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Reviewed by Robert A. Groves for Readers' Favorite
Cruel Tricks of the Heart by Cheeba Jonez takes the reader through five different mental health afflictions: depression, anxiety, addiction, self-harm, and suicide. The author reveals to us early on that he has suffered from a mental health condition since childhood. Not only did the healthcare system fail him, but his squad did as well. For each condition, Jonez reveals to the reader which interventions worked given by mental health practitioners and those interventions he found effective through self-discovery and experimentation. The author embarks on honest discussions concerning the real side effects of medications and questions to ask prior to starting a new medication. He provides an insight into the reason persons engage in self-harm behaviors which have never been more clear. However, Jonez’s most interesting outcome from his years of experience with the system is revealed at the end of chapter 5 – you will not want to miss it!
In Cruel Tricks of the Heart, Cheeba Jonez gives readers a view into the world of mental health illness unlike that found from a clinician’s standpoint. Jonez constructs this work reflecting his personal experiences with the mental health system. The chapters provide practical street survival interventions through the lens of a life-long mental health consumer. The colloquial style results in a publication that any person unfamiliar with the illnesses discussed can better understand and render assistance to friends and loved ones in need. The beautiful illustrations and meaningful quotes enhance Jonez’s contents. Jonez refers to himself as a victim in the book – a mischaracterization for sure. His writing this piece makes him an advocate for those who have too long not been understood. The author provided something better than any pill or capsule will with this book – he provided a guide to caring. Thank you, Mr. Jonez.