Today I am pleased to welcome A. F. Brady on to the blog with a fantastic gust post which I was supposed to have up for her blog tour a while back but didn’t get a chance to sort out. I’m hoping this will make up for it a little bit!
What’s Behind the Dedication
The Blind’s dedication reads “for the misunderstood” and I am often asked about the inspiration behind it. It’s dedicated to the misunderstood because that is a feeling and a state of mind that we can all relate to.
The Blind is set primarily in a psychiatric institution in Manhattan. The people who populate both real and fictitious psychiatric facilities are patients suffering from a host of different mental health issues, and often these issues are wildly misunderstood by the general public. That being said, the people who work in these institutions are also commonly perceived as something they may not be; the picture of pristine mental health. And it is set in New York, a misunderstood city filled with misunderstood natives and residents.
Although we are moving in a more open and inclusive direction as far as mental health is concerned, there are still stigmas and fears associated with people diagnosed with various mental illnesses. But, did you know that individuals diagnosed with mental illnesses are statistically more likely to be the victims of crimes as opposed to the perpetrators? People have been conditioned to believe that for our own safety, we should stay away from people with mental health issues, and we should probably look the other way as they are pushed to the fringes of society. This is a population that is tremendously misunderstood. Don’t forget, one in four adults will be diagnosable with a mental illness at some point in their lifetime. That’s 25% of people. Chances are pretty high that mental health issues will touch us and our families and loved ones.
Dr. Sam James, the main character in The Blind, is a psychologist on the brink of an absolute breakdown. She is in the business of caring for people, and humans love to believe that those in positions of power, authority and caretaking must have it all together, and suffer from no issues. None of us have it all together. We are flawed, we are imperfect and more often than not, we are misunderstood. Not just New Yorkers, like Sam and Richard and most of the characters in The Blind. Not just people involved in the mental health world, either clients or caretakers, but everyone. All of us.
We are human beings, and we cannot be generalized. We don’t neatly fit into categories and boxes and convenient definitions. We are weird, we are different, and we are misunderstood. Welcome to being a person. The Blind is for you.
About the Book
Every morning, psychiatrist Sam James gets up at six forty-five. She has a shower, drinks a cup of coffee, then puts on her make-up.
She ignores the empty bottles piling up by her door.
On this particular morning, Sam is informed of a new patient’s arrival at Manhattan’s most notorious institution. Reputed to be deranged and dangerous, Richard is just the kind of impossible case Sam has built her reputation on. She is certain that she is the right doctor to treat such a difficult patient.
But then Sam meets Richard. And Richard seems totally sane.
About the Author
A.F. Brady is a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor/Psychotherapist. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Brown University and two Masters degrees in Psychological Counseling from Columbia University. She is a life-long New Yorker, and resides in Manhattan with her husband and their family. The Blind is her first novel.