My memoir, The Scenic Route, takes you on the inevitable journey that a diagnosis of mental illness pushes you toward. You decide whether my experience with my oldest son’s descent into schizophrenia has any bearing on your life, or the direction you want your own journey to go.
I hope that my book will stretch the limits of your thinking on how best to help your son or daughter, to take you somewhere well beyond the purely medical model that you will be exposed to in hospitals, doctor’s offices, and in public group think. Maybe it will fire up your imagination to act beyond the clinical approach. You’ll find the scenic route more interesting (maybe even a little bit fun) because you are scripting the journey most of the way yourself. You’ve got some control over the inputs affecting the outcome. Current treatment for schizophrenia and other mental illnesses is like a road to nowhere: Built with good intentions by professionals relying on the latest, but often contradictory, scientific thinking, it is nonetheless constructed with little to no input from the users—meaning us, both patients and parents.
The Scenic Route gives you a glimpse of the benefits of taking the inevitably longer and less travelled route. (Hint: I’ve found no shortcuts to recovery.) The places we’ve been to, the people we’ve met, have deepened my appreciation of getting off the beaten path, as far away from clinical observation as possible, when possible.
Here’s a synopsis of what you’ll discover between the covers of The Scenic Route:
Chris Forbes was a second year university student in Toronto, Canada, when his increasingly strange behavior landed him in a psychiatric hospital for observation and treatment.
Diagnosed with schizophrenia, he returned home to Switzerland.
Concerned about the side effects caused by psychiatric drugs—as well as how poorly mainstream medicine understands the condition—Chris’s mother started exploring traditional and nontraditional therapies that might help Chris “get back on track”—and off the drugs. In the process, she learned about energy medicine, shamanism, nutrients and vitamins, sound therapies, and nontraditional views about wellness and disease. Questioning her parenting style as well as the advice of so called experts, she gained greater awareness, not only about different treatment modalities, but also about herself and her son. The Scenic Route is the compelling story of Rossa Forbes’s relentless search for holistic methods of restoring mental health.”
I started my blog in 2009, Holistic Recovery from Schizophrenia: A Mother and Son Journey. A year or two previously, “kinderelf” whom I met in a chat room, convinced me that the best way of effecting a paradigm shift in the consciousness of the general public, was to write book.
If the times are right, a well told story can further a paradigm shift in thinking. I’m hoping that the time is right now. Enjoy the journey.