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The Angel and the Dragon: A Father's Search for Answers to His Son's Mental Illness and Suicide

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The Angel and the Dragon: A Father's Search for Answers to His Son's Mental Illness and Suicide Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

On November 1, 1996, Charley Aurthur leapt to his death from a freeway overpass in Santa Monica, California. He was twenty-three years old. It was the culmination of five years of heartache for Charley and his family, as he struggled with severe mental illness, numerous hospitalizations and several other suicide attempts. Despite his family's love, intensive therapy and numerous medications, in the end, nothing could save Charley from his own encroaching sense of exhaustion and isolation.

Tragically, Charley's story could be anybody's story. In the United States, more than 30,000 people commit suicide every year; it is the eighth leading cause of death overall and the third among young people aged 15-24. But the effects of suicide are even more far-reaching: Its impact on the family is frequently devastating and lifelong.

Author Jonathan Aurthur knows this firsthand. His account of his son Charley's short life and death is both riveting and compelling. Charley's own letters, poems and journal entries demonstrate the terrible complexity and multidimensionality of mental illness and suicide. In the process, the author addresses his own search to understand mental illness and the inability of many medical treatments to help troubled people like Charley. He also offers an alternative treatment plan known as the "psychosocial rehab" model, which seeks to "treat the person, not the disease." This page-turner will stay with readers long after they've heard Charley's story.

About the Author

Jonathan Aurthur was born in New York City in 1948 and attended St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, and the University of California, Los Angeles, where he majored in motion pictures. In the late 1960s through the early 1980s, he worked as a community organizer and documentary filmmaker. He was also the editor of a journal of political theory called Appeal to Reason and the author of a book on political economy called Socialism in the Soviet Union. He currently lives in Santa Monica, California, and by profession is a proofreader and copyeditor, as well as a writer. Aside from his late son, Charley, he has a surviving daughter, Jenny.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780757300523
Author:
Aurthur, Jonathan
Publisher:
Health Communications
Location:
Deerfield Beach, Fla.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Parent and child
Subject:
Mental Illness
Subject:
Mentally ill
Subject:
Suicide
Subject:
Parental Memoirs
Subject:
Suicide victims
Subject:
Mentally ill -- United States.
Subject:
Biography-Parental Memoir
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback
Series Volume:
150-101-686
Publication Date:
August 2002
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
350
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1.35 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Schizophrenia and Psychotic Disorders
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Suicide
History and Social Science » Sociology » Suicide

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