Book Review - Insanity's Shoes

My friend Angela Tompkins recently published a book titled Insanity's Shoes about her experience with postpartum psychosis. As a RN and a IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant), I felt I needed to read this book so that I could better screen and counsel the postpartum women I see and talk to on a regular basis.

In the book, Angela gives not only her own experience of what it was like inside her brain during her two weeks of insanity, but also how her psychosis affected those around her. Her husband writes an occasional chapter to let us know what he saw and felt during this time period. Having both sides of the picture helps to create an even more colorful view!

When we think of postpartum issues in mothers, we often think of postpartum depression, which is a lot more common, therefore women are more widely screened for it.

Postpartum psychosis is a much more rare postpartum illness and is widely overlooked by medical professionals.

Signs and symptoms of postpartum psychosis, as well as general information about this mental illness, can be found on the Postpartum Support International website.

In Insanity's Shoes, Angela goes from being a wife and the mother of a young girl and a newborn son to being a patient in a lock down unit of a psych hospital. Anyone who knows Angela would say, "What??? No way!!" So mental illness can happen to the best of us when our brain chemistry goes haywire for one reason or another.

The takeaway message for me in this book is that we aren't made to be everything to everyone ALL the time! It's important to learn to say No when necessary and to recharge ourselves with rest, especially after birthing a new baby or other stressful situations in life. It's just as important as we reach out with meals, a listening ear or offers of babysitting to those who are in need of such help. Be each other's keeper!

Angela wrote Insanity's Shoes in an easy to read format. With a hot cup of tea, a Kleenex or two, and a quite afternoon (all the kids are napping ...), you can enjoy this book in a couple of hours and finish feeling like Angela is your best friend whom you feel for, plus know that you've learned a lot about postpartum psychosis that can help you be a better friend or counselor to the women in your life.

Then pass the book on to others (or buy your best friend a copy!) so they too can recognize the signs of postpartum psychosis and get a new mother the help she so desperately needs.

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