Searching For Normal

the story of a girl gone too soon

280 pages
She Writes Press
November 8th 2016
ISBN10: 1631521373
ISBN13: 9781631521379

Write your own review for Searching for Normal on Goodreads now. 


Karen had a normal, happy family until depression consumed her daughter and at age eighteen, Sadie died by suicide. Karen's story, intertwined with excerpts from Sadie’s journals, describes their roller coaster ride into the depths of her troubled teen’s mind and through the maze of inadequate mental health treatment and services. This book will help parents of struggling teens feel less isolated and better equipped to navigate their teenager’s mental illness.

Karen Meadows shares her family’s journey as she tries to help her daughter Sadie cope with teenage onset mental illness that ultimately ends in her daughter’s suicide. Karen expertly intertwines her own storyline with excerpts from her daughter’s diaries, giving the book a unique perspective of what happens in the mind of a struggling teenager. The years are characterized by Sadie’s heartbreaking bouts of running away, cutting and living with Portland street families while Karen and her husband desperately search for solutions—trying medication, hospitals, therapy, wilderness and residential treatment programs. Ultimately they find themselves among the devastating shortcomings of our Nation’s mental health system. Karen provides hindsight advice along with an extensive list of resources that she wishes someone had provided her.

While Sadie’s story ends in tragedy, her legacy in this book provides community, awareness, and hope for other struggling teens and parents.