Severe mental illness afflicts many men and women throughout their lives, often without warning, and almost always with devastating results. This book takes a look at psychosis, and contends that although the delusions and hallucinations of the psychotic person are misguided and confused, they are understandable when viewed in the context of a person's life. Using real life examples, Capps covers the prevalence of psychotic illness; the long-range effects of deinstitutionalization on mentally ill persons, their families, and their communities; family members' responses to their mentally ill relative; rehabilitation and prevention approaches and methods; the nature of delusions and hallucinations; the delusional belief that one is someone else; and the realization of mental stability.
Donald Capps, professor of pastoral psychology at Princeton Theological Seminary from 1981 to 2009, teaches courses on mental illness, developmental theory, and older adults. He has served as editor of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion and president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. His books include Men, Religion, and Melancholia, Social Phobia: Alleviating Anxiety in an Age of Self-promotion, Fragile Connections: Memoirs of Mental Illness for Pastoral Care Professionals, A Time to Laugh: The Religion of Humor, Young Clergy: a Biographical-Developmental Study, Jesus the Village Psychiatrist, and The Decades of Life: A Guide to Human Development.