Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Against Medical Advice by James Patterson and Hal Friedman

Against Medical Advice tells the true story of Corey Friedman and his struggle with Tourette syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder from age five to seventeen. The story is written by James Patterson and Corey's father, Hal, but is told from Corey's voice, making his story all the more affective.

From the onset, Corey's doctor's misdiagnosed his symptoms as attention deficit disorder, and consequently he was put on Ritalin. Further doctor visits revealed that Corey actually suffered from Tourette's. Over the years his doctors have tried a variety of prescriptions from antidepressants to medication for Parkinson's to antipsychotics. Much of the time, the side affects of the medications were worse than the actual disorder; some even made him contemplate suicide. Nothing seemed to be able to curb his grimacing, his ticks, and the behaviors of his body that he couldn't control. The only thing Corey seemed to find solace in was alcohol.

As you might imagine, school became extremely difficult for Corey, both socially and academically, especially when some of his teachers were less understanding than others. Hitting rock bottom when he nearly burned down his parent's house, Corey went against medical advice and stopped taking many of his medications. He eventually left his junior year of high school to attend a wilderness camp for troubled teens. He also went to other schools that specialized in helping individuals with issues such as his. Although unable to find a cure, through his own perseverance he was able to improve the severity of his condition.

Deeply touching and eye-opening, Corey's personal account of his struggles will pull at reader's heartstrings as they walk with Corey in his journey to overcome this debilitating condition. His is a story of triumph against all odds that will captivate readers.

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