Adrift by Nicki Adams

Paranoid schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder with delusions and hallucinations as some of the chief symptoms. Living with the condition can be scary. Being the spouse of a patient can be frustrating and heart breaking. This is a tale of a husband who is sucked deeper into the vortex of paranoid schizophrenia every day. The wife blindly hoped and was optimistic of a better future. Therefore, she stayed. She stayed despite her knowledge that she needed to protect the young children and get them out of that situation. She stayed well past a reasonable point. She was stuck between her strong love and affection for her husband and her need to put the children first. She was forced to make a choice. A choice that no one should ever have to make. Vows say for better or worse, right?

This book shines a light on the challenging situation that is living with a schizophrenic spouse. It will take apart the family. It will pick at the very fabric of the family. This enlightens the reader on the condition itself and the adverse effects it has on the family of patients. It presents in, agonizing clarity, the dilemma when there are young children in the family. On one hand, the kids love their parent and would love to be closer to him or her. On the other, the schizophrenic is safety hazard for the children. He or she could end up hurting the kids physically or emotionally. 

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Nicki Adams writes the book with firsthand knowledge. She underwent the same. Her writing is passionate. It is silky smooth. Her crafting of the sentences and paragraphs is only rivaled by her eloquence. It is well written and gripping. Nicki, despite obviously knowing the technical jargon, does not bombard the reader with those. She writes is simple language. Quite evidently, targeting lay men. This book is the beginning of an earnest conversation. It is a spotlight on people thought to be on the periphery but are actually flailing in the tide. 

Often the families of mentally ill people are forgotten. The children and spouses are not deemed candidates for therapy or attention. They are not sick after all. However, the psychological toll of mental disorders is immense. There needs to be more support for these people. There needs to be more education on how to better cope with these situations. There needs to be more knowledge on how to recognize the symptoms as they are better positioned to realize the issue before the patient himself or herself. 

This book is heart wrenching. The story is bare and vulnerable. It is brave and beautifully written. It is profound and honest. It is most of all enlightening. If you are living in the same situation or really only curious about mental health, this is a book worth adding to your cart.

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