Sunday, 5 May 2013

The day the voices stopped - Ken Steele & Claire Berman

Semi auto-biographical story of a life with schizophrenia from a relatively normal childhood to adolescence and the onset of illness.
Ken is unable to confide in his parents so takes the opportunity to leave home and fend for himself. After a short stint in employment illness overtakes and he begins on the drug discovery journey with doctors prescribing without necessarily having full detail of Ken's history.
The book tries to help us understand how hard it is to have multiple voices in your head giving instructions, having arguments with each other and undermining your confidence constantly. And how susceptible such a sick person is to life's predators. It almost seems as though Ken's sexuality was not allowed to develop before it was decided for him.
Despite his illness he tries to hold down several jobs and also campaigns to get as many mentally ill people as possible to vote.
Finally a medication is used that stops the voices. But that's a whole new life to become accustomed to. Is there enough time left to make a life for himself and can he discover 'normal'.
Well written and enlightening book.

Publisher - Basic Books

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