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Living a Full Life with Schizophrenia

Books on Schizophrenia

Books on Schizophrenia

This post is going to be different from what you may have expected.  Every time I’ve tried to find references on the topic online, all I find are bloated text books about schizophrenia.  But that’s not what you are going to find here.  I’ve had far more success finding the type of schizophrenia books we might actually enjoy reading secondarily while going through some of the most important spiritual and psychological writings according to the mystic community.

My aim here, then, is to guide you to some of the lesser known books on schizophrenia, because they aren’t outright marketed as such, but are completely relevant and claim to be so.  So without spending too much time justifying my choices, I’ll just list them below and let you read my summaries about them and decide if you’d enjoy them or not!

Schizophrenia Books

These are among my favorites.  I will add more as time goes on once I resort through my library and find more books to buy and read!  Click the images or titles to learn more about them at Amazon.

The Adventure of Self-Discovery

This book is the culmination of much of Stanislav Grof’s research over the many years, involving psychedelic therapy (which mimics the symptoms of schizophrenia in many people) and through his own discovery of Holotropic Breathwork.  Through controlled hyperventilation and exposure to emotive music, all of the experiences of the schizophrenic may be experienced.  Grof has guided countless numbers of people through these experiences and has categorized them all very scientifically.  He focuses on the mythological aspects of the experiences, and what they mean for the individual having them, symbolically.  From experiences of becoming microscopic, nuclear, and even quantum processes, to the expansion of the self to cosmic and universal proportions, he has seen it and worked with it all.  He speaks of contact with external and independent entities of all sorts, with identifying the self with important historical figures, and more.  The focus on integration and understanding the symbolism makes this book sit at the absolute top of my list!

The Dark Night of the Soul

San Juan De La Cruz, or as he is more famously known as St. John of the Cross, composed a series of poems called the Ascent of Mt. Carmel.  Among these, the most important with the largest impact for the mystic, spiritual aspirant, and person living with schizophrenia is called “The Dark Night of the Soul.”  It speaks of the most ‘far out’ moments, right before experiencing a form of atonement or unification with ‘what is.’  It is considered one of the high signposts of spiritual growth and can be misconstrued as negative as it involves the final stripping away of some of the final things our ego holds on to.  It is a period of absolute aloneness, separated from oneself, one’s desires, the divine, and the world.  It is the feeling of being totally abandoned even by the one thing that wouldn’t do so.  And it serves a purpose.  This books sheds a lot of insight into the spiritual dimensions of schizophrenia.  Check it out if you are into that sort of thing!

The Far Side of Madness

This book, written by John Weir Perry, did much for the world of schizophrenics.  It focused on schizophrenia from a Jungian psychoanalytical perspective, treating the visions and hallucinations as archetypal and symbolic, rather than delusional.  From this angle, the visionary experiences are not meaningless but are communications being spoken to us from the deepest levels of our psyche in one of the strongest forms available to us, through mythological symbolism.  Allowing people to work through and integrate these experiences, without the interference of medications, forced therapies, oppressive atmospheres and other “traditional” treatments, can result in not only a full recovery but an advancement of personality and functioning.

Spiritual Emergency

Another one of Stanislav Grof’s works, this time co-written with his wife in a less scholarly format, presents the idea of schizophrenia and other acute psychotic episodes as an overly strong spiritual emergence.  The title is actually a word-play on the phrases ’emergence’ and ’emergency,’ because when an emergence comes on too fast and hard, it can become an emergency.  This book is good for any schizophrenic themselves, but offers far more insight for friends and family who hope to create a supportive atmosphere and arena for the person to heal within.  It is chock full of the personal story of Christina Grof and many of their patients that they’ve encountered throughout their work.  It also features writings by many other psychologists and spiritual leaders on the specific topic of our interest.

The Three Christs of Ypsilanti

This is a very interesting case that deals a lot with self-identity in schizophrenics.  It is something we all struggle with on this planet, but even more so when dealing with the powerful experiences of synchronicities, meaningful hallucinations and delusions, and other symptoms of schizophrenia.  Three paranoid gentlemen suffering with a messianic complex were all three brought together for the length of two years.  What unfolds is the conversation between the impossible… three people all exclusively claiming to be the one and only Jesus Christ.  This is a large conundrum, the sharing of a single identity.  It pokes and prods at the philosophical questions of human nature and human identity.  If you want to get your mind blown and entertained at the same time, this book is for you!

Conclusion

Again, this is just a small selection of the wonderful and lengthy list of books about schizophrenia out there.  If you have more you’d like to suggest I read, please mention them in the comments and we’ll talk about them!  I’d love to hear about more great ones that I can include on this page.  Thanks for reading, thanks for sharing, and I hope you all enjoy any of these you decide to read.

5 Comments

  1. What an awesome reading list. I recognized “Dark Night of the Soul” — I bought it when I was psychotic and convinced my experiences were a spiritual awakening. Though I was too raw at the time to read it.

    Some others that look great are The Far Side of Madness and Spiritual Emergency which I will add to my reading list.

    Thank you.

    • Trish, you are welcome! I agree, I was introduced to “Dark Night of the Soul” before I was ready. It is a tough read, and discusses some of the most in-depth ideas I’ve ever heard. It’s easy to project on them and try to relate them to your current experience. Later in life, I returned to it and realized how wrong I was about it. But then again, maybe it just speaks on that many levels!

  2. Hi, I’m the author of “Playing the Genetic Lottery” which I also refer to as a Novel Look at Schizophrenia. It’s a true-to-life fictional memoir about a woman who grew up with two parents who are living with schizophrenia.
    I would love for you to consider including it on SchizLife.com to let people know it’s available as a resource. If you’re interested, I would love to send you a review copy, either in paperback or for an e-reader. The book has been very well received by psychologists, family members, caregivers and people like Ashley Smith, the founder of Embracing My Mind, who is living with schizophrenia. Here’s a link to a review she wrote about my book.

    http://overcomingschizophrenia.blogspot.com/2013/01/terri-morgans-book-review-of-playing.html

    You can also find more info about my novel on my website; http://terrimorgan.net, or contact me directly at (831) 479-0210.

    Thanks, Terri

    • Thanks for sharing, Terri! I’m going to add this to my to-do list. I’d love to take a read and help promote your work. I’ll hit you up soon!

  3. I just found your site and it’s the best I’ve seen! The first one I feel like I can share with my daughter who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and she may actually check it out.

Click Your State to View the Surrounding Schizophrenia Treatment Centers

To view the the schizophrenia treatment centers in your local area, please click the state in which you live on the map above or find your state in the alphabetized links above. Each respective page will lists the name, address, and contact number for each individual treatment center. You may also visit the top level page of the directory by clicking here and navigate further from there.
Read the description and visit the personal webpage of each treatment center to find out more information. You can contact them from there, but we understand that this is a tedious and intimidating process, so we've provided a form you can fill out with the requested information and we'll set you up with the most appropriate treatment center for your needs.
If you require further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us at Schiz Life. We are here to serve the needs of the schizophrenia community and are happy to do so!

Schiz Life - Living With Schizophrenia

living with schizophrenia
For many of us, living with schizophrenia is our reality. And instead of struggling with the wish of how things “could be,” we finally come to an acceptance of our predicament and ultimately we embrace the fact of our lives: We are people dealing with schizophrenia. So then the question becomes not “Why” we suffer from this illness, but “How” we will cope and continue to enjoy our lives. We certainly will not give up! We have every right to demand the niceties, freedoms, and enjoyments of life to which all living creatures are entitled. This is what Schiz Life is all about.

Mission Statement Concerning Schizophrenia Information and Culture

Schiz Life serves to…

  • • Provide a safe haven for persons who wish to converse, cope, and share their experiences with schizophrenia in a positive manner in an attempt to celebrate the beauty of life, especially concerning our unique perspective on existence.
  • • Provide the highest quality of information concerning our psychological difficulties, including a frame of reference on the symptoms, treatment, history, and the future of schizophrenia.
  • • Take corrective action to dispel the myths and stigma surrounding schizophrenia, such as false ideas surrounding the cause, associations with violence, and others, all being perpetuated by the media by providing truth through scientific research and statistics.

Schiz Life intends to achieve this goal in the following manner:

The Schiz Life Schizophrenia Action Plan

  1. 1. We will continue to take advantage of internet outreach, contacting news agencies and other medical bloggers in hopes that they will join us in raising awareness of schizophrenia.
  2. 2. We will continue to promote this website through video and media outlets, including the dissemination of informational videos and graphics such as the first official schizophrenia infographic.
  3. 3. We will all contribute where possible off-line, including at health expo’s, psychology conferences, and any other relevant opportunity to spread the good word.

Thank You for Your Part in the Schizophrenia Journey!

We all thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for playing your role in the developing journey surrounding schizophrenia awareness and research. With all of our combined efforts, we will change the way the world perceives this illness and we will advance the medical efforts of professionals in their search for a cure and effective medicines. Thank you again!

Do Your Part!

Do you know of a great schizophrenia resource out there? Let us know! Do you see a person in need inside the comments of this site? Lend them some advice or encouragement! Are you a graphic designer or artist? Show us your work and I'm sure we can find some way to include your skills here on the site. Are you a writer who would like to contribute to the site? Shoot us an email and we'll discuss it. This site is for all of us and excludes none of us. Contact us for any reason and get involved!

Who Else is Helping?

Our content has been linked to or distributed by...

Mental Health TalkHealthy DebateTechnorati
Wellness WordworksVisuallyexaminer

...and also the sites listed below and more!

Try This Quick Schizophrenia Mini-Quiz:

This is but a quick quiz to test your general knowledge of schizophrenia. If you would like to take the extended and in-depth quiz, venture over to our Schizophrenia Quiz page and see just how much you know! Try the Schizophrenia Test to gauge your symptom levels.

Schizophrenia Quiz Directions: Please select the correct answer for each question and then press the button below to grade your quiz.

1. What is the term for perceiving stimuli that doesn't exist?




2. Which is NOT a type of schizophrenia?




3. Which of the following is a symptom of schizophrenia?




4. How common is schizophrenia in the general population?




5. Who can diagnose a case of schizophrenia?




6. How can schizophrenia be treated?




7. Are the causes of schizophrenia genetic or environmental?




8. What is the most common age of onset?




9. Catatonia is categorized as what type of symptom?




10. Is Schiz Life the best website about schizophrenia?




 

Show me the answers!

 

Question 1: The correct answer is the Hallucination.
Question 2: The correct answer is Hyperlipid.
Question 3: The correct answer is All of the Above.
Question 4: The correct answer is 1%.
Question 5: The correct answer is A Doctor.
Question 6: The correct answer is All of the Above Should Be Used.
Question 7: The correct answer is Both.
Question 8: The correct answer is 25.
Question 9: The correct answer is Negative.
Question 10: The correct answer is DON'T BE A PARTY POOPER!.
You answered them all right! Good job! You know a little something about schizophrenia, don't you!

 

How To Use This Site

If you're brand new to this site, it might look overwhelming until you get a sense of where things are at.  Schiz Life is a content-based site, much like a newspaper or a magazine.  However, we focus strictly and solely on schizophrenia.  So where does all of this content reside?  We have decided to separate our articles into several categories, as described below:

Basics

This category will be of the most interest to those who wish to gain a very broad but shallower overview of the entirety of the academic view of schizophrenia.  We cover all of the topics you'd expect to find in an abnormal psychology text book here, and at a similar depth.  It is a great introduction to this illness and will guide you further along into deeper topics.

Knowledge

We cover various angles such as statistics, research, and more factually based views of schizophrenia and place them in this category.  One could say that it is almost a repository for article that don't fit into the other categories, but it is more than that.  Go check it to find out more!

Treatment

The name says it all.  This category of content covers all topics related to the treatment and prevention of schizophrenia and its relapses.  We've started with the empirically sound and scientifically backed methods first, but we intend to venture into more holistic and alternative therapies as well.  Without investigating all options, progress wont' be made, and so we do.

Symptoms

There are countless symptoms involved in schizophrenia. We cover them in depth in this category, including the positive (outward) and negative (inward) symptoms of every type of this disorder.  There is much to read here, so if a particular symptom is giving you or a loved one trouble, this is the place to go and learn more about it.

Coping

What use is all of this information when we simply don't feel good enough to read it and learn?  The category for coping provides many ideas that you can apply to your own life to help you maintain the best health possible, physically, psychologically, and spiritually.  Schizophrenia is a mental illness that some of us simply cannot escape, but we can learn to live with it, minimize its problematic aspects, and take advantage of some of the aspects it unlocks within us that others don't have!

Culture

Let's face it.  People are afraid of what they don't understand.  This category addresses the cultural issue of schizophrenia and it's impacts on the way we are treated or perceived by the masses.  It is up to us to represent ourselves in the best light and to combat the myths and misunderstandings that exist in the world concerning our plight.  Learn about these issues here and apply them in your lives!

Spectrum

There are other classifications of illnesses that are very closely related to schizophrenia.  The only differences might just be a research label actually, but we have found it useful to place these articles in a category of their own.  We deal with schizophreniform and psychosis disorders and their respective symptoms here.

Spirituality

While the medical community deals with schizophrenia as a psychological or physical disorder of the brain, those of us who actually experience it know it is much more.  It is a philosophical, spiritual, metaphysical, and mythological issue.  Coming to terms with this, confronting it, integrating it, and reconciling it leads to much higher functioning not only as an individual diagnosed with schizophrenia but as a member of society in general.  We have a deeper access to this aspect of life and have a great opportunity for learning and healing.

Artwork

Many of us past and present have chosen to express ourselves through the arts.  Whether this is painting and drawing, poetry, dancing, or any other artform, it is healthy and beautiful.  We are writing biographies, displaying artwork, and welcoming submissions from our own community to be included here in this category!  Please submit if you have something to share!

News

The internet has opened up the world.  There is a constant flow of news concerning our illness but you wouldn't know it by watching the television.  We cover new research topics, treatment modalities, and nationwide and worldwide coverage of schizophrenia or incidents related to it in this category!

Other Items

We have also included other items of interest throughout our website.  For instance, we are producing a series of infographics to help educate the public on this topic.  We also are collecting and reviewing books concerning the illness.  In addition, we have created a directory for the United States of all treatment facilities and hospitals that have staff that are trained to work with schizophrenia cases.  Please look around and find these sections and more.

Disclaimer

There is something that was slightly mentioned in the footer of the site, but that could be overlooked easily so we felt it was the responsible thing to do to create a large disclaimer to be displayed here on the homepage.  This has to do completely with safety.  Let us explain.

Individual Uniqueness

unique individualEvery individual on this planet is a unique person.  Even more so, those of us dealing with this special psychological difficulty are even more unique, if that makes sense.  On this site, we are talking about one of the most complex brain mysteries ever and it expresses itself through every person differently.  Every case is going to have it's own peculiarities and all we are able to do in the articles on the site is speak in generalities.  We invite anyone to leave appropriate comments and engage in discussion, however we can't take responsibility for their words.  Nor can we take responsibility for the actions of any individual or group who have at one time or another visited our website.

Always Consult a Medical Professional

medical professionalIf you find yourself in a situation where you're trying to learn more about your condition or are trying to cope through a moment of crisis, please do not act upon any of the information listed on this site, whether in the main content or comments, without first corroborating the accuracy of the info with a medical professional first.  Reach out to a general practitioner, psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor.  Even then it's always helpful to have a second opinion from a separate professional as well.  Again, we must stress... always act with safety as the foremost concern, and this means consulting professionals before engaging in any practice intended to treat your condition.

Please Be Considerate About Delusions

delusion discussionWe understand that delusions can be very confusing and convincing.  We also understand that delusions can center around topics that simply are too philosophical to be proven wrong or correct and thus are tempting to explore in-depth.  We have no problem with this exploration as long as it is not harmful to those discussing it.  Please use your best discretion in this regard.  If the staff of Schiz Life step in and begin deleting comments or halting a conversation, please respect their decision and understand it is not personal.

Investigating delusions is encouraged.  Delusions are interesting due to their nature of being understood as strange and outside the norm of the culture of the experiencer, but there is a vast number of individuals visiting this site from many cultures.  There is a subtle difference between discussing these topics, and encouraging or trolling.  Please find that balance and abide by the above suggestions.

We also, under no circumstances, will tolerate anyone discussing or suggesting harming themselves or others.  Past-tense symptom discussion in this regard is fine, but nothing in the future tense will be allowed.

General Discussion Guidelines

We encourage discussion in the comments as much as possible and are looking into offering a forum and personal blogs as well.  In all of these mediums when carrying on conversation, there are some useful questions to ask yourself before posting that comment or response.

The main question to ask yourself is the following:

Is what I'm about to post going to help and support or will it further entrench illness and suffering?

Please consider this as you enjoy Schiz Life.  Try not to post angry or hurtful comments.  Try not to criticize or blame others.  Be as supportive, encouraging, and respecting as you can.  Accepting and negotiating differences is key to carrying on constructive conversation.

Remember, there is a real person on the other side of the screen.  It's easy to assume the other person is in a similar situation as yourself, but you don't know the extent of their emotions, symptoms, nor their age or even gender.

Let's Do This Together!

Let's have a supportive and comforting community where we all feel open and able to share as much as possible.  If you receive support from someone, please pay that forward and try to help out someone else.  If we all do this, we should all be okay!  Thank you for reading and enjoying this thing we are building together.

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