For nearly three decades, Swiss psychoanalyst Alice Miller has written extensively about the long-term effects of parental cruelty. Hitler's atrocities, Miller suggests, were the direct result of daily beatings by his father, a subject Miller explored in For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence (1983). But repressed rage from childhood does not always explode outward in adulthood. Sometimes it turns inward. To read more, Click here.
Bonnie Buxton's daughter, Colette, was a beautiful, energetic toddler who stole the hearts of her adoptive parents. But by first grade, Buxton writes in Damaged Angels: An Adoptive Mother Discovers the Tragic Toll of Alcohol in Pregnancy (Carroll & Graf; paperback, $15.95), Colette was stealing money and lying, seemingly without remorse. Buxton, a Toronto-based journalist, struggled for years to get special education and therapy for her daughter. School and mental health professionals downplayed Colette's problems; some blamed Buxton and her husband, and even Colette herself. By age 14, Colette was sexually active and involved with drugs. To read more, Click here.
On March 11, 2001, Gail Griffith's 17-year-old son, Will, took an overdose of his antidepressant medication that left him comatose for 48 hours. He became one of the approximately 2,000 Americans between ages 13 and 18 who attempted suicide that day. Griffith chronicles her son's journey back to a renewed interest in life in Will's Choice: A Suicidal Teen, a Desperate Mother, and a Chronicle of Recovery (HarperCollins, $24.95). To read more, Click here.