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The Eden Express describes from the inside Mark Vonnegut’s experience in the late ’60s and early ’70s—a recent college grad; in love; living communally on a farm, with a famous and doting father, cherished dog, and prized jalopy—and then the nervous breakdowns in all their slow-motion intimacy, the taste of mortality and opportunity for humor they provided, and the grim despair they afforded as well. That he emerged to write this funny and true book and then moved on to find the meaningful life that for a while had seemed beyond reach is what ultimately happens in The Eden Express. But the real story here is that throughout his harrowing experience his sense of humor let him see the humanity of what he was going through, and his gift of language let him describe it in such a moving way that others could begin to imagine both its utter ordinariness as well as the madness we all share.
New Foreword by Kurt Vonnegut Winner of the American Library Association Notable Book Award, in this extraordinary memoir the gifted son of one of the literary grandmasters of the 20th century tells of his nervous breakdown in all its slow-motion intimacy, the taste of mortality and opportunity for humour it provided, and the grim despair it afforded as well. 'One of the best books about going crazy... Required reading' - New York Times 'Not only a memoir about his loss of...innocence, but a surprisingly good-natured trip' - LA Times
“One of the best books about going crazy . . . required reading for those who want to understand insanity from the inside.”—The New York Times Book Review Mark Vonnegut set out in search of Eden with his VW bug, his girlfriend, his dog, and his ideals. But genetic predisposition and “a whole lot of **** going down” made Mark Vonnegut crazy in a culture that told him “mental illness is a myth” and “schizophrenia is a sane response to an insane society.” Here he tells his story with the eyes that see from the inside out: a moving remembrance of an era and a revealing look at mental illness . . . and getting well again.
More than thirty years after the publication of his acclaimed memoir The Eden Express, Mark Vonnegut continues his story in this searingly funny, iconoclastic account of coping with mental illness, finding his calling, and learning that willpower isn’t nearly enough. Here is Mark’s life childhood as the son of a struggling writer, as well as the world after Mark was released from a mental hospital. At the late age of twenty-eight and after nineteen rejections, he is finally accepted to Harvard Medical School, where he gains purpose, a life, and some control over his condition. There are the manic episodes, during which he felt burdened with saving the world, juxtaposed against the real-world responsibilities of running a pediatric practice. Ultimately a tribute to the small, daily, and positive parts of a life interrupted by bipolar disorder, Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So is a wise, unsentimental, and inspiring book that will resonate with generations of readers.
Recovering Sanity is a compassionately written examination of the experience of psychosis and related mental illnesses. By presenting four in-depth profiles of illness and recovery, Dr. Edward Podvoll reveals the brilliance and chaos of the psychotic mind and demonstrates its potential for recovery outside of traditional institutional settings. Dr. Podvoll counters the conventional thinking that the millions of Americans suffering from psychosis can never fully recover. He offers a bold new approach to treatment that involves home care with a specially trained team of practitioners. Using "basic attendance," a treatment technique inspired by the author's study of Buddhist psychology, healthcare professionals can use the tools of compassion and awareness to help patients recover their underlying sanity. Originally published as The Seduction of Madness, this reissue includes new introductory material and two new appendices.
Michael Schofield’s daughter January is at the mercy of her imaginary friends, except they aren’t the imaginary friends that most young children have; they are hallucinations. And January is caught in the conflict between our world and their world, a place she calls Calalini. Some of these hallucinations, like “24 Hours,” are friendly and some, like “400 the Cat” and “Wednesday the Rat,” bite and scratch her until she does what they want. They often tell her to scream at strangers, jump out of buildings, and attack her baby brother. At six years old, January Schofield, “Janni,” to her family, was diagnosed with schizophrenia, one of the worst mental illnesses known to man. What’s more, schizophrenia is 20 to 30 times more severe in children than in adults and in January’s case, doctors say, she is hallucinating 95 percent of the time that she is awake. Potent psychiatric drugs that would level most adults barely faze her. A New York Times bestseller, January First captures Michael and his family's remarkable story in a narrative that forges new territory within books about mental illness. In the beginning, readers see Janni’s incredible early potential: her brilliance, and savant-like ability to learn extremely abstract concepts. Next, they witnesses early warning signs that something is not right, Michael’s attempts to rationalize what’s happening, and his descent alongside his daughter into the abyss of schizophrenia. Their battle has included a two-year search for answers, countless medications and hospitalizations, allegations of abuse, despair that almost broke their family apart and, finally, victories against the illness and a new faith that they can create a life for Janni filled with moments of happiness. A compelling, unsparing and passionate account, January First vividly details Schofield’s commitment to bring his daughter back from the edge of insanity. It is a father’s soul-baring memoir of the daily struggles and challenges he and his wife face as they do everything they can to help Janni while trying to keep their family together.
A man desperately tries to keep his pact with the Devil, a woman is imprisoned in an insane asylum by her husband because of religious differences, and, on the testimony of a mere stranger, “a London citizen” is sentenced to a private madhouse. This anthology of writings by mad and allegedly mad people is a comprehensive overview of the history of mental illness for the past five hundred years-from the viewpoint of the patients themselves. Dale Peterson has compiled twenty-seven selections dating from 1436 through 1976. He prefaces each excerpt with biographical information about the writer. Peterson's running commentary explains the national differences in mental health care and the historical changes that have take place in symptoms and treatment. He traces the development of the private madhouse system in England and the state-run asylum system in the United States. Included is the first comprehensive bibliography of writings by the mentally ill.

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