Top critical review
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Honest and Heartwrenching
on December 10, 2008
Kate McLaughlin openly shares her family's struggle with bipolar disease in Mommy I'm Still In Here. While knowing their families had addiction and mental health issues, Mark and Kate never thought it could happen to them. They looked forward to raising healthy children. They learned from others and knew they could do better. Their family grew with Chloe, Michael, and Monica.
Chloe was a very difficult child. Every little change upset her, hot, cold, lights, etc. Michael was an easy baby especially compared to Chloe. Monica was even easier. The family settled into a routine. As Chloe entered school, she settled a little. She did well in school and had friends. All seemed fine until Chloe became seventeen.
Chloe first became depressed. Her grades slipped. As Chloe went from doctor to doctor and her depression worsened, bipolar disease was mentioned. With each medication change and thought, Kate read every book she could on the disease. She thought that the more she knew, the better she could help Chloe. Chloe's disease was difficult to manage. The many months, medication changes, and hospitalization are documented in Mommy I'm Still In Here.
Michael first starting showing signs at seventeen also. However, unlike his sister, he turned to drugs and alcohol to medicate himself. He did not want to be crazy like Chloe. Michael's battle with the disease was very different than Chloe's. He became very violent until the family felt threatened. Hospitalization was necessary.
Mommy I'm Still In Here is a very honest look at bipolar disease. Kate McLaughin knew that she wanted to write an uplifting book. While very scary and detailed, Kate writes about how her family grew closer through the disease. She explains her fears as a mother and primary caretaker along with her children's feelings. She really tries to make readers understand everyone's feelings, both family and the mentally ill. Kate really believes that the disease helped her family become better.
Kate McLaughin's book is a real eye opener. I was surprised at the struggles her oldest daughter went through on a regular basis. I was also surprised at reactions from Michael. Kate never gave up hope the entire time, even at the most trying of times. She had a large support system of her husband and the doctors treating her children. I recommend reading Mommy I'm Still In Here for anybody who is interested in the mentally ill. It truly is uplifting despite the content and struggle.