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Daughters of Madness: Growing Up and Older with a Mentally Ill Mother (Women's Psychology) Hardcover – March 30, 2007

13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0275990428 ISBN-10: 0275990427 Edition: 1st

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Frequently Bought Together

Daughters of Madness: Growing Up and Older with a Mentally Ill Mother (Women's Psychology) + My Parent's Keeper: Adult Children of the Emotionally Ill + The Emotionally Absent Mother: A Guide to Self-Healing and Getting the Love You Missed
Price for all three: $75.29

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Practitioner Nathiel lets her interviewees largely speak for themselves as they recount their horrific stories and the challenges they face. She notes that even though stigma has been reduced, the daughters experienced their trauma at a time when to have schizophrenia or bipolar disease in the family was socially unacceptable. She follows the effects of maternal mental illness from early childhood (Am I bad?) to middle childhood (Who am I?), and from the adolescent years to young adulthood and the fear of perpetuating illness in the daughters' own families. Nathiel includes the effects on fathers and other siblings as well as areas for further research. This is strong stuff, and frequently riveting."

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SciTech Book News



"[T]here has been little written about the experience of growing up with a parent living with a mental illness….Psychotherapist Susan Nathiel's new book, Daughters of Madness: Growing Up and Older With a Mentally Ill Mother makes an important contribution to the literature by providing a qualitative description of the experiences of 18 women growing up with a mother living with mental illness….Nathiel skillfully draws from her 35 years of clinical experience in working with families in describing psychological patterns clearly and vividly. This book would be helpful for all mental health professionals and trainees to further their understanding of this experience….Daughters of Madness provides a unique, insightful, and poignant look into the challenges common to life with a parent with a mental illness. The well-organized text makes an important contribution to the literature, and the qualitative approach yields rich findings."

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PsycCRITIQUES



"Any book that helps us to understand the experiences of the mentally ill and their families is welcome, and Nathiel's is no exception. She has produced a useful study which is well written with clearly presented information that is accessible to mental health practitioners as well as those with mental health problems, their families and other caregivers."

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Metapsychology Online Reviews

Review

"This is the most thoughtful, well-researched, and deeply moving book I have ever read on the effect upon daughters of mentally ill mothers. Susan Nathiel has an uncommon understanding of children's pre-verbal mental development and the degree to which a mother's emotional absence, unpredictability, or frightening behavior can permanently shape a daughter's world view. Written with extraordinary]gracefulness and balance, Daughters of Madness will be of immeasurable comfort to families of the mentally ill, and should be required reading for every student of psychology, general medicine, and law." (Victoria Secunda, author, When Madness Comes Home and When You And Your Mother Can't Be Friends)
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Product Details

  • Series: Women's Psychology
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger; 1 edition (March 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275990427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275990428
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #595,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Sharon L. Edwards on February 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I could not stop reading this book. I have a mother with untreated borderline personality disorder. She remains in denial about it and places her illness on me anytime I call her on anything. She has done some crazy stuff to me in my lifetime. I could never understand how my father did not stand up to her being that I am his child. I was able to learn about the reasons that other husbands do remain silent. This was a huge learning for me leading me to more compassion for my dad.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Eliza Bennett on November 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"Daughters of Madness" is comprised of the interviews of a handful of adult women who grew up with mentally ill mothers. Their stories are arranged piecewise, in chronological order from early childhood to late adulthood. It shows the progression of coping skills, impact on sense of self and overall effect on the families. The narrative is understanding and sympathetic, but also realistic and objective. Excellent aid to the healing process, but also an interesting read for someone who may not having any personal experience with the topic.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 25, 2008
Format: Kindle Edition
My siblings and I grew up in a home very similar to some of those women interviewed in the book. It was a 'hard read' in that there were times I just needed to set the book aside and grieve for what I had never had. Many family members did not get therapy back then and just continued to suffer desperate lives. I'm the only child in my family of origin that did not have a substance abuse problem, but had difficulties with emotions, and relationships. In many aspects this book was very validating for thoughts which have never been shared. My second, recent, career is now as a psychotherapist and many of my clients are very much like my mother. Reading this book has given me some ideas on how to better reach out to their children and families.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Debra Shapiro on September 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Daughters of Madness is worth reading for those of us who want or need confirmation of what it is like to grow up with a seriously mentally ill mother. Since 'no one' understand unless they have been through it themselves, which is what I've experienced in my healing journey, this is a great book. It helps to bring it up and let it. Also, helped me to remember some of the incidents and feelings I may have encountered but was too young to comprehend. Again, I found this helpful in my healing process. I think the author is spot on when she says, there is help out there for the mentally ill but not the children. Spot on. I hope this continues to change, as the children need help too, in the biggest way.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Turner on February 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We need more research and understanding regarding the impact on children of their mother's serious mental illness. This book looks at the impact at different stages in children s lives. Very well done with real people telling their story's. A must read for men and women that grew up in homes where Mom was afflicted with serious mental illness. Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By LBH on August 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Growing up with a mentally ill mother has a profound affect on girls, and the best way to explore this topic is through the stories of women who lived it. What happens when the person who is supposed to love and nurture you the most is profoundly mentally ill, and no one serves as your guide to explain what is happening? When you can't talk to anyone about it, because having a mentally ill parent is so shameful? Mental illness has so many different influences for woman than for men, because of societal pressures, repression, and because motherhood historically has been a matter of fact and not choice. I found this book very illuminating on the subject. Nathiel is an expert therapist and while I haven't had the experience of having a mother with mental illness (or experienced that myself) others around me have and I found the book helpful in understanding their histories.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Dalzell on June 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
As a trained therapist,who was raised by a severely and chronically mentally ill mother who had three (3) lobotomies, I learned more in this text than any other about my own development and family issues than any book before.

This author's ability to introduce the most recent psychological insights, followed by so many life stories--putting them into a perspective that autobiographies just don't touch and theory neglects.

Often, the shame of mental illness has stopped me from talking about my life. Yet, I yearned to hear the voices of others who lived a life under the microscope of a mentally ill mother. My inquiry is answered after reading this book of memories.

Today, I openly talk with more people about my early life. Why? Because I can now compare life with others during my conversations. This book opened my mind and heart to the world. It broke my silence.

Thank you to the author, Susan Nathiel, for this wonderful gift!
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Daughters of Madness: Growing Up and Older with a Mentally Ill Mother (Women's Psychology)
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