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Detached by Christina Kilsbourne
This post may contain topics of suicide.
Detached by Christina Kilsbourne.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
This book is a work of fiction. my views and points are mine only, with no relationship to the author in any way or form.
The book centers around the protagonist, Anna, a 16-year-old who silently suffers from depression after the death of her grandparents who she was very close to.
The book is told in first-person point of view, and does a great job at illustrating the character's worldview, feelings, perceptions, and thoughts. In addition, the narration follows multiple perspectives of 3 characters. Anna the protagonist, Aliya her best friend, and Anna's mom. I imagine Kilsbourne purposefully did this because those two characters were the most important in Anna's life, although this was not directly stated. This also has the significant effect of showing different perspectives, all related to the protagonist, and how she sees herself and how others perceive her. This is great, since more often than not even in real life we don't know how others see us, and our self-perception and our perception of others may be inaccurate. This is even of greater importance for with main character of the story and the extreme feelings of sadness she goes through.
Unfortunately, I could not overlook the author's constant focus of Anna's suicidal ideation. Sure, Anna's depression is the focal point of discussion, however there surely is more to her than just her suicide ideation and attempts. In addition, the author focused on Anna so much and so did the other characters, to the point that the other characters had no personalities or identities of their own without being tied to Anna.
The use of antidepressants is highly glorified in this book, and so is the influence of genetics on an individual. Yes, depression has biological factors but it also has psychosocial ones as well, and the environment play an important role. Kilsbourne did not emphasize the biopsychosocial environmental factors at all, which I think, did not paint an accurate picture. It's about nature and nurture, not just nature.
Mental illness is given a negative light, a taboo which no one talks about. This point, unfortunately, is still relatable to so many people. Mental health is frowned upon and getting help much worse.
Therapists are depicted in a very bad way as well. Them working in a psych ward, not respecting the boundaries of clients, and always hyper analysing everything that clients say, or forcing them to talk. While I can't speak anything about institutions yet, therapy and mental health resources are very important, and therapists for the most part are not there to intrude. Kilsbourne does this point horrible justice and does not help to decrease the stigma of mental illness.
This book for being a work of fiction is ok, but I would not reread it again. The points previously given makes this book for me very hard to swallow.