Brain Storm

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A book review of Brain Storm: a Life in Pieces by Shelley Kolton, MD

A book review of Brain Storm: a Life in Pieces by Shelley Kolton, MD

Stars: *****

FLR Press (2021)
318 pages

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Summary: The sad 7-year-old girl. The aggressive 14-year-old boy. The terrified 3-year-old child. The cult leader. She lived with these, and over thirty other parts of her mind, no less real than you and I, throughout endless cycles of deepest depression, paralyzing panic, thoughts of suicide, and a revolving door of psychotherapists.

A harbinger of the coming storm, darkness followed her everywhere, from infancy to a career as a renowned, openly gay OB/GYN in New York City. A loving wife and three remarkable kids completed the façade she allowed the world to see while inside her mind was a raging tempest. A fierce will to survive sustained her until, at long last, a gifted therapist gave a name to her unrelenting psychic pain: Dissociative Identity disorder (DID). And so the work began.

In Brain Storm, Dr. Shelley Kolton tells the story of a childhood marked by unimaginable abuse and the distinct parts her brain created to hold those memories and protect her. She balanced the demands of medicine, marriage and family as new parts – each one requiring her attention and care – emerged while grueling therapy sessions consumed her days and nights. After twelve torturous years, she finally accepted that the alters colliding inside her brain had, in truth, saved her. Kolton, often using emails and text messages written by her alters, mixed with her own journal entries, paints an honest, intimate and at times humorous portrait of a woman living with DID, managing the inhabitants of her own creation. With memories so raw and real, she puts to rest any doubts as to the existence of multiple personalities. Brain Storm is the heartbreaking account of a mind, fragmented and broken, ultimately made whole by one woman’s incomparable strength and courage.

Brain Storm

This is a book about a woman who has Disassociative Identity Disorder (DID) which used to be known as Multiple Personality Disorder. Reading about DID always amazes me. It’s a disorder that is hard to understand and many people think the sufferers are faking their alters but they are not.

Amazingly this book is written from the viewpoint of not just the original Shelley but also her alters using emails and journal entries. This is also a book about severe childhood trauma that is repressed at first and comes out later. I’ve got to say, Shelley’s second therapist is AMAZING. Anyone with DID reading this book would probably want to know where they can find her. Shelley was so lucky to get a good therapist the second time around. To be able to heal enough to manage life and even write about it is something.

This is a shocking book for so many reasons so TRIGGER WARNING. If you’ve ever wondered how DID looks like or works, this is the book to find out. The best of the DID books I’ve ever read.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.