Almost every mental illness ends up accompanied by a barrage of myths, misunderstandings, and misconceptions that cloud the minds of the populace and ultimately produces muddied opinions of the true threat.
Unfortunately, one of the most marginalized and ridiculed conditions is also one of the most common. An estimated 17 million Americans suffer from some form of clinical depression a year, most of whom end up never seeking psychological assistance due to feeling undermined and discouraged by the perceptions of society at large.
Because those suffering from depression run a much higher risk of committing suicide or acts of self-mutilation than their comparatively healthier peers, it is absolutely integral to understand the complexities and widespread influence of the disease.
Only by making an earnest effort to combat these negative and patently false perceptions can the depressed begin to realize that no shame or weakness lay in their situation, thereby removing many of the stigmas and reservations still undeservedly attached to entering into therapy.
“Finding Emmaus”, book one of The Lodestarre series, is a complex, dark historic fantasy about love and loss, obsession and the abuse of power, human frailties and a determination to live a life that matters.
The psychiatric community has confused Empathic personality traits with mental illness with tragic results, leading two Empaths, living three hundred years apart, on personal journeys to learn the true nature of Empathy. Transcending time and death to right a centuries-old wrong, they inadvertently uncover a multi-billion dollar conspiracy in which millions of Americans are being misdiagnosed and drugged for no other reason than the enormous income they generate.
Francis Nettleton, 17th century Empath, grew into adulthood believing himself to be insane. Eminently moral but the product of a society steeped in myths and misconceptions, he makes some less-than-prudent decisions which set in motion a murder for which he cannot forgive himself, a murder which will reverberate through four families and three centuries.
Three hundred years later, enter Katherine Spencer. After years of being hospitalized and drugged, she is given a rare opportunity: a second chance at life. At fifty-four, after being told that, rather than being insane, she’s more than likely Empathic, she sets out to find Francis and the legendary Lodestarre, both 300 years gone, in the hopes she can finally learn to live.
In the process of finding herself and mastering her newly-discovered abilities, Katherine unwittingly becomes the champion for the voiceless millions who are being victimized by a corporate machine of such omnipotent political power that she literally puts her life on the line when she challenges the all-but-unstoppable pharmaceutical industry, America’s most powerful and affluent lobby.
Then, into Katherine’s life comes Sally Cavanaugh, powerful – though novice – Empath with a secret infatuation which eventually transforms into a full-blown obsession. Overshadowing her ability to discern right from wrong, this obsession just might jeopardize every good thing in her life and everyone else’s – just to get what she wants.
In Wiccan tradition, there is the Book of Shadows; in Christianity, the Bible; even the secular world has its encyclopedias. But for Empaths, there was nothing of the sort until Francis Nettleton sacrificed everything and made it his life’s mission to create one authoritative body of knowledge, one central set of guiding principles – and he named it The Lodestarre. This manuscript is nothing less than the lifelong, selfless passion of one man’s profound desire to put an end to the relentless persecution and needless suffering of anyone who did not – or could not – fit the societal mold.
“Finding Emmaus” is an intricate, meticulously-researched, deeply disturbing, suspenseful tale of love and sacrifice, brutality and greed, courage and politics and madness and faith. It is a story with a huge cast of characters who will keep you guessing what will happen, what they will do and what choices they will make from one minute to the next as they weave in and out of the story and each others’ lives.
“The only thing worse than having an incomprehensible, incurable illness is having an incomprehensible, incurable illness in isolation.”
Over the decades psychiatrists are finding and re-defining more of the constellation of emotions, reactions, and ups and down of life as mental illness. No surprise, there are pills to make everyone fit the normal template, even some for shyness. Reporter Hagar Cohen. Read Transcript