7 Must Read Schizophrenia Books

Amanda Page | Jun 15th 2015 Apr 10th 2017

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Surviving Schizophrenia, 6th edition

E. Fuller Torrey, MD’s family manual lists symptoms, criteria for diagnosis, and diagnostic tools for ruling out or confirming an individual has schizophrenia. He also goes into theories about causes, kinds of treatment, finding a good doctor, and the onset, course, and prognosis. He quotes research on outcomes 10 and 30 years after getting a diagnosis.

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I Am Not Sick, I Don't Need Help (2010)

Xavier Amador, PhD wrote this classic guide to how to help someone with mental illness accept treatment using the LEAP technique. I recommend everyone read this book even if their loved one doesn’t have anosognosia, that is, the lack of insight that you have an illness. Amador is the number-one expert on the topic. He created the LEAP Institute to help families help their loved ones.

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The Everything Health Guide to Schizophrenia

Dean Haycock and Elias K. Shava wrote this book to give information on treatment, medication, and coping strategies. An A to Z guide available as an e-book now that you might be able to find as a print copy in a public library, where I did. A useful adjunct to Surviving Schizophrenia.

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My, Myself, and Them: A Firsthand Account

Kurt Snyder co-authored this book about his experiences as a young person diagnosed with schizophrenia.  This resource guide is the only book to give an overview of holding a job and living independently when you have schizophrenia.  No other resource guide to date gives strategies for navigating have a job, your own apartment, and a successful social life.

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Divided Minds

Identical twins Pamela Spiro Wagner and Carolyn Spiro wrote this memoir about Pamela’s chronic illness.  An award-winning poet and an artist, Pamela gives cautionary tale of delayed treatment and endless hospital stays.  This worthy addition to the literature reveals the all-too-common experience that a significant number of individuals with schizophrenia go in and out of episodes throughout their lives.

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The Center Cannot Hold

Elyn Saks published her firt-person account that details how she came to terms with having schizophrenia at the same time she was a law professor with a JD from Yale.  Important mostly to inspire individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia who want to have success in a mainstream life or career instead of a creative life.  Saks to this day has “major ongoing episodes” according to her online bio.

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Recovery from Disability

Robert Paul Liberman, MD wrote this manual of psychiatric rehabilitation that details illness management, social skills training, and vocational rehabilitation, among other topics.  All mental health staff providing treatment should read this book.  I use it in my work as a Health Guide here.