The purpose of this book is mental health awareness.
All in Her Head: A Novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is purely coincidental.
In 2005, ideas that can’t have been true formed in my memory bank. After I had enough of these episodes to convince my family and doctors alike that I was suffering from more than the baby blues, I was diagnosed with postpartum delusional disorder, then psychosis in 2006. At first I underwent five months of treatment, then five years of treatment, then more treatment, until finally, in 2014, I changed providers and my diagnosis was reclassified as schizophrenia. Until they discover the cause of brain disease, I’ll need treatment for the rest of my life.
In 2006, when I departed from the world as others know it for the first time and entered the world of psychosis, I experienced something I didn’t know was possible. I had no exposure or reference to what psychosis was like, except for that movie A Beautiful Mind. My family had no awareness, and there was very little literature at the time available to me to understand my experience. When I came back from psychosis, it was soul-crushing to learn how drastically I had misunderstood my circumstances in my delusional state of mind. Still, those vivid memories remained a part of me, and I couldn’t free myself from them. So I decided to write a story. I made the book fiction, because everyone who loves me told me when I was sick that I was delusional, and that my stories weren’t real. They can’t have been real, can they?
As a young girl growing up in the Midwest, Sunny experiences the shame and stigma of scandal when her father is banned from their church for having an affair with the pastor's best friend's wife. As Sunny grows older, she begins to build the life she’s always wanted: she marries, buys a house, enrolls in graduate school, and soon has a baby on the way. But when she experiences the psychological phenomena of orgasmic labor, it triggers a chain of bizarre events, and she gradually descends into a world of delusion and paranoia. As Sunny struggles to separate the real from the unreal, she relies upon friends and family to ground her in truth and love—and keep her from going over the edge into madness.