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Books about schizophrenia you'd recommend

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Preferably written atleast partially by sufferers. I'd recommend these two:


The Center Cannot hold by Elyn Saks

Elyn Saks is a success by any measure: she's an endowed professor at the
prestigious University of Southern California Gould School of Law. She
has managed to achieve this in spite of being diagnosed as schizophrenic
and given a "grave" prognosis -- and suffering the effects of her
illness throughout her life.


Despite her diagnosis, she has led a very successful life - I found this one encouraging. I know her story is a rare one; but there are people out there who have lived a happy life with this serious illness.




Henry's Demons by Patrick & Henry Cockburn


On a cold February day two months after his twentieth birthday, Henry Cockburn waded into the Newhaven estuary outside
Brighton, England, and nearly drowned. Voices, he said, had urged him
to do it. Nearly halfway around the world in Afghanistan, journalist
Patrick Cockburn learned from his wife, Jan, that his son had suffered a
breakdown and had been admitted to a hospital. Ten days later, Henry
was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Narrated by both Patrick and Henry,
this is the extraordinary story of the eight years since Henry’s descent
into schizophrenia—years he has spent almost entirely in hospitals—and
his family’s struggle to help him recover.


By socioeconomic standards, Henry may be less successful than Elyn, but I still felt his story was full of hope. I love what he says at the end of the book:

It has been a very long road for me, but I think I'm entering the final straight. There is a tree I sit under in the garden in Lewisham which speaks to me and gives me hope.

Edited by Ohmy
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I enjoyed The Center Cannot Hold, too.  I couldn't relate to "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden".  She had a whole other world and language that was very different from my experiences.


For awhile I would have inklings that my mi thoughts/experiences would make a good book, but after I saw "A Beautiful Mind", I thought, that's it only a million times more inspirational.  I haven't read the book and it's a biography.  I rarely have visual hallucinations and don't have people I see, but I would scour the newspaper for messages.

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I find memoirs to be my favourite books related to schizophrenia and psychosis, more so than books that just lay out the facts. Reading other people's stories can be really inspirational to me. I recently started 'Henry's Demons' and am finding it good. I'd love to read 'The Centre Cannot Hold' but last time I checked it wasn't on Kindle (and I don't particularly want to be seen buying it in a bookshop). Hopefully it will be available at some point soon.


Other than what has already been said (most of which I haven't read), I quite liked 'The Day The Voices Stopped' by Ken Steele. It took a while before things started to look better for him but I found his journey to be interesting. And when he is able to turn his life around the stuff he gets involved in is pretty inspirational.


'Surviving Schizophrenia: A Memoir' by Louise Gillett (not to be confused with the book Ahndou mentioned above) was ok but I think she wrote too much about her childhood for my liking. Stuff that didn't seem too relevant. But if she hadn't padded it out so much with all that I would have enjoyed it more.


I have others on my Kindle but haven't gotten around to reading them yet. I have also read some books that are more about explaining the facts (which are really interesting) but I would definitely say if you want hope and inspiration that memoirs are the way to go, at least for me anyway.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If only I was a native english speaker...

Are you looking for a book in a different language?


Not really; I can read english decently, but truly expressing myself - that's another thing.

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I second the 'Surviving Schizophrenia' by Dr. Torrey.


It's a good book, but it lack the real-world oomph that I would have preferred. For example, it lacks practical, anecdotal advice which I find so practical on boards like this.


But it is a good place to start and does cover how the world seems to a schizophrenic.

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