Today I’m shining the spotlight on a new book about mental health challenges and what it’s like growing up in a family that has the challenge of dealing with schizoprenia. Committed: A Memoir of Madness in the Family is Milana’s own story.
Here’s the overview:
COMMITTED: A Memoir of Madness in the Family
Called “one of the best books on mental illness” by a librarian, Committed is a memoir that shows us what it’s like to grow up with a paranoid schizophrenia mother only to find out that your little sister shares a similar diagnosis of mental illness. A first generation Sicilian American, Paolina Milana had to play caretaker, secret keeper, and maintain a “normal” life while voices in her head worried her about her own sanity. In this beautifully written page-turner, Milana inspires us with her triumphs and resiliency and offers solace to anyone burdened with the role of caretaker to any family member with health issues.
After a decade of caring for crazy and keeping her mother’s mental illness a secret from the outside world, twenty-year-old Paolina Milana longs for just one year free from the madness of her home. When she gets the chance to go to an out-of-state school, she takes it, but her family won’t leave her be. Letter after letter arrives, constantly reminding her of the insanity rooted in her family tree. Even worse, the voices in her own head whisper words she’s not sure are normal. “Please don’t make me be like Mamma,” she prays to a God she’s not sure is listening.
The unexpected death of her father soon after she returns home leaves Paolina in shock―and in charge of her paranoid schizophrenic mother. But it isn’t until she is twenty-seven and her sister two years her junior explodes in a psychotic episode and, just like Mamma, is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and must be committed, that Paolina descends into her own despair, nearly losing herself to the darkness.
Poignant and impactful, Committed is one woman’s story of resilience as she struggles to stay sane despite the madness that surrounds her.
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