Anyone who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia or has a family member or friend with the disorder would be well advised to read The Scenic Route. This inspiring book is both an insider’s view of schizophrenia and an informed source for alternative approaches that can contribute to healing rather than merely trying to suppress the symptoms. Rossa Forbes offers a beautiful and sometimes heart-wrenching account of her journey with her son through madness to healing. — Stephanie Marohn, author of The Natural Medicine Guide to Schizophrenia, www.stephaniemarohn.comThis book is a heartfelt and inspiring account of Rossa Forbes’ voyage to cure her son. Her exploration of alternative approaches to health is direly needed today, in a world that is in the grip of suppressive pharmaceuticals. It takes courage to buck the intimidating power of the medical machine. A riveting read!— Amy L. Lansky, PhD, Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy
This page-turner is hands down the most compelling story of a mother and son’s parallel journeys of recovery from “mental illness” ever told. Rossa Forbes bravely, and brilliantly shows us how unending hope, faith and tenacity in the most dire and troubling times leads to the light at the end of the tunnel. I was struck by her open-mindedness, her willingness to change “I needed to change … more important than protecting my ego.” When her son Chris encounters the medical model of mental health, Rossa Forbes sticks to her gut feelings when challenged by the psychiatric powers that be. She questions treatments, medications and researches alternatives – anything to help her son. Her healing journey’s trajectory is authentically non-linear, her awareness and patience of facing all the ups and downs of the process positions her as the perfect role model. Bravo to Rossa Forbes! Her story is certain to give hope and inspiration to millions of families coping with “mental illness”. — Elly Litvak, Ph.D., TLE (The Lived Experience) Family Mental Health Navigation Coordinator, CMHA-Toronto, ON, Canada
“The Scenic Route” is a highly unusual (and very readable) memoir about one family’s struggle with a son’s diagnosed schizophrenia – and a mother’s search for viable alternatives beyond psychotropic drugs. Anyone who’s faced this situation, and even those who haven’t, will not only empathize but find fascinating the unique explorations of energetic and orthomolecular medicine, sound, ancestral linkages, and more. Ultimately, this is a heartfelt story about a passionate willingness to traverse unfamiliar territory beyond the “medical model.” — Dick Russell, author of “My Mysterious Son: A Life-Changing Passage Between Schizophrenia and Shamanism.”
In Rossa Forbes’ exquisite memoir, The Scenic Route: A Way through Madness, the author not only takes us vividly and engagingly along the journey of her search for healing for her son, but she also details the utter complexities which accompany the journey of healing what we commonly refer to as “mental illness.” Is it an issue of the brain? The mind? Personality? Heart and spirit? Is it about energy? Nutrition? Family and social dynamics? All of these are thoughtfully and ever-so- honestly explored in this groundbreaking book, while also educating the reader about mind, body, and spirit integral healing. As one who took this journey, himself, and considers himself a “survivor of psychiatry,” I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is heartfelt and personal truth, beautifully expressed from start to finish, which is bound to enrich and enlighten anyone who reads it. — Alex Goldenberg, M.A., Integral Health Teacher and Counselor Co-Founder of Healing Academy for the Performing Arts; Director of the Voices That Heal
Rossa Forbes’ new memoir, “The Scenic Route: A Way Through Madness” is an important contribution to our understanding of psychosis. In clear and honest prose, she describes her experience as the mother of a teen-ager who withdraws from life just as he is expected to enter the world as a young adult. He eventually is diagnosed with schizophrenia and over the next decade they encounter doctors, therapists, and other helpers who are eager to offer their own advice and treatment recommendations. Ms. Forbes frankly describes her own experiences – as well as detailing what she observed with others in her family – and how she struggled to both gain an understanding of her son’s problems and help to steward in a path toward recovery.
Psychosis and schizophrenia remain a mystery both with regard to understanding what causes the conditions to erupt in a young seemingly healthy person and how best to be of help. Despite this, there was no end of people both within and outside of the mainstream system who seemed to offer their own treatments with a confidence that is not clearly warranted. Ms. Forbes was dedicated to her son’s recovery and this led her down many paths. She describes these paths and the impact they appeared to have on her son with clarity.
Fortunately, her son does improve over time. From my own perspective, it is not clear which of these approaches was most helpful but my hunch is that the consistent support of his family was invaluable.
Stories from the perspective of someone who has lived through this (and psychosis is a crisis for everyone in the family) are invaluable. This book will be of value to anyone who has been touched by psychosis either personally, with a family member or as a professional who is trying to be of help. — Sandra Steingard, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Howard Center, Burlington, Vermont 05401