An extraordinary look into the life and mind of a schizophrenic—a powerful memoir for sufferers, their families, and the professionals who care for them.
For ten years, Arnhild Lauveng suffered as a schizophrenic, going in and out of the hospital for months or even a year at a time. In these pages, she illuminates her loss of identity, her sense of being controlled from the outside, her relationship to the voices she heard, and her sometimes terrifying hallucinations. Painful recollections of moments of humiliation inflicted by thoughtless medical professionals are juxtaposed with Lauveng’s own understanding of how such patients are outwardly irrational and often violent.
Though Lauveng was told her disorder was a lifelong sentence, she now calls herself a “former schizophrenic.” No longer on medication, she currently works as a clinical psychologist. While sometimes critical of mental health care, she ultimately attributes her slow journey back to health to the dedicated medical staff who took the time to talk to her and who saw her as a person simply diagnosed with an illness—not the illness incarnate.
“Drawing on her own terrifying experiences to address the carefully constructed definitions and understandings of the disorder, [Lauveng] challenges some entrenched ideas about schizophrenia.” —Kirkus Reviews