Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Center Cannot Hold by Elyn Saks

From Google Books: Elyn R. Saks is an esteemed professor, lawyer, and psychiatrist and is the Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychology, Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California Law School, yet she has suffered from schizo-affective disorder (a form of schizophrenia) for most of her life, and still has ongoing major episodes of the illness. The Center Cannot Hold is the eloquent, m oving story of Elyn's life, from the first time that she heard voices speaking to her as a young teenager, to attempted suicides in college, through learning to live on her own as an adult in an often terrifying world. Saks discusses frankly the paranoia, the inability to tell imaginary fears from real ones, the voices in her head telling her to kill herself (and to harm others); as well the incredibly difficult obstacles she overcame to become a highly respected professional. This beautifully written memoir is destined to become a classic in its genre. The title is a line from "The Second Coming," a poem by William Butler Yeats, which is alluded to in the book.

January 25, 2013. Elen Saks had an Op-Ed piece in the NY Times:  "Successful and Schizophrenic" It is well worth reading.

The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness
By Elyn R. Saks
Published by Hyperion, 2007
ISBN 140130138X, 9781401301385
340 pages

Also available in audio format.

This is an extraordinary book which gives insight into the mind of a professional with schzophrenia. It ranks with Kay Jamison's book, "An Unquiet Mind."

Here is a talk given by Elyn Saks to a lay audience at USC Law School. You will have to go to the posting of January 26, 2009. Saks bio.