From her early 30's until her early 60's, Barbara Hawkins lived cloistered in her family home in suburban Chicago, a prisoner of undiagnosed mental illness. Hearing voices and paralyzed with fear, she was never evaluated, never treated, and refused to leave the house.
After Schizophrenia is the story of Barb's descent into severe mental illness and the healing that has come only in recent years: after her parents' death, when her sister, Margaret, became her guardian. With uncanny grace and humor, Margaret chronicles her family's struggle with Barb's mental illness, the love that carried them through, and the virtual army of healthcare angels willing to come to Barb's aid.
This is an extraordinary story of severe mental illness and the healing that is possible with prompt diagnosis, good drugs, good care, and a fierce belief in the power to get well.
©2010, 2011 Margaret Hawkins (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
This book is unusual in two ways – the victim had a mild case which make it easier for her to recover – and the author did a good job of involving the reader in the story – sometimes, too much so, it seemed to me (someone not too skilled emotionally). It took me a while to get through it.
After listening to a number of these case histories – I have noticed that the survivors (only about 1 out of 5) were good at getting help. In this case, she was saved by her sister – who worked very hard at getting help for her. Most refuse help of any kind.
And she was lucky in finding a med that worked. Many never find a combination that works very well – and they end up being arrested and institutionalized, over and over.
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