The Collected Schizophrenias

The Collected Schizophrenias


Book - 2019
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Schizophrenia is not a single unifying diagnosis, and Esmé Weijun Wang writes not just to her fellow members of the 'collected schizophrenias' but to those who wish to understand it as well. Opening with the journey toward her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, Wang discusses the medical community's own disagreement about labels and procedures for diagnosing those with mental illness, and then follows an arc that examines the manifestations of schizophrenia in her life. In essays that range from using fashion to present as high-functioning to the depths of a rare form of psychosis, and from the failures of the higher education system and the dangers of institutionalization to the complexity of compounding factors such as PTSD and Lyme disease, Wang's analytical eye, honed as a former lab researcher at Stanford, allows her to balance research with personal narrative.
Publisher: Minneapolis, Minnesota : Graywolf Press, [2019]
ISBN: 9781555978273
Branch Call Number: Health & Wellness 616.898 Wan


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Jun 17, 2019

This is an excellent book. Her narrative is fascinating and she puts it in the context of the larger mental health treatment world. It is a valuable interface. Actually a page turner. Thank you for writing this book.

OPL_EllyR Jun 11, 2019

This may be the best nonfiction that I've read this year, and, in fact, is high in the running for best book overall. Wang's writing is dynamic and compelling, her stories varied and vivid. Mental health biographies can sometimes tend towards the confessional, but Wang remains in full command of her narrative, carefully shaping the intimate perspectives her readers are granted. Though the book clarifies certain parts of her experience, I was left in awe of the diversity of ways schizophrenias can play out, and of my own thorough misunderstanding of their possible origins and vast manifestations.

Jun 02, 2019

When I first started reading this book I felt it was very pedantic and would be suitable only for medical professionals; however as I read along I found the description of the lived experience was quite riveting. Esme Wang is an excellent writer and though she is in the grip of a severe mental illness she is 'sane' enough to record the symptoms of her illness. The accounts of her stay in hospitals are really poignant. A must read for not just medical professionals and caregivers but also patients themselves.

Feb 26, 2019

I loved this book for its facility with an subject that refuses to be tied down. She, Esme Weijun Wang, manages her writing even better than her illness, and I congratulate her because on the streets of our city we have seen how challenging schizophrenia can be. The various coping methods she uses, as well as their failures and successes, Wang details in a style evocative of the tension of the disease. She writes not just as a person with schizphrenia. Also as an advocate and researcher. I appreciate the many local angles as well. Finally, as a Yalie, I found her mentions amusing, particularly this, to paraphrase: going to Yale means I have schizophrenia, but I am not worthless. Lol!


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