Rated: 7 times Rate It
Author: Aaron Gottfried
The trials and tribulations endured by a teenage boy seeking answers and a cure for his bipolar disorder--which is yet to be identified and diagnosed. Download it now!
A really good read
I read the book all in a afternoon while it stormed outside my Sacramento home. It was easy reading and the story flowed along smoothly.
This is just an amazing book and story. I hope they make a movie out of it.
An Autobiographical Journey of a Teen Struggling with Illness and Scientology, July 14, 2009By C. Stephans - See all my reviews(TOP 1000 REVIEWER) The Psychiatrist who Cured the Scientologist is the story of Aaron David Gottfried's struggle with bi-polar mental illness and the misinformed guidance of Scientology. Gottfried writes intensely about his descent into a world distorted by deep depression and high-strung mania. Readers will follow Gottfried's first-person narrative throughout his ordeal, as he shows us the world through his mental illness and stress that was exacerbated by Scientology's teachings that misdiagnose mental illness and condemn those who seek psychiatric care. The result for Gottfried and his parents is that because of Scientology they are pressured and influenced to ignore medical care for this illness. They are go through several years of hell, as Gottfried decompensates and is forced into treatment centers. Eventually the family must choose between sanity and Scientology.
I think the title is really a misnomer, as we do not learn anything about a particular psychiatrist and little about Scientology except its effect on Gottfried and his family, due to the cult's antagonism toward mental healthcare. The title seems to diminish the significance of this story as a picture of the utter terror that can be caused by untreated or mistreated mental illness; however, I can see that the author wants to highlight the helpfulness of psychiatric care in his recovery. This book serves as an advocate to remove the stigma associated with mental illness and any stance that treats mental illness differently than other physcial diseases.
Gottfried reveals the torment associated with mental illness that an entire family goes through together. Gottfried attempted suicide, escaped from treatment several times, engaged in risky and dangerous behavior and was saved eventually through his parents love and determination and psychiatric care.
This story could have been enhanced by elaborating more on his family and sharing information from a third-person point of view to give readers a better picture of the situations he was in and how his family was dealing with his misadventures. However, for a story of mental illness told from the victim's view point, this is an exceptional story that shines a light on the bi-polar disease.
By L. Power "nlp trainer" (San Francisco) -(TOP 50 REVIEWER) I commend Aaron David Gottfried for sharing his experiences with bipolar disorder, Scientology and psychiatry.
Scientology not only opposes psychiatry, but thinks psychiatry is useless and ineffective, there's no such thing as a chemical imbalance, and prescription drugs are the problem not the answer.
You may recall Tom Cruise condemning psychiatry in general, and criticizing Brooke Shields in particular, for seeking psychiatric help and taking antidepressants which she acknowledged saved her life. His authority: not direct experience, but reading reports, presumably internal reports written by scientologists.
Ironically, Scientology claims it's better than psychiatry, as it uses secret techniques without using drugs. Unfortunately, when you express such views it displays what psychiatrists call dogmatic thinking.
So, Aaron describes how he got depression, soon replaced with huge amounts of energy as he enters the manic phase of his illness, the speeding thoughts, elation and delusions. He describes the experience with amazing clarity and accuracy. Both his parents were Scientologists, so they did not go the psychiatric route, although his mother as a nurse got him legal drugs to control his moods.
Instead, at his own request, he gets into Scientology, and gets audited and as his behavior gets more out of control he gets sent to different facilities such as a bootcamp in the desert.
However, as his behavior gets worse, his parents have to intervene. Other Scientologists call them up and harass them.
I lost a family member to bipolar many years ago, and have personal experience with depression. If someone has an issue like this, it requires immediate medical attention. The earlier the intervention, the sooner the resolution. In fact, his parents are lucky, things could have so easily taken a different turn. There are resources beyond mainstream psychiatry, but medicine is the first stop. Always.
One of my favorite insights from the book: the more confident you feel the less you care what other people think. It's all about finding the right balance.
I found his insider description of the Scientology processes very interesting, and wished he would explain it in more detail, (perhaps in a second edition and considering all that happens, he gives a remarkably balanced look at Scientology, neither condemning it outright nor advocating it. If you're like me you will get some interesting insights from this book.
I don't know if claiming to offer better solutions than medical or psychiatric science is even legal. I don't think bashing psychiatry is productive. Certainly, it's dangerously irresponsible to prevent people from seeking medical help when they need it. I highly commend this book.
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