Rating
Aaron David Gottfried, “The Psychiatrist who cured the Scientologist” 
2009 | pages: 177 | ISBN: 0981057209 | PDF | 3,9 mb

 

The Psychiatrist who Cured the Scientologist is the story of Aaron David Gottfried’s struggle with bi-polar mental illness and the misinformed guidance of Scientology. Gottfried writes intensely about his descent into a world distorted by deep depression and high-strung mania. Readers will follow Gottfried’s first-person narrative throughout his ordeal, as he shows us the world through his mental illness and stress that was exacerbated by Scientology’s teachings that misdiagnose mental illness and condemn those who seek psychiatric care. The result for Gottfried and his parents is that because of Scientology they are pressured and influenced to ignore medical care for this illness. They are go through several years of hell, as Gottfried decompensates and is forced into treatment centers. Eventually the family must choose between sanity and Scientology.

I think the title is really a misnomer, as we do not learn anything about a particular psychiatrist and little about Scientology except its effect on Gottfried and his family, due to the cult’s antagonism toward mental healthcare. The title seems to diminish the significance of this story as a picture of the utter terror that can be caused by untreated or mistreated mental illness; however, I can see that the author wants to highlight the helpfulness of psychiatric care in his recovery. This book serves as an advocate to remove the stigma associated with mental illness and any stance that treats mental illness differently than other physcial diseases.

Gottfried reveals the torment associated with mental illness that an entire family goes through together. Gottfried attempted suicide, escaped from treatment several times, engaged in risky and dangerous behavior and was saved eventually through his parents love and determination and psychiatric care.

This story could have been enhanced by elaborating more on his family and sharing information from a third-person point of view to give readers a better picture of the situations he was in and how his family was dealing with his misadventures. However, for a story of mental illness told from the victim’s view point, this is an exceptional story that shines a light on the bi-polar disease.

 

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