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Wales High School: First Diagnosis – Book Trailer

It’s the year 2003. Teenagers are messaging each other online, listening to punk music on MP3 players, and writing blogs on LiveJournal to fit in. One such teen is walking the halls of Wales High School with bright shirts, leather jackets, and blue hair: Jacques Peters. He’s determined to become best friends with one of the coolest guys in school, Davis Mavis. But he soon discovers that smoking, skipping class, and putting up a front aren’t as cool as they seem, particularly when mental health is involved. His friends gossip behind his back, push him out of their clique, and turn a blind eye to the cuts on his wrists. He’s dragged into a life that leads to a long stay in a psychiatric ward he hates, full of therapy, pills, and a strict routine.

That troubled teen is me.

When I was discharged, I was in a daze. Numbed by medication and left with few friends, I spent my days listening to music and giving my teachers lip. Eventually, on a cold winter night home alone, I posted a single word on my blog: “goodbye.” I took a cocktail of pills and hoped to slip into an endless sleep.

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NOT Too Tired To Care

NOT Too Tired to Care: Learn Evidence-Based Mindfulness Practices to Support Well-Being, Improve Patient Care, and Address the Unique Challenges of These Times by [Angela Thomas Jones, Dr. Arthur Hengerer, Roger Carroll, Michael Meit, Frances Feltner, Megan Heffernan, Dr. Sally Garhart, Elizabeth Ropp, Diane Fontneau, Lara Cooley]

The demands on public service workers are only increasing, and the pressure involved in all of these jobs is building by the day. Human Resource offices are inundated with contacts from employees who are on the verge of giving up–in more ways than one. How can we help them? What can be done to save them and their broken spirits?

Angela Thomas Jones’s book, Not Too Tired to Care, takes a close look at the growing concern surrounding burnout and how it affects workers across careers. Considering the intensive demands currently placed on our nation’s healthcare workers, Jones’s work is both timely and much-needed. It is not enough to say that we should do more to address the well-being and mental health of our essential workers–we should act on it. Jones delves into how burnout began to manifest itself among workers and offers a great many resources as well as strategies to combat this rising problem.

I found the pacing of Jones’s work to be refreshing. Not all nonfiction books are written in a format that makes for an easy read, but Jones takes care of her readers. She includes breaks in some of the heaviest parts and provides readers with the opportunity to note valuable resources throughout the reading. Jones leaves no stone unturned. From facts to reflection breaks to tips, she covers all the bases and creates a flow in the reading that is well-matched with the subject matter.

The personal stories peppered throughout the text draw readers into the book and give faces and names to the cold hard facts and figures supplied by the author. Jones’s work reads as much like a personal narrative as it does a self-help book. These touching and relatable scenarios give voices to the thousands of men and women suffering on a daily basis, heading for complete burnout. Jones has managed to explain the phenomenon known as “burnout” in a way which instantly draws empathy and coaxes a reaction from readers. Kindness is key, and Jones knows this. Making others aware of the plight of public service workers, especially in the time of Covid19, is a key first step in changing the course of their lives.

I am giving Angela Thomas Jones’s book, Not Too Tired to Care, 5 out of 5 stars. As a teacher and sister to a nurse, I can appreciate the work that has gone into this book. Jones has done her homework. From cover to cover, she provides readers with facts and strategies, all designed to improve the plight of our public service workers. I recommend Jones’s heartfelt work to anyone who works in or has loved ones in the medical field. Jones’s insight is truly invaluable.

Pages: 214 | ASIN: B08NY21F1W

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You Have a Gift

Christopher Wheat
Christopher Wheat Author Interview

Weirdo 2.0 gives readers the tools they need to handle a harsh boss along with information about autism. What inspired you to write this book?

In the book, I mention how impossible it was to sue the school district because I couldn’t find a defamation lawyer that would take my case. I really believed I was not going to let these people win, so that is what inspired me to write the book. I had kept all of the emails, letters, and recordings from that last year and beyond because I knew there was going to be something rotten, I just never thought it would have been that bad.

I appreciated the personal accounts you shared in this book. What were some ideas that were important for you to get convey?

The biggest thing for me to convey was, that I wanted any person who is living with a disability should never have to deal with abuse from others…especially at work! The most difficult part is when you have a neuro-deficient disorder, people will look at you and see no cane or wheelchair, so how can you be ‘disabled’? I want people to learn how important it is to advocate for yourself or you will constantly be beaten to the ground!

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?

We’re all humans. None of us are perfect but we try to live our lives the best we can. Never let anyone else tell you that your worthless or you can’t do anything right. You have a gift, no matter what disability you may have. Use that gift and inspire others, because you never know who might be watching thinking they have nothing to offer.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have 3, believe it or not. One is about my mother-in-law who had journaled her USO trip to Iceland during the early ’60s and I found it to be really fascinating and I want to share it with the rest of the world. The other is a book about relationships dating and marrying a person with autism. The last book is about police and how they handle people with autism.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Feeling bullied at work?
Wondering if HR is talking behind your back?
I’ve walked in your shoes!

This volume as additional material about autism and other disorders.
This story chronicles my experience with a harsh boss who wanted me out. If you are a worker, teacher, parent or disabled person, I’ll give you the best options for dealing with this problem. I’ll let you know what worked and what failed. I know how you feel! My situation was so bad I almost lost my house, all because my job wanted to get rid of the Weirdo. This conflict was so enormous, that this reached all the way to the White House. An intense and vivid personal account of how I wasn’t willing to give up – and neither should you!

Beyond Agoraphobia

Beyond Agoraphobia by Georgia Riedel is a guidebook based on the experiences of the author for those who suffer from fear, anxiety and panic attacks. Georgia Reidel started experiencing symptoms of anxiety at the age of fourteen and this affected her ability to cope in school and to maintain jobs in the future. She spent many years in therapy before she could manage to carry out these regular daily functions without fear. She shares her experience working with different clients and getting them to the point of recovery where they are able to go anywhere and do anything free of their symptoms. She covers the various triggers of anxiety, fear and panic, persons more likely to be affected by panic attacks and the ingredients for recovery. She also outlines how positive thinking can help and the different steps to becoming a positive thinker and developing useful stress management techniques.

At 61 pages Georgia Riedel has written a quick self-help book that will assist readers in getting a concise and whole picture of what actions they can take. It gives pointers on triggers and approaches to avoid if one experiences any unique challenges. The reader can choose to use it as a practical guide to decide on a way forward. The author herself is an example of someone who has used the given strategies to recover so the written material becomes more of a testimony and adds some reassurance that the methods suggested actually work. This is a self-help short read that I highly recommend if you suffer from any of the stated disorders.

Pages: 61 | ASIN: B08FKBZW8K

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Sorrow to Shero: Pain, Power, and Peace – Book Trailer

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) defines psychological abuse as trauma to the victim caused by verbal abuse, acts, threats of acts, or coercive tactics

In “Sorrow to Shero,” Dr. Jeannita Bussle gives an honest look inside her experiences.

When the unimaginable occurs, she shares how she was able to forgive and heal.

Additionally, Dr. Bussle discusses the hard life lessons she has learned as a result of tragedy.

Although “Sorrow to Shero” shines a light on psychological abuse and the importance of mental health, it is also a vivid reminder that God always makes a way out of no way.

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Fragile Mind

FRAGILE MIND: Mental Health Poetry by [Thompson, Wesley]

Fragile Mind by W. B. Thompson is a mental illness-themed poetry collection with a mission: raising awareness of mental health issues and their possible consequences, helping to understand those who struggle with mental health issues and offering support for sufferers. The touching and meaningful poems offer an insight into the fragile mind’s daily struggles, including low self-esteem, hopelessness and anger.

W.B. Thompson creates a strong base for his poems with the introduction and the included suicide statistics. Every poem comes with a related image which indicates the content of the poem. The verses describe the wide range of emotions that a person with mental health problems can go through: confusion, loneliness, frustration, sadness, anguish and discouragement. I liked how the poet was able to send such a deep message, I could absolutely relate to the feelings of someone who is afflicted. The images and the titles are well-chosen and match the content. As a fan of well-written rhymes, I would prefer more rhymes in the collection, but I found the free verse poems also valuable and interesting.

Pages: 38 | ASIN: B07SH5ZCGP

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Four Years of Despair

Four Years of Despair by [Morrison, Jalesa]

Four Years of Despair by Jalesa Morrison is a youth/teenage story that touches upon sensitive topics, such as mental health, bullying, and family issues. Jaunell Morris is a teenage girl that doesn’t fit in at school or at home, and has a lot of issues. She has trouble communicating with her family, her teachers and with making friends. Everyone around her is baffled by her outbursts and her violent episodes. Her school gives up on her and she is transferred to a different school, where things get even worse.

Jaunell is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and she is in and out of hospitals all the time. Her situation is made worse by her parents’ bad marriage, her poor relationship with her older sisters and the rejection she feels from her extended family. Her only ally is her grandmother, and one of the nurses from the hospital where she’s treated. Eventually, the nurse is the one that helps her secure a place at a much better mental health treatment facility. These are heavy emotional issues, but the book ends on a hopeful note.

This book has the courage to shed light on a lot of difficult issues: mental health in teenagers, dysfunctional families, poverty, lack of access to proper education, social services and healthcare. It’s an authentic and powerful radiography of our society and how its most vulnerable members (youth, minorities, poor people) have the cards stacked against them.

The devastation that mental health issues bring into a person’s life is depicted well inJaunell’s story. However, sometimes I felt that the insights into Jaunell’s motivations, actions and reactions are not detailed enough. The book would have benefited from a deeper incursion into the complexities of Jaunell’s mental issues. I would’ve also liked to have read more about Jaunell’s mother and her relationship with her grandmother. The details of their relationship could’ve provided more insight on the family dynamics and how it affected Jaunell.

As someone who has experienced living with a person who is bipolar I would definitely recommend reading Four Year of Despair by Jalesa Morrison as this book is a real eye opener as to what people who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder go through in their day to day activities. This book would be a great influence to teens who are going through this but may be confused as to why they handle their emotions different than others.

Pages: 234 | ASIN: B07R5DKMMZ

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The Fantastic Inner life of an American Teenager

The Fantastic Inner Life of An American Teenager

There aren’t many books that I’ve read that I would have a difficult time placing within a specific genre, or at least spanned across a couple of distinct styles. The Fantastic Inner Life of an American Teenager, however, is a work that is in a class of its own, and that’s a good thing.

Part fiction, part reality, and pretty much all intensely inventive and imaginative, this real-life diary written by a teenage girl about some of the hopes and dreams that she had reveals multiple levels of the author’s reality. In fact, this book is the work of a girl named Desiree, AKA YAEL, who experienced a childhood and adolescence worlds apart from what many view as ‘normal’.

According to the editor, Regine Dubono (The author’s mother), YAEL suffered from mental illness from a young age and found family life to be a challenge. Due to those difficulties in coping with everyday events, the author was quickly labelled and placed within a mental hospital where she would be medicated to the point of losing much of her happiness and contentment that she had known before. What’s more is that due to the reaction of the medical staff charged with caring for Desiree, that same medication severely hampered her natural skill and talent as a playwright.

This book opens a window into the heart of the author and shows us just how incredibly talented she was. Her clarity in purpose while creating the scenes of her play are engaging and honest, and each line seems like a well-thought-out continuation of thoughts nurtured over time.

That said, it does take a bit of work to follow the trains of thought through to the end as there are several threads which are interwoven throughout the screenplay. There are references and concepts that jump in from out of the blue but once the writer’s mind and process is better understood, taking in this work becomes much smoother. It is different for sure, and it is eye-opening in many ways. If you are one to relish taking in the personality of the authors you read, The Fantastic Inner Life of an American Teenager will provide a full serving.

I would have appreciated footnotes and information from the editor that would have helped provide more background for certain times throughout the authors life while this diary was being written. I couldn’t help but think that I was missing pieces of vital information while reading. Other than that, this is an impressive work from an even more impressive teenage author.

Pages: 120 | ISBN: 9781312599161

Available on LuLu.com

 

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