Search Results for: Miriam Feldman

Why Aren’t More Fathers Involved In Advocacy? I’m Asked In Podcast With 3 Mothers In The Trenches

(10-7-22) Three moms with sons who have schizophrenia question me during this podcast about such subjects as the new 988 number, being a dad in the trenches as opposed to being a mom, and NAMI’s “Big Tent” approach to mental illnesses. They remind me that not everyone with a serious mental illness gets better – rather there are good days with good memories and bad ones.

We must savor the good memories.

Three Moms in the Trenches is a thoughtful podcast created by Randye Kaye, author of Ben Behind His Voices: One Family’s Journey From the Chaos of Schizophrenia To Hope, along with Miriam Feldman, author of He Came With It: A Portrait of Motherhood and Madness, and Mindy Greiling, author of Fix What You Can: Schizophrenia and a Lawmakers Fight for Her Son.  

All three of these accomplished authors are veteran mental health advocates. Check out their joint podcast and their individual books which describe their journeys with an adult child with a serious mental illness.

Show Information Posted on Podcast.

Pete Earley is a storyteller whose books include four New York Times bestsellers, likeThe Hot House and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize finalist Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness.His years as an investigative journalist include six years at The Washington Post. Pete is a tireless advocate for mental health system reform.

Many listeners ask: What about the Dads? Pete Earley knows. He was most recently seen on the PBS documentary “Hiding in Plain Sight” with his son Kevin Mike Earley.

In today’s episode we hear their family story, and many thoughts on what we’d like to change about the system – including NAMI. 

Additional information/links from Three Moms In Trenches

The Lifeline and 988 –

NPR 988 story:

Want us to cover a topic? comment to share?

Facebook page @Schizophrenia3Moms   @SZ3MomsTrenches –  twitter

Randye Kaye -Broadcaster, Actress, Voice Talent, Speaker, and Author (“Ben Behind his Voices”, “Happier Made Simple”)

Miriam Feldman – Artist, Mom, Author “He Came in With It”

Mindy Greiling – member of the Minnesota House of Representatives for twenty years. Activist, Legislator, Author (“Fix What You Can“)

Schizophrenia In The Time Of Covid-19: We Are All Isolated Now

Illustration Courtesy of TapIn to East Orange 

(8-19-20) A guess blog from one of my favorite advocates and a fellow author.

Millions of Stick Houses

by Mimi Feldman, author of He Came In With It: A Portrait of Motherhood and Madness

If we learn nothing else from this pandemic, we better learn to talk about mental health.

Yesterday I was on the phone with a customer service representative at Bank of America. The account I keep for my son, Nick, had received a $40 overdraft charge because his SSI payment hadn’t auto deposited in time for his rent check. Because of the pandemic. Because he is on disability. Because he couldn’t possibly hold a job. Because he has schizophrenia. Because.

The pandemic has hurled all of into an isolated, shut-away world not dissimilar to my son’s. The other day I asked my daughter, “So, who is the example of the perfect follower of social distancing rules who hasn’t changed his life one bit?” She didn’t miss a beat, “Nick!” And we both chuckled. Nick’s particular condition includes a sprinkling of OCD. “I doubt he’s touched a doorknob in ten years!” she exclaimed, and then we laughed. This may sound terrible to you, but believe me, gallows humor is all you’ve got sometimes with serious mental illness.

I was talking to a therapist recently who told me that schizophrenia is the black sheep of mental illness. I already knew that. It isn’t understandable like bipolar. It isn’t treatable like depression. It isn’t recognizable like anxiety. In a world of strangeness, it is the strangest of all. It renders its sufferers sick by attacking the very organ that would allow them to understand and seek treatment: the mind. It is a thought disorder. Think about that (ha. yes, think) and imagine someone you love becoming another person. Receding and transforming and returning in an unrecognizable form. There is a particular irony to this disease, it has a cruel joke quality.

I am very open about the situation. I decided a long time ago that I didn’t have the energy for the tap dancing that bowing to stigma requires. This wasn’t a bold or noble move on my part. It was the need for efficiency. The stress and maintenance of this circus requires everything I’ve got. Superfluous activity and emotions are discarded to make room for problem solving.

During this awful time of Covid-19, I look at my son and am struck once again by the paradox of schizophrenia. When the whole world is reeling from the drastic change in our reality, he wanders calmly through it all, un-phased. It’s not that he doesn’t understand, he just lives in his own immediate world. As we all are right now. And it is driving us crazy. Ah, the irony.

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3 New Books By Advocates About Mental Illnesses & Recovery

(7-22-20) Advocates who have written for my blog or spoken to me personally are releasing three new books about mental illness. The titles are:

A Family Guide to Mental Health Recovery: What You Need to Know from Day One by Virgil Stucker and Stephanie McMahon.

He Came In With It: A Portrait of Motherhood and Madness by Miriam Feldman

Fix What You Can by Mindy Greiling

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Joined By Bestselling Author Of Hidden Valley Road, 3 Mothers Describe Their Experiences With Adult Children With SMIs


(6-1-20) My son, Kevin, is a certified peer specialist – a person with a serious mental illness in recovery who helps others with their mental illnesses. I’m proud of him and his work.

Unfortunately and unnecessarily, peers are sometimes viewed as being adversaries to parents and families. This is counter productive. The same thinking that applies to peers can be said about parents and families. Only a parent or family member can fully understand what that experience involves. Parents handle issues differently. Some better than others. But teamwork is more productive than head butting, especially when each side should have the same goal, which should be helping an individual prosper.

The voices of family members are important. I remember vividly what a brother told me about his sister when I interviewed him in Miami for my book. He told me that his sister had schizophrenia and during the past 30 years she had been seen by two dozen psychiatrists, assigned three times that number of social workers, and had been arrested, and appeared before judges. When all of those doctors, social workers and judges were gone, he was still with her picking up the pieces.

It is important for parents to talk about their experiences. I am delighted that Randye Kaye, an author, public speaker, and mental health activist, invited two other mothers of adult children with serious mental illnesses to participate in a video discussion. Baltimore advocate Laura Pogliano and Miriam Feldman, both have written for this blog.

In addition, Kaye invited Robert Kolker, the New York Times bestselling author of Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family to join their discussion. Kolker’s book chronicles the experiences of the Galvin family, a midcentury American family in Colorado Springs with twelve children, six of whom have been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Kolker’s book is a selection of the revived Oprah’s Book Club.

Thank you Randye Kaye, Laura Pogliano with SARDAA, and Miriam Feldman for sharing your experiences. Kaye is the author of  Ben Behind His Voices.  Feldman’s book, He Came In With It: A Portrait of Motherhood and Madness, will be available July 21st. Here is an NPR interview with Kolker about Hidden Valley Road.

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“You, me, and my son with schizophrenia.” A Guest Blogger Questions What Happens After Stability


“If taking a sick person and just medicating them to the point where they are not a problem to society is the marker for success, then we should all be ashamed of ourselves.”

By Miriam Feldman, a fellow parent, advocate and blogger.

I am the mother of an adult son with schizophrenia.

The dozen years since his diagnosis have been filled with more pain, and also beauty, then I once thought could coexist in a single life. I am his primary caregiver, I am his advocate, and I am the self-appointed conservator of his legacy.

My son Nick was once a prodigious artist with a bright and certain future. These days he sits alone in his apartment most of the time. He watches television; sometimes he colors in coloring books. I have a website where I display his old artwork. I write about our lives. I keep a record of his progress. I refuse to let the truth of who he is disappear without a trace. This disease may have him in its grip, but I will not let it eclipse him altogether.

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