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Book Review for "Hallucinatory Tribulation Volume 1

As you all know, who follow my blog, I am not a book reviewer. However, I am a book reader and have recently come across a book that sparked a challenge to my mind. As a trauma professional, I have worked with mentally ill clients for a long time. I understand the presentation of certain diseases and the criteria for diagnosing them. In sessions, I often also get a look into the thoughts and struggles of those who suffer from mental illness. But I am also eager to understand more...to plunge more deeply into the inscrutable world of schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder and borderline personality disorder.

Therefore, I am reviewing the collection of short stories by Sahreth Baphy Bowden:  Hallucinatory Tribulation, Volume 1.

This collection offers up a dark yet realistic glimpse into the world of mental illness. My initial reading plan, as usual, had been to read a few pages each night. Yet, the very first story, Black and White, engaged me immediately. Drawn into the memories and confessions of a death row inmate as he consumed his last meal, I found myself mesmerized by the depth of emotion this author was able to convey with his words. The next story, Decompose, delved into the terrifying world of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with such clarity and composition, that I had to finish that story as well.

The rest of the collection affected me similarly, in that I allowed myself to be pulled into the shadowy world of schizophrenia, PTSD and paranormal experiences. My own experience as a trauma therapist validated the thoughts, activities, and emotions his characters exhibited through the delicate details in the author’s writing.

The most important contribution, and my overall takeaway from the collection, lie in the expository clarification of mental illness rather than just writing for shock value. After reading this book, I understood more of the internal struggle of those afflicted with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses .

I am giving Hallucinatory Tribulation Volume 1 (5 stars) for its poignant, yet realistic depiction of the private struggle that is mental illness. So often those who suffer with mental illness are summed up as a product of their behavior. Sahreth Baphy Bowden, challenges the reader to look a little deeper before passing judgement.

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