Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hurry Down Sunshine by Michael Greenberg

Hurry Down Sunshine is Michael Greenberg's painful memoir of the summer his fifteen year old daughter was diagnosed as bipolar.  Bright, outgoing and verbal, he and his wife didn't notice that Sally was edging closer and closer to the edge.  She was staying up all night, writing frantically in her journals and walking for hours in New York. But it was summer with summer's relaxed structure and they thought it was the typical teenage behavior of finding one's self and one's voice. 

Then came the day when it became apparent that this was more than normal teenage angst.  Sally became very agitated, unable to stop talking and babbling, eager to share her revelations.  The family took her to the hospital, and then were appalled to find that she needed to be admitted to the psychological ward.

The book details family reactions.  There was guilt, disbelief, and incredible amounts of worry about what would happen to Sally in the future.  Compounding the issue, the author had a brother that had always struggled with mental illness.  Seeing his maladjusted life, the pain of realising that his daughter might be headed down the same road was almost unbearable.

Yet the book is inspring also.  The reader walks with the family through recovery as different drugs are administered, each with it's own set of side effects.  Sally was able to come home as the summer progressed, and by the time the summer was over, was able to go back to her high school.  The book details how her struggle changed the family and its dynamics forever, as they learned to live with this lifetime affliction.

This book is recommended for those struggling with the diagnosis of mental illness or for parents facing any type of life-altering issue in their child's life.  It is also recommended for those who have been diagnosed, giving hope for how to live with the new reality.

1 comment:

Jackie716 said...

This book looks very good. I enjoy reading non-fiction and will definitely be picking this one up. Thanks for the review