Free «72 Hour Hold Critique» Essay Sample

In 72 Hour Hold, in a novel of redemption and family, a mother fights an almost losing battle attempting to save her daughter aged 8 years from a devastating resultant of mental illness through insisting on her that she should deal with her disorder. Moore Campbell portrays on her powerful emotions and roots showcasing her work.

Trina becomes wild, paranoid, and violent as she suffers from the bipolar disorder (Jobe & Harrow, 2005). Keri watches her child turn into a weird stranger. She opts to seek assistance in normal ways. She learns quite fast that a 72 Hour Hold is the last help one can get when adult children starts to go out of control. After three days, Trina could sign herself out of a program.

Determined to save her daughter thick and thin and tired with the official procedures of the mental health communities, Keri signed on for an unlawful intervention. That program was a collection of radicals who avoided the psychiatric procedures and prototype themselves after the secretive railroad. When Keri entrusted her daughter’s fate in them, she set to a quest that had her desiring on the spirits of Harriet for bravery as she underwent the tough situation. In the events that follow, she has to confront a past that persists, still as she fights to secure a bright future for her daughter.



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Moore Campbell’s moving novel is for those who have ever faced overwhelming barriers and prayed for, happy last, hours only to learn that they have to reach deep in themselves to fight for the moment. Most confronted by such a situation would probably conclude that their contact with the mentally ill patient is infrequent - a homeless person faltering to himself at a beach, the wild-eyed activist we pass on the streets who were shouting threats regarding the end of humankind (Perring, 2005). We may wonder why these people just cannot get themselves collectively. How often do we put in consideration what it is like to be those lost people, or their guardians who fears for their safety?

Campbell shatters an abstract notion about mental illness in her novel, 72 Hour Hold. Narrated from the viewpoint of Keri, an African American parent, it opens senses of impending disaster tied in the environment of slavery, “Preparation was not possible. What difference would it have made? The knowledge that the pursuers are tracking someone does not mean that one will avoid capture; it implies that one has to get to the swamp promptly” (Campbell, 2005).

When Trina, a beautiful 18 years old daughter starts to sneak sips of her parent’s coffee and ebbs on an excursion in downtown Flower District, Keri's fears rejuvenate, and latter to be found discussing to a homeless figure and palming an element into her pocket. Although, the audience do not immediately note what Trina was hiding, they learn that months earlier the daughter had suffered from a mental disease that required medical attention, which delayed entrance to college. This issue is at the root of her mother’s unease. It is a feeling of the lady’s conservative talk-radio host and father, Clyde, is not willing to share. “There is nothing wrong with my daughter’s mind,” he said while still rebuking his former wife. “She was an excessive smoker of weed, and she turned to be paranoid…. Put her in a psychiatric infirmary as if she is some crazy personality” (Campbell, 2005).

Keri cannot tolerate his husband’s denial, a number of heart-blowing flashbacks made clear that the pair both knew that Trina had been diagnosed with this bipolar disorder, controlled only under therapy, medication, and avoidance of any stimulants, either legal or otherwise. Therefore, when Trina starts to skip her sessions, smokes marijuana and stops taking her prescription, Keri turns hostage to rudeness, bizarre changes in behavior, appearance, and destructive that leave her battered and turn her home to a mess. “I get on my own Middle passageway that night,” her mother said after a horrifying episode, “marching towards the rear, ankles shackled” (Campbell, 2005). Trina’s behavior also call upon Keri's own demons of a painful past of her mother, who endured mental illness during Keri's infancy, and her ongoing irritation toward Clyde, who used his work to break away from his troubled family.

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Throughout Trina's decline, her mother struggles to maintain a semblance of an ordinary life. Keri manages her dressmaking resale dealings while watching one employee dealing with her troubled history. She attends hold up group commiserates and sessions with a group of sister friends whose children suffered from brain illness. She connects with her ex-boyfriend and discusses how far she would let him and his son back into her being. Such scenes, enriched with astounding humor, loving, snapshots of Los Angeles, and intense understanding of emotions lend a significant sense of equilibrium to the novel reminding the audience that life continues on even after a tragedy.

As the involuntary 3-day mental infirmary stays (consequently the title "72 Hour Hold") does not succeed in helping Trina, her mother feels obligatory to make a strong decision, to take the Trina to a group of dissident therapists who used radical procedures to treat patients suffering from mental conditions. The pair's car trip to the facility in the North California is full of tension as Trina attempts to escape, the authorities were summoned, and her mother must face the bitter possibility of accusations of aiding in the kidnapping of her daughter. Keri must make a decision whether this alternative approach is the remaining hope for liberty from the illness that plagued Trina, their single chance as the veiled spiritual indicates, “Steal away home”.

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Slavery and its descriptions are an upsetting yet effective means of depicting the horrors of mental illness (Sue, 2008). They make reading this book painful, particularly for those who would think of denying that mental illnesses exist. The story, albeit fictional, is a compassionate and an intense testament that mental patients' rights often conflict with what is the best for them. Campbell paints a realistic portrait of both the suffering and the victims charged with their daily care. Trina's crash into madness is painful moment to watch. Legal and medical system's bureaucracies are oppressive (Suleiman, 2006). Keri's dilemma is mind twisting. Her usage of the dissident Railroad is as a means of a get away to freedom whilst looking toward the Northern Star as a symbol of guidance and hope was brilliant. Campbell's novel brings awareness given that it holds a reflection of the society, sometimes condemning and judgmental face. Throughout her novel, the audience sees unkind persons, judgmental neighbors and impatient friends who churn out unwanted, mean spirited knowledge citing unwarranted justification for Trina's condition, at times blaming Keri for not having spent enough time with her daughter in her youth and other irrational causes. Campbell also educates through sharing that most of mental illness are hereditary and can be rejuvenated by drugs, alcohol, or traumatic situations. She confronts cultural scope by emphasizing on how mental diseases are a low priority in the most ethnic communities, particularly African-American, not considering how prevalent it is within a community. This is a brilliant, enlightening work narrated with the paramount sensitivity and tenderness.

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Through Keri’s account, the readers learn about the call for the caregiver to be assisted, and the further barriers of the patients in the black society might face resulting from stigma surrounding mental conditions, mistrust in therapeutic institutions or cultural mores that lay a premium on maintaining family issues at home (Oaks, 2006). Trina is either high on drugs or manic or in the majority of the novel, and it is only through the Keri’s recollections that its readers learns of the promising potential that Trina’s mental condition wrested from her as she was almost turning into adulthood. The loss is reflective and illustrates the influence of mental illness to derail a young person’s hopes for the future. Despite Trina and Keri’s many challenges, Moore Campbell’s characters find a means of working in the direction of recovery in spite of the issues.

The perspective lend by this novel proves helpful to persons who have loved ones with mental illness or healthcare providers who mostly not only entrusted with care giving of their mentally ill patients, but that of their families (Boyd-Franklin, 2006).


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