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Author Topic: Is there no place on earth for me? -- a book about schizophrenia  (Read 1525 times)

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Offline Boo Radley

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No, I'm not asking a cosmological question about myself.   I know where my place is.

The reference is to a 1983 book Is there no place on earth for me?  It is one of the most fascinating, incredibly funny, and profoundly sad books I've ever read.  It describes the life of Sylvia Frumkin,  in the opening of the book is a 30ish young woman, who has suffered from severe schizophrenia half of her life.  She has lived in and out of private and mostly public mental institutions since age 15.

The book starts in the transitional services assisted living apartments (for mental patients trying to start an independent life and deemed able by the mental health professionals managing the client's case)  run by the NY state mental institution called Creedmoor.   Sylvia takes a bubble bath and pours a bottle of red mouthwash over her hair to see if the hair will turn read.  She gets so carried away playing with bubbles lots of water spills on the floor, and she slips and cracks her skull while getting out of the bathtub.   Having some medical training she pours an expensive bottle of perfume on her bleeding head because there is alcohol in the perfume.  Eventually she goes downstairs to the night desk person and he decides to take ger to the emergency room of the closest hospital.  What follows in the next few pages and the rest of the book is a story no writer of fiction could make up.  Driving to the hospital the car radio is playing "Lovely Linda" by Paul McCartney and Sylvia sings along and laughs and knows Paul is singing sarcastically because he is in love with Sylvia. 

I just finished re-reading it for the umpteenth time and each time knowing there are many Sylvia Frumkins today, that the situation hasn't improved for many with this class of mental illness. I wonder if there ever will be treatment(s) which allow a schizophrenic to think comparably to a "normal" human.  A friend's husband is schizophrenic and if he takes his medications on schedule he does OK but is still obviously a bit odd in behavior and when you talk with him.  Besides appearing slightly stoned or oblivious he speaks in slow, careful speech.  In most conversations he's made several non sequiturs, usually one at a time, the continues the conversation.  It is an experience talking to Mike.   Mike obviously doesn't represent all people with the disease and has admittedly had a rougher time than some.

OK, sorry for boring you.  That was all I had to say...
String up every aristocrat!
Out with the priests and let them live on their fat!

Everything I do, say, think, excrete, secrete, exude, ooze, or write 2007 Sweet Old Boo, Inc.


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