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Author Topic: A Balanced Life: Coping with a Mentally Ill Loved One - Tom Smith  (Read 439 times)
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« on: November 30, 2009, 07:56:45 PM »

A Balanced Life: 9 Strategies for Coping with the Mental Health Problems of a Loved One
Author: Tom Smith
Publisher: Hazelden (September 5, 2008) [/b]
Paperback: 140 pages
ISBN-10: 1592856624
ISBN-13: 978-1592856626

Book Description
The ultimate goal of those with a mental disorder and the people who love them is balance: emotional, mental, spiritual, and behavioral. Yet, living with and responding to a mentally ill person often leads to the chaos of a relationship where the rules change, the dynamics are volatile, and the expectations are unanchored.

In readable, down-to-earth prose, A Balanced Life teaches family and friends what they can expect from those they love who have mental health problems. Tom Smith lost his own daughter, who was bipolar, to suicide, so he shares insights from personal experience that are helpful to any family member who is coping with or caring for a mentally ill relative.

Combining compassion for the mentally ill relative with compassion for the family members, the book offers nine clear-cut strategies for implementing a plan to support them, including how to:

  • assist a loved one in developing healthy self-esteem
  • accept mental illness as a fact of life
  • identify early warning signs that precede a more difficult phase of the illness
  • create a supportive network of family and friends

Each strategy is illustrated by inspiring stories of real people who have put the principles into practice, and is followed by key questions that probe readers to ponder their own situations. This is the guide to bringing order to chaos, providing a framework for reactions to the person who has a mental illness. It clarifies expectations and offers advice and encouragement.

About the Author
Tom Smith is a co-founder and co-director of the Karla Smith foundation. The Karla Smith foundation provides hope for a balanced life to family and friends and anyone with a mental illness or who have lost a loved one to suicide.

Smith retired from full time employment and spends much of his time on KSF projects, locally and nationally. He is the author of six books, the most recent one being A Balanced Life: Nine Strategies for Coping with the Mental Health Problems of a Loved One. His previous book is The Tattered Tapestry: A Family's Search for Peace with Bipolar Disorder, his family's search for peace with bipolar disorder and suicide.

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