Sickened by Julie Gregory


By Julie Gregory

  • Release Date: 2003-09-30
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 140 Ratings
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A young girl is perched on the cold chrome of yet another doctor’s examining table, missing yet another day of school. Just twelve, she’s tall, skinny, and weak. It’s four o’clock, and she hasn’t been allowed to eat anything all day. Her mother, on the other hand, seems curiously excited. She's about to suggest open-heart surgery on her child to "get to the bottom of this." She checks her teeth for lipstick and, as the doctor enters, shoots the girl a warning glance. This child will not ruin her plans.


From early childhood, Julie Gregory was continually X-rayed, medicated, and operated on—in the vain pursuit of an illness that was created in her mother’s mind. Munchausen by proxy (MBP) is the world’s most hidden and dangerous form of child abuse, in which the caretaker—almost always the mother—invents or induces symptoms in her child because she craves the attention of medical professionals. Many MBP children die, but Julie Gregory not only survived, she escaped the powerful orbit of her mother's madness and rebuilt her identity as a vibrant, healthy young woman.

Sickened is a remarkable memoir that speaks in an original and distinctive Midwestern voice, rising to indelible scenes in prose of scathing beauty and fierce humor. Punctuated with Julie's actual medical records, it re-creates the bizarre cocoon of her family's isolated double-wide trailer, their wild shopping sprees and gun-waving confrontations, the astonishing naïveté of medical professionals and social workers. It also exposes the twisted bonds of terror and love that roped Julie's family together—including the love that made a child willing to sacrifice herself to win her mother's happiness.

The realization that the sickness lay in her mother, not in herself, would not come to Julie until adulthood. But when it did, it would strike like lightning. Through her painful metamorphosis, she discovered the courage to save her own life—and, ultimately, the life of the girl her mother had found to replace her. Sickened takes us to new places in the human heart and spirit. It is an unforgettable story, unforgettably told.

From the Hardcover edition.


  • Sickening

    By Foxielady1818
    First hand knowledge of what it is like to have a mother who has MBP. Very fascinating, yet so sad to read about her trials and tribulations, yet success at last.
  • Thank you Julie Gregory.

    By Rak-61
    If looking for an excellent book regarding courage and perseverance then you must get this book. If you are someone who has, as a child, suffered at the hands of your parents, regardless of how, get this book. Ms. Gregory not only opens herself up to expose the horror of MBP but also lets the reader into the depth of her soul. Her life, her pain, her healing. Ms. Gregory's story will touch you and while it is not always pretty, her life experiences will leave you feeling uplifted with the spirit of hope. The writing is such that the pages just fly as you read her story and before you even realize it, you are at the end. It has been 14 years since she wrote this book but I truly hope she will write again. This is one of those books that once read will never be forgotten. So again, thank you Julie Gregory. It was an honor to read your story. God Bless and Good Health. Rita Anne Kincade-McDougal
  • Sickened=horrible

    By Xtinalee83
    This is probably the worst book I've ever read. The book just drags and drags on and nothing really ever happens. Don't waste your money!!
  • So well written.

    By OG Snowflake
    If you are looking for a moving memoir, read this. You'll love it.
  • Great read

    By lstrm
    If you enjoy biographies by those who have overcome great odds, excellent writing, and you prefer some documentation, this is the book for you. I would have liked some photos, hope there is a part 2, and was not too put off by the occasional strange symbols that occurred in the translation from book type set to ebook.