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Why Did She Jump?: My Daughter's Battle with Bipolar Disorderby Joan E. Childs
Synopses & Reviews
There is one day in Joan Child's life that she wishes she could do over: the day her daughter Pam, a brilliant psychotherapist, plunged from a fifteen-story building to her death. But despite the coroner's report of a suicide, Childs explains why her daughter's life was taken by the most unforgiving of executioners: bipolar disorder. It was the delusions, not her daughter, who made the final decision.
Why Did She Jump? is an intimate, uncompromising delve into one mother's search for peace amid the chaos surrounding her daughter's tragic death, and a masterful recounting of the events leading up to the fateful day, lifting the veil of shame and secrecy to forge a path to understand bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.
Ironically, both Pam and Joan were noted psychotherapists, and yet, even with their credentials and medical knowledge, Pam still could not be saved. In heartrending prose, Joan recounts the vivid memories of Pam's life--the extreme highs and lows; the many red flags that were missed by well-meaning parents and overburdened medical systems; how her daughter toggled both worlds as a brilliant therapist who healed unreachable patients as she was unraveling herself; and how she fooled everyone into thinking she was stable.
With searing honesty and reflective insights as a mother and a professional, Childs chronicles how she rose above the quagmire of grief that almost consumed her, and how she mended her broken family and her broken heart. By revealing how she learned to forgive herself and her daughter and finally let go, Childs offers a rallying cry of support for anyone going through a similar struggle. Why Did She Jump? is a cathartic read for anyone who has ever loved or lost deeply, proving that the most brilliant lights in our lives can never be dimmed.
Six million people in America suffer from bipolar disorder. Joan Child's daughter, Pamela, suffered from the disorder, bouncing from doctor to doctor in search of treatment. Yet the demons became louder, and on a summer day in July 1998, the same day that the Oprah Winfrey Show aired a segment on bipolar disorder, Joan Childs' 34-year-old-daughter leaped to her death from the window of her father's 15-story apartment. Why Did She Jump? is her mother Joan's haunting story of grief and guilt, yet it is a beautiful story of love and the courage to find peace and purpose once again.
With brutal honesty and vivid detail, Joan recalls how the entire family became entangled with Pam's illness as they watched her dive deeper into the darkness where no one could reach her. Ironically, Pam and Joan were both psychotherapists yet, with all their credentials and medical knowledge, Pam still could not be saved. Why Did She Jump? masterfully looks back even as it looks forward. Written with vivid memories of Pamela's troubled yet loving life and the final days of her funeral and shiva (a seven-day mourning period in Judaism), the story will break your heart and then mend it again.
About the Author
Joan E. Childs, LCSW, (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) has maintained a private clinical practice specializing in individual, couple, family and group therapy since 1978. She was the first affiliate of the John Bradshaw Center in the U.S. trained in the use of The Transformation Model for Original Pain Work and Inner Child Work. In addition, she is a certified hypnotherapist, master level Neuro-linguistic practitioner, Certified EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Re-Processing practitioner, PAIRS (Practical Applications for Intimate Relationship Skills) Leader, Certified Grief Counselor and presently working with couples specializing in Encounter Centered Couples Therapy. Joan has appeared before live audiences and on many national television shows, including Oprah. She presents workshops, seminars and lectures for both corporations and the public.
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