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Surviving Schizophrenia: A Memoir Paperback – 26 Feb 2012


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Surviving Schizophrenia: A Memoir + Henry's Demons: Living with Schizophrenia, a Father and Son's Story + Me, Myself, and Them: A Firsthand Account of One Young Person's Experience with Schizophrenia (Adolescent Mental Health Initiative)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Twynham Press (26 Feb. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956693733
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956693730
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,623 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Louise Gillett was born in London, England. She took a law degree at Southampton University. She is married with four children and lives in Dorset.
To find out more, visit Louise's blog, Schizophrenia at the Schoolgate at blogspot.com by following this link: http://schizophreniaattheschoolgate.blogspot.com/

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ness on 22 Jan. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I was privileged to read this book and enjoyed its honesty, bravery and hope. I read this with two different hats on, the first as a mum with a daughter who has PTSD and who has recently left hospital after some very frightening psychosis and depression and secondly as a therapist working with children who have suffered trauma, abuse or chaotic parenting. When she is ready I will share the book with my daughter it's honesty will help her on the journey to understanding that mental health affects many and that a purposeful and fulfilling life can still be possible.
As a therapist, it made me think again about attachment and the concept of good enough parenting and how those formative years really can shape our lives.
I want to thank you Louise for writing this, it's helped me as I am sure it has and will continue to help others.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Bookie TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Jan. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is one of the most remarkable books I've ever read. I don't make that statement lightly and I've read thousands of books! The author takes us on a journey through her life. It's a life full of disconnect. It's a story of family dysfunction. It's an ordinary life made extraordinary by fragile mental health. It's remarkable because the author manages to involve the reader in the detail of her day to day actions and plans. Much of this would normally be mundane, but the narrative is lively and concise. Louise may believe that she lacked social skills but she's sharply observational and there are many very simple, but profound throw away lines. She is a skilled and dispassionate observer.

This is a story about many lost years. It's an appalling indictment of the health care offered to an individual who clearly needed different and better treatment options. It's a tale of hope and above all, profound self belief. Whilst most of us struggle at times to motivate ourselves to do things, the mountains presented here pale by comparison.

There is no wallowing in self misery or complaint. There are good times as well as bad and overall, it's a book about triumph. I was hooked right from the first page and hope we'll see more from a writer with a genuine gift for words and storytelling.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 23 Jan. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book about Louise Gillet's life and once I started it I found it difficult to put down. I felt priviledged to be given such an honest and frank insight into someone else's life. It is so well written that you feel you are on a close journey with Louise from the beginning of the book to the end. She struggles to make a life for herself at the the same time as battling with lack of early parental care, poor mental health treatment and being stigmatised with a label. At all odds through courage, perseverance and hope she turns her life around.
Having had a father and brother whose lives were ruined by Schizophrenia it was heartening for me to see another sufferer come out of the illness and into a life filled with hope and joy. I am now certainly routing for Loiise's future happiness and success in life - she deserves it.
I very much hope she continues writing as she is clearly gifted in this field.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Susan on 22 April 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had not long met Louise when I read her book, and after reading it was full of respect for her. I found the beginning difficult to read, because of the sheer trauma of the breakdown she describes. But within a few pages I was hooked on her concise simple prose, which flows smoothly through events of her childhood and teens. She has quite an amazing story to tell. It's about survival despite enormous odds, but the story is told without a trace of melodrama or self-pity, and often with a dry sense of humour. Coincidentally, I had also recently read 'Why be Happy when you could be Normal', by Jeanette Winterson, and was struck by similarities between the two - the struggle of neglected children who have to look after themselves, the honesty and humour, and the humility that perhaps comes from learning not to take your mental health for granted.

This is definitely not a one-off: I have also since then read some of Louise's poetry, so I now know that she is a very good writer, with more to give.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Janine Pulford on 9 April 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The opening of Louise's memoir is harrowing and compelled me to read on. Her ability to write with flowing beauty reveals her true genius, one which has been striving through her turbulent life to blossom. She has a gift of balancing the traumatic moments of her childhood with an analysis of these events to demonstrate their effect on her fragile growing up years which led to mental breakdowns, acute loss of confidence and being labelled a schizophrenic. The honesty with which she writes is revealing and I admire her openness. I read the book in two sittings. It helped me get to know the author in depth. Having published columns by Louise for the last ten years, I am thrilled to see her first book getting so many excellent reviews. She is as deserving of these, as she is of the inner peace and happiness she has achieved with her husband and young family. Her book offers hope to others and I thoroughly recommend it. The medical profession should take note of it too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Scribe on 5 April 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought that the author was very brave and I found the book gripping. My own mother suffered from mental illness so I indentified with many of the awful details. As a practising therapist, I was also very interested in the potential link between the author's challenging childhood and her subsequent mental health problems. I feel that this book will help many people who have been touched by mental illness and I congratulate the author for writing it. I would like to say to her - 'you are indeed both a writer and a teacher, thank you'.
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