Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

What are your favorite books on schizophrenia?


Hi I just wondered what are your favorite books that you have read? I am on 4th book bens behind his voices , how to surviving schizophrenia, I am not sick I don’t need help! ,and The bright light from Danielle steel. My first book that I read was surviving schizophrenia and I read this book a few years ago and it really help to understand what my son is going through and to have some compassion towards my son. I still go back to read it from time to time…I am not sick I don’t need help! really has helped me understand why my son keeps getting off meds because he is not aware that he has a mentally illness. I have read 3 books in 2 weeks and I’m waiting for my other batch to come in the mail in a few days…Just wondering what are your favorite books and if you have any suggestion on good books to read.


I also read Surviving Schizophrenia, but found some of it to be inaccurate. Others that are good are the memoirs Quiet Room and Demons in the Age of Light. I’ve been meaning to read January First. It’s about the little girl with Childhood Schizophrenia. If you need a break from the schizophrenia books the Divergent series is awesome. It takes place in the future where the society has formed into five factions. I like to read. It takes me on a mini-vacation. :sunny:


Whatever you do, do NOT I repeat NOT read “surviving schizophrenia”. I saw it and thought “huh. I’m pretty high functioning, but maybe this will have some tips for me in case something goes wrong.”

Never have I been so wrong in my life. It is so depressing. It is full of “you can’t expect your loved one to be able to… ever again.” There is no mention of hard work and meds helping. Nope. If I was a caregiver and I read that I would just give up it paints such a bleak picture.


I liked the memoir by Elyn Saks called The Center Cannot Hold. Her schizophrenia is different than mine, but it was still a good read, and can be inspiring that someone with schizophrenia can still achieve so much.


once a poet, I remember the same thing and it paints a bleak picture. But it lays the ground work for what could happen in a sz’s life. SS gives a lot of realistic information and many of us are poorly functioning.

It is still up to you to rise up and become a success story.



My Favorite is Welcome Silence. Carol North I believe. It is out of print due to having an out dated cure. She received blood dialisis (sp?) at the end of the book and it was her cure.

She was in med school for much of the book and she graduated too. Very intelligent person and how she studied was similar to some of my sessions. I would talk to plants about the concepts I was learning and so did she. It was strange to see inside someone else’s life like that and how similar it was to mine.


I personally read schizophrenia autobiographies. A book I’d recommend to you is “Sectioned, A Life Interrupted”. Its a good read, a vivid account of a young guy struggling with schizophrenia. The guy drifts around psych wards and group homes. Group Homes are where psychiatric patients get to live together in a house, with social workers and psychiatric nurses overseeing things. Its much better than hospital, as the patient has a lot more freedom, can come and go as they please.

In the group homes, there are rules for all, and people are encouraged to get engaged in some activity that can help them, eg partaking in a mental health course.


The Center Cannot Hold is well written and inspirational. Ellen Saks accomplished so much (still is) despite quite serious hospitalizations. I think of her all the time when I think about what my son might be able to accomplish. Also a very good look at some of what my son might be going through on his bad days.


Hi @pattywagon1
So far two of my favorite books about Schizophrenia are:

  • The Quiet Room by Lori Schiller for a first person account I found her description of how the symptoms started and changed over time, especially enlightening.

  • And Henry’s Demons by Patrick and Henry Cockburn which tells the story from mostly the Dad’s point of view, but also contributions from the son, Henry, who has schizophrenia. And some input from Henry’s Mom. I found it a very honest account of the family experience.


I don’t read about schizophrenia anymore. I avoid scientific papers, the DSM, and life stories. The scientific stuff isn’t really going to help me much, I leave research to my doctor. As for life stories, I’ve lived with it long enough, I know how it goes.

I do enjoy this forum and reading other people’s perspectives and opinions but that’s my limit these days.


Hi @soup
It looks like Welcome Silence is available on Amazon. It’s a little pricey for the paperback (new), but there are options on the right side to buy it used for about $14.

I just might get it!


I like The Divided Self. It speaks for me.


There is a book on SZ/SZA it is called My Sisters Keeper - it was a Hallmark movie starring Kathy Bates - I saw the movie and read the book. I really liked it


Heres a good book on sz…

“Is That Me”…by Anthony Scott…it tells the story of an irish schizophrenic who comes from a successful middle class family but adapts to life as a bus conductor and lives on a housing project in England. I found the book inspiring as it made see how you can adjust to a lifestyle that you may not have forseen nor wanted, but the guy had a good attitude.


Are there two movies with this title? The one I’m finding is about leukemia.

I found it… 2002. There is also one from 2009 that is about leukemia.


The only one I’ve read is ‘Henry’s Demons’. I thought it was a pretty good read.


Yes there is another book with the same name - The one I am talking about is the one on SZA


It’s sort of hard for me to read about Sz. Non-school related reading is a treat, I like taking a break from Sz.

If I do read about what is happening in my head… I tend to read more diagnostic books on Sz. Like Sz for dummies, CBT for SZ, Social skills for SZ.

My sis will read the “coming back” stories. I have a hard time reading those… Seeing the characters or main people suffer and go through negative swings and seeing the families fall apart and all the heart break… I can’t do it.

I just feel so guilty for what I put my family through, all the years of tears and negativity… those books are too hard for me to read. I read more cut and dried stuff about my illness, if I read about it at all.

I really LIKE leaving the Sz books on the shelf.


Yes sorry I was looking at the movie release dates :smile:


Surprised - I want you to know, from a parent’s perspective, all the pain a child may have caused can shrink to nothing when that child turns a corner and begins doing better! I don’t think about what my son has done or said in the past if today he is pleasant and happy. That is what really matters to parents.