Key Themes: family struggle, mental health institutions, anorexia, depression, extreme obsessive-compulsive disorder, Child and development psychology, Family Psychology, Abnormal Psychology,Mental Health Services, Memoirs, Autobiography, Coping with Eating Disorders, Coping with Death & Bereavement Human life is suffering but Sybil Macindoe suffered more than others with a severe and complex mental health problem, known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Anorexia Nervosa. It was an extremely distressing and handicapping condition for both her and family that ultimately led to her tragic death. This book provides some insight into both the experience of Sybil as well as that of her carers and professionals. We can all learn from her narrative and from the different perspectives of her family and carers. I felt moved by her experience and was left wishing that she could have taken advantage of the newer developments in treating OCD. The impact of OCD on the family is often hidden. Her family’s observations and narrative are extremely balanced and provide a cautionary tale for sufferers, carers and professionals alike. There is lots of information and self help material about OCD but this book is a valuable addition to our knowledge about OCD and Anorexia Nervosa and its impact on others. David Veale, Consultant Psychiatrist in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, South London and Maudsley Trust and the Priory Hospital North London. Description Tehran, spring 1978: Into the political maelstrom of Iranian revolutionary activity is born a severely premature baby, Sybil Macindoe. Where and why will this child’s life end tragically twenty years later? Sybil, crucially, is separated from her mother by the Iranian medics, and when she finally goes home, her isolated and inexperienced parents struggle to manage her care as events crescendo around them. Her mentally unwell mother, an American academic and feminist with a troubled background, cannot cope. The same toxic mixture of ingredients will threaten Sybil’s survival throughout her young life: bad genes, adverse environmental triggers, family dysfunction, and inadequate medical institutions. Her mother traces these interacting influences as Sybil grows up later in fundamentalist Qatar and then immigrates with her family to the UK, where a mixed array of mental health institutions deals unevenly with the ‘things in her head’—anorexia, depression, and an extreme version of obsessive-compulsive disorder that includes bizarre religious fixations. So that readers may draw their own conclusions, her mother’s confessional narrative is interwoven with other viewpoints—of carers and administrators, family members, friends and especially the raw diaries of Sybil herself, intelligent and bewildered, generous and paranoid. This memoir pays tribute to Sybil’s brave struggle, is instructive for anyone involved with the onset and treatment of mental illness, and also tells an eventful and moving family story. About the Author Born a New Yorker, Lois Chaber was absorbed in a conventional academic career as a scholar/teacher in Eighteenth-Century English Literature until she was lured away to the Middle East in the mid-1970s by her third husband, a dynamic New Zealander. There, they experienced first-hand the turbulent triumph of Islamic fundamentalism in this oil-rich region and eventually left with Sybil and her younger sister Molly for London, where Lois has taught for a decade in a small American university. Various family misfortunes reached their climax in 1999 with Sybil’s tragic suicide, which compelled Lois to begin her memoir. A life-long anxiety/depression sufferer, Lois presently benefits from her psychotropic medicine, Quaker meetings, good literature, purring cats, the Jane Fonda Workout, and many rewarding relationships. She is committed to supporting various mental health charities.