Terry L Dorn’s The Cross and the Psychiatrist-Stopping a Modern-day Epidemic is a must read for everyone, particularly those who are close to individuals who have psychiatric disabilities. Throughout the text, the author emphasizes that these individuals should not be bound by a stigma and label. On the contrary, Dorn offers what all psychiatric patients and their family members seek: hope. Often times, being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel is enough to keep the individual pushing for a return to normalcy. Dorn vigorously supports this concept, and he firmly believes that the church, and faith in general, can help patients return to leading normal lives.
What sets this book apart from other psychiatric awareness texts is that the information does not make up a thousand-page textbook. Instead, this book essentially draws from the real-life experiences of Terry Dorn. One passage that is particularly indicative of Dorn’s stance states, “Mental illness has become the leprosy of this age. Stigma and ignorance has built a wall that keeps many of these wounded people away from being socially acceptable ever again.”
The truly staggering statistic that Dorn reveals in his introduction is that there are nearly 300,000 mental health consumers in Washington State alone, according to the Division of the Washington State Health and Human Services; however, there are likely twice that many in need of mental health who don’t come forward due to the stigma of becoming a social outcast. As a result, the author emphatically requests that family members and loved ones not scorn mental sufferers as they are already depressed and losing touch with family members and society at large. Shunning them will only plunge them into a deeper and darker reservoir of hopelessness and despair.
Ultimately, The Cross and the Psychiatrist is a story about an individual who loses his business, his wife, becomes homeless, and falls into a spiraling pattern of depression. This is the story about a painful past, growing up on the streets of Minneapolis, and being labeled as a psychiatric patient from a young age.
More than anything else, Dorn fulfills to perfection, the role of a liberator for mental illness patients, clearly outlining the premise: mental health patients want hope, to be cared for, and understood. They desire to be validated; they have worth. Terry L. Dorn, as author of The Cross and the Psychiatrist, is their advocate. For anyone who has ever wondered about the plight of patients who are mentally ill, their families, their issues–look no more. This wonderful book treats this sensitive subject with candor and dignity.
Want to find out more about hope and recovery, then see Terry L Dorn’s book about psychiatric disabilities.