All in Her Head by Sunny Mera
Published by She Writes Press on November 10th 2015
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Depression, Personal Memoirs, Psychology, Psychopathology, Schizophrenia
As a young girl growing up in the Midwest, Sunny is taught to think differently. Her parents are the founders of a small Christian school that practiced Socratic Discourse and encouraged its students to question everything—a lesson Sunny embraces wholeheartedly. As a Sunny grows older, she begins to build the life she’s always wanted: she marries, buys a house, enrolls in graduate school, and soon has a baby on the way. But when she experiences the psychological phenomena of orgasmic labor, it triggers a chain of bizarre events, and she gradually descends into a world of delusion and paranoia. As Sunny struggles to separate the real from the unreal, she relies upon friends and family to ground her in truth and love—and keep her from going over the edge into madness.
As I clean up all of my bookshelves and finalize all of my outstanding reviews from BookSparks’ Fall Reading Challenge 2015, I head into this book review, which is on the BookSparks “class” called Psychology of Sexuality in the Women’s Fiction Department.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I accepted the challenge of reading All in Her Head by Sunny Mera, but what I can tell you now is that this book had me completely plugged in from cover to cover. I read the book in one sitting, not because I had a spare 20 hours, but because it’s both captivating and only 256 pages. As a mother to one son, I can’t say that I have any personal experience with postpartum, thank God. The topic of mental illness runs rampant in my family and in particular, the struggle of many of my family members with depression.
We watch Sunny Mera’s walk through life as a young woman, through marriage and then through her pregnancy and then giving birth. She brings her baby home and paranoia starts in. After bringing the baby home she begins to get paranoid and begins to fall apart. Thankfully, medication was effective for Sunny and no one “criminalized” her as a result of her mental illness.
I learned that Sunny Mera wrote this book because she felt that the thing she needed on her life journey was more role models to explain how to share her mental illness. She felt that if she could heard more of these stories, it would have helped her during her dark days and then during her early days of insight. After spending a decade writing a narrative, she is sharing her story in the hopes that it will share her real hope for building a reality that is a place where others will want to live.
Honestly, after reading this book it blows my mind to think that this woman was able to complete graduate school and that she could actually work at meaningful employment during her struggle with mental illness. The bottom line is that her story shows readers both the support from her family, as well as her own intelligence, persistence and endurance. This book is a good read for anybody who has suffered with mental illnesses and delusional problems or anybody who has loved somebody with a mental illness.
I received a complimentary paperback copy of this book from the publishers and BookSparks in exchange for this post, which is my honest review and unbiased opinion.