Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Funny Memoir with a Bad Title

I can't say I like his title, but reading John McManamy's newest book got me to write my first Amazon review. Writing no longer comes easy to me and I usually write only about people and mental illness, emotional support animals, and service dogs, but this author was worth the effort.

Click here to see the book (and my review) on Amazon.

John McManamy has been a powerful and positive influence on me and on my recovery. A previous book, Living Well with Depression and Bipolar Disorder, is one of the few books I replaced in Kindle format when I gave my physical books to PrimeTime Clubhouse in Torrington, CT in preparation for taking to the road full time. His Knowledge is Necessity blog comforted me when I was unsure whether my reactions to Whittaker's Anatomy of an Epidemic, were rational and I was afraid to discuss it with others. His other writing in that blog and at have entertained and enlightened me.

Here's the text of my review for those of you who don't want to go to Amazon:

I wish everyone would read this book to get a fresh perspective on the humanity of those of us with mental illness. Why should YOU read it?

If you haven't (yet) been diagnosed with a mental illness, have no family members who suffer from mental illness, and don't know anyone with a mental illness (i.e., you're a hermit in the Himalayas shunning all society because you were brought up by wolves), it's a funny memoir written in an authentic voice by a man of a certain age who has suffered serious mental illness throughout his life.

For friends and family of those who suffer from mental illness, John's book is a wake up call. Here's a mental health journalist writing about his life with a sometimes devastating mental illness and he never mentions his doctor, his therapist, or his medication. These things are not his life; his interactions with friends, family, and the rest of the world are.

Likewise, if you suffer from a mental illness, this book is an entertaining reminder that we are not our illness, we have real lives to live, and we needn't spend all our time worrying about the problems of living with mental illness. He even reminds us that being "normal" is not all it's cracked up to be: "Yes, there are times when we really do go crazy, do things we later wish we could undo. But on top of that, we then have to put up with people who simply think we are crazy for no other reason than we're not as constitutionally boring as they are."

P.S.: for those who also wish to know more about the illness, the same author wrote a very good book about mood disorders that covers diagnosis, related brain science, recovery, and special sections for specific populations (men, women, old, young, etc.): Living Well with Depression and Bipolar Disorder

Joanne Shortell, Maeve's Service Human
call us using "call Maeve and Joanne" at

Joanne and Maeve (her psychiatric service poodle) help people with psychiatric disabilities discover their rights to emotional support animals in no-pets housing without pet deposits or pet fees and their rights to service dogs

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