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"The Stages of Schizophrenia"

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"Schizophrenia and Anxiety"

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"Anti-Psychiatry"

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The Stages of Schizophrenia - Part One

With this important book, the first in a distinguished series, Mark explores schizophrenia, recovery and self help, and in doing so debunks some myths and exposes many truths about this common condition.

Extract:

It is often said that schizophrenia cannot be understood unless you have had it yourself. I would not go so far as to say it is unimaginable but the problem of communicating the experience requires an in depth look at a particular case. I think it is possible to communicate it a little more than this first sentence indicates.

Schizophrenia is a journey to hell and back. It is a nightmare, the end of the world or walking alone through the shadow of the valley of death. This I think is the common understanding; that it is an extremely frightening experience. The problem is how to explain why.

Stages of Schizophrenia Part One

ISBN: 978-1-84747-097-3
Published: 2007
Pages: 143
Key Themes: schizophrenia, recovery, self-help
 

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The Stages of Schizophrenia - Part Two

This collection of essays deals with the later stages of schizophrenia. The first section concerns what it is like to experience the illness in the long term. This is followed by what it is like to experience a sense of recovery from the illness. Again it is often said that you cannot know what it is like to have schizophrenia unless you have had it yourself. I believe that this account can give some further insights beyond those contained in the first volume.

Extract:

Sometimes families know more about schizophrenia than the patient. This can help because trusting a parent means that going to see a psychiatrist will not seem so threatening. It will be obvious to the parent that persecutory delusions are not real, though it may not be to the sufferer who thinks they are real. This reassurance is essential to the whole business of being sectioned - as it is for being taken into hospital, staying there and ultimately taking ones medication. It makes the whole process less frightening, for example that the doctors are not there to simply to lock you up etc. This realisation can take a long time even with family support but without it distinguishing between psychosis and reality can be sometimes impossible. Families are themselves put under a lot of pressure by the acute suffering schizophrenia can inflict and by the label itself.

Stages of Schizophrenia Part Two

ISBN: 978-1-84747-098-0
Published: 2007
Pages: 132
Key Themes: schizophrenia, recovery, self-help
 

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The Stages of Schizophrenia - Part Three

This, Mark Ellerby's third book on the subject of schizophrenia, deals further with his experiences of and thoughts on living with schizophrenia. Mark is an entertaining and informative writer and this is a worthy addition to his previous works.

Extract:

You have to fight the influence of the voices (which in my case where very insipid). I felt when I had depression that I was so pliable that I would have gone along with any suggestion. Fortunately the depression past, unfortunately the schizophrenia gradually became what I can only describe as more invasive. Being a postgraduate did not help my situation. Research is a solipsistic activity at best. All you have to do is meet with your supervisor once a week and tell him your ideas. That leaves the rest of time for being in the library. Fortunately, I had most of it done by the end of the first year, aided by the fact that I was self funded the year before that. All I really had to do was write it all up. But this was the hard part - concentrating while you were hearing voices. Gradually they began to take over my life. I did not know who to turn to or what to say about them. I had no medical problems prior to the onset of schizophrenia and was not familiar enough with any medical persons who might have noticed I was ill. I do not know if I looked ill but I certainly felt it.

Stages of Schizophrenia Part Three

ISBN: 978-1-84747-099-7
Published: 2006
Pages: 136
Key Themes: schizophrenia, recovery, self-help
 

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The Stages of Schizophrenia - Part Four

This, Mark Ellerby's fourth book on the subject of schizophrenia, deals further with his experiences of and thoughts on living with schizophrenia. Mark is an entertaining and informative writer and this is a worthy addition to his previous works.

Extract:

Changing the labels? As I said in a previous essay I was so confused by all the terms which surround having a mental illness and the wrongful connotations some of them have I really had no idea what was going on even when the doctor diagnosed me. This to me raises the question would changing the labels make the whole confusing problems of being schizophrenic any clearer from the outset? 'Manic Depression' was replaced by the label 'bi-polar' which is much more self explanatory. I have recently heard of proposals to replace the label schizophrenia too. In the end you cannot avoid the above confusions of explaining the illness without being careful about exactly what you say, and what you might leave out. 'Schizophrenia' is a real umbrella term covering a number of different symptoms and indeed types of illness. It may be better just to divide the diagnosis up on this basis, though often the different symptoms are experienced by the same individual. To my ears as I said the word itself sounded frightening even though I was still very unclear about its meaning. About the easiest label for the lay person to understand is depression. Depression is so common place that not only will everyone have heard of it they will probably know someone who has had it themselves, and more than likely within their own families. I see no point in replacing this label and it seems as it seems quite innocuous.

Stages of Schizophrenia Part Four

ISBN: 978-1-84747-087-4
Published: 2006
Pages: 132
Key Themes: schizophrenia, mental health services, recovery
 

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The Stages of Schizophrenia - Part Five

This, Mark Ellerby's fifth book in the series 'Stages of Schizophrenia', deals further with his experiences of and thoughts on living with schizophrenia. This book explores some very important and pressing issues and in doing so debunks some myths and exposes many truths. Mark is an entertaining and informative writer and this is a worthy addition to his previous works.

Extract:

Coming out of shock. After getting off to sleep easier and getting out and about more a further opportunity to overcome some more aspects of the illness presented themselves. I realise that during a lot of the therapies that had preoccupied most of my time I was overlooking some of the more obvious problems with the illness which I had forgotten about: that of going into shock. At other times found it hard to practice the breathing exercises because what also became visible when trying to sleep that I had a tight chest. The illness causes me to be uptight much of the time but it was the going into shock this way that caused much of the problem here.

Stages of Schizophrenia Part Five

ISBN: 978-1-78382-196-9
Published: 2015
Pages: 104
Key Themes: Mental Health, Mental Illness, Schizophrenia, Personal Experience
 

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Schizophrenia and Anxiety

The book details my life with the anxiety and terror caused by schizophrenia and how I was able to overcome this. From what it was like to be locked in my room for two years and not able to go out at all to with intelligent help to overcome this and establish a more normal life again.

Extract:

Anxiety then is a specific term the effects of which in my case are heightened by adrenalin rushes brought on by fear and mild levels of panic which creates a kind of palpitation effect in the body. Mostly though the focus for me is anxiety which manifests itself as nerves. The result of these nerves is a kind of paralysis of mind and body to which the only response is to wait until it wears off. Taking lorazepam for me is a way of grasping at straws, a fact recognized by my psychiatrists. I am prescribed it even though it is both ineffective and addictive, though my levels of its consumption are closely monitored. The hope for me is rather that it has some kind of placebo effect though I doubt this.

Schizophrenia and Anxiety

ISBN: 978-1-78382-199-0
Published: 2015
Pages: 138
Key Themes: Mental Health, Mental Illness, Schizophrenia, Anxiety, Personal Experience
 

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Anti-Psychiatry

Mark Ellerby's essay on anti-psychiatry is a well-balanced, open minded analysis of this new and divisive movement. Mark uses his experience as a mental health service user to explore the backlash against traditional psychiatry and its relationships to politics, religion, the survivor movement and society as a whole. Ellerby's writing is informative and incisive but never patronising. In introducing and exploring this topic he is doing us all a service; this is an important and vocal movement which needs to be understood.

Extract:

It is easy to come across the anti-psychiatry movement these days, especially where the family or patient has internet access. I believe it is necessary for the social worker to receive training to explain the other side to the argument. The views of Foucault and Goffman seem to paint the whole world of mental health in black. When I was newly diagnosed and frightened by stigma my anxieties were heightened by what these writers had to say. I was left to figure it all out for myself that these views are not necessarily the only ones available. A little knowledge really is dangerous and can certainly impact on your mental health.

Anti-Psychiatry

ISBN: 978-1-84747-048-5
Published: 2007
Pages: 81
Key Themes: anti-psychiatry, social studies, mental health services, religion
 

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Anti-Psychiatry Part 2

Mark Ellerby's essay on anti-psychiatry is a well-balanced, open minded analysis of this new and divisive movement. Mark uses his experience as a mental health service user to explore the backlash against traditional psychiatry and its relationships to politics, religion, the survivor movement and society as a whole. Ellerby's writing is informative and incisive but never patronising. In introducing and exploring this topic he is doing us all a service; this is an important and vocal movement which needs to be understood.

Extract:

Does the emotional side of life when mentally ill outweigh the material circumstances? I have known people get married and it may be felt that emotions rather than money are the most important things in life. There is an opportunity for community within the mental health system. There are a number of aspects and factors here and I think it is best just to list them one by one as it will be a matter of further research which are most important.

Anti-Psychiatry Part 2

ISBN: 978-1-78382-172-3
Published: 2015
Pages: 33
Key Themes: Essay, Psychiatry, Anti-Psychiatry, Mental Illness, Mental Health, Treatment, Schizophrenia
 

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