Detour from Normal is the gut-wrenching true story of a respected engineer and devoted family man who, due to complications from life-saving surgery and medications, is driven to insanity. After he tragically loses touch with reality, a whirlwind of visits to hospital emergency rooms and behavioral health facilities ensues. His loving wife is ultimately forced to make the unthinkable decision to commit him to a high-security psychiatric ward. There, he is branded “persistently and acutely disabled” and “a danger to himself and others.” That man is author Ken Dickson, and this is the fascinating story of his journey into and out of madness.
Detour from Normal is more than a sharing of the pitfalls of our medical and mental health systems. It is a story of two people deeply in love, but torn apart by fate. It is an eye opening introduction to the stigma of mental illness. It is a personal run-in with the poor, broken souls trapped in our mental health system that at one moment provokes shock, and the next, laughter. It is a rich and varied exploration of our humanity.