Living with Madness

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By Rona Riley

About the Book

Format Dimensions Pages
Softcover 8.5x8.5 138


The book is about my life with my husband, Robin and our life together. Robin was diagnosed as schizophrenic when he was in the Air Force due to his erratic behavior. He was flagging down airplanes, wanting a ride home to where he lived in Long Beach CA. He was extremely agitated and wanted to leave the air force. He was given shock treatments when back in Long Beach, which he claimed were very painful but which returned him to normal. I met him shortly thereafter and found him to be well groomed, articulate and frankly, very desirable as a person. We dated and we got very close and had a sizzling love affair. I hope my wording in the book passes the the critique when it finally is screened. My description of this affair is very explicit and honest and not intended to be "raunchy" in the least; it was always loving not expressed for shock value. I became pregnant and we got married. I had two children with Robin. Well, I didn't think Robin would get sick again but he did, when our first baby was 2 mos. old. His behavior when he had an another attack of schizophrenia was extremely aggressive, nasty, careless and impossible to live with. He was hospitalized for 6 mos and when he came back to me, I could not have been more excited and happy...he was back to his old self. They discovered a medication that settled him down and it worked for a while until he had his second attack of schizophrenia. Turns out he was really manic depressive, not schizophrenic and was suffering with the manic end of bipolar, the new word for manic depression

The book describes his illnesses in great detail and our attempts to treat him. Part of it might be interesting to a pre-med student or someone studying to be a pharmacist or psychiatrist. A major part of the book is my extreme love for Robin which I describe in great detail and my joy when he finally returned to normal. I was so happy when he was normal, after about 2 mos. of being sick, that there was no way I could have left him at that point. At the end of the book I ask the reader what she would do if she found herself in such a situation. The purpose of my book is to have anyone whose husband is mentally ill to think about what she plans to do before she marries him. It would be very reassuring to such a reader who might be struggling with the same feelings that I struggled with while I was living with madness. It has some very poignant moments and some humor. I think you will find my book very honest, I don't hold anything back. You can be sure that for the most part the story is absolutely true.

About the Author

I was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. I received the Lieutenant Governor's Silver Medal for Great Distinction in the general course upon graduation from University. I spent an extra year in University in order to receive my Master's Degree in Psychology. I attended the famous McGill University during my undergraduate years and later when I studied for my Master's. I found academics to come very natural to me. When I graduated, armed with my Master's degree, I left home and found employment in Las Vegas, which I chose because I had some relatives living there. I became a school psychologist. I then moved to Long Beach, California where I was employed as a psychotherapist. I met and married a handsome young man who was charming, attentive and unassuming, characteristics which made me fall in love with him. We were married for 45 years during which time he suffered several attacks of mania, being bipolar. He always returned to his healthy self, however. My book "Living with Madness, a love story" outlines how I and my family coped with his diagnosis. He died in Sept. 2007 from complications due to Hepatitis C. I am living in Seal Beach, where I lived with my husband throughout our marriage and raised our two boys. My sons are in their 50's now and were lucky enough not to inherit my husband's mental illness.