3 out of 4 stars
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The Enemy in Me is a non-fiction account of the author's life and his fight against mental illness. He wants to make sense of everything that happened and, at the same time, raise awareness on the Bipolar Schizoaffective Disorder. In this riveting story, Campbell offers insight into how the illness progresses. He talks about his childhood giving examples of the warning signs that led him into a downward spiral. Campbell wants the reader to immerse into his mind and see the world from his own perspective. This book delves into the raw details of mental illness from the beginning until he manages to pull through the worst.
The Enemy in Me is no walk in the park. It's meant to be unsettling. The author exposes himself for everyone to see. The message is clear: mental illness is not as black and white as people believe. There is no starting point and no clear finish. I was very intrigued by the portrayal of religion in the book. It had a positive effect on him but also a lot of negative ones. As Campbell continues telling his story, he makes insightful comments about the symptomatic events in his life. There are points in which he doesn't know what was real and what was just a hallucination. Campbell narrates his experiences just as they happened.
That honesty is what I liked the most about this story. This book is meant to plunge you into the author's raw experiences. As you read, it feels like this is the diary of a rambling madman. Words are missing. He repeats phrases and words. Sometimes, words are confused with other phonetically similar words. There are a lot of grammatical errors. These errors could be considered major flaws. The author knows this. He explains this book started as a diary. He decided to share it just as it was because he wrote most of it during medication or while having symptoms. In order to deliver an honest version of his state of mind, it was necessary to show all these errors.
This book is a must for anyone going through any mental illness. Campbell wants everyone to know that, no matter how hard it gets, there is hope. It can get better if you allow yourself to be helped. At the end of the book, he provides various hotlines for people seeking help. He even provides his email if someone needs some support. I have a family member going through this ordeal, and this book was helpful for me. It helped me to understand what they are going through. That's why I strongly recommend this book to anyone who knows someone with a mental illness. Psychology students and professionals can also benefit from this book.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I think it was very brave of Campbell to open himself like he did in this book. The way he narrates the events of his life and the insightful analysis he makes of them, make this book a remarkable piece of literature. The number of grammatical errors in this book would usually make me lower the rating to 2 stars. However, the errors are necessary to portray the effects of mental illness. The book has a lot of drug and alcohol abuse as well as many sex scenes. I recommend that only adults read this book even though it may be helpful for teens going through a mental illness.
The Enemy In Me
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