I first heard about Elyn Saks in a news story. Then after googling her I found a TED talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6CILJA110Y
As a psychiatry resident I have been trying to improve my empathy and reduce any countertransference so that I might connect more with those patients I care for. I loved this book, as it has helped me immeasurably towards those goals. I loved how real she was in this book about her life, about some of her most personal and controversial details. I really think this book gives me hope to spread to my patients with schizophrenia. This book also talks in a persuasive way against the use of restraints. In my generation, they are no longer used to the extent she detailed in her experience. I believe that her work as a lawyer and academic has possibly changed that standard. This book also made me realize that connection, seeking to understand, even with someone in the midst of psychosis or between psychotic events is a pivotal part of the healing process. I appreciate her critique on psychiatry and will be recommending this book to medical students, residents and attendings I interact with!
This a great book to familiarize yourself with Mental Illness. There are people that are crazy in our society but they do not include the mentally ill. Mentally Ill people have a biological problem not of their choosing, but crazy people are those without any excuse but choose to behave very badly. Many of societies leaders fall into this category. Elyn Saks is a wonderful person who has persisted against tremendous adversity to fullfill her dreams. She is one of my heroes. Read this book to get to know one of America's true heroes, it is worth the time and money spent. .
Words to live by: "Pursue knowledge from the crib to the coffin." This is an Arabic adage I was taught as a child. Go on learning!
This is by far one of the best audiobook I listened to. It introduces me to concepts I would not have known otherwise. For instance, while psychotic, the sufferer is cogent and understand that people are violent towards him. Psychosis is therefore not a dream like state from which the sufferer awakes with no recall. It is rather a real life experience from the individual sufferer's point of view, and must be approached as such.
I like that it made me a better person in that I understand what it's like to suffer from this illness. It made me realize that we (the non-sufferers) violate the rights of these vulnerable people among us, by forcibly medicating them against their will, or holding them in restraints when we don't understand them. We so readily are willing to pronounce those we don't understand as dangerous, when in fact, we are the dangerous ones with delusions of what normalcy should look like. My hope is that every one reads/listens to Dr. Saks's personal account and appreciates it for what it offers: the sufferer's perspective. I also like appreciate how articulate Prof. Saks is, and I am certain that she is the best person to have spoken on behalf of people suffering from schizophrenia. These people often lack the language and emotional dimension found in Prof Saks's account. I am grateful to the author for having shared her experience. Thank you Elyn!!
I like her voice, and her intonations. They were appropriate and moving.
Yes. It made me cry, and it made me question, and think through preconceived notions of dangerousness, prejudice and stereotypes of the mentally ill. It changed me, and my views on this illness, and the people who suffer from it.
Many thanks to Prof. Saks!!! You are a survivor, a champion and a hero in my book!
I decided to explore this book after hearing Elyn Saks' TED talk. If you're curious about some of the content of this book, I recommend looking it up. She is a fascinating woman; fiercely intelligent, strong, and resilient. This book provides a small glimpse into the life of one person working through mental illness. She has no qualms about wishing she didn't have schizophrenia in her life, but still shows how she met the challenge it presented her.
The narrator was fine, but there were quite a few editing issues that affected the quality of narration. Abrupt cutting together of paragraphs, oddly long pauses, and even microphone jostling. It wasn't enough to make it unbearable to listen, but it did challenge me at times. At certain points the narrator would stumble slightly over a sentence and this was not edited or resolved. It could have been done much better, but her general style was tolerable.
While this book was incredibly interesting, it was often very heavy and dark. When Elyn writes about her times of deep psychosis, I found myself needing to take many breaks. She doesn't hold back on the reality of her illness, which is very appreciated and valuable, but still makes it hard to work straight through this book.
College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
Not much better than MADNESS. Pete Earley's CRAZY is a much better book.