Finding Pleasure in Books
Finding Pleasure in Books
Adamo Press
Adamo Press


LOSING DAD, Paranoid Schizophrenia: A Family's Search for Hope by Amanda LaPera




Silver award recipient of IBPA's prestigious Benjamin Franklin book award in the category of psychology, Losing Dad, Paranoid Schizophrenia: A Family's Search for Hope is a compelling true story.


“Most memoirs about schizophrenia focus on youth. Few document the special trials that can come from an onset in one's fifties, when home and family are set. . . . Families who struggle with similar circumstances will find Amanda LaPera's descriptions hard-hitting, powerful, and familiar. . . . discusses many subjects not typically seen in memoirs about families and mental illness. . . . The result is an eye-opening, important discussion that holds many implications for book club readers, psychology groups, support services for families of mentally ill individuals, and the general reading public. . . . This is why Losing Dad, Paranoid Schizophrenia is highly recommended not just for specialty collections or discussion groups, but for general-interest audiences and libraries who need to be more aware of the circumstances, struggles, and social and community systems involved in late-age mental illness.” 


—D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review



“LaPera recounts the harrowing tale of her father's descent into mental illness and her family's quest to help him in a direct, no-holds-barred approach that invites readers into the situation. Together, author and reader embark on the highs and lows of Joseph's journey, tugging away at a wide range of emotions. LaPera is a talented writer, able to convincingly characterize her father's mental illness and provoke frustration, compassion, and feelings of impotence in readers, similar to the emotions experienced by the author herself. While mental illness and complicated familial relationships are frequently explored in memoir, LaPera offers a uniquely powerful. deeply personal chronicle that will resonate with readers. Characterization is top-notch and intimate, particularly her well-rounded, resonating portrayal of LaPera's father.”

BookLife Prize



“In this touching memoir. . . . readers are immersed into LaPera's firsthand account of the effects mental illness has not only on the diagnosed individual but all those who love him. . . . Written with compassion, emotion, and insight, LaPera tells her father's story as only someone with first-hand knowledge of witnessing the life-altering effects of mental illness, all with a hard-won emphasis on healing and hope. . . . gripping, touching account. . . . offers a visceral, often heart-rending portrait chronicle, with welcome attention paid to the rippling effects of mental illness. Readers will be emotionally affected by this story that contributes much that’s wise and healthy to the ongoing conversation.” 

—BookLife Reviews (Editor’s Pick)


“The astounding patience, compassion, love, commitment to family, and willpower LaPera has shown while coping with such an issue is remarkable. I recommend Losing Dad, Paranoid Schizophrenia to anyone who faces mental illness or knows someone who does. This book will inspire and encourage loved ones not to give up hope even when getting help seems all but impossible.

—  Amy Raines for Readers’ Favorite (Five-Star Review)



“Stories of heartache and loss are plentiful, but a true tale which makes the reader feel like a friendly ear on the other side of the table…sticks to the ribs.”


Ellen Eldridge, Target Audience Magazine



No drugs. No alcohol. So, how does a fifty-three-year-old develop schizophrenia? That’s the question puzzling Joseph’s family. Joseph’s mind descends into madness, filled with grandiose delusions and paranoia. He traverses several continents as a self-proclaimed prophet of God. Then he disappears.


His wife and three kids race to find answers before he slips away forever. Their biggest fear—he will die a faceless stranger on the streets. Alone.


If only this true story were the only one… Severe mental illness affects one in seventeen and can develop inside any mind at any time.


Includes a foreword written by Xavier Amador, Ph.D., founder of the LEAP Institute and author of “I am Not Sick, I Don't Need Help!” which describes the neurological condition of anosognosia; an afterword that covers laws related to mental illness; resources; book club discussion questions; and letters to the reader from the family members.


The perspectives of his three children, his spouse, and his own distorted reality combine to offer readers a glimpse of a world that will either feel hauntingly familiar or dramatically eye-opening. Valuable for clinicians, lawmakers, and the public to better understand how mental illness (and homelessness) impacts more than just the individual.


Joseph’s mysterious condition “anosognosia” (a condition in which a person who suffers from a certain disability is unaware of the existence of that disability) is examined in greater detail.


A portion of author’s proceeds from sales of Losing Dad will go to NAMI-OC, an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, a nonprofit dedicated to improving lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.

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