A Legacy of Madness

A Legacy of Madness The Story Of A Loving Family Coming To Grips With Its Own Fragilities, A Legacy Of Madness Relays The Author S Journey To Uncover, And Ultimately Understand, The History Of Mental Illness That Led Generations Of His Suburban American Family To Their Demise Dede Davis Had Worried, Fussed, And Obsessed For The Last Time Her Heart Stopped Beating In A Fit Of Anxiety In The Wake Of His Mother S Death, Tom Davis Knew One Thing Helplessly Self Absorbed And Severely Obsessive Compulsive, Dede Led A Tormented Life She Spent Years Bouncing Around Mental Health Facilities, Nursing Homes, And Assisted Living Facilities, But What Really Caused Her Death A Legacy Of Madness Portrays Tom Davis S Captivating Discoveries Of Mental Illness Throughout Generations Of His Family Investigating His Mother S History Led To That Of Davis S Grandfather, A Top Administrator At One Of The Largest Psychiatric Hospitals In The Country His Great Grandfather Who Died Of Self Inflicted Gas Asphyxiation During The Depression And His Great Great Grandmother Who, With Her Eldest Son, Completed Suicide One Tragic Day Ultimately, Four Generations Of Family Members Showed Clear Signs Of Depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, And Alcoholism Often Mistreated Illnesses That Test One S Ability To CopeThrough This Intimate Memoir, We Join Davis On A Personal Odyssey To Ensure That He And His Siblings, The Fifth Generation, Recover Their Family Legacy By Not Only Surviving Their Own Mental Health Disorders But By Getting The Help They Need To Lead Healthy, Balanced Lives In The End, We Witness Davis S Powerful Transition As He Makes Peace With The Past And Heals Through Forgiveness And Compassion For His Family And Himself

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  • Paperback
  • 288 pages
  • A Legacy of Madness
  • Tom Davis
  • English
  • 13 May 2018
  • 9781616491215

10 thoughts on “A Legacy of Madness

  1. says:

    So, I did enjoy this book, but I was left extremely frustrated I wanted to read the book in the first place because my family faces many of the same issues that are described in the blurb However, I am the spouse in this situation I married in to a family with severe anxiety disorders My Mother in law is OCD, her father was nearly incapacitated by agoraphobia, her sister has what I believe is turrets syndrome, you get the picture My husband deals with many of the same issues including panic attacks, alcoholism, and possible mild OCD I also see some of the same tendencies in at least one of our two children I was hoping to find some answers in this book, but I have to admit I was pretty was disappointed when it turned out to be basically a history of the author s relatives struggles with severe anxiety disorders I did love the way he pulled me in to their lives and made me care about how their story turned out, but I was hoping for of an answer as to how to help my husband and son avoid the same fate It wasn t until the last 20 pages or so of the book that the author even mentions any sort of solution, and that is only in passing references to medicine, therapy, and the catharsis of writing I do think those are all good suggestions, but I wish there had been in depth help on exactly how they accomplished helping their son move from anxious and frightened to stable and comfortable in his skin It was a very well written book, but just didn t have the information that I was hoping for It did however give me a lot of very good information about such situations.

  2. says:

    Full disclosure off the bat the author is a friend of mine That said, he s a good enough friend for me to be honest in my review Let it also be known that I do not make it a habit to read memoirs or books about mental illness In fact, I picked up the book to support the author with no intention of reading it It felt uncomfortable too voyeuristic A chat with the author allayed by hesitation and I m glad it did.This no no Million Little Pieces or whatever that lie was called This is a factual book that takes the reader deep into a family s history and into Tom s own psyche, from suicides of his forebears to his battles with eating disorders places that most of us would rather not travel in our own lives For that courage, props are deserved The writing is vivid and as the exposition unfolds, traveling back and forth from the early 20th century to present day, the reader is swept along on the voyage, at times leaving you shaking your head and commenting things like, Holy crap, out loud.My only real criticism is that the book could have used a better editor to smooth out a couple of spots, maybe do a bit in the proofing department That said, I m a writer editor by trade and notice things a bit than the average reader Ultimately, if you have an interest in mental health as an issue clinically or personally, do yourself a favor and read this book.

  3. says:

    Wow That s my first impression This is an important book everyone needs to read Everyone is affected by mental illness Make no mistake about it, whether it s a family member, a friend, or co worker Davis crafts this page turner with such clarity and detail about his generations of family mental illness, starting with his great great grandparents who both committed suicide to the decade s long struggle of his mother before her eventual death in 2003 It s clear from the beginning this isn t a family tell all, it s about saving his family members that are still left It s a compelling work where the truth is the key to finally breaking the destructive pattern generation s have suffered through Davis also examines what it s like to marry into a family with a history of mental illness, and what it does to them He doesn t just re tell his story, he relives it, as his investigation takes him to graveyards, basement library archives, meetings with relatives he didn t even know he had, and frank talks with the Father that so puzzled him growing up Above all, his love for his family, specifically his children, shines through as a beaker of hope in all this madness The book doesn t leave you saddened at the end, but determined and ready to take action for that someone in your life that needs the same help.Davis rare open account of his own struggles with bulimia as a male , the beginning of his own mental struggles, and what he plans to do for his generation, is what makes this book so great This is a story that sticks with you long after the final page is turned You find yourself thinking about parts of the book and sharing it with everyone you know It s an important work for mental health advocates, patients and families who are still looking for answers on mental health It sheds light on a difficult subject, and takes the shame and embarrassment away from mental health issues.A captivating, engaging, and at times distressful read It reads like fiction, but it s not Davis helps you realize everyone is not at normal as you think I read it twice.

  4. says:

    This book is a true story about Tom Davis and his family s struggles with mental illness It contains many personal stories about his own experience with bulimia and how his family dealt with his mother and grandfather who suffered from depression, OCD, and were alcoholics He also investigates the circumstances around the suicides of his great grandfather and great great grandmother.I was impressed by the author s story and willingness to share very personal information about his family s history with mental illness That takes a tremendous amount of courage to do, and it will be so helpful to others who are struggling A lot of people want to hide their problems and flaws instead of seeking the help they need and deserve I was also interested to read what the author was doing to help himself and his children.After I read this book, I was curious about what my friends and family thought about mental illness I told several people about this book, and people told me their own stories It was great having the conversations with them, and it really opened my eyes and mind This is a book that I will be sharing with people I know because I think that we can all learn a lot from the author s experiences Thank you for writing and sharing them.I received this book for free from Goodreads First Reads Thank you

  5. says:

    A must read to help understand mental illness and its devastating impact on families Tom writes with great clarity and detail about his mom s struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder and alcoholism He delves into his family s history and the tragedies of how failing mental health has cascaded through prior generations The author also recognizes his own issues, those of his siblings and the steps taken to protect his children s mental health.

  6. says:

    Where we came from dictates where we are going, what we are attracted to and what we are afraid of I ve said it before and I will be redundant and say it again no one is normal That chick in your office who always looks perfect, the celebrity on television, the guy at the bank making a large depositeach of us has something What Mr Davis does here is not only recognize that, but embraces and learns from it in order to try to help himself and his family Reviving his ancestors most brutal moments as well as his own, Davis begins to understand the patterns that has unraveled his family s life and takes the steps to heal.Informative, touching, and easily relate able,I highly recommend you order it today.

  7. says:

    Coming from a family with a history of mental illness, suicide and simply odd behaviours, I couldn t wait to read this book At the end of the day however, I was disappointed The ultimate theme to educate about mental illness as a journalist lay a little flat because I did not feel that educated by his book I took from it that his main points were that mood, behaviour and psychiatric disorders have a a genetic component surprise The other big theme was a kind of continuous, low grade lamentation that his mother had not received better help Well, as someone who works in a nursing home places he repeatedly criticized as having failed his mother I can say that the only real and true help can come from the family Nursing homes are essentially 3 hots and cot for the aged and the infirm It s too bad they are being cracked up to lately Traditionally, families did not want to put their loved ones there This has changed as baby boomers have glamourized assisted living homes to alleviate their own guilt about dropping mom off so they can continue their own lives unbothered This said, it sounds that his mother was largely unhelpable The treatments available when she was younger were probably damaging than helpful I don t know if the perfect cocktail of drugs could have helped her towards the end Maybe, but it doesn t sound like she wanted to take it I found the tone of the book a bit winey and the theme meandering

  8. says:

    This was an incredibly moving and very personal account of generations of mental illness deeply effecting the lives of everyone involved in Tom Davis s family line I m very impressed by his honesty and openness For people without experience with mental illness, I m sure this will be a very illuminating book As an added bonus, the author s career is writing, he has been a professional journalist for over 20 years Not only does he convey an honest and personal history, but he does so with the solid confident style of an accomplished writer If you are having personal conflict affecting your life and have never considered finding help for yourself or a family member or friend who may be suffering from a disorder that you are afraid to label an illness, then please read this book It may be the inspiration you need, or the comfort to know that you are not alone It also demonstrates how far we ve come in treating psychiatric disorders over the past few decades alone I won this book in a goodreads giveaway Thanks so much

  9. says:

    Tom Davis is so brave Despite advances in medical technology, our society still does not know the illnesses and causes of death for grandparents and great grandparents especially those family members who suffered from mental illnesses.When children are very young, they assume how their parents run the home is normal or like other homes As children age, they begin to see their parents might be different The author dove into his family history, confronted his troubled childhood,shared his darkest moments, and discovered a legacy of madness in his family With that knowledge and support from his wife, he found ways how to positively deal with mental illness.I recommend this book.I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

  10. says:

    Review copy won on Goodreads.com on 3 13 12.Mr Davis shows amazing courage to discuss these issues in such a public forum Thank you for sharing this very personal matter so that others may learn from your family s experience Well done.

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