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The Collected Schizophrenias

Essays
Narrated by: Esmé Weijun Wang
Length: 7 hrs and 51 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (58 ratings)
Regular price: $24.99
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Publisher's Summary

Powerful, affecting essays on mental illness, winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and a Whiting Award

An intimate, moving book written with the immediacy and directness of one who still struggles with the effects of mental and chronic illness, The Collected Schizophrenias cuts right to the core. Schizophrenia is not a single unifying diagnosis, and Esmé Weijun Wang writes not just to her fellow members of the “collected schizophrenias” but to those who wish to understand it as well. Opening with the journey toward her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, Wang discusses the medical community’s own disagreement about labels and procedures for diagnosing those with mental illness, and then follows an arc that examines the manifestations of schizophrenia in her life. In essays that range from using fashion to present as high-functioning to the depths of a rare form of psychosis, and from the failures of the higher education system and the dangers of institutionalization to the complexity of compounding factors such as PTSD and Lyme disease, Wang’s analytical eye, honed as a former lab researcher at Stanford, allows her to balance research with personal narrative. An essay collection of undeniable power, The Collected Schizophrenias dispels misconceptions and provides insight into a condition long misunderstood.

©2019 Esmé Weijun Wang (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“Wang invariably describes her [bipolar-type schizoaffective disorder] symptoms and experiences with remarkable candor and clarity, as when she narrates a soul-crushing stay in a Louisiana mental hospital and the alarming onset of a delusion in which ‘the thought settles over me, fine and gray as soot, that I am dead.’ She also tackles societal biases and misconceptions about mental health issues, criticizing involuntary commitment laws as cruel. Throughout these essays, Wang trains a dispassionate eye onto her personal narrative, creating a clinical remove that allows for the neurotypical reader’s greater comprehension of a thorny and oft-misunderstood topic.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

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Makes you think

Living with a loved one with collected Schizophrenia’s. It was good to get an inside look at the thought process from her perspective. Made me thought about it differently.
Would recommend.
Thanks

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great Overview of Mental Health

The speaker spoke slowly for me, so I sped it up 1.30x. I enjoyed hearing her collection of stories dealing with this illness. I especially felt bad for her husband, but then appreciated that he stuck by her through everything. I had read The Center does not Hold by Elyn Saks. Comparing the two, this was not as in depth, but rather a light run through of Esme's life. Reading both of these books has made me more aware that yes, these people are human and no, they are not "dead to the world" once diagnosed. They can go on to do great things with the right treatment, medication and care. I truly enjoyed this book.

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Amazing!

The author does an amazing job of chronically her own story of life within "The Schizophrenia" while also bringing in issues of modern day treatment of people with mental health concerns.

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Open, honest, and well written

Having also been diagnosed with the same disorder as the author, I can attest to the truths to be found in this book. For those who are unfamiliar with schizoaffective disorder, I would think that this book can be eye opening.