Resurrection and Redemption

As a young girl, Rebecca struggled with a severe behavior problem. Her mother continuously sought the help of mental health professionals. When all else had failed, Rebecca’s parents placed her in a program designed primarily for alcohol and drug rehabilitation, but which claimed it could cure her out-of-control behavior. The controversial treatment program was supposedly supervised by a psychiatrist, but in the 6 years Rebecca was there she never received an adequate psychiatric assessment. Only after leaving was Rebecca able to begin putting her shattered life together. Finally, correctly diagnosed, she began receiving psychotherapy and medication. Rebecca sued the treatment program for medical malpractice and won a major settlement in 1999. Today, while still requiring ongoing treatment, Rebecca lives on her own in relative peace. The story of Rebecca’s battle to get well is told by her mother, Harryet, who refused to give up, and by Dr. Lewis Opler, who never stopped believing that with the right treatment Rebecca would recover.

Author: Harryet Ehrlich and Lewis A. Opler, M.D., Ph.D.