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Finding Us

This book draws on the life and experiences of a mother’s journey as the parent of an eleven-year-old with a sudden onset of panic disorder. It discusses the role of a primary caregiver and her dilemmas in making complex decisions for the safety of her daughter and those around her. The shame and judgment associated with people suffering from mental health issues, as well as the consequent assumptions and frequent misunderstandings, are draining. The overall impact it has on the patient, and their immediate family members gradually spread to include more people. It stands as a testament to all those going through a similarly difficult phase in life.

Kristen’s memoir gives a voice to the touching story of a mother’s unconditional love, patience, and understanding for her child. But the reality of parenting a child with mental illness is far from simply inspiring. It is filled with hours of dreadful administrative work, relentlessly chasing healthcare personnel, making phone calls, and constantly living with a sense of utter helplessness. The unpredictable nature of the manifestation of mental illnesses and the dire shortage of medical resources for children suffering from them often drives families to despair. In the face of such challenges, Kristen reminds herself time and again that life goes on, and so must we.

What is interesting to note is the disarming candor and complete transparency with which the book has been written. The language used works as a channel of communication and is devoid of unnecessary ornamentation. Yet there are instances of subtle humor that keeps the reader thoroughly engaged. The fundamental aim of the story is to encourage people to be more compassionate and to spread awareness about pediatric mental health issues. Despite the hardships, what remains unforgettable is the family’s indomitable spirit and unfaltering support. To sum it up, in the words of the littlest, they are survivors. The message is delivered loud and clear.

Finding Us by Kristin Rohman Rehkamp is an inspiring, empowering, and eye-opening memoir. This book is a must-read for everyone as you never know who is battling a situation like this. Kristin’s story is one that many parents and caregivers face and often feel alone. Sharing their story lets others know they are not alone and there is still hope.

Pages: 128 | ISBN : 1639885250

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