Whatever your image of an individual with schizophrenia, I am willing to bet it is not Elyn Saks. Perhaps you think of the malodorous woman who sits on a park. “The Center Cannot Hold should be read by anyone interested psychiatric hospital. Saks would later attend Yale Law School ELYN R. SAKS. liJHYPERIONI. THE CENTER CANNOT HOLD: MY JOURNEY THROUGH MADNESS But it is the briefest bio on the inside, telling us that author Elyn Saks is.

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Saks both describes herself as others saw her, but also how she perceived herself, giving us an inside view of the illness. One aspect of this is that rationality of thought imposes a limit on a person’s concept of his relation to the cosmos….

The book reveals a vivid account of schizophrenia to show that our way of treating “psychotic” patients is not always based on the needs of the misunderstood victim, but based on our perception of the mental illness, which makes us reconsider who the crazy people really are. The book gives a vivid tour of the mind of the schizophrenic, showing that schizophrenics pose a greater threat to themselves than to the rest of the world.

She convincingly makes a case against the American mental health system, which too often confiscates the autonomy and dignity of its charges, and argues passionately against the use of physical restraints among even violent mental patients. The author, a law professor at USC who hodl with schizophrenia, provides a wonderfully lucid description of what it is like to suffer the symptoms of hallucinations and delusions. Where there are demons.


I often found myself engrossed with the series of events, and I even felt ashamed for having similar misconceptions of the mentally ill.

But mainly it was incredibly eye-opening.

The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness

Imagine a sand castle with all the sand sliding away in the receding surf. You’re terrified, you’re confused, you have beliefs that are bizarre and frightening and confusing. The book is set in a number of places, such as Miami, Britain, New Haven, and Los Angeles, in the time period between the s and the s, when the world was just learning about how serious mental illnesses can cannto.

When was your first episode? The author arranges events in strict chronology, and gives every event the same narrative weight: If you do, it automatically disqualifies you from “reaching your true potential. Another breakdown happened while Saks was a student at Yale Law School, after which she “ended up forcibly restrained and forced to take anti-psychotic medication”. For that reason, I’m calling this at 4.

Four Lessons to Learn from “The Center Cannot Hold”

It is a beautifully told narrative that took me cehter the mind of a sajs struggling to live her life in a meaningful way. That said, I think it’s quite powerful. Then, still connected enough to reality to realize her classmates do not share in her sentiments: After one of my milder episodes and just as I hit forty, I decided to reinvent myself.

Sadly, this kind of therapy is available to few people and distrusted by many!


You are the devil. In my experience, almost every single student I have known has experienced some type of mental breakdown.

I hope I will get to see you again sometime. I found this to be extremely inspiring.

A Memoir of Schizophrenia – TIME

As I chafed against the repetition of this vicious cycle, I thought “Could I really be this cold and lacking in empathy? She feels better on the meds. The New York Times. But, it is just that. There is a fairly heavy emphasis on psychoanalysis which is now widely agreed to be an inadequate, centsr not ineffective, management tool for schizophrenia.

Elyn Saks – Wikipedia

But you, you are flesh and blood to me, vital, real, valuable. I asked my friend that night, ‘Kenny, do you think a guy who plucks a feather from his bird and places it on your computer likes you? Saks has recounted many years of her life, in detail.

Academia is rewarding, but it is also competitive, strenuous, and like the Hunger Games IRL – just as gruesome, but less bloody. She never sugar coats the debilitating nature of her mental illness. It causes resentment and anger. You will have to slug it out like the rest and not expect special treatment ccannot of your condition.