AJ Mendez Brooks
Recently retired WWE superstar AJ Brooks is a powerhouse - strong, quirky, and totally confident. But that wasn't always the case. Growing up, AJ was a quiet girl trying to act "normal" when she felt anything but. As her family struggled with drug addiction, poverty, and mental illness, she found escape through comic books and video games, inspired by the tough and unconventional female characters. It wasn't until she discovered the WWE that she learned superheroes could be real.
With humor and tremendous heart, AJ opens up for the first time about her harrowing struggle to understand her demons and gain control over her life. What most people view as a hardship, AJ embraced as inspiration for her superhero persona. Charting her journey from a scrappy girl in an unstable home to empowered WWE champion, Crazy Is My Superpower is an unflinchingly honest and bravely confessional story about the long road to self-acceptance.
Carolyn Scott’s early life was like something out of a movie—moving from Steubenville, OH to Manhattan in 1947, she got a room at the Barbizon Hotel for Women and began modeling. She was one of the first models at the now legendary Ford modeling agency. At the Barbizon, Carolyn met a teenage Grace Kelly and the two would remain friends through adulthood; when Grace married Prince Rainier in 1956, Carolyn was by her side, attired in the elegant bridesmaid’s gown.
By the time Nyna was born, Carolyn’s husband Malcolm had moved the family out to a big, but isolated, house on Long Island. Carolyn changed with this new life, the mother Nyna knew became a withdrawn, distant person. Isolated, Nyna spent her childhood visiting doctors in a vain attempt to diagnose her ever-shifting ailments. As Nyna grew up, Carolyn’s mental state continued to deteriorate—she was struggling with undiagnosed mental illness. After her mother’s death, Nyna learned that she had been suffering from postpartum psychosis. Had Carolyn’s mental illness been treated, the later years of her life would have been dramatically improved. The Bridesmaid’s Daughter, is a poignant and unflinching portrait of Carolyn Scott Reybold, whose glamorous life was sidelined by mental illness, and of the daughter who reclaimed her memory.
Edward Hallowell, M.D.
When Edward was eleven, a voice out of nowhere told him he should become a psychiatrist. A mental health professional of the time would have called this psychosis. But young Edward (Ned) took it in stride, despite not quite knowing what "psychiatrist" meant. With a psychotic father, alcoholic mother, abusive stepfather, and two so-called learning disabilities of his own, Ned was accustomed to unpredictable behavior from those around him, and to a mind he felt he couldn't always control. The voice turned out to be right.
In Because I Come from a Crazy Family, he tells the often strange story of a childhood marked by what he calls the "WASP triad" of alcoholism, mental illness, and politeness, and explores the wild wish, surging beneath his incredible ambition, that he could have saved his own family of drunk, crazy, and well-intentioned eccentrics, and himself. This book is an affecting, at times harrowing, ultimately moving memoir about crazy families and where they can lead, about being called to the mental health profession, and about the unending joys and challenges that come with helping people celebrate who they are.
America has made mental illness a crime. New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago jails house more people with mental illnesses than any hospital. As many as half of all people in America's jails and prisons have a psychiatric disorder. One in four fatal police shootings involves a person with such disorders. In this revelatory book, journalist Alisa Roth goes deep inside the criminal justice system to show how and why it has become a warehouse where inmates are denied proper treatment, abused, and punished in ways that make them sicker. Through intimate stories of people in the system and those trying to fix it, Roth reveals the hidden forces behind this crisis and suggests how a fairer and more humane approach might look.
Roth provides the first nationwide account of this mental health crisis—and uncovers the hidden forces behind it. Examining reform efforts in several jurisdictions, she also makes the case for a large-scale overhaul of mental health care and criminal justice. Insane is a galvanizing wake-up call for criminal justice reformers and anyone concerned about the plight of our most vulnerable.
Mark Komrad, M.D.
Just about everyone knows a relative, friend, or coworker who is exhibiting signs of emotional or behavioral turmoil. Yet figuring out how to reach out to that person can feel insurmountable. We know it is the right thing to do, yet many of us hesitate to act out of fear of conflict, hurt feelings, or damaging the relationship.
Through a rich combination of user-friendly tools and real-life stories, Mark S. Komrad, M.D., offers step-by-step guidance and support as you take the courageous step of helping a friend who might not even recognize that he or she is in need. He guides you in developing a strong course of action, starting by determining when professional help is needed, then moves you through the steps of picking the right time, making the first approach, gathering allies, selecting the right professional, and supporting friends or relatives as they go through the necessary therapeutic process to resolve their problems. Included are scripts based on Komrad’s work with his own patients, designed to help you anticipate next steps and arm you with the tools to respond constructively and compassionately. You will also find the guidance and information needed to understand mental illness and get past the stigma still associated with it, so you can engage and support your loved one with insight and compassion in his or her journey toward emotional stability and health.