Essay on I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg

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"I Never Promised You a Rose Garden" by Joanne Greenberg

Schizophrenia has long been a devastating mental illness and only recently have we begun to see an improvement in our capabilities to treat this disorder. The development of neuroleptics such as, Haldol, Risperidal, and Zyprexa have given psychiatrists, psychologists and their patients great hope in the battle against this mental disease. However, during the 1960s, drugs were not available and psychologists relied upon psychotherapy in order to treat patients.

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, is a description of a sixteen-year-old girl's battle with schizophrenia, in the 1960s. Deborah Blau’s illness spanned three years, in which she spent her life in a mental
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Throughout her life, she has fought for the respect and empathy that individuals suffering from both physical and mental handicaps have been denied. Deborah Blau allowed Greenberg the opportunity to call attention to the misconceptions of mental illness and at the same time describe the story of a very bright and artistically talented girl who just happened to be struggling with a mental disorder.

When Deborah was five, she had an operation to remove a tumor in her ovaries that caused her to be incontinent. This was a very traumatic experience because a great deal of physical pain and shame came along with the problems caused by the tumor and resulting surgery. Deborah suffered frequent abuse from her anti-Semitic peers and neighbors during her childhood. As a result of continued pain, both physical and mental, Deborah creates an imaginary world, which she calls the Kingdom of Yr, to use as a defense against the confusing and frightening truths of the real world. Anterrabae, or the Falling God is the most powerful being in the Kingdom of Yr. The second most powerful being is Lactamaeon. Another being of Yr is Idat, the Dissmebler. She is a beautiful goddess who watches over Deborah. In the midst of the story, Deborah accidentally leaves a clue in the real world to the existence of Yr. In order to keep this from happening again, she creates The Censor to guard

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