A Legacy of Madness: Recovering My Family from Generations of Mental Illness

A Legacy of Madness Recovering My Family from Generations of Mental Illness The story of a loving family coming to grips with its own fragilities A Legacy of Madness relays the author s journey to uncover and ultimately understand the history of mental illness that led gen

The story of a loving family coming to grips with its own fragilities, A Legacy of Madness relays the author s journey to uncover, and ultimately understand, the history of mental illness that led generations of his suburban American family to their demise Dede Davis had worried, fussed, and obsessed for the last time Her heart stopped beating in a fit of anxiety In theThe story of a loving family coming to grips with its own fragilities, A Legacy of Madness relays the author s journey to uncover, and ultimately understand, the history of mental illness that led generations of his suburban American family to their demise Dede Davis had worried, fussed, and obsessed for the last time Her heart stopped beating in a fit of anxiety In the wake of his mother s death, Tom Davis knew one thing Helplessly self absorbed and severely obsessive compulsive, Dede led a tormented life She spent years bouncing around mental health facilities, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities, but what really caused her death A Legacy of Madness portrays Tom Davis s captivating discoveries of mental illness throughout generations of his family Investigating his mother s history led to that of Davis s grandfather, a top administrator at one of the largest psychiatric hospitals in the country his great grandfather who died of self inflicted gas asphyxiation during the Depression and his great great grandmother who, with her eldest son, completed suicide one tragic day Ultimately, four generations of family members showed clear signs of depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and alcoholism often mistreated illnesses that test one s ability to cope.Through this intimate memoir, we join Davis on a personal odyssey to ensure that he and his siblings, the fifth generation, recover their famil

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A Legacy of Madness: Recovering My Family from Generations of Mental Illness

  1. Tom Davis is an award winning journalist and web producer who is the regional editor for Jersey Shore news at AOL s Patch His book, A Legacy of Madness Recovering My Family from Generations of Mental Illness, is scheduled to be released by Hazelden Publishing on Oct 3, 2011 The book is available at Barnes and Noble Wal Mart and many independent retailers The book was endorsed by former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.Until 2010, he was a multi media journalist with The Record of Bergen County, N.J and also wrote articles that appeared in The Star Ledger He teaches journalism classes at Rutgers University, where he sits on the Digital Committee and is helping to develop of a digital media presence in the Journalism and Media Studies Department Tom produces Rutgers Reporter, a weekly web newspaper with content produced by his classes.At The Record, he wrote Coping one of the nation s only mental health columns for five years In 2007, he was named Citizen of the Year by the American Psychiatric Association s New Jersey chapter Davis also received an ambassador award from the New Jersey Governor s Council on Stigma in 2008 Tom Davis was one of six people in the nation to win the Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellowship in 2004 He also writes a blog called Coping with Life which deals with life, family and mental health issues.To contact him, check out tom davis or tom davis rutgersml or send an email to Tom Davis s page can be found here enpedia wiki Tom_Davi.

830 Reply to “A Legacy of Madness: Recovering My Family from Generations of Mental Illness”

  1. So, I did enjoy this book, but I was left extremely frustrated I wanted to read the book in the first place because my family faces many of the same issues that are described in the blurb However, I am the spouse in this situation I married in to a family with severe anxiety disorders My Mother in law is OCD, her father was nearly incapacitated by agoraphobia, her sister has what I believe is turrets syndrome, you get the picture My husband deals with many of the same issues including panic atta [...]


  2. Full disclosure off the bat the author is a friend of mine That said, he s a good enough friend for me to be honest in my review Let it also be known that I do not make it a habit to read memoirs or books about mental illness In fact, I picked up the book to support the author with no intention of reading it It felt uncomfortable too voyeuristic A chat with the author allayed by hesitation and I m glad it did.This no no Million Little Pieces or whatever that lie was called This is a factual book [...]


  3. Wow That s my first impression This is an important book everyone needs to read Everyone is affected by mental illness Make no mistake about it, whether it s a family member, a friend, or co worker Davis crafts this page turner with such clarity and detail about his generations of family mental illness, starting with his great great grandparents who both committed suicide to the decade s long struggle of his mother before her eventual death in 2003 It s clear from the beginning this isn t a fami [...]


  4. This book is a true story about Tom Davis and his family s struggles with mental illness It contains many personal stories about his own experience with bulimia and how his family dealt with his mother and grandfather who suffered from depression, OCD, and were alcoholics He also investigates the circumstances around the suicides of his great grandfather and great great grandmother.I was impressed by the author s story and willingness to share very personal information about his family s history [...]


  5. A must read to help understand mental illness and its devastating impact on families Tom writes with great clarity and detail about his mom s struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder and alcoholism He delves into his family s history and the tragedies of how failing mental health has cascaded through prior generations The author also recognizes his own issues, those of his siblings and the steps taken to protect his children s mental health.


  6. Where we came from dictates where we are going, what we are attracted to and what we are afraid of I ve said it before and I will be redundant and say it again no one is normal That chick in your office who always looks perfect, the celebrity on television, the guy at the bank making a large depositeach of us has something What Mr Davis does here is not only recognize that, but embraces and learns from it in order to try to help himself and his family Reviving his ancestors most brutal moments a [...]


  7. Coming from a family with a history of mental illness, suicide and simply odd behaviours, I couldn t wait to read this book At the end of the day however, I was disappointed The ultimate theme to educate about mental illness as a journalist lay a little flat because I did not feel that educated by his book I took from it that his main points were that mood, behaviour and psychiatric disorders have a a genetic component surprise The other big theme was a kind of continuous, low grade lamentation [...]


  8. This was an incredibly moving and very personal account of generations of mental illness deeply effecting the lives of everyone involved in Tom Davis s family line I m very impressed by his honesty and openness For people without experience with mental illness, I m sure this will be a very illuminating book As an added bonus, the author s career is writing, he has been a professional journalist for over 20 years Not only does he convey an honest and personal history, but he does so with the soli [...]


  9. Tom Davis is so brave Despite advances in medical technology, our society still does not know the illnesses and causes of death for grandparents and great grandparents especially those family members who suffered from mental illnesses.When children are very young, they assume how their parents run the home is normal or like other homes As children age, they begin to see their parents might be different The author dove into his family history, confronted his troubled childhood,shared his darkest [...]


  10. Review copy won on on 3 13 12.Mr Davis shows amazing courage to discuss these issues in such a public forum Thank you for sharing this very personal matter so that others may learn from your family s experience Well done.



  11. I got into Tom Davis after an essay he wrote after Hurricane Sandy touched me something about the lights being out on Mantoloking Road So I didn t pick it up because I was really interested in mental illness, but because I like good writing and local flavor Delivered on both Really good coming of age story.


  12. This book is a unique story that documents mental illness in one family throughout several generations It is a look at one family s struggle of both working and living in a mental health facility, while having loved ones suffering from mental illness As a person who has a daughter with severe bipolar I disorder and was recently hospitalized for stabilization, I found this book to be very helpful during her time of stay Like the author, I had a grandparent that suffered with a mental illness and [...]


  13. Tom Davis tells of his family s history of mental illness The aggravations of insurance, laws, and society s ignorance, and impatience with suffers are discussed Mental illness is medical issue and has history just like every other medical issues with genetic underpinnings Obituaries and police reports reveal a history of suicide, starting with his mother s great grandmother, who committed suicide by gassing herself alongside her son, and his mothers s grandfather who joined them a few years lat [...]


  14. I guess the fact that the father of the author was my elementary school principal and I know all of the towns, beaches, etc mentioned in the book helped me enjoy reading about a very heavy subject Written with great candor, this story sheds light on the horrors and frustrations of dealing with mental illness in the family as well as the opportunity to improve one s own mental health An important book.


  15. A memoir about a fascinating family It was very well written, but I had a terribly hard time keeping up with all the family members names, especially because the author bounced back and forth from the past to the current day so often I would have given the book four stars otherwise.


  16. An interesting story but, too repetitive sometimes Well written, interesting perspective, fast read I admired the honesty


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