Relationships
Resources

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
"Intimate" Violence against Women3 NBS of Julian DrewA Little PregnantA Natural History of RapeA Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning AutismA Stir of BonesAbout a BoyAdult Children of Emotionally Immature ParentsAlmost a PsychopathAlone TogetherAnatomy of LoveAngelsAnother CountryAnxious ParentsApples and OrangesBe Honest--You're Not That Into Him EitherBeing the Other OneBetrayed as BoysBeyond AddictionBipolar DisorderBoys Will Put You on a Pedestal (So They Can Look Up Your Skirt)Breaking ApartBrief Adolescent Therapy Homework PlannerBringing Up ParentsBut I Love HimCaring for a Child with AutismCaring in Remembered WaysCherishmentChildren of the Aging Self-AbsorbedChildren of the Self-AbsorbedChildren, Families, and Health Care Decision MakingClawsCloserCold HitCoping With Difficult PeopleCouple SkillsCruddyDancing in My NuddypantsDivorce PoisonDoing ItDone With The CryingEcstasyEmotional ClaustrophobiaEmotional Fitness for IntimacyEmotional Intelligence at WorkEntwined LivesErotic PassionsEssentials of Premarital CounselingEvery Pot Has a CoverFacts About ADHD ChildrenFamilies Like MineFamilyFamily BoundFamily FirstFear of IntimacyFinal JeopardyFind MeFlashpointFor Lesbian ParentsForgive Your Parents, Heal YourselfGandhi's WayGeorgia Under WaterGetting over Getting MadGetting the Love You WantGetting the Love You Want Audio CompanionGirl in the MirrorGirl StuffGoing Home without Going CrazyHandbook of AttachmentHandbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual ClientsHappiness Sold SeparatelyHard to GetHe's Just Not That Into YouHealing ConversationsHollow KidsHot ButtonsHot Chocolate for the Mystical LoverHow Families Still MatterHow to Create Chemistry with AnyoneHow to Give Her Absolute PleasureHow to Handle a Hard-To-Handle KidHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tI am Not Sick I Don't Need Help!I Don't Know How She Does ItI Hate You-Don't Leave MeI Only Say This Because I Love YouI'm OK, You're My ParentsIn the Mood, AgainInside the American CoupleIntrusive ParentingIt's Called a Breakup Because It's BrokenIt's Love We Don't UnderstandJakarta MissingKeeping Passion AliveKeeping Your Child in MindLet's Get This StraightLiberation's ChildrenLife's WorkLikely to DieLove JunkieLove SickLove Times ThreeLove Works Like ThisLoving Someone With Bipolar DisorderLoving Someone with Borderline Personality DisorderLust in TranslationMaking the RunMaking the RunManic DepressionMars and Venus - Starting Over.Mating in CaptivityMom, Dad, I'm Gay.MotherstylesMurder in the InnMysterious CreaturesNecessary NoiseOdd Girl OutOpenOpening to Love 365 Days a YearOphelia's MomOrgasmsOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the DustParenting and the Child's WorldParenting on the GoParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerParents and Digital TechnologyParents Do Make a DifferencePassionate MarriagePlanet JanetPreventing Misbehavior in ChildrenProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Raising AmericaRaising ElijahRaising Kids in an Age of TerrorRaising Kids in the 21st CenturyRaising Resilient ChildrenRay's a LaughRelationship RescueRespect-Me RulesRomantic IntelligenceRoom For JSecrets of a Passionate MarriageSelf-NurtureSelfish, Shallow, and Self-AbsorbedSex Addiction: The Partner's PerspectiveShidduch CrisisSickenedSingleSlut!Socrates in LoveSomeone Like YouSong for EloiseSpecial SiblingsSpiritually Healing the Indigo Children (and Adult Indigos, Too!)Staying Connected to Your TeenagerStaying Sane When Your Family Comes to VisitStop Arguing with Your KidsStop SignsStop Walking on EggshellsStop Walking on EggshellsStrong, Smart, & BoldSummer of the SkunksSurviving a Borderline ParentTaking Charge of AngerTelling SecretsThank You for Being Such a PainThe Anti-Romantic ChildThe AwakeningThe Bastard on the Couch CDThe Birth of PleasureThe Brief Couples Therapy Homework Planner with DiskThe Bully Action GuideThe Burden of SympathyThe Commercialization of Intimate LifeThe CorrectionsThe Couples Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe DisappearanceThe Dream BearerThe Educated ParentThe Emotional RevolutionThe Employee Assistance Treatment PlannerThe EpidemicThe Ethics of ParenthoodThe Ethics of the FamilyThe Gay Baby BoomThe Good DivorceThe Guide for International Intercultural Couples and Families Intercultural MarriageThe Healing Journey for CouplesThe Hostile HospitalThe Husbands and Wives ClubThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Introvert AdvantageThe Little FriendThe Love HexagonThe Moral Intelligence of ChildrenThe Neuroscience of Human RelationshipsThe New I DoThe Normal OneThe Nurture AssumptionThe OASIS Guide to Asperger SyndromeThe Other ParentThe Psychology of Parental ControlThe Real Rules for GirlsThe Reflective ParentThe Right to Be ParentsThe Secret Lives of WivesThe Spider and the BeeThe StepsThe Story of My FatherThe Velveteen FatherThe Virgin BlueThe Visitation HandbookThe Whole ChildTo Have and To Hurt:Two Is EnoughUnderstanding MarriageUnderstanding the Borderline MotherUnhitchedUp in FlamesWe've Got IssuesWhat about the KidsWhat Goes UpWhat Is Secular Humanism?What It Means to Love YouWhat Our Children Teach UsWhen a Parent is DepressedWhen Mars Women DateWhen Someone You Love Is BipolarWhen Someone You Love Is DepressedWhy Are You So Sad?Will You, Won't You?WomanWorking With Emotional IntelligenceWorried All the TimeYes, Your Teen Is Crazy!

Related Topics
Room For JReview - Room For J
A Family Struggles With Schizophrenia
by Daniel S. Hanson
Beaver's Pond Press, 2005
Review by Rosemary Cook
Jul 3rd 2007 (Volume 11, Issue 27)

Schizophrenia is possibly the most misunderstood of mental illnesses.  If you recall, it was not too long ago that people everywhere thought schizophrenia meant multiple personalities.  Multiple personality disorder is actually a dissociative identity disorder.  Of course, a trained professional would know the difference, right?  Well, unfortunately, that is not always the case.

 Diagnosis can pose real problems due to the possibility of the existence of overlapping features, as well as there being symptoms that can change over time.  Hence, a person's diagnosis may change many times over in their lifetime.  For the caregiver, it can be extremely disappointing to go without an official diagnosis, because without it--a revelation quickly arises that the "expert" help needed might not exist.  Diagnostically speaking, it is rare that a person fits neatly into one category. 

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), schizophrenia is characterized by having psychotic symptoms as a defining feature. In schizophrenia, the term psychotic refers to delusions or prominent hallucinations, disorganized speech, and disorganized or catatonic behavior.  With psychosis, there is often a loss of ego boundaries or a gross impairment of reality testing, as well as social/occupational dysfunction.  The hallucinations can present in any or all of the senses; in fact, it is not uncommon for a schizophrenic to hear voices in their head. 

From a professional standpoint, one must be cautious not to misinterpret what a client is communicating.  For example, the loss of ego boundaries can present as a flow of unconscious and subconscious communication, loosely connected or irrational ideas, and dream-like imagery.  This might be a symptom of psychosis, or it might be a symptom of--let's say--a religious or spiritual problem (DSM-IV, v62.89).  "The spiritual psychologies would certainly agree that reasoning is a valuable skill, but many would disagree that it is the highest skill. Some would call intuition the greatest skill...; others would call the ability to love the highest skill" (Tart, 1992, p.88).  The importance of these differences is often considered a cultural issue. 

The author, Daniel Hanson is a communications professor at Augsburg College in Minneapolis.  In this book, Hanson chronicles his journal entries, along with some from his wife and children--including his son J. who was diagnosed schizophrenic at age 20.  Given this, readers are provided with an honest depiction of Hanson's experience living with a child diagnosed with schizophrenia. 

In J's case, he believes he is God, and there is the added complication of his being too functional to be labeled disabled, and not functional enough to be considered normal.  For the most part it is clear that J does not agree with the values laden in the consensual reality many of us share in western culture.  The state of J's mentality raises many issues.  These issues provide reason to question the intelligence of our culture, including our policies on how we treat those who stand outside the ideal states of being with which we prefer to identify.  And of course, there is reason to question our consensus on reality.

In reading J's contribution to the book, one might ask, "If I put it to a rhythm and made it rhyme would it make more sense to everybody?"  After all, J brings up some valid points, such as "ignorance being the opposite of love," and so forth.  It's something to ponder. And, if we strip away that layer of ourselves that allows us to be seen as separate from one another, aren't we all God?  Some people hold that perspective as true.  One might question, if J. received less med's and more therapy would he find his place in our consensual reality the way Forrest Gump did?  Or, could J be another Rumi?

 It is with disappointment, fear, and many questions that the Hansons suffer through the stages of grief and the guilt associated with, not wanting to, but being lead to, having their son labeled mentally ill and ultimately schizophrenic.  Hanson talks poignantly about the stigma and feelings of isolation that encroach on family life, his son's loss of trust, as well as the difficulty they have accepting J's condition. With diagnosis, medical management, and custodial arrangements to be considered, with the answers to each of these concerns requiring participation in a process of trial and error, the stages leading to acceptance are often repeated many times over.  Given this, the reader should remember that this book is a compilation of journal entries, and there are redundancies in the writing that reflect the repetition of suffering through the process.

 In review, the book would make a valuable addition to a curriculum in the health careers, and psychological studies in particular.  As stated earlier, the book raises many issues to encourage lively class discussion.  Therapists can gain some insight into the diagnostic category of schizophrenia.  Family members and caregivers alike can find solace in the fact that they are not alone.  In addition, they may benefit from the experience Hanson offers as to what helps him and his family continue to cope in their on-going process of finding "Room for J."

 

Works cited:

American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth

Edition. Washington, DC.: American Psychiatric Association.

Tart, C. (1992).  Transpersonal Psychologies.  San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row.                                     

 

© 2007 Rosemary Cook

 

Rosemary Cook is a Therapeutic Counselor in private practice living on Long Island, NY. 


Share

Welcome to MHN's unique book review site Metapsychology. We feature over 7900 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than thirty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Can't remember our URL? Access our reviews directly via 'metapsychology.net'


Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from Amazon.com for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your Amazon.com purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!


Join our e-mail list!: Metapsychology New Review Announcements: Sent out monthly, these announcements list our recent reviews. To subscribe, click here.

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? Currently, we especially need thoughtful reviewers for books in fiction, self-help and popular psychology. To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716