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Tell Me I'm Here: One Family's Experience of Schizophrenia
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Tell Me I'm Here: One Family's Experience of Schizophrenia

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  351 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Writer, broadcaster, filmmaker, and a founder of the National Schizophrenia Australia Organization, Anne Deveson writes her own deeply personal story of her teenage son's experience of schizophrenia and a mother's realization of her child's insanity.

The book won Australia's 1991 Human Rights Nonfiction Award.
Published October 1st 1992 by Penguin Books (first published 1991)
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Caroline Gordon
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The only thing I've come across in any media that rings true with my experience of having a schizophrenic brother. It gave me real insight into the trial my mother went through coming to terms with our situation. A really wonderful honest book that just tells you yes other people, other famiies suffered just like we did. Thank goodness we didn't lose anyone like Anne did.
Nov 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a fabulous book that I have read a couple of times. I learnt such a lot about schizophrenia and about a mothers love. I must read this again as I am sure that now I am in a different stage of life I will see it differently again.
Nov 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a moving and at times heartbreaking account of Australian broadcaster Anne Deveson's experience as she attempts to support her son Jonathan in his struggle with schizophrenia. It is also very informative because she talks about her time travelling through North America, attending conferences and speaking with researchers as well as other parents who are, or have been, in a similar situation. She paints a grim picture of Australia in the 1970s & 1980s in terms of the lack of fund ...more
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"Tell me I'm here" is by far the most insightful story I have ever had the pleasure to read. It is devastating in parts, but in some it is also hopeful. It is truthful and interesting, shedding a new light on mental illness and the significance of mental illness in society. The personal approach highlights all the stigma surrounding mental illness and how it is treated by health professionals. Definitely made me, personally, look at the way I view mental illness and made me much more open-minded ...more
Dilly Dalley
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in learning about the life experiences of families of schizophrenics
I found that this book works as it is intended. It is as advertised 'a deeply personal story' and yet because Anne Deveson tells it without drama and sentimentality I came away feeling like I had shared something. I also learnt something about her life and the life of her son who was suffering from mental illness. I felt that she wanted me to understand and be changed by the experience of reading her life story; and I was. I was certainly much more thoughtful of the rights of people suffering fr ...more
May 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, mental-health
An intense memoir written by an Australian mother about her experience of watching her son spiral into schizophrenia and being able to do very little about it. Sadly, the frustration she felt at not being able to get her son help is something that continues to be an issue now and in the US as well. When patients are psychotic and unable to recognize it, they cannot be treated unless they choose to and they remain psychotic. It causes so many problems in the lives of patients that they loose sign ...more
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read a new edition which thankfully spoke of some improvements in the treatment and care of schizophrenia in the afterword. This is a harrowing autobiography of a mother's journey with her son into the world of schizophrenia. The author is informative, honest and her reflections pierce your soul A truly insightful novel
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
How do you cope as you see someone you love descend into madness. Especially when it's a child. A special kind of pain I think. I felt so much for the author and for her son as she describes the last few years of his life from diagnosis through to death. Somehow, it's compelling reading; even though you already know the story doesn't end well, there's precious little respite from the insanity. That things are just going to get worse.

It's uncomfortable when the author is scathing of some practit
Nov 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a great book to help people who have had no experience with mental illness, to perhaps understand that people who have or care for someone with a mental illness, have no control over their situation. There is no blame to just is.
What a roller coaster ride it is. It consumes your life & affects the whole family.
I think Anne Deveson was very brave in telling her story & being so honest about her thoughts & feelings.
Robbie Hutchins
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written book that clearly presents the difficulties and frustrations of living with a teenager suffering from Schizophrenia and dealing with a system and society that doesn't really know what to do with them. This book gives great insight into the stark realities of just how harsh and harrowing it can be, though it is clear that it is not written to elicit sympathy but rather understanding. I've not read another book like it regarding mental illness. Highly recommended.
Kate Cretney
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read this years ago (several times). I am always amazed at how brave Anne Deveson was to write it. I added it because I heard an interview with her on the radio and remembered how much I love this book. I lent it to someone and don't own a copy anymore, but I recommend getting it out from theb library or buying a copy.
Amanda Artese
Oct 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As a professional trying to understand schizophrenia more fully, and the struggles for those diagnosed and the family members, this book was a great read. It was informative and brought to light the day in/day out battle of Schizophrenia. As a human, the pain I felt in my heart for Jonathan was emense. Happy for this book and the insight it shed.
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredibly impressive and well-written account of a mother's experiences with her schyzophrenic son. Gave me goosebumps and often brought tears to my eyes. Gave me a better understanding of the disease and the effect the mental illness of one person has on the entire family or community. One of the best books Ive read.
Nov 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Tell Me I'm Here is the heartbreaking, true story of a mother's battle as she watchers her son, Jonathan, a bright boy, spiral into the darkness of schizophrenia in a world where mental illnesses were stigmatised and mothers blamed as the cause. It's a book that will change your life and open your eyes to the world no one, really, talks about.
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was heart wrenching for me to read. I felt for the mother, her son and the whole family. I also found myself identifying with her son in some sections and I cried tears for Anne. A wonderful book, well written.
Ange Graystone
Jun 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
A bit depressing but really, what did I expect! A great insight into the life of a schizophrenic and their family.
One of the best books I've ever read
Millman Carol
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written with love and compassion.
Jun 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Although Very heart breaking, I loved the honesty in this book.
Jen Roe
Aug 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a good book
Feb 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Very confronting and powerful..I couldn't put it down
Jul 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good. Very heartfelt and understandable for those who know of, or who have been through these experiences. Definetely worth reading.
Apr 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this when I was younger and I remember really enjoying it. I've always had an interest in the human brain and mental illness. Must read this again soon. Especially now that I am a mother.
Jun 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very confronting and a rewarding read which gives you a true feel if what so many families must go through
Apr 04, 2013 added it
Must read again... thank you for reminding me, Kate!
Kathryne Battersby
Sep 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
My heart broke for this family...then for all mothers who live unconditionally and may never have their love returned.
Jan 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
opens your mind to the realities of people and their families who live with schizophrenia.
Sep 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
It's a little dated now - written in the 80s, but still a lot of good information and obviously a great perspective from the mother of a son with schizophrenia.
May 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Tragic and emotionally exhausting. How she lived through it is beyond me. Well worth a read.
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Anne Deveson was a writer, broadcaster and documentary filmmaker with a long involvement in human rights issues. She was born in Kuala Lumpur; spent her childhood moving between Malaysia, Britain and Australia, then worked as a journalist for the BBC and the London bureau of the New York Times. In Australia, she became the first woman to run her own daily current affairs radio program. In 1974, sh ...more
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