Lorenzo Walker Tech HS & Institute of Tech

Friday, September 14, 2007

Off the Shelf 0708-4

By Julie Gregory
© 2003

Though difficult to fathom, there is a condition called Munchausen by proxy (MBP), which is specific type of mental disorder involving child abuse. It is a rare disorder in which a parent seeks medical attention for their child after creating real or imagined illness. Typically, a mother will deliberately make their child sick and/or report exaggerated or false symptoms which results in doctor's attempts to treat with tests, medications, and even surgeries. The parent usually demonstrates warm and caring attention towards the child, thus creating a web of confusion and deception.

This autobiography is a harrowing account of MBP through the victim's eyes. Reflecting on her childhood, Julie Gregory realizes with horror that her mother was indeed inflicted with MBP. Beautifully written - even in the sadness and ugliness of it all - there are bits of hope buried in facets of her life. She uncovers the cycle of child abuse and explores the vast impact it has on the entire family. The book appears to be serve as a cathartic release for Julie and possibly an attempt to redirect her anger into a more constructive manner. She also has a website (www.juliegregory.com) which, among other things, provides a forum for others to share their experiences.

This book is a must read for health and mental health professionals or for students interested in those career fields - however, consider yourself warned of the stark reality painted in eloquent words that will draw tears of sadness and angry, clenched jaws.

My recommendation: 4 out of 5 stars

Submitted by M. Coleman, Media Specialist

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