Moms Idea: A Journey through Madness


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Each time he tried to get control of his life, he failed miserably. Mom's Idea is the heartbreaking story of Smith's struggles to deal with his schizophrenia while ultimately realizing that he also had to find a way to stop drinking. With the encouragement of his mother, he began the long road to sobriety and a more productive life.

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Mom's Idea offers an in-depth account of an average person suffering from schizophrenia; it chronicles the frequently changing ups and downs of dealing with a debilitating disease and the compounding problem of alcoholism. Help Centre. Track My Order. My Wishlist Sign In Join.

Be the first to write a review. Share This eBook:. Mary Pershall : It's not easy but fortunately I had a lot of help with my own mental health years before this happened. Because I had very poor mental health for a lot of my growing up years, and even up until my 40s I suppose because of the way I was raised with a very emotionally abusive mother. So I'm so glad that I reached out and paid for help.

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And also the system was very good with me, the mental health system. I think the Victorian mental health system is good, if you can access it.


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So I have a lot of support around me, and that has not only helped with my mental health but also I had a good support system with my friends, and that was amazing. My girlfriends just enclosed me in this circle of love, and there was no judgement towards Anna. People have reconciled it by saying that wasn't our Anna who did that, it was the drugs, it was the mental illness.

Again, I want to say that we don't think she is blameless, but that's how my friends and we have reconciled ourselves to it. So I don't think of myself as the mother of a murderer. She is my daughter, I still love her, and she did a terrible thing, and she's paying for it. It's not my job to punish her, it's my job to love her, as I always have, that's how I look at it.

Lynne Malcolm : Looking back, how does it reflect on the way mental health is managed in our society and what are the key things that you think should have happened that didn't? Mary Pershall : Well, I don't want to point a finger at any individual because I don't believe that it was the fault of any of the individuals, just the system doesn't seem to have a place for people who were as compromised as Anna was.

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She needed to be contained involuntarily, and she says that now. We just couldn't find a place for her. And we weren't listened to really, I don't think, or very people seemed to believe that Anne was as far gone as she was. I think that's sad, that people didn't believe she was bad enough. It took the death of a good man to show how bad she was. And I think the mental health system should recognise how hard it is for families to try and cope with a person who is as sick as Anna was.

We tried everything we could and we were just exhausted, we had no resources left. You know, there were times when she'd be suicidal or hurting herself, she'd be in the Emergency Department and I would literally be begging, you know, can't you admit her to a locked psych ward? And she'd be sobered up and at the end of the day, no, she's got a plan, take her home. If they could realise how difficult that is for a family to have to take home a person like that.

What do we do? Katie and John and I all thought it was just a matter of time before she would die, and we were expected to deal with that.


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Mary Pershall : First of all for me because that's how I figure out things. Ever since I was a child I've been keeping an extensive diary with a journal recording, understanding life by writing, so that was the first thing. But then once I'd written it, I realised how many people are in a similar situation and I wanted to be a voice for people who maybe don't have the skills and platform that I've got to express those views.

And I believe we need to get a conversation started about what do we do with people who are too mentally ill to be admitted to addiction facilities and people who are too addicted to be taken care of under the mental health system? And what do we do with people who need to be contained involuntarily for longer than just a few days? Mary Pershall : Yes, she's been a part of the journey of writing the book.

She has seen the cover and she really likes it, but she doesn't want to read the book at the moment. She said she might wait a few years to do that because she doesn't really want to go over the events that are portrayed in the book, she'd prefer to work on her own mental health now and her life at the prison and her continuing relationship with her son and with us. She has written me quite a few cards but one of them said, I'm really proud of you and Katie for telling my story so that it could help others hopefully.

Lynne Malcolm : Mary Pershall. And she tells me that Anna has been promoted to a new responsible job at the maximum security prison for women, and they're all keeping their fingers crossed that she can take full advantage of this opportunity. All proceeds of Mary's memoir Gorgeous Girl will be donated to charities that help people struggling with mental illness or addiction, including women who've been incarcerated. The book is published by Penguin. If you've been disturbed by anything you've heard today, call for support on Lifeline 13 11 14, and head to our website for more links to support.

Add your comment. Thanks to the mum for sharing this, it takes a lot of courage and love for others. This is why it is so important to keep ABC funded by the public, a story like this would ever make it to commercial radio. Reply Alert moderator. Sunday A mother's story of madness, murder, and love Download audio show transcript Broadcast: Sunday 2 December PM.

SparkNotes: Hamlet: Act III, scene iv

Image: Anna as a small child. Facebook Twitter Delicious Reddit Digg what are these? Transcript Mary Pershall : I said to Anna as soon as she went to prison, 'Do you want to talk about it? Lynne Malcolm : So you got this message that your daughter had killed someone. Lynne Malcolm : And you knew Johnny? Lynne Malcolm : So let's just go back. What was Anna like as a small child? Lynne Malcolm : So she was ostracised? Lynne Malcolm : Did you have any insight into what the problem was?

Lynne Malcolm : And Anna got on very well with your mother, didn't she. Lynne Malcolm : How was Anna through the teenage years? What happened then? It's fine in retrospect to… Mary Pershall : That's right. Lynne Malcolm : What help did you seek and what happened? Lynne Malcolm : Had she ever had a specific diagnosis of mental illness?

Mary Pershall : I'll yes, she did. Lynne Malcolm : Katie was in quite close communication. Lynne Malcolm : She just went into a rage. Lynne Malcolm : And he was a friend. She used to call him Daddy. Lynne Malcolm : And she was sentenced to 17 years. Mary Pershall : That's right, 13 years non-parole.

Lynne Malcolm : So she's in jail now.

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When was the baby born? Mary Pershall : April Lynne Malcolm : When she was in jail? Mary Pershall : Several months after she went to prison, yes. Lynne Malcolm : And her sister Katie is now looking after the baby? Lynne Malcolm : So why was it important for you to write this book? Lynne Malcolm : Does Anna know that you've written the book?

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Lynne Malcolm : Thank you very much Mary. Mary Pershall : Thank you Lynne. Today's sound engineer is Isabella Tropiano. Audrey told me later that in that moment, she knew we were probably going to end up in a Baltimore jail that afternoon, rather than in the airport. Looking back, I wish that had been my low point.

Moms Idea: A Journey through Madness Moms Idea: A Journey through Madness
Moms Idea: A Journey through Madness Moms Idea: A Journey through Madness
Moms Idea: A Journey through Madness Moms Idea: A Journey through Madness
Moms Idea: A Journey through Madness Moms Idea: A Journey through Madness
Moms Idea: A Journey through Madness Moms Idea: A Journey through Madness
Moms Idea: A Journey through Madness Moms Idea: A Journey through Madness
Moms Idea: A Journey through Madness Moms Idea: A Journey through Madness
Moms Idea: A Journey through Madness Moms Idea: A Journey through Madness

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