Thursday, October 02, 2008

Hurry Down, Sunshine

Hurry Down, Sunshine by Michael Greenburg

All of a sudden Greenburg's daughter, Sally, is crazy. This book describes in detail the path of downward spiraling of Manic depression and psychosis that Sally and the whole family goes through. The author describes how when confronted with some very wild behaviour he wished to believe it was just drugs. He eventually had to commit his own daughter and suffer the guilt and the accusations from others.

Greenburg also describes the effects of the drugs the medical staff must put his daughter on to control her wild ideas. The author goes through each of the phases in his daughter's illness: from onset to being able to live 'outside'. The reader can feel his pain and confusion. Greenburg is not a stranger to mental illness as he has a brother who needs his care occasionally.

While visiting Sally daily while in a facility Greenburg describes some of the others on the same ward, a devout Jew and a professor. He also strives to nurture his marriage under very trying circumstances. Greenburg must juggle his wife, ex-wife, brother, son, his landlord, his mother and a potential employer all while dealing with the problems of his daughter.

I found it very interesting to read about the mental illness and specifically about the drugs and their effects. I had trouble believing that Greenburg did not push the doctors more strongly for a earlier diagnosis. The other very intriguing aspect is how his ex-wife deals with the illness in such a spiritual way.

First Line: "On July 5, 1996, my daughter was struck mad."



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