According to Merriam-Webster Schizophrenia is
“a very serious mental illness in which someone cannot think or behave normally and often experiences delusions”
This is definition is a very generic explanation of this mental disorder. In reality we can’t see into ones mind therefore we don’t know for sure what they are experiencing. In this list I have compiled together 10 Books about Schizophrenia with plots that range from memoirs, auto-biographies, and resource books.
The Center Cannot Hold
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Elyn R. Saks, the author of this book, describes her life living with schizophrenia and how it has affected her. In this book she shares her experiences and battles that result from her lifelong fight against her mind. Saks also explains how she rose past her terrifying world and made a name for herself as a professional. This book gives a really great insight to the mind of someone living with schizophrenia.
The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness
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This book follows the life of Lori Schiller and how her life went from perfect at 17 years old to her first suicide attempt at 23 years old. She, in detail, paints a picture of her life with schizophrenia recounting the doctors diagnosis, her family and how they were affected, and her personal traumatizing experiences. This is another great read with a close look into the world of a person living with schizophrenia.
A Beautiful Mind
When you think of Schizophrenia this is one of the most popular books because of the movie that came out in 2001. Both the book and movie are based on a true store following the life of John Nash. John Nash was a very intelligent mathematician who at age 30 fell into the illness of his mind. With the help of close friends and the consistent love from a woman he was able to eventually emerge fro the darkness and became a Nobel Prize Winner.
Is There No Place On Earth For Me?
Journalist Susan Sheehan, in 1978 became enthralled with the life of Sylvia Frumkin learning everything she could about who she was and how she personally was affected by her disorder. Through over two years of conversation comes “Is There No Place On Earth For Me?”, a detailed look into Sylvia’s life that explores her treatment and the many trials and errors she experienced in trying to stop her symptoms.
“Surviving Schizophrenia” is different from the last couple of books on this book because instead of talking about personal experiences it is a comprehensive look at schizophrenia. This book is filled with research including symptoms, treatments, overviews of the disorder, and more. It also answers questions and is a great tool for families or people that have been directly affected by schizophrenia. This book has been continually updated to include all new research, making this a very popular book.
The Protest Psychosis
This book follows how the definition of Schizophrenia changed from the 1920’s till the 1970’s. The book uses Ionia Sate Hospital and the events that occurred there to show this evolution. Author Jonathan Metzl tells the outrageous story of how African American protesters were diagnosed as schizophrenic because of there “aggressive acts”. This is a very interesting read that shows how in this time period racial anxiety impacted medical diagnosis.
Tell Me I’m Here
“Tell Me I’m Here” is a must read, following the life of Anne Deveson and how she was affected by her son’s mental disorder. She details how she realized that her son was schizophrenic. This book is written from her point of view as a mother watching her beloved son turn from a sweet boy to someone almost unrecognizable. “Tell Me I’m Here” tells a beautiful and heart-wrenching story of a mother’s relentless love in search for a cure to bring her son back to reality.
“Welcome, Silence” is another memoir tracing the life of Carol North who was diagnosed with Schizophrenia in college but had dealt with it from a very young age. It shines light on her personal experience and how she essentially overcame her mind. With help from a skilled psychiatrist who believed in her she was able to stay in school and fulfill her dream in the medical field.
Far Side Of Madness
This book is another great resource that shines light on how to deal with people that are schizophrenic. It explains different methods and also what you can expect from a person that has schizophrenia. Author John Weir Perry is a Jungian psychiatrist that has written many other books revolving around the topic of schizophrenia. This book brings a new light to the condition of schizophrenia and shows a more benevolent view of it.