Eyes without Sparkle - a journey through postnatal illness’ (Radcliffe 2005) describes the authors development of and recovery from puerperal psychosis, the most severe form of postnatal depression. In theory she ‘had it all’ – strong marriage, lovely home, supportive family, good teaching career – so why did pregnancy result in her becoming a self-harming psychiatric patient?
The story takes us through her formative years to show how her character and expectations developed. A difficult pregnancy, traumatic birth and several extremely stressful events culminated with Elaine’s breakdown. In a very honest and moving account we can see how she looses her grasp on reality and daily living as the psychosis sets in and the affect it has on those around her.
We are given an insight into life in a psychiatric ward and the treatments used. We experience the effects of good and undesirable actions of staff which have considerable impact upon her. We are supporting her all the way back to her slow but ultimate recovery.
General comments about the book are that it is not just about postnatal depression but anyone who is a mother, a carer, a health professional or anyone who has been at the end of their tether, male or female. The underlying aim of the book is one of hope and the belief that it is possible to suffer from a mental health problem but make a full recovery.
‘Stands out as a unique volume that would entice a wide audience, for the book is more than an account of distressed parenthood or what it is like to be a new mother and depressed. Buried inside the book is a voice that is eager to tell healthcare professionals what patients really need and long for. Eyes without Sparkle is also punctuated with reminders of therapeutic skills that are now regularly absent in major psychiatric textbooks. I would strongly recommend this book to all health professionals who would like to rediscover their hearts in the healing business.’
Quarterly Journal of Mental Health
‘I found ‘Eyes without Sparkle truly inspirational! I think I have now finally accepted, after two years, that I have an illness and that it needs treating. Thanks for a very truthful account of your experiences which has helped me a great deal in beginning to understand my own difficulties’
BR, a mother.
‘I think the book is excellent and I hope it reaches the many people who need to read it.’
Professor Louis Appleby, National Director for Mental Health
‘This book is a must for anyone who comes into contact with pregnant women.’
British Journal of Midwifery
See more reviews here.
Read excerpts here.
Click below to buy the English version securely through PayPal. £16.95 + £1.75 p&p.
Kindle version available here
Elaine also recommends:-
Saving Grace: My Journey & Survival Through Post Natal Depression by Grace Sharrock
Journey to Chocolate by Ann Girling
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