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The Day the Voices Stopped

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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  1,117 Ratings  ·  109 Reviews
For thirty-two years Ken Steele lived with the devastating symptoms of schizophrenia, tortured by inner voices commanding him to kill himself, ravaged by the delusions of paranoia, barely surviving on the ragged edges of society. In this inspiring story, Steele tells the story of his hard-won recovery from schizophrenia and how activism and advocacy helped him regain his s ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 9th 2002 by Basic Books (first published January 1st 2001)
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Jennifer
Jun 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Sujata
May 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
Jenna
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Gina
Dec 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Estie
Nov 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
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
Rosa
Ken Steele penulis sekaligus tokoh utama dalam buku ini adalah seorang penderia skizofrenia. tanda umum yag biasanya dapat dijumpai pada penderita skzofrenia adalah adanya halusinasi (baik suara/visual),waham (merasa dirinya besar), kecenderungan bunuh diri, rendah diri, dan biasanya banyak dijumpai pada laki-laki (perempuan juga bisa kok, tergantung jenis skizofrenia, tetapi penyakit ini biasanya diwarsikan ke anak laki-laki).
nah, dalam kisah ini dipaparkan bagaimana masa kecil Ken yang hidup
...more
Laura
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Elisse
Oct 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Arnie
Sep 24, 2016 rated it liked it
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.
Mike
Jul 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Kristen
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.
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.
DKroening
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very raw memoir ... at times very difficult to read, difficult to see his struggles and feel the frustration, fear and loneliness in his voice. Important insight into the world of mental illness.
Jonah
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Thought-provoking book.
Benjamin Hill
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A superb book. Not only was it incredibly well-written, it was also a truly important story which reflects the importance of treating mental health.
Sydney Miller
Oct 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Gretchen
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Christine Fay
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
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
W
May 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013-read
The story of Ken Steele, who from the ages of fourteen to forty-six battled persistent, vicious voices in his head and struggled with finding help for his schizophrenia.

[T]he voices were always waiting in the dark, prepared to take advantage of any opportunity, any slight break in my confidence, when they would take over and aim me toward self-destruction.

This memoir was incredibly intense, the kind of story that you don’t easily forget. Ken Steele’s daily struggles for over three decades brou
...more
Tara
Oct 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Tracy
Sep 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Rini
Aug 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Cheryl
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Ken Steele describes his 30+ year struggle with schizophrenia and paints a vivid portrait of life bouncing between the streets and halfway houses while giving you a glimpse of the mental health system of the 1960s-90s from a patient's perspective.

I'm not sure I would have liked this book as much if I didn't work in mental health and it is pretty depressing as some other reviewers have pointed out, so don't pick this up if you're looking for a light read. However, this is by far the best of the
...more
Menoedh
Sep 18, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Isinya tentang kisah nyata seorang penderita schizophrenia seumur hidup sampe....read it by yourself.

Nothing much to say, karena jalan ceritanya membosankan. Keluar masuk rumah sakit dan semacamnya, berulang-ulang bilang kalo tiap hari dia ngedengerin suara-suara di kepalanya, turn up being a hustler (tapi gue lupa dia gay atau ngga, atau dia ngga mau ngaku) But just that. Ngga dibuat menarik sama yang nulis, karena the exact word yang dibilang sama suara-suara di kepalanya ngga banyak ditulis a
...more
Shai
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Nicole Nardone
Aug 16, 2007 added it
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
Mayday
Feb 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-mine
Buku tentang orang, yang oleh orang sini, akan dianggap orang gila. Buku pertama yang saya baca yang berhubungan dengan gangguan kejiwaan yang membuat saya bisa bersimpati dengan orang-orang yang punya "mental disability" seperti ini.

Institusi tempat dia ditampung kacau, udah mirip juvie atau penjara untuk dewasa lengkap dengan rantai predator. Dibully dan diperkosa pun penjaganya kayak pasrah aja ada yang digituin. Keluar dari institusinya, dia diperalat orang untuk jadi pelacur.

Saat itu umur
...more
Mata
Sep 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Gabby Harrell
Dec 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
This book was about this guy Ken Steele who had schizophrenia and his take on how he recovered. The book took you along with his crazy journey of being a kid and hearing the voices and all the way to when he was put in a mental hospital.
The book seemed interesting and since I'm intrested in that stuff I decided to read it. I regret that since it had some inappropriate material which I wasn't comfortable with. I mean the book was intresting but the part where he did some questionable things mad
...more
Juliana Liusiska
Cara penyampaian cerita yang detail. Menggunakan bahasa yang simple sehingga pembaca tidak perlu bersusah payah membaca ulang untuk mengerti maksud dari si penulis.

Salah satu kisah nyata yang menggugah hati. Walaupun sudah divonis dokter bahwasanya Ken tidak akan pernah bisa sembuh dari penyakit Skizofrenik nya, namun mukjizat berkata lain.
Suara-suara yang selama 32 tahun menemaninya dan menyiksanya secara batin kini hilang ditelan bumi.

Pesan moral: Masih ada harapan dalam segala keadaan yang an
...more
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