Committed: A Memoir of Madness in the Family

Committed by Paolina Milana Book Cover

"...One of the best books on mental illness..."

After a decade of caring for crazy and keeping her mother’s mental illness a secret from the outside world, twenty-year-old Paolina Milana longs for just one year free from the madness of her home. When she gets the chance to go to an out-of-state school, she takes it, but her family won’t leave her be. Letter after letter arrives, constantly reminding her of the insanity rooted in her family tree. Even worse, the voices in her own head whisper words she’s not sure are normal. “Please don’t make me be like Mamma,” she prays to a God she’s not sure is listening.

The unexpected death of her father soon after she returns home leaves Paolina in shock―and in charge of her paranoid schizophrenic mother. But it isn’t until she is twenty-seven and her sister two years her junior explodes in a psychotic episode and, just like Mamma, is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and must be committed, that Paolina descends into her own despair, nearly losing herself to the darkness.

Poignant and impactful, Committed is one woman’s story of resilience as she struggles to stay sane despite the madness that surrounds her.

Committed is a must-read for anyone struggling with mental illness, especially if, like Paolina, insanity has taken root in your family tree. This raw memoir brings to light the reality of madness — both in terms of what may surround us and that which may lurk within us.” —Samantha Dunn, author of Failing Paris and Not By Accident

“It's probably one of the best books on mental illness that I have ever read. Paolina Milana tells her story of having a mother, then later a sister, with paranoid schizophrenia with such honesty and passion. The toll that being a caregiver has on her is completely understandable and she shows real courage. I highly recommend this book!" — Library employee review courtesy of Netgalley

“Paolina lets the reader in, to both her heart and her mind, as she struggles to make sense of the madness all around her. This is a harrowing story told with generosity of spirit, and that is not easy to do.” —Jennie Nash, founder and CEO, Author Accelerator