Mental Illness and Spirituality with Sylvia True

“Above all, be curious.” — Sylvia True


Sylvia True was born in England to parents who were refugees from Germany. She moved to the US when she was five. Growing up with parents from different cultures, a mother who was a Swiss champion figure skater, and a father who was a theoretical nuclear physicist gave her varied and unique perspectives.

During her summer breaks, Sylvia likes to travel to the Amazon and do research in the rainforest. She has raised two daughters, who are both pursuing their passions.

Presently, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two very spoiled dogs, where she is a high school chemistry teacher.

Her book “Where Madness Lies” is available from Top Hat books and from wherever books are sold.

Today we talk about how…

  • The book is essentially her grandmother’s story
  • Her family’s legacy of mental illness let to suffering under Nazi Germany 
  • Intergenerational trauma and secrecy in her family because mental illness was connected with Nazi murder
  • Children in a household sense unspoken fear, shame and secrecy
  • Sylvia’s own mental illness created openness in her family
  • Sylvia’s fascination and experience with the paranormal was integrated into the storyline of her book
  • Ambiguity between mental health and the paranormal blurs the two
  • Her paternal grandfather was Anne Frank’s family doctor








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