Karen Meadows had a normal, happy family until depression consumed her daughter, Sadie—a struggle that ended with Sadie’s suicide at age eighteen. In Searching for Normal, Meadows shares her family’s journey as she tries to help her daughter Sadie cope with her mental illness, expertly intertwining her own storyline with excerpts from her daughter’s diaries. The years Meadows chronicles are characterized by Sadie’s heartbreaking bouts of running away, cutting, and living with Portland street families while Karen and her husband desperately search for solutions—trying medication, hospitals, therapy, wilderness and residential treatment programs, and more. Ultimately, however, they find themselves confronted with the devastating shortcomings of the US’s mental health system. Including hindsight advice from Meadows, along with an extensive list of resources that she wishes someone had provided her when she was trying to help Sadie, this book will help parents of struggling teens feel less isolated and better equipped to navigate their teenager’s mental illness. : Meadows also describes recent developments that are paving the way for better diagnoses and treatment options.
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