The Dilemma
Title:  The Dilemma

Author:  Tina Goss

ISBN:  1571971610

Publisher:  Pentland Press, Inc

Published:  1999

     Tina writes a compelling memoir of growing up with a father diagnosed with Bipolar Affective Disorder (Manic Depression), a major mental disorder.  Tina's dad spent a large part of his life in institutions, at a time when there was no real treatment for the illness.  Patients at that time (in the 60's and 70's) were treated mainly by the use of restraints…either chemical (heavy anti psychotic tranquilizing medications) or physical (being bound to the bed by straps or strips of cloth).  Tina's dad suffered both of these denigrating and humiliating circumstances.

     The Dilemma is a story of unabridged love and support.  It is a story of how Tina and her mother coped with his illness.  Parts of it will bring tears to your eyes and other parts will have you laughing at the humor they employed to maintain their own sanity.  They tried everything and remained ever hopeful that the next thing they tried would prove to be the answer to their prayers.

     Yet Tina's Dad deteriorated.  Physical illness in the form of  severe emphysema entered the picture and he spent more and more time in hospital.  Throughout it all, Tina was going through the normal trials and tribulations of growing up…surely enough for a young person without the added stress of a mentally ill parent.

     Tina was writing college exams, her mother had just had surgery and her father was dying.  What was Tina to do?  Tell her mother?  Keep it from her?  It was the biggest dilemma Tina had ever faced

Read "The Dilemma" to find out more, a book I highly recommend to anyone looking for a personal glimpse of a courageous family living with a severe mental illness.

Note:  Personally I strongly related to "The Dilemma".  I grew up with a mother diagnosed Manic Depressive from 1950 until her death in 1974.  Tina and I share many common bonds of feelings and experiences, though no two stories are ever the same.  In 1979 I myself was diagnosed with the same disorder.  Fortunately for me I am one of the lucky ones.  Although there is no cure as yet, effective treatment is available.  My psychiatrist told me from the beginning that in earlier years I would have spent my life institutionalized.  My heart goes out to those who suffered before and their families.  For them I wish treatment could have come much sooner.  For those in the future I pray for a cure.

 

 

 

 

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