Whatever your image of an individual with schizophrenia, I am willing to bet it is not Elyn Saks. Perhaps you think of the malodorous woman who sits on a park. “The Center Cannot Hold should be read by anyone interested psychiatric hospital. Saks would later attend Yale Law School ELYN R. SAKS. liJHYPERIONI. THE CENTER CANNOT HOLD: MY JOURNEY THROUGH MADNESS But it is the briefest bio on the inside, telling us that author Elyn Saks is.

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There, craziness was celebrated, encouraged even, and romanticized. Given its strong emphasis on academics, impostor syndrome, and mental illness, this book is valuable for students. For me, it was truly one of those instances where reading this author’s feelings made me feel understood in a way that I have rarely felt in real life. What this account does best in many ways is present the power of a fighting spirit, the places where that fight swks cause problems, and the power of friendship in the darkest of days.

The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness

I assume some of it was financed by her parents; she is pretty hard on them. Hot Topics Today 1. Stoller Foundation, and American Law Institute. I would love to see your response to her book get a wider readership.

The book reveals a vivid account of schizophrenia to show that our way of treating “psychotic” patients is not always based on the needs of the misunderstood victim, but based on our perception of the mental illness, which makes us reconsider who the crazy people really are. Schizophrenia is often seen as untreatable, especially when symptoms continue and there are multiple relapses. With all due respect, I believe most people with schizophrenia could hold some kind of job, whether a traditional one or not.

When I am now and having trouble. Her bridge-building into that experience is rare and worthwhile, and can move a reader’s empathy for the mentally ill to a new level at least it did that for me. They are not dangerous to others — their behaviour and language might appear frightening but they pose the greatest threat to themselves.


But there are very few that give the reader insight into what it is like to be schizophrenic. But it serves as an important reminder that mental illness, particularly schizophrenia, is not a damning diagnosis and that everybody, regardless of symptomology, deserves to be treated like a human.

But they also exact a price. Okay, let’s get the not-so-great over with first. And then you want to turn them into little balls so you can smack them again. She assumes the role of educator and advocate. Effectively self medicating, although the prescriptions are provided by my psyciatrist but I don’t have psychoanalysis nor do I feel swks this is the best way for me to go.

A Memoir of Schizophrenia

Asperger’s and the APA. Views Read Edit View history. Who is this Saks, what was her madness, and how the hell did she get to where she is now in spite of it? It felt like falling apart, my self losing coherence. Because I knew how it was before I started taking cannog. The most devastating part for me was Saks’ account of her days in the Yale psychiatric centers, acting out and recognizing that the staff didn’t particularly care if she got better; they just wanted her to behave.

As I chafed against the repetition of this vicious cycle, I thought “Could I really be this cold and lacking in empathy? Nov 01, Diana Connor rated it it was amazing. The Center Cannot Hold tells that story incredibly well, encouraging us to look more deeply into the minds of the mentally ill and helping them find the passion and life that’s right for them, rather than setting more elyb on them than their minds already do.

Cheers, Chris Posted by: I have a new humility when considering someone dependent on medication who is struggling with taking it. In my opinion her book should be on the top 10 books to read on mental health. Canot passage hit me hard: That being said, overall Elyn did a pretty good job of conveying what it might be like to be her, alternating between significant accomplishment and tremendous struggle to ignore the voices inside her head.

It is also a look into the way we treat mental health especially in the US. The new meds I’m on [Clozapine, an anti-psychotic medication] make the episodes come further apart; they last less long when they happen, and they’re less intense when they happen.


Saks is a highly functioning intelligent woman with multiple higher degrees from places like Oxford and Yale and she just happens to have Schizophrenia.

The book gives a vivid tour of the mind of the schizophrenic, showing that schizophrenics pose a greater threat to themselves than to the rest of the world. When you have schizophrenia, and sometimes even if you do not, you hunger to know more. May 19, Maggie Heim rated it it was amazing. I’m mostly thinking clearly. While a struggle to incorporate the three indwelling entities her as a doctor, her as the ‘Lady of the Charts’, and her as a person that made up Elyn Saks, she manages her symptoms finally after years of denial, with submission to medication.

Yes, the book was maddening to read at times given the “one step forward, five steps back” nature of her journey. If anyone likes TED talks I know the author has one where she discusses it also. Like how can people be so cool? The center cannot hold. I am taking classes and volunteering as a start, and while it may be years before I work again full-time, I am not giving in, not giving up on my brain.

The first two years I was ill at Oxford, I had no friends at all. And I really believe that that is true of most people, especially those with schizophrenia. Centsr a thought like, I’ve killed people, comes to my mind and I just say, oh that’s your illness acting up.

It’s hard to argue with that. But they do hold the body together. That is indeed what we aim for, ALL of us, and good for you that you apparently have it all. I have not, nor will I ever.

Saks, training to be a psychoanalyst, specializes in mental health law, criminal law, and children and the law.

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