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Friday, June 3, 2011

Understand My Sorrow Challenge (Perpetual)

I have joined this perpetual reading challenge, which is being hosted by Lilly at Reading Extravaganza.

Lilly touches on some very serious issues, and I think that it is important to know as much as we can about these illnesses as it is possible that someone we know and love will one day be stricken by one of these or another like them.

Here is what Lilly writes about the challenge:

Depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder.

I could go on and on. These are very real and very painful illnesses, and yet they are one of the most neglected, misunderstood, ignored and stigmatized ones as well. These are demons that destroy lives, break human spirits and annihilate happiness. Millions of people struggle with them, fight daily battles. Some are lost and some are won. I hope that one day none will be lost and that's why I decided to host this reading challenge. The purpose of it is to increase awareness and understanding of a mental illness. In my small way I wish to help people see through the stereotypes and the fog of ignorance surrounding the serious medical conditions under an umbrella of mental illness. These conditions are deadly when untreated and more often than not still pose a risk of death after a person receives proper medical treatment. The statistics are frightening and below I am providing you with a couple of links so you can read for yourselves.

Anyway, the rules for the challenge are pretty easy. It starts today but I would like to make it an ongoing process, therefore there will not be a deadline in the nearest future. If I decide that the no deadline rule somehow doesn't work, I will let you know at least six months in advance. The only requirement is that you read a minimum of one book on the subjects provided below.
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
There are of course many more disorders that we could talk about but for now I'd like to focus on the four. So, you have to read a minimum of four (4) books, one on each subject, either fiction or non-fiction (any format is fine: graphic novel, e-book, audio, etc.). I am including a button on the side on my blog that you can grab just for this challenge and put it on your blog. Also, when you write an introductory post about this challenge, please come back and sign up under McLinky. Optimally, I would love for this to spark discussion. I'd like to talk with all and any of you. If you read a book or two, or more and they evoke strong emotions withing you, I'd love to invite you to write a guest post sharing them with me and other readers. If you have a story to tell, that's even better. I would be happy to read your story and invite others to do it as well. It doesn't matter if it's on my blog as a guest post or your own blog, as long as it's under the Understand My Sorrow banner. Another important thing: you do not have to be a blogger to join in. If you don't have a blog, you can leave me a comment letting me know that you're joining and when you decide which books to read, when you read any of them and want to talk about them, email me and I will, with your permission spotlight your thoughts, stories, even book reviews on my blog. List of some books you might find interesting:

1. Depression:
a) Noonday Demon by Andrew Solomon
Unholy Ghost: Writers on Depression by Nell Casey
Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel
Jesus Wept:When Faith and Depression Meet by Barbara C. Crafton

2. Schizophrenia:
a) The Day the Voices Stopped by Ken Steele and Claire Berman
The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness by Elyn R. Saks
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg
The Quiet Room by Lori Schiller and Amanda Bennett
Welcome Silence by Carol North, M.D.

3. Bipolar Disorder:
a) An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison
Madness: A Bipolar Life by Marya Hornbacher
Manic by Terri Cheney

4. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:
a) Tormenting Thoughts and Secret Rituals by Ian Osborn
The Imp of the Mind by Lee Baer, Ph.D.
Rewind, Replay, Repeat by Jeff Bell

Once again, the above titles are just some suggestions in case you feel a little lost, not a required reading at all. If you know of books that you'd like to recommend to others, please include them in your post. Thank you all for joining.

I'm not going to lie, it is very, very important to me that as many people join me as possible.

If you want to join me in this challenge, click here.

You can link-up your book reviews HERE.

I am going to keep track of my progress below:


  1. What an interesting challenge. Great premise.

  2. I thought so as well, Dana! Psychology has always been a huge interest of mine, and the study of these illnesses has fascinated me. Once upon a time, it was my intention to become a psychologist and work with institutionalized patients but it seems that my life took a completely different direction!


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