A surprise sink-or-swim lesson at the tender age of nine opens this gripping memoir of love, mental illness, and care giving. A swirling narrative carries readers from pre-WWII Illinois to the infamous Oregon State Mental Hospital of the 80s and forward along a harrowing chasm carved by dysfunctional parents, inhumane social systems, and driven by Dr. Nanette Davis's powerful love for her mentally-ill sister and son. Raging Currents spans mental health therapies from sedation and isolation, to twelve-step programs, tough love, and modern neuroscience-driven treatments.
From the childhood of a strong-willed, fiercely independent, and curious girl to the roles of supportive sister, wife, and mother, Davis shares her life's foundation, development, and endless devotion to those she loves. Expertly weaving social norms in compelling prose, Davis offers the wisdom and reflection of age through the clear-eyed recollections of a trained sociologist. Her ever-increasing understanding of compassion is the bedrock of this insightful and vulnerable telling. Raging Currents offers more than an inspiring memoir: it provides practical advice and solace for modern caregivers, friends, family, and people living with mental illness.
Keywords: bipolar disorder; compassion; family caregiving; memoir; mental illness; schizophrenia; dual diagnosis