"Bitter Medicine"

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Thoughts on a graphic memoir of mental illness

In the library, I recently came upon a graphic memoir on schizophrenia.

The book is written and illustrated by two brothers impacted by the condition.

 

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The story begins when one brother starts exhibiting symptoms such as paranoia and hallucinations. They struggle to hospitalize him and get him to treatment. He is diagnosed with schizophrenia. Shortly after his release from the hospital, he commits suicide.

 

Image result for schizophrenia "bitter medicine"

 

Following that tragic incident, Olivier starts exhibiting symptoms as well. Determined to not have the past repeat itself, the family once again seeks treatment.

The trouble does not end there. Medications lead to intolerable side effects, making the process very troubling for everyone involved.

This book shows how difficult it can be for a family struggling with mental illness. The journey does not end once a diagnosis is figured out and medication is prescribed.

 

There is the battle to find the right medicine.

There is the battle to find quality care in a place with limited psychiatric resources.

There is the battle against the relapses of the disease.

 

The struggle lasts a lifetime.

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