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A lethal inheritance : a mother uncovers the science behind three generations of mental illness

Author: Victoria Costello
Publisher: Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 2012.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In this riveting story--part memoir, detective story, and scientific investigation--in the tradition of the story of Henrietta Lacks, Costello recounts how the mental unraveling of her seventeen-year-old son Alex compelled her to look back into family history for clues to his condition. Eventually she tied Alex's descent into hallucinations and months of shoeless wandering on the streets of Los Angeles to his great  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Popular works
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Victoria Costello
ISBN: 9781616144661 1616144661
OCLC Number: 726821366
Description: 267 p. ; 23 cm.
Contents: Pt I. The fourth generation: Alex and Sammy : 1. Alex by the dumpster: Other answers, The best predictor, Matters of degree and prevalence, Fictions and facts of mental illness ; 2. Early signs and risk factors: The science of risk, The fine print of predispositions, How young?, The childhood risk factors for scizophrenia ; 3. "Boys will be boys" and other lies we tell ourselves at 3:00 a.m.: Chardonnay, cannabis, and other drugs of choice, Bad conduct, Will he grow out of it? ; 4. Before the storm: pre-onset diagnosis: Detecting early psychosis in teenagers, The false positive, Anywhere but here, Enough is enough ; 5. Onset: The list of early warning signs of psychosis, The plastic brain in action, Finding the cliff's edge, Alex on and off meds ; 6. My little prince comes undone: Adolescents and antidepressants, The antidepressant-suicide link investigated, "Mom, I'm joining the Marines," A leg up or down --
Pt. II. Revisiting the family illness: generations two and three :7. The depressed mother: Therapy is not a career, Mothers, children, and depression, Your brain at risk for depression, The risk of doing nothing, My little yellow pills ; 8. My sister Rita: mental illness and self-medication: a war on drugs, Denial and deceit, Which comes first?, Collateral damage ; 9. My father Red: "The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to": From vice to disease, Raised by alcohol, Screening and predicting deadly family patterns ; 10. The first generation, my grandfather: The Irish factor, The first lethal gene is found, Desperately seeking answers, Artifacts in search of facts ; 11. Grandpa's psychological autopsy: Unravelling an unthinkable act, Preventing suicide, Suicide prevention for paretnts and teachers, Death by train, The new "official story" --
Pt. III. The science and practice of rcovery and prevention : 12. Thoughts of all orders, Defining recovery, Other voices of recovery, The cost of creativity ; 13. Fron inkblots to alleles: Two days as a lab rat, Comparable disease models: Alzheimer's and Parkinson'sThe new, new genetics in action ; 14. Preventing mental illness : First line of defense, Getting the right mental health care, using family history as a guide for treatment choices, The long reach of stigma, Learning resiliency, The new, new parenting, The top ten things a parent can do to safeguard a child's mental health.
Responsibility: Victoria Costello ; foreword by Terrie E. Moffitt.

Abstract:

In this riveting story--part memoir, detective story, and scientific investigation--in the tradition of the story of Henrietta Lacks, Costello recounts how the mental unraveling of her seventeen-year-old son Alex compelled her to look back into family history for clues to his condition. Eventually she tied Alex's descent into hallucinations and months of shoeless wandering on the streets of Los Angeles to his great grandfather's suicide on a New York City railroad track in 1913. -- Amazon.

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