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediatly

If you need to talk you can contact:

Samaritans on

Anxiety support groups:

Anxiety UK

  • Infoline: 08444 775 774 (Mon-Fri 9:30am – 5.30pm)
  • Text Service: 07537 416 905
  • Or visit their website http://bit.ly/1DRRCUb

 Better Help

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness

Mind The Mental Health Charity:

  • Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
  • Text: 86463
  • http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Information sources:

Mind

Re-think Mental Health

The American Psychological Association

World Psychiatry. 2015 Jun; 14(2): 234–236.

Very Well Article: Borderline Personality Disorder is More Common Than You Think

Optimum Perfermance Institute Article: The history of BPD

MentalHealth.net: DSM-5: The ten personality disorders: cluster B

Gulf Bend Centre: Alternative Diagnostic Models for Personality Disorders: The DSM-5 Dimensianal Approach

Personality Assessment in the DSM-5 By Steven K. Huprich, Christopher J. Hopwood Pg 47-48

Psychology Today: Borderline Personality Disorder: Big Changes in the DSM-5

Harv Rev Psychiatry. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2007 Apr 26.

About Kids Health: Your effect on your childs attachement

National Insitiute of Mental Health: Borderline Personality Disorder

Psych Central: 7 Myths of Borderline Personality Disorder

Camden and Islington NHS Trust: Myth Busting

Episode 83 – It’s Not Your Journey by Rebecca Lombardo and Author Interview

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses suicide, hospitilisation and multiple diagnosis of mental health conditions.

Find Rebecca Lombardo online at:

Twitter

Website

Podcast

Get the book here

Rebecca Lombardo’s shout outs: Dyane Harwood, Kirk Patrick Miller, Matt Pappas, Stigma Fighters and Davina Lytle.

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediately.

If you would like access to the additional content from our uthors and exclusive eoisodes head over to Patreon.  You can support us with as little as $2 a month to get advance access  to our episodes and a range of other awards. We hope to be able to  donate money to a range of mental health charities once we reach certain  targets.

If you need to talk you can contact:

Samaritans on:

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness

Mind The Mental Health Charity

  • Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
  • Text: 86463
  • http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Social Media

Twitter:

Becky: @BLawrence85

Sydney: @sydney_timmins

The Secret Psychiatrist: @thesecretpsych

Podcast: @MHBC_Podcast

Facebook

Podcast: https://www.facebook.com/MHBCpodcast/

Sydney: https://www.facebook.com/Sydney-Timmins-1695774814065575/

Episode 37 – Bipolar Disorder with The Secret Psychiatrist

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses mania, depression, suicide and extreme behaviour (violence towards animals).

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediately.

If you cannot wait for our next episodes  you can get advanced access by going to Patreon. You can support us with as little as $2 a month to get advance access to our episodes and a range of other awards. We hope to be able to donate money to a range of mental health charities once we reach certain targets.

If you need to talk you can contact:

Samaritans on:

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness

Mind The Mental Health Charity

  • Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
  • Text: 86463
  • http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Social Media

Twitter:
Podcast: @MHBC_Podcast
 
Facebook

Episode 36 – Clown and I by Ryan Heffernan Pt 2

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses mania, depression, suicide and extreme behaviour (violence towards animals).

Get our next book here

Ryan’s Blog: https://clownandi.com/

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediately.

If you cannot wait for our next episodes  you can get advanced access by going to Patreon. You can support us with as little as $2 a month to get advance access to our episodes and a range of other awards. We hope to be able to donate money to a range of mental health charities once we reach certain targets.

If you need to talk you can contact:

Samaritans on:

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness

Mind The Mental Health Charity

  • Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
  • Text: 86463
  • http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Social Media

Twitter:
Podcast: @MHBC_Podcast
 
Facebook

Episode 36 – Clown and I by Ryan Heffernan Pt 1

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses mania, depression, suicide and extreme behaviour (violence towards animals).

Get our next book here

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediately.

If you cannot wait for our next episodes  you can get advanced access by going to Patreon. You can support us with as little as $2 a month to get advance access to our episodes and a range of other awards. We hope to be able to donate money to a range of mental health charities once we reach certain targets.

If you need to talk you can contact:

Samaritans on:

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness

Mind The Mental Health Charity

  • Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
  • Text: 86463
  • http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Social Media

Twitter:
Podcast: @MHBC_Podcast
 
Facebook

Episode 35 – Suicide and Depression with The Secret Psychiatrist

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses suicide, self-harm and depression.

Get our next book here

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediately.

The Secret Psychiatrist

www.thesecretpsychiatrist.com

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

If you cannot wait for our next episodes you can get advanced access by going to Patreon. You can support us with as little as $2 a month to get advance access to our episodes and a range of other awards. We hope to be able to donate money to a range of mental health charities once we reach certain targets.

If you need to talk you can contact:

Samaritans on:

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness

Mind The Mental Health Charity

  • Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
  • Text: 86463
  • http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Book 15 – Clown and I: Riding the Wildling Spirit – A Bipolar Memoir by Ryan Heffernan

Clown & I is a dangerous, steamy and soulful memoir from Ryan Heffernan, a man with bipolar disorder. Ryan really should have lived in another time. International celebrities get sweaty and spanked and life can be grandiose. But personal ruination forever lurks in this confronting exploration of how one man tries to fit in and make sense of the elusive “real world”. Laced with love, lust, heartbreak, bad boozing and poverty, Clown & I is a one-of-a-kind entry from a man in this genre. It is a dreamy and philosophical global odyssey – a diamond sparkle, spiritual and sensual insight into bipolar, stormy personal relationships, and the hard, street truths of dicey mental health in a society that won’t always yield. But hope, beauty, dreamchasing, and Ryan’s wondrous son, are the undisputed emperors in his eccentric universe. This is one little boy laid bare…

Episode 20 – Our thoughts on The Quiet Room and Made You up

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses self-harm, violent behaviour, sexual assault,  drug abuse and suicide.

Get the book here

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediatly.

Samaritans on:
116 123 (UK)
116 123 (ROI)
Find out more at their website http://bit.ly/2wMpKZ5

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness
0121 522 7007
http://bit.ly/1s7txdq

Mind The Mental Health Charity
Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
Text: 86463
http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Episode 19 – The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness by Lori Schiller and Amanda Bennett

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses self-harm, violent behaviour, sexual assault,  drug abuse and suicide.

Get the book here

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediatly.

Samaritans on:
116 123 (UK)
116 123 (ROI)
Find out more at their website http://bit.ly/2wMpKZ5

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness
0121 522 7007
http://bit.ly/1s7txdq

Mind The Mental Health Charity
Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
Text: 86463
http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Mental Health Book Review: A Bitter Pill to Swallow by Tiffany Gholar

Our Review

Overall rating:

Sydney’s rating:

Becky’s rating:

The Harrison School helps children and teenagers struggling with their mental health to continue with their education whilst being treated for the issues that they are experiencing. At the school, we meet Janina who has been diagnosed with depression and has been at the school for four years and is afraid to leave the schools safety.

Devante has been a witness to a life changing traumatic shooting in which the girl he cared about lost her life and he is finding life difficult. He attempts suicide but is stopped and decides to enrol at the Harrison School. Devante is diagnosed with acute stress disorder and he meets Janina. Their friendship helps them both on their journey to recovery.

As a result of a new addition to the Harrison School team is given a select group of students to look after and as a result starts to question Janina’s diagnosis. After investigation and new research it is decided that Janina is not mentally unwell but has been mis-diagnosed because the people around her failed to acknowledge her intellect. Showing that the labels we take on are fluid and can change over time.

Whilst at the Harrison School Devante begins to see that there are others in a similar situation to him, he is not alone and there are other people who are in a worst position than him.

This book shows the differences between different mental health conditions and their durations. It also shows the fluidity of mental health diagnosis and that labels are not necessarily everything and that treating teenagers as people has a huge beneficial effect.

Listen to our full review at:
Mental Health Book Club Episode 15

Book 9 – The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness by Lori Schiller and Amanda Bennett

Book Blurb

At seventeen Lori Schiller was the perfect child — the only daughter of an affluent, close-knit family. Six years later she made her first suicide attempt, then wandered the streets of New York City dressed in ragged clothes, tormenting voices crying out in her mind. Lori Schiller had entered the horrifying world of full-blown schizophrenia. She began an ordeal of hospitalizations, halfway houses, relapses, more suicide attempts, and constant, withering despair. But against all odds, she survived. Now in this personal account, she tells how she did it, taking us not only into her own shattered world, but drawing on the words of the doctors who treated her and family members who suffered with her.

In this new edition, Lori Schiller recounts the dramatic years following the original publication — a period involving addiction, relapse, and ultimately, love and recovery.

Moving, harrowing, and ultimately uplifting, THE QUIET ROOM is a classic testimony to the ravages of mental illness and the power of perseverance and courage.

Episode 15 – A Bitter Pill to Swallow

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses suicide, self-harm and violence with guns.

Get the book here

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediatly.

Research Study

www.childcaregiverstudy.co.uk

Contact: [email protected] | Tweet

If you need to talk you can contact:

Samaritans on

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness

Mind The Mental Health Charity

  • Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
  • Text: 86463
  • http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Book 7 – A Bitter Pill to Swallow by Tiffany Gholar

Book Blurb

Winner of the 2016 Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Award for Fiction, Non-Traditionally Published.

On the edge of the Chicago medical district, the Harrison School for Exceptional Youth looks like a castle in a snow globe. Janina has been there since she was ten years old, and now she’s fourteen. She feels so safe inside its walls that she’s afraid to leave.

Devante’s parents bring him there after a tragedy leaves him depressed and suicidal. Even though he’s in a different place, he can’t escape the memories that come flooding back when he least expects them.

Dr. Gail Thomas comes to work there after quitting her medical residency. Frustrated and on the verge of giving up on her dreams, she sees becoming a counselor as her last chance to put her skills to the test.

When he founded the school, Dr. Lutkin designed its unique environment to be a place that would change the students’ lives. He works hard as the keeper of other people’s secrets, though he never shares any of his own.
But everything changes late in the winter of 1994 when these four characters’ lives intersect in unexpected ways. None of them will ever be the same.

Find our review of this book in Episode 15

Episode 12 – Depression and Suicide

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses topics that some people may find difficult, including talk about suicide, self-harm and substance misuse.

Our next book is Autism Anxiety and me by Emma Louise Bridge and you can find out more about the book  here.

This episode supports Episode 11

Useful contacts:

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediatly

If you need to talk you can contact:

Samaritans on

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness

Mind The Mental Health Charity

  • Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
  • Text: 86463
  • http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Information in this podcast was taken from:

The Smaritans

Mental Health Foundation Report

World Health Organisation Factsheet

World Health Organisation – Major causes of death in the UK

Office for National Statistics Suicides in the UK

Mental Health Foundation – Depression

The Mayo Clinic – PDD

WebMD – Depression

Pearson Clinical – DSM 5 factsheet PDD

Psych Central – Changes in depressive disorders

American Psychiatric Association – What is Depression?

NHS Choices – Getting Started in Exercise

NHS Choices – Exercise for Depression

Mind in your area

NHS Choices – Psychotherapy

NHS Choices – Anti Depressants

NHS Choices – Depression and Anxiety Self-Help Treatments

NHS Choices – Finding Psychological Services in your area

NHS Choices – Clinical Depression

The Smaritans Media Guidelines for Reporting Suicide

Mind – Depression

Depression Questionnaire

Harvard Health Publishing – What causes depression?

Episode 8 – Schizophrenia

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses topics that some people may find difficult, including self-harm and suicide, include a section that illustrates an auditory hallucination.

Auditory Hallucination: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afbKXWCQMvE

This information was collected from:

The World Health Organisation:

Schizophrenia

Fact Sheet

ICD-10

Harvard Medical School Letter

Rethink Mental Health:

Schizophrenia Facts

Five Myths about Schizophrenia

ICD-10

Medscape:

Schizophrenia

Schizoprenic.com

Schizoprenia and Halucinations

Royal College of Pschatrists:

Schizophrenia

Psych Central – Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Mind:

Schizophrenia

This episode suports Episode 7

Episode 7 – Made You Up

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses topics that some people may find difficult, this episode focuses on schizophrenia

Get the book here

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediatly

 

If you need to talk you can contact:

Samaritans on

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness

Mind The Mental Health Charity

  • Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
  • Text: 86463
  • http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Episode 6 – Borderline Personality Disorder

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this episode contains discussion about suicide, panic attacks, anxiety, self-harm and depression.

Get the next book here

This Episode supports Episode 4 and Episode 5

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediatly

If you need to talk you can contact:

Samaritans on

Anxiety support groups:

Anxiety UK

  • Infoline: 08444 775 774 (Mon-Fri 9:30am – 5.30pm)
  • Text Service: 07537 416 905
  • Or visit their website http://bit.ly/1DRRCUb
 Better Help

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness

Mind The Mental Health Charity:

  • Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
  • Text: 86463
  • http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Information sources:

Mind

Re-think Mental Health

The American Psychological Association

. 2015 Jun; 14(2): 234–236.

Very Well Article: Borderline Personality Disorder is More Common Than You Think

Optimum Perfermance Institute Article: The history of BPD

MentalHealth.net: DSM-5: The ten personality disorders: cluster B

Gulf Bend Centre: Alternative Diagnostic Models for Personality Disorders: The DSM-5 Dimensianal Approach

Personality Assessment in the DSM-5 By Steven K. Huprich, Christopher J. Hopwood Pg 47-48

Psychology Today: Borderline Personality Disorder: Big Changes in the DSM-5

. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2007 Apr 26.

About Kids Health: Your effect on your childs attachement

National Insitiute of Mental Health: Borderline Personality Disorder

Psych Central: 7 Myths of Borderline Personality Disorder

Camden and Islington NHS Trust: Myth Busting

Book 3 – Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

Book Blurb

Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook and Liar.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn’t she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.

Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up

Our Review

Overall rating:

Sydney’s rating:

Becky’s rating:

After initially reading this book I did give a higher rating before downgrading it as a result of doing some research about schizophrenia. Whilst the book is an easy read I felt that there were several issues with the portrayal of the mental illness and the two main plot twists.

Alex is a seventeen-year-old senior with paranoid schizophrenia in high school who has just arrived at a new school after being kicked out of her old school after having an “episode” where she spray painted the gym floor as a result of her delusions that the communists are out to get her. Alex now has a chance to make a fresh start where no one knows her history.

Alex’s symptoms have been present since she was seven, which in reality is extremely rare – but not impossible which results in her schizophrenia diagnosis. However, at the time this book was written (2015) the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental disorders (DSM-5) which was published in 2013 had dropped the paranoid classification as all schizophrenia has an aspect of paranoia.

The description of Alex’s symptoms seems to glamourise the impact that schizophrenia has on the person with the condition. A lot of focus is placed upon the aspects of delusions and hallucinations but I believe it fails to describe the true impact that they would have upon an individual. There is an issue where the author confuses delusions and hallucinations which is extremely disappointing.

I also felt that the two plot twists that occur are extremely unsettling. Her parents appear to be supportive of their daughter, however, due to their own issues they continue to perpetuate one of Alex’s hallucinations which would then make it more difficult for anyone to notice if her symptoms were increasing.

The second issue is Alex’s belief that there is something going on between the School Principal and the horrible cheerleader (which unfortunately turns out to be true) and I think would have been better served as an illustration of the impact of delusions on the individual’s reality.

It is fantastic that a book with a young adult protagonist is dealing with such an important mental health topic but I don’t feel that this book provides any kind of an accurate portrayal.

Find our full review at: Mental Health Book Club Episode 7