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"The Stages of Schizophrenia"

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The Stages of Schizophrenia - Part One

With this important book, the first in a distinguished series, Mark explores schizophrenia, recovery and self help, and in doing so debunks some myths and exposes many truths about this common condition.

Extract:

It is often said that schizophrenia cannot be understood unless you have had it yourself. I would not go so far as to say it is unimaginable but the problem of communicating the experience requires an in depth look at a particular case. I think it is possible to communicate it a little more than this first sentence indicates.

Schizophrenia is a journey to hell and back. It is a nightmare, the end of the world or walking alone through the shadow of the valley of death. This I think is the common understanding; that it is an extremely frightening experience. The problem is how to explain why.

Stages of Schizophrenia Part One

ISBN: 978-1-84747-097-3
Published: 2007
Pages: 143
Key Themes: schizophrenia, recovery, self-help
 

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The Stages of Schizophrenia - Part Two

This collection of essays deals with the later stages of schizophrenia. The first section concerns what it is like to experience the illness in the long term. This is followed by what it is like to experience a sense of recovery from the illness. Again it is often said that you cannot know what it is like to have schizophrenia unless you have had it yourself. I believe that this account can give some further insights beyond those contained in the first volume.

Extract:

Sometimes families know more about schizophrenia than the patient. This can help because trusting a parent means that going to see a psychiatrist will not seem so threatening. It will be obvious to the parent that persecutory delusions are not real, though it may not be to the sufferer who thinks they are real. This reassurance is essential to the whole business of being sectioned - as it is for being taken into hospital, staying there and ultimately taking ones medication. It makes the whole process less frightening, for example that the doctors are not there to simply to lock you up etc. This realisation can take a long time even with family support but without it distinguishing between psychosis and reality can be sometimes impossible. Families are themselves put under a lot of pressure by the acute suffering schizophrenia can inflict and by the label itself.

Stages of Schizophrenia Part Two

ISBN: 978-1-84747-098-0
Published: 2007
Pages: 132
Key Themes: schizophrenia, recovery, self-help
 

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The Stages of Schizophrenia - Part Three

This, Mark Ellerby's third book on the subject of schizophrenia, deals further with his experiences of and thoughts on living with schizophrenia. Mark is an entertaining and informative writer and this is a worthy addition to his previous works.

Extract:

You have to fight the influence of the voices (which in my case where very insipid). I felt when I had depression that I was so pliable that I would have gone along with any suggestion. Fortunately the depression past, unfortunately the schizophrenia gradually became what I can only describe as more invasive. Being a postgraduate did not help my situation. Research is a solipsistic activity at best. All you have to do is meet with your supervisor once a week and tell him your ideas. That leaves the rest of time for being in the library. Fortunately, I had most of it done by the end of the first year, aided by the fact that I was self funded the year before that. All I really had to do was write it all up. But this was the hard part - concentrating while you were hearing voices. Gradually they began to take over my life. I did not know who to turn to or what to say about them. I had no medical problems prior to the onset of schizophrenia and was not familiar enough with any medical persons who might have noticed I was ill. I do not know if I looked ill but I certainly felt it.

Stages of Schizophrenia Part Three

ISBN: 978-1-84747-099-7
Published: 2006
Pages: 136
Key Themes: schizophrenia, recovery, self-help
 

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The Stages of Schizophrenia - Part Four

This, Mark Ellerby's fourth book on the subject of schizophrenia, deals further with his experiences of and thoughts on living with schizophrenia. Mark is an entertaining and informative writer and this is a worthy addition to his previous works.

Extract:

Changing the labels? As I said in a previous essay I was so confused by all the terms which surround having a mental illness and the wrongful connotations some of them have I really had no idea what was going on even when the doctor diagnosed me. This to me raises the question would changing the labels make the whole confusing problems of being schizophrenic any clearer from the outset? 'Manic Depression' was replaced by the label 'bi-polar' which is much more self explanatory. I have recently heard of proposals to replace the label schizophrenia too. In the end you cannot avoid the above confusions of explaining the illness without being careful about exactly what you say, and what you might leave out. 'Schizophrenia' is a real umbrella term covering a number of different symptoms and indeed types of illness. It may be better just to divide the diagnosis up on this basis, though often the different symptoms are experienced by the same individual. To my ears as I said the word itself sounded frightening even though I was still very unclear about its meaning. About the easiest label for the lay person to understand is depression. Depression is so common place that not only will everyone have heard of it they will probably know someone who has had it themselves, and more than likely within their own families. I see no point in replacing this label and it seems as it seems quite innocuous.

Stages of Schizophrenia Part Four

ISBN: 978-1-84747-087-4
Published: 2006
Pages: 132
Key Themes: schizophrenia, mental health services, recovery
 

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