Books and Movies

Can we start a topic on Books? Movies?

There are 2 which are highly recommended by most here. “Surviving Schizophrenia” and " I am not sick I don’t need help". Both are very good. I mentioned in another thread about audible and you can get a free trial to enjoy both of these books.

Also both of these books can be found at which is a very large public library with all kinds of stuff.

It is tough to locate the actual journal for this one so I am including a link below. I stumbled across it doing Google searches “Schizophrenic or Possession.”

I found this older movie on schizophrenia while reading. It is called “Through a glass darkly” by Ingmar Bergman. I haven’t watched much of it yet.

This is my first topic with links. I am not sure how to preview before posting it so I will see how it goes.

Anyone else have anything they can add which they find helpful, or interesting. Any good caretaker movies or books?

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Im Not Sick I Dont Need Help is a great resource! I love Ingmar Bergman, but havent seen that one, I’ll try to watch that. He’s definitely a director with a unique style.

Books: The Center Cannot Hold. The Quiet Room. Mind Estranged. Highly recommend- Living with Voices- 50 stories. Ive been interested in possibly getting the self-help Overcoming Distressing Voices for my loved one, but havent looked at it yet.

Movies: Crazy Wise (different perspectives), A Beautiful Mind, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, Donnie Darko ( definitely not for everyone, but its a dark- fiction film, with the main character having what would align with schizophrenia).

There are a number of good Ted Talks too. A popular one is Eleanor Longden- The Voices in my Head. Also, some authors of the previously mentioned books: Elyn Saks- A Tale of Mental Illness. Bethany Yeiser- My Journey through Schizophrenia and Homelessness. Xavier Amador- I’m Not Sick, I Dont Need Help.


This is an oft-visited perennial topic. There are dozens of threads on books, movies and other media— individual reviews, compilations and lists. The forum search function (accessed by the hourglass icon near the top right corner of every page) is your friend.

Benny & Joon with a young Johnny Depp and Mary Stuart Masterson is an often cited movie

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  1. A Beautiful Mind (2001), a story about John Nash a famous mathematician.
  2. The Soloist (2009), a homeless cello prodigy.

The following movies I have not personally viewed:
3) Clean, Shaven (1993) This movie is about a man who suffers from schizophrenia and is trying to get his daughter back from her adoptive parents. This movie attempts to take an objective look at the illness of schizophrenia and individuals that have it.
4) Proof (2005) This is an American drama film featuring Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins and Jake Gyllenhaal. It was based on the play “Proof” by David Auburn. In this film, a mathematician (Paltrow’s father) developed schizophrenia and she has to take care of him.


  1. Mind Estranged: My Journey from Schizophrenia and Homelessness to Recovery, a biography by Bethany Yeiser
  2. ZIG ZAG BOY: MADNESS, MOTHERHOOD & LETTING GO, Tanya Frank about her son Zach’s struggle with schizophrenia.
  3. Pathological: The True Story of Six Misdiagnoses by Sarah Fay. A biography with lots of research facts.
  4. Surviving Schizophrenia: A Family Manual by E. Fuller Torrey, M.D.
    Understanding schizophrenia is easier when you have this book as your guide. For family members, allies, and loved ones, Surviving Schizophrenia helps those who care for a person with schizophrenia better comprehend the diagnosis, symptoms, and treatment of this oft-misunderstood illness.

The following books I have not read but sound like helpful reads.
5) The Center Cannot Hold, my journey through madness by Elyn R. Saks
6) Cognitive Therapy of Schizophrenia by David G. Kingdon and Douglas Turkington
This essential book is one of the best schizophrenia books for patients, allies, and mental health professionals alike. Finally we have a treatment option to alleviate schizophrenia symptoms beyond medication. Through chapters on topics like psychoeducation and normalization, intervening with delusions and hallucinations, and negative symptoms, this comprehensive book about understanding schizophrenia fills the gap in knowledge about how to treat schizophrenia with psychotherapy.
7) Desperate Remedies: Psychiatry’s Turbulent Quest to Cure Mental Illness by Andrew Scull. A narrative medicine scholar Andrew Scull delivers a comprehensive history of the field of psychiatry. Scull here has written an account of psychiatry that is equal parts readable, educational, rousing, fascinating, and challenging. Anyone who wants to learn more about schizophrenia within the context of the psychiatric field will want to pick this one up.
8) Divided Minds by Pamela Spiro Wagner and Carolyn S. Spiro, M.D.
Divided Minds details the experience the two had while Pamela developed schizophrenia and Carolyn thrived. As Pamela’s condition deteriorated, Carolyn emerged as a medical student and, ultimately, a psychiatrist, but still the sisters remained close. Together and told in alternating voices, Pamela and Carolyn have written here a crucial book in the literature of memoirs about schizophrenia.
9) The Edge of Every Day by Marin Sardy.
Sardy collects her essays about the experience of being a loved one who bears witness to this untamable illness. Sardy’s voice is an important contribution to books about schizophrenia from the perspective of a family member.
10) A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise by Sandy Allen
a hybrid memoir that includes Allen’s narrative and Uncle Bob’s autobiography as translated by Allen. This remarkable memoir is one of the most important schizophrenia books because it truly does tell Bob’s story to the world, an important record of narrative medicine about patient experiences.
11) Mind Fixers: Psychiatry’s Troubled Search for the Biology of Mental Illness by Anne Harrington.
Harvard history professor Anne Harrington explores the imperfect science of how psychiatry, neurology, and biology all fail to give us easy answers or even answer at all for the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Harrington dedicates a whole chapter to the complexities of the science behind schizophrenia. If you want to understand how to think about schizophrenia in biological terms, check out this book.
12) No One Cares about Crazy People by Ron Powers.
While trying to be a good ally, Powers embarked on a journey down the mental health rabbit hole that ultimately lead to his realization of just how badly the system is stacked against the mentally ill and their loved ones. This is a challenging book to read because the results Powers finds are uneasy and unsettling, but this is book is a must have for anyone looking to understand schizophrenia.
13) A Road Back from Schizophrenia by Arnhild Lauveng
In her autobiography, Lauveng offers a peek inside her experience with the illness, including the months or, in one case, a year inside psychiatric units and psychiatric hospitals, plus more about how it actually feels to have this condition. In zesty prose and unsparing detail, Lauveng offers a candid, honest look at living with schizophrenia.
14) Schizophrenia: A Very Short Introduction by Christopher Frith and Eve C. Johnstone
Schizophrenia is as complex as it is complicated. There’s a confusing set of symptoms that often lead to misdiagnosis, a host of conflicting medication and treatment options, and still many mysteries as the fields of medicine and science struggle to understand the origins and outcomes of schizophrenia. For an accessible, informative introduction on the disease.
15) When the Sun Bursts: The Enigma of Schizophrenia by Christopher Bollas
Acclaimed psychoanalyst Christopher Bollas argues that schizophrenia patients can be helped by gentler treatment than psychopharmacology, incarceration, dehumanization, and isolation that characterize so many schizophrenic experiences.


The Center Cannot Hold by Ellen Saks

Schizophrenia The Collected Stories

A Beautiful Mind - movie and book


Not a book or film, but a resource I have found very helpful is the “Schizophrenia: Three Moms in the Trenches” podcast. Three women who have sons with the illness that discuss their personal experiences, but more importantly, have guests in the mental health field, authors, social workers etc. You can find it on YouTube, or I have been listening on Spotify. Hope someone else will find this informative.


great list. Thank you for this!

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Also I can add:
Bassman , Ronald, A Fight to Be: A Psychologist’s Experience from Both Sides of the Locked Door

Insel, Thomas, Healing: Our Path from Mental Illness to Mental Health

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The Family Face of Schizophrenia by Patricia Backlar 1995

“True stories of mental illness with practical advice for America’s leading experts”

Endorsed by E. Fuller Torrey - “Anyone who has an affected family member will find this book useful and important”.

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I love their podcast!