I reviewed this book on Good Reads last winter, I believe? But in case anyone missed it. It is worth mentioning here again on my blog. This book “A Brief Guide to Thriving for individual with mental illness and their loved ones.” is by Leesa Abbott, Psy.D I am also mentioning this work in particular because the Author has decided to release a personal memoir soon of her own personal struggles and triumphs living with a SMI-(Serious Mental illness) I am beyond excited about her new release and will let my readers know as soon as I know when that title does become available. Dr. Abbott is a University Professor, a professional poet & author, a mental health advocate who also does volunteer work for NAMI in her spare time. On top of all those things, she also leads a support group for teens struggling with depression while caring for her friends and family. Here is my Review:
“In this book, Dr. Abbott addresses several basic issues and concerns, which would be very useful to anyone diagnosed recently with mental illness, or that person’s friends and family.She presents a model of Recovery in five stages. Dr. Abbott writes that she adopted-(invented perhaps?)-this model, after studying similar models such as the well known 5 stages of Grief/ Loss or certain recovery from addiction models.However she contrasts her model by pointing out while other models are static, hers is not. She feels her model is more fluid-to me her model almost seems circular-although we both agree that a person in any process form of recovery from mental illness may repeat these stages or regress or progress at different stages.
As she points out many with mental illnesses may go in and out of these stages at any given time. Here are her five stages: 1. Psychological Changes 2. Self-Awareness of those changes 3.Receiving help.4. Acceptance of ones own mental illness. 5.Reaching out to others. She does explain not everyone will complete this entire process outlined. The last step is the hardest-to deal with stigma and to reach out to others in need-still suffering-while this is noble-not everyone is capable of this or even wishes to try this.(the author does acknowledge this fact.) Also in this book she recounts her own story of mental illness. I do wish that this section was longer and that she would have expanded. But this is a brief guidebook, I do understand why her focus is not on her personal experiences so much. She centers on the issues faced by those with mental illness and how to help.
This is an useful resource no matter what stage of recovery you are in. This book is ideal because it emphasizes two things; You are not alone and there are a multitude of ways you can help yourself.
One last thing I would like to add, is what the Author says about Hope: “The self-fulfilling
prophecy studied by psychologists, includes the idea that what we continue to believe about ourselves or our future will Eventually come to be. It’s essential to maintain a positive outlook about yourself and your future.”(2013, Abbott.L, p.26)”
Video and interview with the author, Dr.Leesa Abbott