Ken Steele started to hear voices when he was fourteen and was diagnosed as schizophrenic shortly after. He spent the next thirty two years in and out of institutions across the United States struggling with voices which would continually tell him how worthless he was and how he should commit suicide.
The time in institutions is described vividly and is at times unbearably sad, mostly because of the poor treatment he received from so called 'professionals'.
Steele eventually found anti-psychotic medication which had minimal side-effects and enabled him to be free of the voices that had plagued him for so many years. He eventually found fulfilment and a purpose fighting for the rights of those with mental illness and trying to break down the wall of disinformation and fear that surrounds mental illness and those people who experience it.
This is an incredibly moving story and is essential reading for all working in the field of mental health, but would equally appeal to anyone who wants to read a moving and painfully honest story of one man's fight against an inhumane and archaic system.
The Day The Voices Stopped: A Memoir of Madness and Hope Paperback – Illustrated, 9 May 2002
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About the Author
Ken Steele was, until his death from heart failure in October 2000, the publisher of New York City Voices: A Consumer Journal for Mental Health Advocacy. He was also editor of The Reporter, the monthly newsletter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill/NYC-Metro chapter, and spokesperson for the National Mental Health Association's "Partners in Care."Claire Berman is the author of several books on family relations, including Caring for Yourself While Caring for Your Aging Parents (1996) and Making It as a Stepparent (1986). She lives in New York City.
- ASIN : 0465082270
- Language : English
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780465082278
- ISBN-13 : 978-0465082278
- Customer reviews:
4.7 out of 5
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Top reviews from other countries
A moving and memorable memoir and essential reading for anyone who works in the mental health professionReviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 April 2008
4 people found this helpful
Gripping, moving and hopeful.Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 May 2010
I was curious to see if there was any material about the affected person's experience of schizophrenia: symptoms are always understood as issues that will resolve with the correct medication. Ken Steele writes a moving first-person account of having schizophrenia and, best of all, recovering from it. He emphasises that schizophrenia, like diabetes is a chronic illness, but one that can be safely and effectively managed, while emphasising the need to remain on medication. I love it that advice that I've given to people is vindicated here from the horse's mouth. It's also so well-written and so moving (by a guy who for years had constant hallucinations and delusions and who truly recovered from them- wow!) that I read it solidly and finished it in three days. It's inspiring and hopeful.
3 people found this helpful
Never Give UpReviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 September 2011
This book is a gripping intimate and honest life story. It deals with Ken's struggle with schizophrenia from 1962 when he was 14 to the year 2000 when he unfortunately died suddenly aged 52 just before the book was published. It is set throughout America and deals with many of the hospitals and different approaches. This is because he was homeless and unsettled for much of his early life and had no family support. It conveys how vulnerable anyone with untreated schizophrenia can be. Just when you imagine he can take no more, his incredible spirit and determination lifts him up so that he becomes a force in organizing people with a mental illness to vote and educating them on the health system and their rights. His journey narrates how he learnt the importance of medication and therapy and of gaining personal control of his condition. If you are feeling low, this book will lift you up. It is essential for anyone fighting, or helping someone to fight, schizophrenia.
Gives an excellent insight for family and friends of any person suffering with this condition.Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 October 2018
Very interesting to read. If you suffer with this condition it would be an excellent read for your family and friends as it help gives them an insight into the suffering this condition causes and how every day can be a struggle.
Hard book to read.Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 March 2012
This is an good book to read if you are interested in Schizophrenia. It is a very detailed account of this person's experience which at times makes it very difficult to read. Not for the faint hearted!
One person found this helpful