Review: Greater than the Sum of My Parts
Book Review of Greater than the Sum of my Parts by Erin Lale
There are a few main topics in this work of nonfiction. The author presents herself as a case study for the curable but serious mental ailment known as DID – Dissociative Identity Disorder.
The book is largely an autobiography of an amazing and unique individual. Her life is not all bad, but there is a serious problem created by the abuses of her elder brother and her father.
She develops psychological problems primarily as a reaction to those abuses but to a lesser degree, other social problems confronted by the brilliant undermine her well being. She suffers at times from being a minority, although it is not always a problem.
One of the main functions of the book is to educate people about mental illness. Most mental illness is curable. This runs counter to a common misperception. Mental illnesses tend to be as curable as colds, cases of flu and broken bones, but proper treatment is just as helpful with mental illness and with dental cavities. Mistreatment and misperceptions about people who have come down with a mental illness are addressed effectively in this book.
Another major feature of Erin’s book is that she has actually devised a new method of therapy for those suffering from a dissociative identity disorder. Therapists and other mental health professionals can learn from the contents ways to help their patients – perhaps more rapidly and with less torment than has sometimes been used in the past.
This book is not perfect. Its main flaws are that it is a bit messy and not everyone may agree about what the most important parts are. However, the bulk of the contents are well put together.
The author is a decent writer, and the entire account is put together in reasonable order. There is little to no confusion about Erin’s story as laid out in the book. For those interested in mental health, or in women’s progress or rape recovery or paganism and shamanic practices, this book is quite good.