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Mereka Bilang Aku Gila: Memoar Seorang Skizofrenik

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  1,400 ratings  ·  134 reviews
Bunuh dirimu... Bakar tubuhmu... Gantung dirimu. Dunia akan menjadi lebih baik tanpamu. Tidak ada yang baik padamu, tidak ada kebaikan sama sekali.

Suara-suara itu mulai mendatangi Ken ketika usianya empat belas tahun. Alih-alih berusaha mengaku bahwa putranya mengalami gangguan mental yang serius dan mencari perawatan yang tepat, orangtua Ken justru membiarkannya putus sek
Paperback, 436 pages
Published June 2004 by Qanita (first published January 1st 2001)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Jun 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in the truth behind the disease known as schizophrenia
Shelves: greatreads
I remember the night my mother came up to the bedroom my brother shared with me and told me that my uncle, who had been missing for many months, had been found - under the ice in the Fens in downtown boston, close to where he was living at the time. My uncle started hearing voices in his late teens/early twenties, and had been missing or in institutions most of my young life. When we did see him, he was charming, artistically gifted, and quiet. But we did not see him often - only heard that he w ...more
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book changed my life and the way I look at people who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and the mental health system in general. I am currently a bio-medical student at Rutgers studying Psychological rehabilitation and we had to read this book for a literature review paper...but honestly, this assignment ended up becoming so much more to me. This man's book is so devastating, heart breaking, and at times it truly just makes you want to scream. All the lost cries of despair between the ...more
May 01, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who work in mental health
if you wanna know what life is like for a schizophrenic and what it was like to try to navigate the mental health system during the second half of the 20th century, this would be a great place to start. a political and thoroughly engaging memoir.
Dec 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really important book for several reasons. The first is that it gives a very clear idea of what having schizophrenia is like. That insight is gravely needed for those who have not experienced, and I can imagine it being very helpful for families. Ken Steele tells you what it was like inside his head, and you can follow many periods of progress and setbacks.

The most amazing part is that there is a day when the voices do stop. It's an important reminder that there is hope. Even before t
Nov 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ken Steele was a remarkable man and his remarkable story provides a glimpse into the mind and life of someone suffering from schizophrenia. He started hearing voices at age 14 and this book chronicles his descent in a full blown psychotic disorder, his many hospitalizations across the country, and his life on the streets. But aside from painting the picture of a very ill man, this memoir also shows the person beneath the illness - and how his beautiful humanness is always there just beneath the ...more
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A first hand explanation of schizophrenia and how this one fellow coped with it. Very enlightening and at the same time difficult to read. To know someone, and there are many, who suffer from mental disease and are treated in abhorrent ways in this day and age does not speak well for our society.
I kept remembering a school chum. We went to the same schools for over 9 years and were relatively good friends. Suddenly he disappeared from school after freshman year. When we were in our early 20s he
Oct 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing first person story about schizophrenia. It is a hard story to read, because the author had such a difficult life. By his description, he was abandoned by his parents in his teens when he developed schizophrenia and struggled to survive multiple hospitalizations and life on the street. He finally is placed on effective medication late in his life and is able to begin to help others who are trying to navigate the mental health system in the US.
Apr 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in about 4 days. It is a vivid description of what his life was like from the day the "voices began" to the day they stopped. This book is informative and well-written. His life was a living hell as he struggled with his mental illness. He became an advocate for mental illness and did quite a lot of good to help others and their families. A book worth picking up and reading. ...more
Sep 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although the story sometimes drags, this strikes me as a realistic account of how a man lives with schizophrenia. He describes the ups and downs of his life, including being on and off medications and in and out of hospitals. The conclusion of the book has great observations about how individuals and public policy need to respond to the needs of the mentally ill.
Jul 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: counseling
Great book if you want to see what someone who hears voices and sees hallucinations lives like. It is the kind of book I recommend if you are interested in learning how to counsel people who are not like you.
Sydney Miller
Oct 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although people write memoirs all the time, I doubt many people with Schizophrenia could do a better job than Ken Steele. He showed the side of an issue most of us don't get the chance to see, or even know how to connect to. Dealing with Schizophrenia in a time when mental health wasn't at the top of society's priorities is not easy to give insight on to people, and I think he did a magnificent job. Normally in memoirs you would expect the author to have long, choppy, complicated sentences that ...more
Christine Fay
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
This gripping memoir is a memorable account of Ken’s struggle with schizophrenia and a lack of family support that found him in some unpleasant (to say the least) life circumstances. These voices told him that he was worthless, that he ought to end his life. Someone is born with schizophrenia – it is not something a person chooses. Ken’s voices started at the age of fourteen. His family was in denial and did not get Ken the help he so desperately needed. The voices indeed stopped one day with th ...more
Oct 18, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hard to read, but even harder to stop reading. I hope this book is as intense as it gets in this class, because I'm not sure I could handle much more. Steele hits rock-bottom -- broke, alone, suicidal, schizophrenic--and often turns to alcohol and prostitution in between his frequent stays at mental institutions. His voices do stop eventually, thanks to a new medication, and he dedicates the rest of his life to mental health care reform--how could he not, after the abuse and neglect he suffered ...more
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an excellent read! I finished this book in 3 days, it just sucked me in. So glad my co-worker recommenced this.
Debra Larges
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book opened my mind on our mental health issues. Ken Steele was an amazing man.
Aug 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone who like heavy things such schizoprenic, major depresson, personality disorders, etc.
I read this book and it left deep impression inside me. I have been approached by several people that have this illness in a scenario that god have sent to me. I know that they don't lose their abilities to think but they only cannot define which are the realities and which are the delusions. When i saw Hilda's update... it reminds me that i have read this book once. Really an intriguing issues, this schizoprenic things... and since i have read this book my eyes are open wide and never underesti ...more
Sep 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Haunting. Firstly because of the trauma of living with voices and hallucinations. Secondly because he became a lost person in the under-belly of our society and was a victim to much of the evil most of us, thankfully, never have to deal with and don't like to think about.

I feel like I understand much better the constant destructive dialogue that goes on in the mind of someone who hears voices. Very sad and quite upsetting section on life in the mental health system during the 1980s. Yet this bo
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-only
The courage and fortitude that this man needed to simply get through his life astounded me. I read this to try to learn more, and "get in the mind of", someone with schizophrenia. Ken allows you to do that even when a lot of it is ugly and scary. Not only do you get to see what his life was like in his mind, as best as he can describe it, but you see the frightening nature of the mental health establishment. There is so much that is needed, but as yet unknown. So much that is needed, but it is n ...more
Nicole Nardone
Aug 16, 2007 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adults
It was such an intriguing story to me, because my biggest fear in life is not dieing, but going insane (sorry if that's not p.c.). Perhaps because I feel myself on the brink of insanity; therefore Ken Steele's compelling true life story tapped into my personal fears and took me beyond that. Schizophrenia is the ultimate battle of the mind and reality, a battle that many people lose. After years of internal and societal combat Steele overcomees and takes his battle to a national level by encoura ...more
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What really gets me about this book is that its based on a TRUE story. Ken first heard the voices when he was 14: how he managed them the first time was so...sad. This book was probably the most heartbreaking book I ever read and just frustrating. I had to read his failures with his desire to get his life back together especially when his parents abandoned him.
And the way the book shows how Ken struggles with determining what's real and what's not and how the voices were just part of him. I don
Sep 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookclub09-10
An autobiography by a schizophrenic, starting with when he first started hearing voices at 14, throughout his life in and out of mental hospitals and the streets, to his eventual rehabilitation through therapy and finding the one drug that made the voices in his head stop. I’ve always assumed the mental health system was horrible, but his story is detailed on exactly how dismal it was and why it does not work to help people suffering from mental disorders. Also, on a personal level, I think he d ...more
Leslie Tabarez
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think it's so important to see that people with mental illnesses can function well and be successful and productive. It's also important to see that, although things have changed (mostly for the better) from the times in which they were simply institutionalized and treated like sub-humans, there is still a long way to go in removing the stigma associated with being mentally ill and the way they are expected to NOT be productive, which leads to them not being productive and creates a vicious ci ...more
Justin Hall
Nov 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was well done. It was full of tense and thrilling situations that make you want to read ahead just to find out what happens, but at the same time has you close to tears and full of hope for Kenneth Steele Jr. I think this book would be a great read for anyone who is going through hard times in their life whether it be mental, social, physical, or just any other problem. This book will give hope as you learn about a man's struggle to survive one of the rarest diseases there is ...more
This is among my most beloved books. A heartbreaking story of a young man plaqued with Schizoprenia, his journey through the mental health community and his final acceptance and control of his illness and mental health. The parallel with my brother's experiences really made me connect with this story. Tears poured down my face while reading.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to everybody. Whether somebody you know has been plaqued with this horrible disease or not...
Jul 01, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
it was so interesting to get a taste of what life as a schizophrenic would be like, which is hellish. ken steele tells the story about when he first started hearing voices at age 14, to when the voices finally stopped, which was around age 45. he goes through his fascinating journey of hospital life, to trying to keep a job, to accepting his neglectful parents. it was very good, albeit it very sad.
It was fascinating to read. Ken describes his experiences - I can truly hear the voices in his head, yelling at him. He describes very well how the voices in his head drive away completely his ability to hear anything BUT them. He describes all the medications he tried.

Then, when the voices finally stop... he's confused and off-kilter. Fascinating.

After all he's been through, it amazed me that he had the energy to begin advocating for the mentally ill.

His book was inspirational.
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a psychology teacher I have to teach my students about mental illness and my students always seem to be the most fascinated by schizophrenia. I struggle to do more than just present the textbook facts and this book definitely showed the human struggle of a schizophrenia diagnosis. I had a hard time putting the book down and was truly overwhelmed by the lack of understanding of how to treat mental illness over the years.
Aug 28, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I agree with all the positive reviews on here, but I also have to admit that it wasn't well written. It sagged in the middle. I knew he was writing about his experiences and they are valid and significant, but he was also writing a book. And the book become unenjoyable around pg 120.
Also, a lot of shaneless bragging. A lot.
Stacia Mcconnell
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book at a book sharing station at the County treatment center. Another amazing story of a life lost and found through the miracle of modern medicine. It gives good insight into the very real and frightening disease of schizophrenia and the mental health system of old. Very good read.
Becky Pliego
Heart wrenching. Very hard to read at some points. May God give us grace and mercy to reach out in love and compassion to those who are walking in Ken's shoes- and much more understanding on the secrets of the brain.

No rating because you can't possibly rate a life story someone is sharing with you. You just sit and read and listen, and try to understand.
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