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The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness
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The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  6,136 Ratings  ·  297 Reviews
At seventeen Lori Schiller was the perfect child -- the only daughter of an affluent, close-knit family. Six years later she made her first suicide attempt, then wandered the streets of New York City dressed in ragged clothes, tormenting voices crying out in her mind. Lori Schiller had entered the horrifying world of full-blown schizophrenia. She began an ordeal of hospita ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 1st 1996 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1994)
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Bobbi Smiley Her parents were of great wealth. They also were of great great love.
I agree with Ilona...she was close several times. I think she is a miracle. I…more
Her parents were of great wealth. They also were of great great love.
I agree with Ilona...she was close several times. I think she is a miracle. I want to look up the drug that she mentioned.(less)

Community Reviews

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This book was (I imagine heavily) co-written, and as a result, it doesn't pack the emotional punch of books such as The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness, Girl, Interrupted, or Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir.

I was also annoyed by the way the book was framed as a story of personal “triumph” and “courage” (to quote the book's jacket copy). Obviously, Lori Schiller was extremely lucky to have to the emotional and financial support she needed to forge a life where, in her words, “it is I
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing


^^That's how this book made me feel. I can give it nothing less than 5 stars because I don't think that you can "rate" a non-fiction. I wish it were fiction. I wish schizophrenia were fiction.

You know, one time I attended a NAMI meeting. National Alliance on Mental Illness. It's suppose to be for the family members of those with mental illness. Their motto is: "You are not alone in this fight". After going to that meeting, I had nev
Apr 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone with an interest in schizophrenia, not only mental health profesionals
Recommended to K by: Frumasara (her to-read list, actually)
Many of us realize (occasionally, at least) that we take our physical health for granted, but does it ever enter our consciousness how much we take our psychological health for granted? Imagine being a perfectly normal young adult from a happy family and privileged background, popular and headed for success, and suddenly hearing voices that no one hears, frightening and extremely real-sounding, so that it becomes harder and harder to distinguish between what's real and what isn't. Gradually, you ...more
Feb 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
The majority of people with schizophrenia remain too cognitively disorganized to disclose their innermost thoughts and impressions of their illness, so the fact that such a brash, yet cohesive, account exists is fascinating in itself. As someone who hopes to work with individuals with mental illness, I unearthed many tidbits that are useful for clinical practice-- from how the quiet room served as a blank white canvas onto which she sprayed her internal chaos onto, exacerbating the terror, to ho ...more
Aug 06, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a poorly written book. I got so tired of hearing from her family, who in multiple chapters kept repeating over and over how this illness stole their daughter away from their perfect upper middle class life. I get it- no one expected it, she was supposed to go to college and get married and have kids. But it was every freaking time they talked. I think the book being written by two people, and making such heavy use of writing and words that originally belonged to others, contributed to i ...more
Nov 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It’s no secret I like memoirs by people who have mental illness, but The Quiet Room goes deep. Lori Schiller is schizophrenia and manic depression (bi-polar) and the way she is able to write about her disorders brings great insight. She doesn’t remember it all and parts she felt were important that she didn’t remember she had family members or doctors write what she was like during that time. She hears voices and experiences mood swings, she lived a normal life at first with these issues, she gr ...more
Lindsay Stoffers
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A great book and wonderful advocation for those suffering from mental health disorders. Hearing a first account story of a woman who suffers from schizophrenia inspires me and my work with clients in the mental health profession. Thanks for sharing your story Lori.
Oct 28, 2010 rated it liked it
I am reading this to help me gain insight into my sister's mental illness. Unfortunately, the author has schizo-affective disorder while my sister is paranoid-schizophrenic and it is obvious from the early part of the book (I am about 1/2 through) that there are significant differences. The book is poorly written and not as insightful as I would have hoped. It doesn't answer many obvious questions. For example, I've often wondered about the voices. Are they the voices of people she knows? Are th ...more
Debbie "DJ"
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, mental-health
This is a true story of the authors journey through and with schizophrenia. I liked how it was told from the various viewpoints of her family, psychiatrists, and her own perspective. I loved the authors writing and how she was able to take me into her world. The experience is something I cannot imagine living. I now have a new understand of how this disease affects everyone in the sufferers life. How it has a sudden onset in the late teens and destroys all connections to the outside world. Voice ...more
Seran Y.
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bu kitabı okumamın iki nedeni vardı. Biri psikolojiyle yakından ilgilenmem. Diğeri ise kitapta geçen tüm olayların gerçek olması. Tabii bu konu aklımda biraz muallakta kaldı. Kitabı okurken sürekli olarak acaba gerçekten gerçek mi diye düşünüp durdum. Fakat sonuç olarak kitapta yaşananlar gerçek bile olmasa kitabın işinin ehli, uzman biri tarafından yazıldığı belli. Çünkü kitapta geçen bilgileri ya yaşamış biri yada uzman bir psikiyatrist bilebilir. Bu yüzden yazılmış olan şeyler büyük ihtimalle ...more
Miranda  Nelson
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I liked how it was a true story and gave an accurate depiction of someone who lives with schizophrenia. However, it wasn't an easy read. It was tough to look inside Lori's brain and see the torment that she endured for years and years. She went from being a normal kid with a normal life and the next day she began hearing the voices. Throughout the story, it had to be told from different points of view like her mother, father, and friend. This was because at some point ...more
Interesting read. A couple thoughts I had throughout:
1) The author had MONEY and a supportive and educated family. Terrifying to consider what her situation would have been like without either of these things.
2) Of course, sadness. So much lost potential.
3) In Lori's case, was therapy really doing any good? Seems that there was little "journey" out of madness, just life with and without medication; once the medication was introduced, the problems diminished quite a bit.
4) How has the treatment
Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating account of a woman born into an ambitious family, intelligent, accepted to an Ivy League university, who finds herself disturbed by Voices and experiencing wild mood swings. Her description of what goes on inside her head gives insight into the incredible challenges involved with living with schizophrenia. She survives the disbelief/denial of her illness by her family and herself, several hopitalizations, and brain-numbing medications, to finally find a medication which allows her ...more
Oct 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Aku baca edisi Indonesianya, "The Voices of Demons: Suara-Suara Iblis" terbitan Qanita (2006)

Judul asli : The Quite Room : A Journey Out of The Torment of Madness
Penulis : Lori Schiller dan Amanda Bennet
Penerjemah : Edrijani
Penyunting : Berliani M.Nugrahani
Penerbit : Qanita
Cetakan : 1 Okober 2006
Tebal :
Skizofrenia adalah sejenis penyakit jiwa yang ditandai oleh ketidakacuhan dan halusinasi yang cenderung bersifat destruktif. Para penderitanya selalu merasa dihantui waham (pikiran-pikiran/prasan
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Quiet Room by Lori Schiller, which was first published in 1994, was February's choice for my Mad Woman's Book Club. It sounded incredibly intriguing to me, and created quite a lot of buzz with other members. Schiller's account of her schizo-affective disorder, which contains elements of both schizophrenia and manic depression, has been written with the guidance of Amanda Bennett, a Wall Street journalist.

Schiller's diagnosis was not reached until she was twenty-three years old, and a graduat
Jul 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: culture
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
"Maybe she would be better off dead." This is the heartbreaking consideration of the parents of Lori Schiller, a woman who, at the age of about 22, begins to exhibit symptoms of schizo-affective disorder. After years and years of treatment, hospitalization, drugs, a halfway house, discharges from facilities and therapy, her parents (and Lori herself) begin to wonder what kind of quality of life she can ever have. This book a collaborative narartive of her life and experience of a debilitating me ...more
May 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Lori Schiller's The Quiet Room is a true story about her development of schizophrenia and how it affects her life. She describes in the book how the illness progressed, starting from her very first signs. In fear of what was happening to her, Schiller found in very difficult to communicate with others about her problem. She hides it so much that her parents are unaware of how big an issue it is until Schiller breaks down during college. Although she faces ups and downs throughout the book, the a ...more
Grace Jensen
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any one dealing with mental health issues, their families, and those who care for them.
Recommended to Grace by: garage sale
Shelves: garage-sale-find
If you were tempted to pick up Girl, Interrupted, I would recommend this instead. I couldn't put it down once I started, even though it was rich with truth.
This doesn't glamorize mental illness, like some literature tends to do. Instead it reads almost like a documentary. Each person (her, her parents, siblings, and doctor) is honest, sometimes uncomfortably so, and it builds respect and trust reading it. I found myself rooting for Lori, wanting to yell at the book, encourage her and help her a
Patsy Parker
This was a very hard book to read. Sometimes I wondered if Lori was making up a lot of it, but then again I have never known anyone personally with this disease. The torture her mind put her through is just incredible.

I didn't have a problem with others writing chapters of it, though. It gave more perspective and their voices of what she went through are important.

I admire the fact that Lori was finally able to become independent in her early 30's and get married at 42. She is a public speaker a
Amy Chamberlain
May 02, 2016 rated it liked it
I really enjoy books that let me see what it's like to have a mental illness, and there aren't many such illnesses that so powerfully upset the landscape of the mind as schizophrenia. Having said that, there are other books on the topic that give a much more compelling and clearer picture of that landscape than _The Quiet Room._ Schiller's story is interesting, but she gives too many details in one place and skims over another where I would have wanted to know more. (If you're interested, a much ...more
A.R. Wilmer
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
An overall interesting read. Schiller's voice was clear and poignant and she led us through her dark inner struggle with the Voices that accompanied her case of Schizophrenia.

There were lulls in the novel, but overall I think it was a strong and touching account of her life. I didn't feel like it was as emotional as it could have been, but I also felt like that was a bit of a reflection of the desensitization she felt during her illness.

I also loved the scope it showed—we were able to see how it
Anthony Gallegos
May 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A very good book from a person who has experienced the ravages of severe mental illness first-hand. As a person who has experienced paranoid-schizophrenia second-hand through my father, I can say that this book captures the realities of schizophrenia at its best and its worst. My father personally knows Lori Schiller and says she is an amazing woman, though anybody reading this book can see this to be true. A definite read for anybody interested in abnormal psychology or a great story about pers ...more
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
there are many memoirs on mental illness but this book was a whole new level, I sympathize with Lori's sufferings because it's absolutely horrific what she had to go through, Being a normal girl who was nothing but smart and happy..she did great in school and in college but it didn't stop the illness from swallowing her slowly, and alienating her from everyone ,Not to mention leading her into drug abuse, this book gave me another new perspective on schizophrenia and manic depression.
Lindsey Sieders
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
This was a very interesting read, a real-life account of a young girl who struggles with mental illness. By 17 it beings to escalate and later she is diagnosed with schizophrenia. I appreciated the different chapters written by different people in her life, her mother, father, siblings, doctors, etc. Its important to note this book was written in 1994, I would be interested in reading more about current medical procedures for patients like Lori.
Feb 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
i don't think i've ever given a memoir five stars before but from the first sentence of this book, i knew it was going to be a different experience.

i really appreciate the way this book is written because you get to see who lori's illness effected those around her. her story was really engrossing and i recommend it to anyone interested in abnormal psychology or mental health in general.
Jeannine Mason
May 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Enlightening, engrossing, and a very sad commentary on how the mentally ill are still viewed today. It was wonderful that Lori Schilling was able to find the help she needed with the right doctors, medication and determination in the end, but how rare is her tale?
When your own family can not come to terms with your disease, how can society? Truly heartbreaking.
Jennifer Brueggeman
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
i read this book in two days. I empathized with the main character and I thought it a beautiful narrative on how a person with mental illness can feel ostracized. I am a firm believer that our society needs to take the stigma away from mental illness and treat mental disease like any other disease. This is the best book I have read in a very long time!
Aug 09, 2010 rated it liked it
An compelling, frightening look into schizophrenia. The writing isn't particularly engaging, but I kept reading to learn more about the disease and find out what happened to the author. Chapters are told from different points of view, including that of her brother, parents, room mate and therapist. This variation strengthened the book considerably.
Sep 15, 2012 rated it really liked it

A difficult read. A first hand account into the world of schizophrenia (she actually has schizoaffective disorder) told from the view of the woman afflicted with the disease as well as those in her world (her parents, brothers, friends and therapists).

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“I didn’t know how to communicate my suffering to anyone else. My anger was returning. I was screaming for help, but the language I was speaking no one seemed to understand. (183)” 17 likes
“When I was up she taught me to recognize the feeling and savor it. “Remember how good you feel now,” she said. “There will be times later on when everything will seem bleak. I don’t want to minimize the grim and harsh times. I know how bad you feel then. But they won’t last forever. Capture the good moments,” she said. (219)” 7 likes
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