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The Day The Voices Stopped: A Schizophrenic's Journey from Madness to Hope Paperback – 18 Apr 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.
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Top customer reviews
Steele's mental illness included paranoia; he feared going out in public and thought others were talking about him. When Steele's brother Joe was born in 1964, he felt further alienated from his family. On January 2, 1966 Steele left his home for good. Sadly, he served time in and out of hospitals for the next 15 years.
In 1974, one door opened. Steele, calling home from an institution out of state received his first invitation home in nearly a decade. Sadly, this visit did not pan out and he was back in the throes of mental forces he could not control.
In 1991, Steele's luck changed for the better. He was well matched with a Brooklyn therapist named Rita Seiden who responded to him with compassion. I like the way she explained his mental illness to him and treated him with respect at all times. He was referred to a Dr. Casimir in 1994 who prescribed Risperdal. Steele began taking it in November of 1994 and on May 3, 1995, his voices stopped. For the first time since 1962 he was free of auditory hallucinations.
While working with Dr. Casimir, Steele took up the banner of securing the vote for mentally ill persons. His contention that "mentally ill does not mean mentally incompetent" was on target. In late 1994, he began working tirelessly to secure that right for people with mental illnesses. In the late 1990s, Steele became a publisher of "New York City Voices: A Consumer Journal for Mental Health Advocacy" and an editor of a monthly newsletter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and spoke on behalf of the National Mental Health Association's "Partners In Care." One thing that comes through quite plainly in this book is that Ken Steele was a truly good man. A truly good man. This book will touch many hearts.
Sadly, Steele never met his brother's children. His voice was stilled on October 7, 2000. This book might make you cry, but Ken Steele will certainly inspire you. His was a life etched in pain, emphasized by his compassion and his tireless quest to help others in his shoes. Reading this book will leave an indelible impression on all readers.
God bless Ken Steele.
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.
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