Sunday, June 7, 2015
He Wanted The Moon: The Madness and Medical Genius of Dr. Perry Baird, and His Daughter's Quest to Know Him
Dr. Baird suffered from Manic Depression. Treated in the 1950's, the story of his treatment, as chronicled by himself, is very reminiscent of scenes depicted in movies such as Snake Pit. Treatment was harsh and sometimes cruel. Yet, Dr. Baird kept copious notes as he watched his marriage dissolve, saw the end of his medical licensing and practice and found himself shunned by the very doctors who were friends and colleagues, some of whom practiced psychiatry. His notes became ground breaking advances in the treatment of manic depression as a bio-chemical disorder.
The book not only chronicles Dr. Baird's mental sufferings and physical mistreatments, it also chronicles the loss of a father to a family. In the 1950's, it was believed that the family of those who suffered from mental illness were best to 'forget' the family member entirely. Dr. Baird's wife was encouraged to divorce him and ultimately to move on into a new life, one which did not include the mentally ill.
Through a series of odd coincidences, Ms. Baird is contacted by long lost family members who had held on to the boxes of papers Dr. Baird had written as he researched and experienced manic depression. Through his writings, a daughter finds her father once again, long after he has passed away.
The book is a riveting read and I highly recommend it. I received this book from bloggingforbooks.com in consideration of my personal review.