the center cannot hold my journey through madness

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The Center Cannot Hold

Author : Elyn R. Saks
ISBN : 9781401389543
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 89. 72 MB
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Elyn R. Saks is an esteemed professor, lawyer, and psychiatrist and is the Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychology, Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California Law School, yet she has suffered from schizophrenia for most of her life, and still has ongoing major episodes of the illness. THE CENTER CANNOT HOLD is the eloquent, moving story of Elyn's life, from the first time that she heard voices speaking to her as a young teenager, to attempted suicides in college, through learning to live on her own as an adult in an often terrifying world. Saks discusses frankly the paranoia, the inability to tell imaginary fears from real ones, the voices in her head telling her to kill herself (and to harm others); as well the incredibly difficult obstacles she overcame to become a highly respected professional. This beautifully written memoir is destined to become a classic in its genre. The title is a line from "The Second Coming," a poem by William Butler Yeats, which is alluded to in the book.

The Center Cannot Hold

Author : Professor of Law Psychology and Psychiatry Elyn R Saks
ISBN : 0316407569
Genre : BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY
File Size : 52. 89 MB
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A memoir of paranoid schizophrenia by an accomplished professor recounts her first symptoms at the age of eight, her efforts to hide the severity of her condition, and the obstacles she has overcome in the course of her treatment and marriage.

Divided Minds

Author : Carolyn Spiro
ISBN : 9781466805392
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 82. 58 MB
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A riveting true story of sisters who were identical, until the voices began Growing up in the fifties, Carolyn Spiro was always in the shadow of her more intellectually dominant and socially outgoing twin, Pamela. But as the twins approached adolescence, Pamela began to suffer the initial symptoms of schizophrenia, hearing disembodied voices that haunted her for years and culminated during her freshman year of college at Brown University where she had her first major breakdown and hospitalization. Pamela's illness allowed Carolyn to enter the spotlight that had for so long been focused on her sister. Exceeding everyone's expectations, Carolyn graduated from Harvard Medical School and forged a successful career in psychiatry. Despite Pamela's estrangement from the rest of her family, the sisters remained very close, "bonded with the twin glue," calling each other several times a week and visiting as frequently as possible. Carolyn continued to believe in the humanity of her sister, not merely in her illness, and Pamela responded. Told in the alternating voices of the sisters, Divided Minds is a heartbreaking account of the far reaches of madness as well as the depths of ambivalence and love between twins. It is a true and unusually frank story of identical twins with very different identities and wildly different experiences of the world around them. It is one of the most compelling histories of two such siblings in the canon of writing on mental illness.

Refusing Care

Author : Elyn R. Saks
ISBN : 0226733998
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 56. 86 MB
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It has been said that how a society treats its least well-off members speaks volumes about its humanity. If so, our treatment of the mentally ill suggests that American society is inhumane: swinging between overintervention and utter neglect, we sometimes force extreme treatments on those who do not want them, and at other times discharge mentally ill patients who do want treatment without providing adequate resources for their care in the community. Focusing on overinterventionist approaches, Refusing Care explores when, if ever, the mentally ill should be treated against their will. Basing her analysis on case and empirical studies, Elyn R. Saks explores dilemmas raised by forced treatment in three contexts—civil commitment (forced hospitalization for noncriminals), medication, and seclusion and restraints. Saks argues that the best way to solve each of these dilemmas is, paradoxically, to be both more protective of individual autonomy and more paternalistic than current law calls for. For instance, while Saks advocates relaxing the standards for first commitment after a psychotic episode, she also would prohibit extreme mechanical restraints (such as tying someone spread-eagled to a bed). Finally, because of the often extreme prejudice against the mentally ill in American society, Saks proposes standards that, as much as possible, should apply equally to non-mentally ill and mentally ill people alike. Mental health professionals, lawyers, disability rights activists, and anyone who wants to learn more about the way the mentally ill are treated—and ought to be treated—in the United States should read Refusing Care.

A Road Back From Schizophrenia

Author : Arnhild Lauveng
ISBN : 9781620879139
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 22. 59 MB
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An extraordinary look into the life and mind of a schizophrenic—a powerful memoir for sufferers, their families, and the professionals who care for them. For ten years, Arnhild Lauveng suffered as a schizophrenic, going in and out of the hospital for months or even a year at a time. In these pages, she illuminates her loss of identity, her sense of being controlled from the outside, her relationship to the voices she heard, and her sometimes terrifying hallucinations. Painful recollections of moments of humiliation inflicted by thoughtless medical professionals are juxtaposed with Lauveng’s own understanding of how such patients are outwardly irrational and often violent. Though Lauveng was told her disorder was a lifelong sentence, she now calls herself a “former schizophrenic.” No longer on medication, she currently works as a clinical psychologist. While sometimes critical of mental health care, she ultimately attributes her slow journey back to health to the dedicated medical staff who took the time to talk to her and who saw her as a person simply diagnosed with an illness—not the illness incarnate. “Drawing on her own terrifying experiences to address the carefully constructed definitions and understandings of the disorder, [Lauveng] challenges some entrenched ideas about schizophrenia.” —Kirkus Reviews

Broken Glass

Author : Robert V. Hine
ISBN : 0826339972
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 52. 42 MB
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The story of a father's relationship with his daughter and her struggles with mental illness.

Stalking Irish Madness

Author : Patrick Tracey
ISBN : 9780553905595
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 39. 90 MB
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In this powerful, sometimes harrowing, deeply felt story, Patrick Tracey journeys to Ireland to track the origin and solve the mystery of his Irish-American family's multigenerational struggle with schizophrenia. For most Irish Americans, a trip to Ireland is often an occasion to revisit their family's roots. But for Patrick Tracey, the lure of his ancestral home is a much more powerful need: part pilgrimage, part investigation to confront the genealogical mystery of schizophrenia–a disease that had claimed a great-great-great-grandmother, a grandmother, an uncle, and, most recently, two sisters. As long as Tracey could remember, schizophrenia ran on his mother's side, seldom spoken of outright but impossible to ignore. Devastated by the emotional toll the disease had already taken on his family, terrified of passing it on to any children he might have, and inspired by the recent discovery of the first genetic link to schizophrenia, Tracey followed his genealogical trail from Boston to Ireland's county Roscommon, home of his oldest-known schizophrenic ancestor. In a renovated camper, Tracey crossed the Emerald Isle to investigate the country that, until the 1960s, had the world's highest rate of institutionalization for mental illness, following clues and separating fact from fiction in the legendary relationship the Irish have had with madness. Tracey's path leads from fairy mounds and ancient caverns still shrouded in superstition to old pubs whose colorful inhabitants are a treasure trove of local lore. He visits the massive and grim asylum where his famine starved ancestors may have lived. And he interviews the Irish research team that first cracked the schizophrenic code to learn how much–and how little–we know about this often misunderstood disease. Filled with history, science, and lore, Stalking Irish Madness is an unforgettable chronicle of one man's attempt to make sense of his family's past and to find hope for the future of schizophrenic patients. From the Hardcover edition.

Ben Behind His Voices

Author : Randye Kaye
ISBN : 9781442210912
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 31. 71 MB
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When readers first meet Ben, he is a sweet, intelligent, seemingly well-adjusted youngster. Fast forward to his teenage years, though, and Ben's life has spun out of control. Ben is swept along by an illness over which he has no control—one that results in runaway episodes, periods of homelessness, seven psychotic breaks, seven hospitalizations, and finally a diagnosis and treatment plan that begins to work. Schizophrenia strikes an estimated one in a hundred people worldwide by some estimates, and yet understanding of the illness is lacking. Through Ben's experiences, and those of his mother and sister, who supported Ben through every stage of his illness and treatment, readers gain a better understanding of schizophrenia, as well as mental illness in general, and the way it affects individuals and families. Here, Kaye encourages families to stay together and find strength while accepting the reality of a loved one's illness; she illustrates, through her experiences as Ben's mother, the delicate balance between letting go and staying involved. She honors the courage of anyone who suffers with mental illness and is trying to improve his life and participate in his own recovery. Ben Behind His Voices also reminds professionals in the psychiatric field that every patient who comes through their doors has a life, one that he has lost through no fault of his own. It shows what goes right when professionals treat the family as part of the recovery process and help them find support, education, and acceptance. And it reminds readers that those who suffer from mental illness, and their families, deserve respect, concern, and dignity.

The Day The Voices Stopped

Author : Ken Steele
ISBN : 0786724781
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 83. 60 MB
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For thirty-two years Ken Steele lived with the devastating symptoms of schizophrenia, tortured by inner voices commanding him to kill himself, ravaged by the delusions of paranoia, barely surviving on the ragged edges of society. In this inspiring story, Steele tells the story of his hard-won recovery from schizophrenia and how activism and advocacy helped him regain his sanity and go on to give hope and support to so many others like him.

The Quiet Room

Author : Lori Schiller
ISBN : 0446549355
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 83. 81 MB
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Moving, harrowing, and ultimately uplifting, Lori Schiller's memoir is a classic testimony to the ravages of mental illness and the power of perseverance and courage. At seventeen Lori Schiller was the perfect child-the only daughter of an affluent, close-knit family. Six years later she made her first suicide attempt, then wandered the streets of New York City dressed in ragged clothes, tormenting voices crying out in her mind. Lori Schiller had entered the horrifying world of full-blown schizophrenia. She began an ordeal of hospitalizations, halfway houses, relapses, more suicide attempts, and constant, withering despair. But against all odds, she survived. In this personal account, she tells how she did it, taking us not only into her own shattered world, but drawing on the words of the doctors who treated her and family members who suffered with her.

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