Joan Childs: Why Did She Jump?

There is one day in Joan Child's life that she wishes she could do over: the day her daughter Pam, a brilliant psychotherapist, plunged from a fifteen-story building to her death. But despite the coroner's report of a suicide, Childs explains why her daughter's life was taken by the most unforgiving of executioners: bipolar disorder. It was the delusions, not her daughter, who made the final decision.

Why Did She Jump? is an intimate, uncompromising delve into one mother's search for peace amid the chaos surrounding her daughter's tragic death, and a masterful recounting of the events leading up to the fateful day, lifting the veil of shame and secrecy to forge a path to understand bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.

Ironically, both Pam and Joan were noted psychotherapists, and yet, even with their credentials and medical knowledge, Pam still could not be saved. In heartrending prose, Joan recounts the vivid memories of Pam's life―the extreme highs and lows; the many red flags that were missed by well-meaning parents and overburdened medical systems; how her daughter toggled both worlds as a brilliant therapist who healed unreachable patients as she was unraveling herself; and how she fooled everyone into thinking she was stable.

With searing honesty and reflective insights as a mother and a professional, Childs chronicles how she rose above the quagmire of grief that almost consumed her, and how she mended her broken family and her broken heart. By revealing how she learned to forgive herself and her daughter and finally let go, Childs offers a rallying cry of support for anyone going through a similar struggle. Why Did She Jump? is a cathartic read for anyone who has ever loved or lost deeply, proving that the most brilliant lights in our lives can never be dimmed.

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