Annie's Reviews > The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness

The Center Cannot Hold by Elyn R. Saks
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's review
May 19, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: nonfiction, 2009
Read in May, 2009

Just an incredible book. Elyn Saks writes about her experience living with schizophrenia, and it's scary, sad, hopeful and thought-provoking all at once. I was especially horrified by her treatment within the american medical system - parts of this read like an actual horror novel and I had to keep reminding myself it was all real. I realize many of the events described happened in the 70s and 80s, but mental health issues are still so stigmatized today, it's not hard to imagine that these things still go on - for instance, once Elyn was diagnosed with schizophrenia, she had to fight hard for other medical issues, even as serious as cancer, to be treated as relevant and real (i.e. not just in her head) by doctors.

The back cover copy recommends this book to family members of schizophrenics, but in my opinion this book deserves a much wider audience. There is so much misinformation out there about mental illness, especially schizophrenia (i.e. mainstream comedies with an oh-so-hilarious 'schizophrenic' main character), that this book is remarkable for just giving an account of the disease's reality to people (for instance, me) who don't really have many resources to learn about it. An amazing book, and one I'm really glad I picked up.

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Reading Progress

05/29/2009 page 211

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