My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward, written by Mark Lukach, is a memoir on his family's journey through his wife's mental illness. Mark wrote the book with Guilia's consent to bring light to their story, in hopes to break the stigma and bring awareness to mental illness and the toll it takes on those in its grasp. Mark and Guilia's lives were picturesque, as they first fell in love in college and married at a young age, moving to California to continue their lives together. At the age of twenty-seven, Guilia is a beautiful, charismatic, Italian woman who enjoys her fast paced work, while Mark is a laid-back, surfer, who teaches at a local school. As Guilia's job intensifies, she begins to develop an intense anxiety that results in sleepless nights. While Mark tries to soothe her and help her through her stress, her worries become far bigger than they could have ever imagined. Guilia began to suffer from a psychotic break, leaving her delusional and suicidal, that landed her in the psychiatric ward of a hospital.
The picture perfect life they had planned is far from reach, and their struggle to heal is one of trial and triumph. As Guilia fights to find her way back from the abyss, Mark struggles to find balance between his roles of husband and care-taker. The harsh reality of suicide is ever-present in their life and is one they must work through together. Though Guilia's experiences are documented in the memoir, the book largely focuses on Mark's own personal struggle with becoming the care-taker of his wife, which sheds light on a different angle to mental illness. Guilia continues to experience other episodes that require her to seek treatment and be hospitalized, the second of which follows the birth of their first child. This memoir exposes the delicate balance required in the wake of mental illness to maintain a "normal" life, with a family and career. The book also brings awareness to the intricacies of mental health care, and the difficulties in finding the right treatment and diagnosis for cases of mental illness. As evidenced in My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward, mental illness is universal but it is also individual.
My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward offers an intimate view into the life of a family struggling with mental illness. This memoir is honest, intimate, and open in all aspects of their journey. The honesty allows readers to connect and realize this is not something of imagination, that this is real and brutal, and can happen to anyone. Since the book also offers the perspective of the husband taking care of his wife, readers can begin to truly grasp the wide reach that mental illness can have. This memoir is stunningly written in the purest form. The intricacies of Mark and Guilia's relationship and the battle they endured to maintain their family is one of sorrow and love, pain and joy. It shows that mental illness requires a continuous effort from all involved. Mark Lukach lays everything out on the table for the reader to see.This book may help others to feel as if they are not alone in their own journey or in helping their loved ones through their battles. This memoir should pass through every hand and be on every book shelf, not necessarily as just an interesting read, but to encourage and promote awareness.
Title: My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward
Author: Mark Lukach
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Harper Wave; Reprint edition (May 1, 2018)
Price: I purchased my copy from Taylor Books Store in Charelston, WV for $15.99, however, it can be purchased from their online store for $13.47, or from Amazon for $13.47 also.