"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."
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≪/i> 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."
"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."
Metapsychology Online Reviews
"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≪/i> 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≪/i>