Schizophrenia: Notes on a Recovery is the account of a recovery from a serious schizophrenic breakdown, and what the individual can do to help that recovery. It is short – just 58 pages – and not intended as an exhaustive explanation of schizophrenia. Rather, the book focusses on the mental approaches that are helpful, not on medical details or treatments. The author, Jonathan Smith, hopes that it could be of help to someone who is through the worst of the confusion of schizophrenia, and is looking for helpful hints to aid recovery. It is published on UK Amazon at a non-commercial price.
‘It’s not easy to take in anything when schizophrenia first strikes a person,’ says Jonathan, ‘but the if one is lucky enough there comes a point when the voices, paranoia, depression, delusions, or whatever one is experiencing, have receded a little. One is then faced with how to approach the next stage of recovery, because many people still feel very unwell and dis-abled at this stage. What are the mental attitudes that help with fitting back into a society that does not understand mental health problems very well?’
The book is a personal account of the mental attitudes that Jonathan found helpful. He had a serious, two year long, schizophrenic breakdown, and then had a long five-year haul back to being able to function well enough to hold down a part-time job. But the book asserts that even after such an episode, the person can play a full part in their recovery.
Jonathan explains: ‘I was compliant with medical treatments, once I understood what was going on, and that took a while,’ he says, ‘but I was convinced from the start that medical treatment was not a magic bullet; I had to make my own way out of the breakdown, and had to find out how to work on my own mental health.’
Schizophrenia: Notes on a Recovery is only one person’s account of a recovery – or as Jonathan says, something as near to recovery as makes no difference. As one person’s account it has its limits; not everyone will find everything he writes useful. Each person’s experience is different, and each person has to work on their own answers. But the idea that someone with a serious condition like schizophrenia can make a very significant contribution to his or her own recovery – as significant as any medical intervention – is the important insight of the book.
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