Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Riveting new book on fight for treatment

Pete Earley had been a journalist for over 30 years and the author of many award-winning books. Yet he'd always been on the outside looking in.

Then his son Mike was declared mentally ill, and Earley was thrown headlong into the maze of contradictions, disparities, and catch-22s that is America's mental health system.

His new book, to be released April 20, is an intense look at what he found.

My son was so out-of-control that a nurse called hospital security. I was glad. Maybe now they will medicate him, I thought. But before the security guard arrived, Mike dashed outside, cursing loudly. I went after him. Meanwhile, the doctor told my ex-wife that it was not illegal for someone to be mentally ill in Virginia. But it was illegal for him to treat them unless they consented. There was nothing he could do.

"Even if he's psychotic?" she asked.


Mike couldn't forcibly be treated, the doctor elaborated, until he hurt himself or someone else. [
Chapter 1]

Crazy is getting intense praise from people like Patty Duke, who calls the book a “godsend,” Bebe Moore Campbell, who says “CRAZY is both a clarion call for change and justice and an enthralling portrait of a father who refused to surrender,” and Senator Pete and Nancy Domenici, who said, “A book as riveting to read as it is important it be read …. Many of the tragic situations he uncovers were preventable. Maybe, with this book, they can be.”

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