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

The Center Cannot Hold by Elyn R. Saks
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's review
Dec 19, 2007

really liked it
Recommended for: anyone interested in mental health issues

The author, Elyn Saks, is an academic (Yale Law School, Oxford scholar, etc.) who has struggled with schizophrenia all her life. It's very well written and easy to read. As an MD, I was interested about the mental health issues raised in the book and what schizophrenic persons are really experiencing when they talk about "delusions" and "hallucinations". As a Christian, I wondered about the spiritual aspect of schizophrenia. For instance, I noticed that the author was incredibly self-absorbed and almost self-idolatrous. I know that schizophrenia has a biological aspect but I wondered about the nature versus nurture effect. How much is brought about by endlessly being neurotic about one's thoughts and emotions? Also, the author was extremely accomplished in her fields of academia and was constantly driven by the thought of failure. A simple setback would unhinge her schizophrenia. Interesting read nonetheless.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Mallory (new)

Mallory As a person who works with people who have mental illness, this person is not alone in being self-absorbed, and nature vs. nurture have been disproved. Wouldn't you be wrapped up in your thoughts if they constantly betrayed you. Schizophrenia is sometimes brought on by stress.

Jenny Howell The only thing that irritated me about the book was the high praise the other continuously bestowed upon herself. While much of that praise is deserved (I think she is an incredible woman!), there was just something "off" about it.

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