The Day the Voices Stopped

The Day the Voices Stopped

By Ken Steele

In the spirit of mental illness memoirs, this is another book I originally read for my abnormal psychology class and have since reread approximately three times, and will probably reread again. Yes, it IS that good.

The Day the Voices Stopped is the true account of a young man dealing with paranoid schizophrenia.

I love this book because it breaks your heart. Steele’s story, which begins at childhood, when the schizophrenia first became evident, tracks his painful and complicated personal and medical history to his final legacy in advocating for people with mental illness.

This memoir is, for lack of a better word, awesome. It paints paranoid schizophrenia for what it really is and what it really means to live with it, rather than what popular fiction and movies would like to portray it as. I had never really considered what life would actually be like, what medications would do to your body, what it would feel like to not be able to trust your own reality, and the self-loathing (as well as social and familial persecution) involved in schizophrenia.

This book will change how you look at the people around you, particularly people that you see on the streets, maybe talking to themselves, that you casually label as “psychos” and hold your purse or wallet securely as you pass by. It will make you consider how you would react if it was your family member or even yourself. It will make you want to research and advocate about medication and treatment for the mentally ill.

This book will make you think about people that are often the butt of jokes, misconceptions, or stereotypes. This memoir is engaging, entertaining, and enlightening – and will lead to a mild obsession with like-subject memoirs…trust me.

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