But Deliver Me From Crazy by Katie R. Dale is a memoir of living with bipolar disorder. You may know Katie from her blog, and she also contributed a story about bipolar I to my book Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis.
The book begins when Katie was in high school, when her illness first appears. Her mania was accompanied by a strong psychotic element as well as hyper-religiosity, and it was interesting to read her descriptions of that. Psychosis doesn’t get talked about that often, so I think it’s really valuable when people are able to share the day-to-day reality of psychosis like this.
While Katie’s family was supportive, it sounds like they really didn’t have a clue what was going on, and had to learn it on the fly. She did end up requiring hospitalization, but found a combination of meds that worked well.
Jumping forward several years, Katie was stable and had gotten married. Many of us have not-so-good going off medication stories, and Katie’s began after being inspired by something a televangelist said about healing.
She ended up becoming manic/psychotic, and much of the book is devoted to that time as the illness was building and she was in and out of hospital. She writes about her psychotic experiences that still feel real, even though she knows they were not.
She’s very open about what’s like to be a patient on a psych ward and critical of decisions not to put her back on the meds that worked for her. At the conclusion of the book, she provides recommendations for improving the system of mental health care. She writes
I realize that is not encouraging to someone who is considering getting hospitalized for their mental health crisis, but I wouldn’t sugar coat the experience just so that someone else would be more encouraged to get hospitalized.
What I found most interesting about this book is Katie’s perspective as someone who’s devoutly religious, and then becomes hyper-religious when unwell. She seems to have found an effective way to reconcile all of it. She frames taking medication in this way:
I give God the glory for His infinite wisdom and grace in the distribution of medications through the scientists, pharmacists, and doctors that I needed in order to find my deliverance from my crazy.
Katie did a really good job of capturing the experience of being manic and psychotic. I think this is an especially powerful read for anyone who’s struggling with making sense of their illness in terms of their religious beliefs. Katie’s message about medication is certainly one that deserves to be heard more widely.
But Deliver Me From Crazy is available on Amazon (affiliate link).
Visit Katie on her blog at Katie R. Dale.
You can find my other reviews on the MH@H book review index or on Goodreads.
Katie was one of the contributors to Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis, which aims to cut through the misunderstanding and stigma to present mental illness as it really is.
It’s available on Amazon and other online retailers.
15 thoughts on “Book Review: But Deliver Me From Crazy”
This sounds like a great read!
Authenticity is vital if we are to improve access to resources/support and decrease stigma. Thanks for amplifying this voice
I very much agree.
It does sound like a great read. I resonated with this: “What I found most interesting about this book is Katie’s perspective as someone who’s devoutly religious, and then becomes hyperreligious when unwell.” When I had the medication-induced episode in 2004, my natural religiosity became hyperreligiosity. Once I had recovered, I was left with a glimpse of how that kind of behavior (annoying, imposing, etc.) can appear to others.
Lol. An ex-boyfriend of mine was not religious at baseline but would get religions delusions when unwell. I have my mom’s old bible from when she was a kid, and it’s full of things he scribbled in it when he was psychotic.
Wow – I bet your mom wasn’t too happy about that! It’s interesting how even non-religious people can enter into such delusions during manic episodes. It’s inspiring however how Ms. Dale was eventually able to distinguish a healthy faith from the warped faith of her hyperreligiosity.
My mom’s an atheist so she wouldn’t care ;). Yeah, it’s pretty impressive that Katie was able to put it in perspective in a way that was healing for her.
A.P. I think the hyper-religious vs. religious is definitely gray area in some matters, while in others, I have to measure up against what the Bible teaches. And that can be a little hairy too, but at the end of the day, peace of mind and peace of heart prevail because I have the Prince of Peace. 🙂
Oh Katie – you’re the author of the book. It took me a while to figure out the comment. I would definitely like to give it a read. Thank you
This sounds like a wonderful read. I added it to my list!
Yeah, it was really well done.
Ashley, thank you a million times over for this great review and featuring my book on your blog. I am sorry it’s been so long since I got to this post but from the bottom of my heart, thank you!
You’re very welcome!