Sheila Hamilton – All The Things We Never Knew

How do you react when your beloved husband suddenly is not the same anymore? When your life slowly falls apart and you can only watch but do nothing about it? Sheila Hamilton has gone through this with her husband suffering from mental illness without acknowledging his need for help. The author looks back on how gradually the illness took over her life and shows the signs she was not able to recognize at the time but which should have been a warning. Short episodes like losing the wallet again and again, getting more chaotic day-by-day and unbearable outbursts were a nuisance at the time but could have been read as warnings.

Sheila Hamilton’s very personal account of her life with an ill partner is not only interesting but admirable, because this is a very personal insight in other people’s life at a point where you normally try everything to hide to outer world that there is a serious problem. There are two things I appreciated most: first, the report on the single incidents made it easy to follow her line of narration and helped to understand how the illness develops; second, at the end of each chapter she provides useful information and help on various aspects of mental illnesses which can be very useful for caretakers and they are presented in a way that a non expert can understand it and can take it as a start for further research. The detailed annotations at the end of the book are also very helpful.
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