'My Schizophrenic Life' is a memoir about Sandra Yuen Mackay's experience of living with schizoaffective disorder. It is ultimately a book about how S'My Schizophrenic Life' is a memoir about Sandra Yuen Mackay's experience of living with schizoaffective disorder. It is ultimately a book about how Sandra has coped with the illness and more importantly the lessons she has learnt from it and how she has been able to recover, although the author does still suffer from symptoms but has now been able to find a way to almost control the effects. The book is a fascinating and compelling story giving valuable insight of the view of the world from the perspective of someone with a mental illness. Sandra's story will definitely benefit anyone who may be currently living with a diagnosis or suffering from any type of mental illness, as Sandra has described how she was able to seek help and find different techniques to stop or reduce the severity of some of her symptoms. This book will also help anyone living with or caring for a relative or friend who may be suffering from schizoaffective disorder.
Sandra has told the story of her 30 year battle with the illness. At first she was diagnosed as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. It highlights the fact that mental illness is something that is very difficult to diagnose, as there are many different symptoms and each individual suffers in different ways; the triggers for the symptoms will vary from person to person.
In many ways this book is important as it breaks down a barrier of ignorance about mental illness. Here we are told a story by a very intelligent, creative woman who works as an artist and writer and has used her experience of suffering with this disorder to help others, by taking part in talks and public speaking.
Sandra's symptoms began when she was a teenager, and I found it fascinating to read about the way she would hear and see things that were not there and have profound delusions and paranoia. In some ways there are so many things from Sandra's memories of her teenage years that everyone could relate to. Paranoid feelings, delusion and depression are things that we have all felt to some degree in our lives, but the way these things would manifest in Sandra's mind shows just how frail our vision of reality can be and how easily it can be distorted when there is a chemical imbalance in the brain causing mental illness.
By reading Sandra's story I personally feel that I have learnt a great deal about how Schizophrenia can affect someone's life, and her story has illuminated for me a subject which seems to carry an unworthy stigma. I have always believed that mental illness is just like any other illness and yet the mentally ill are generally feared and treated as if it is almost their fault that they have this illness. I felt that the way many of Sandra's therapists spoke to her when she was a teenager showed a general ignorance about mental illness.
Sandra Yuen Mackay's book is very important as a bridge to understanding how a mentally ill person feels. She is a great advocate and has put her story across in a way that is compelling and easy to understand. I would recommend this book to everyone. Its worth is not only in helping to dispel certain myths surrounding mental illness, but it's also the story of a person who has overcome great adversity and is now successful and an example to us all. ...more
I previously read Jess C Scott's book 'Eyeleash: A blog Novel' and I absolutely loved that, so I was keen to read 'Porcelain'. I wasn't disappointed. II previously read Jess C Scott's book 'Eyeleash: A blog Novel' and I absolutely loved that, so I was keen to read 'Porcelain'. I wasn't disappointed. I was going to give it 4 stars because for me, the essays at the end of the book are a bit much. As I haven't read any of the books which the author has written about, I couldn't really get into the essays. But then I realised that for anyone who has read those books, Jess C Scott's essays would be interesting to read, so I can understand why she has included them in the book and I've upped my rating to 5 stars. 'Porcelain' is a wonderful collection of short stories, poems, sketches, essays and blogs. It is an insight into the world of this highly original author. I think Jess C Scott is one of the authors at the forefront of a new revolution in the publishing industry which is leading the way for writers to be able to publish their work easily online (self-publish/indie publishing) without the "middleman" as Jess C Scott puts it in one of her essays. As an indie author myself, I enjoyed reading her article about 'Indie Vs. traditional publishing' I love the short stories, which are thought provoking and extremely well written. I like the way the author has included stories in 'Porcelain' that she wrote as a child, showing her 'evolution' as a writer. 'Porcelain' is a fun read, and a great showcase of Jess C Scott's talent as a writer. She has made this book available as a free download on her website and has included excerpts of her novels and up-coming work, which is a great idea as her audience can then get a preview of her books and decide whether or not they would want to read more. It's a great concept. It is clear from reading this book that this artist lives and breathes for her writing. I look forward to reading more of her work in the future. ...more
I enjoyed this book. I found myself looking forward to read the next chapter, to find out what happens. The characters are all believable and realistiI enjoyed this book. I found myself looking forward to read the next chapter, to find out what happens. The characters are all believable and realistic. The plot is wonderful with many twists and turns, and highly original in parts. Danny McColl is a Glasgow lawyer just starting out in his legal career. When he moves into his new flat, which comes with his new job, things take a sinister, dark, and terrifying turn. Danny meets the neighbours from hell who have been making the locals' lives a misery for years. Due to unresolved issues from his youth, Danny decides to take the role of peacekeeper and wants to rid the area of the family who have been causing all the problems. He sets about doing this, unaware of the deeper and more dangerous secrets lurking under the surface in the small community. The book shows how one tragic event can change the course of someone's life for ever, and how the tendency for people to sweep things under the carpet and not deal with their issues can lead to greater and more serious problems in the future. Mental illness, crime, anti-social behaviour, drug and alcohol addiction, violence, guilt, dysfunctional families, tragedy, relationships, love. You will find all those themes and more in this excellent debut novel. The mysterious 'Beatle Man' is both comical and terrifying. He speaks only in the lyrics of Beatles songs... a facsinating character. To find out more about him you'll have to read this very modern, engrossing story. The reason I'm not giving the book 5 stars is mainly due to editorial issues; things that could be cleared up by someone proofreading the book before publication. There are many typos throughout the book and although they are minor and did not distract from my enjoyment of the story, one of the character's surnames was inconsistent throughout the novel which was distracting for me. Also, there were a few sentences which I didn't really understand... they seemed not to fit into the story. I think that the author has a tendency to leave a bit too much to the reader's imagination. Sometimes things have to be explained. I know that some authors go too far with this, but in 'The Beatle Man' I sometimes felt that I was not being told everything and it was a bit frustrating. Also, at times it is hard to tell which character is speaking during the conversations in the book. On the whole, the book was very well written and for a debut -- considering the complexity of the storyline -- it is exceptionally good. I would recommend the book to everyone. I will be looking out for more books by this talented writer in the future.
After reading this book I want to read all of Jeremy C. Shipp's books! 'Cursed' is funny, weird, original, compelling and in my opinion a MUST read. NiAfter reading this book I want to read all of Jeremy C. Shipp's books! 'Cursed' is funny, weird, original, compelling and in my opinion a MUST read. Nick and Cicely are friends and they are both 'cursed' on the same day with ridiculously odd curses. Nick's curse means he will be slapped every day, whilst Cicely is forced to hold a tennis ball in her hand for ever; if she drops it the world will come to an end. They meet Abby, who is also cursed, and become friends with her through their common problem. Nick used to be an alcoholic, so when his behaviour is called into question his friends and family assume he has started drinking again. In fact, the person or thing that has cursed him is ruining his life along with the lives of his friends. We follow Nick, Cicely and Abby through some strangely wonderful scenes as they try to put their lives back together and find out who or what has cursed them. I was hooked on this book from the start. It is very entertaining and well written. I like the way the narrator thinks in lists; this makes the prose move quickly, adding to the feeling of fast-moving action. Although this book is a fun read, it does seem to contain a deeper more complex element. The curses are ridiculous, but at a deeper level, they can be interpreted as reflections of the problems people face in their lives (such as the real problems faced by the characters including alcoholism/addiction, bereavement, and divorce), and the way people try to deal with those problems emotionally. In fact, the way the main character makes lists of things all the time, shows an addictive side to his personality. The characters were all very realistic, if slightly eccentric. If you are looking for a book that will keep you interested, make you smile, and surprise you with its twists and turns, 'Cursed' is the book for you. ...more