The Day The Voices Stopped: A Schizophrenic's Journey From Madness To Hope

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9780465082261: The Day The Voices Stopped: A Schizophrenic's Journey From Madness To Hope

For thirty-two years Ken Steele lived with the devastating symptoms of schizophrenia, tortured by inner voices commanding him to kill himself, ravaged by the delusions of paranoia, barely surviving on the ragged edges of society. In this powerful and inspiring story, Steele tells the story of his hard-won recovery from schizophrenia and how activism and advocacy helped him regain his sanity and go on to give hope and support to so many others like him.His recovery began with a small but intensely dramatic moment. One evening in the spring of 1995, shortly after starting on Risperdal, a new antipsychotic medicine, he realized that the voices that had tormented him for three decades had suddenly stopped. Terrified but also empowered by this new freedom, Steele rose to the challenge of creating a new life. Steele went on to become one of the most vocal advocates of the mentally ill, earning the respect not only of patients and families but also of professionals and policymakers all over America through his tireless devotion to a cause that transformed his life and that of countless others.The Day the Voices Stopped will endure as Ken Steele's testament for all who struggle with this heartbreaking disease.

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About the Author:

Ken Steele was until his death from heart failure on October 7, 2000 a nationally recognized advocate for the rights of the mentally ill and 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 served as 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 and Making It as a Stepparent. She lives in New York City.

From Publishers Weekly:

From the age of 14, mental health advocate Steele battled the ruthless barrage of voices and hallucinations of schizophrenia. His arduous 32-year struggle is chronicled in this memoir, written with journalist Berman (What Am I Doing in a Step-Family?). Despite his parents' initial reluctance to admit the seriousness of his disorder, Steele, who died last year of heart failure, understood early on that his condition was pushing him ever closer to suicide. Only reading and writing provided him a haven, offering him flights of imagination that temporarily quieted the voices. Instead of seeking proper treatment, his family allowed him to drop out of school and stay idle at home, where he only got sicker. He tried to move to New York from Connecticut; to attend theater school, only to end up in a mental ward, the first of several hospitalizations. Steele then descended into alcoholism, homelessness and exploitation by male hustlers. After AA meetings, drugs, shock treatments and repeated hospitalizations, he eventually triumphed over the illness to fashion a new life. Many readers will be emotionally drained by the time he becomes a nationally recognized spokesman for the rights of the mentally ill and the publisher of New York City Voices, a publication heralding that cause. Steele's sobering yet resonant and inspiring narrative refuses to sugarcoat the tremendous force of this disorder and its stubborn resistance to recovery. (May) Forecast: Advertising in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times should help this book find its audienceschizophrenics and their families, policy makers, mental health professionals and anyone who cares about the mentally ill.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Ken Steele, Claire Berman
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ISBN 10: 0465082262 ISBN 13: 9780465082261
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