Saturday, November 03, 2007

A promise of hope

I've been reading a new book, A Promise of Hope, by Autumn Stringam. That book has been getting a lot of press here in Vancouver. In the past week five people alerted me to her and her story.

I was concerned because the cover of the book says that the story is about a "miraculous treatment that cured her." She takes a herbal concoction and has been symptom free for ten years. What concerns me is that there are many who will hear her story and want to go off their medication, opting instead for this "miracle cure." There are already too many people refusing to take the medications their doctor prescribes.

I was happy to see that there is an afterword by Charles Popper, M.D. from the Harvard Medical School warning that there have not yet been controlled scientific studies done to prove that this treatment will be helpful to significant numbers of people or that it's safe over the long run. In the same way that not everyone responds well to a certain medication, not everyone will respond well to the treatment Stringam discovered. I just hope that whoever hears her story will heed what Dr. Popper has to say about all this.

I'm about halfway through the book and am truly impressed with how well it's written. Her description of her mother's battle with bipolar and then her own are vivid. They're so vivid that I am finding myself getting depressed just reading it. But we want people who don't yet understand to learn what kind of hell we sometimes live through, don't we? So perhaps it's a good thing.

How this brings home to me what my life would be like right now if I weren't receiving effective treatment! How this points out the serious nature of our disease!

Stringam is a fellow Christian and in the last bit I read she was ready to take her life when she happened upon a passage from Isaiah that gave her peace and a renewed will to live. For her - as for me - faith in God provided the hope she needed to keep going.

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