Retired Wesley College nurse pens first book

Lucille Gambardella writes about the economics of being too nice
July 26, 2020

Retired Wesley College professor and Nursing Administrator Dr. Lucille Gambardella of Lewes has written her first book, “Emotional Bankruptcy: The Economics of Being Too Nice.”

The book is about a phenomenon called emotional bankruptcy, which causes one to feel exhausted beyond physical reasons. Like financial bankruptcy, emotional bankruptcy drains people of their emotional resources, says Gambardella. Emotional bankruptcy can be caused by unrewarding relationships, being taken advantage of by others, etc.

Gambardella said she was inspired to write the book because she worked with many women during her career who were experiencing this phenomenon. They would think they were depressed, but not respond to medication, she said.

Case after case, Gambardella kept seeing certain similarities among these women. She did some research and came up with the idea of “emotional bankruptcy,” a term first coined by American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Gambardella began spreading the word about emotional bankruptcy by doing presentations on it all over the country, as well as in Ireland and Japan. She also wanted to get the idea on paper, because she still talks to people who have experienced this phenomenon in their life. The book is written simply enough that people can either identify themselves in it or not, she said. There are also exercises at the back of the book that Gambardella would do with her patients.

“A lot of self-help books will tell you what’s going on but not give you any guidelines,” Gambardella said.

Writing has become an exciting activity for Gambardella, and has given her a direction during her retirement, she said. Gambardella is currently working on her second book, about her father, who she says was a very strong influence in her life. 

“Emotional Bankruptcy: The Economics of Being Too Nice” is available online at Amazon and through Barnes & Noble in paperback and e-book formats.


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