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Me, Myself, and Them: A Firsthand Account of One Young Person's Experience with Schizophrenia [Paperback]

Kurt Snyder , Raquel E. Gur , Linda Wasmer Andrews
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 15 2007 Adolescent Mental Health Initiative
During his second semester at college, Kurt Snyder became convinced that he was about to discover a fabulously important mathematical principle, spending hours lost in daydreams about numbers and symbols. In time, his thoughts took a darker turn, and he became preoccupied with the idea that cars were following him, or that strangers wanted to harm him. Kurt's mind had been hijacked by schizophrenia, a severe mental disorder that typically strikes during the late teen or young adult years.In Me, Myself, and Them, Kurt, now an adult, looks back from the vantage point of recovery and eloquently describes the debilitating changes in thoughts and perceptions that took hold of his life during his teens and twenties. As a memoir, this book is remarkable for its unvarnished look at the slow and difficult process of coming back from severe mental illness. Yet Kurt's memoir is only half the story. With the help of psychiatrist Raquel E. Gur, M.D., Ph.D., and veteran science writer Linda Wasmer Andrews, Kurt paints the big picture for others affected by adolescent schizophrenia. Drawing on the latest scientific and medical evidence, he explains how to recognize warning signs, where to find help, and what treatments have proved effective. Kurt also offers practical advice on topics of particular interest to young people, such as suggestions on managing the illness at home, school, and work, and in relationships with family and friends. Part of the Adolescent Mental Health Initiative series of books written specifically for teens and young adults, My, Myself, and Them offers hope to young people who are struggling with schizophrenia, helping them to understand and manage the challenges of this illness and go on to lead healthy lives.

Frequently Bought Together

Me, Myself, and Them: A Firsthand Account of One Young Person's Experience with Schizophrenia + Surviving Schizophrenia, 6th Edition: A Family Manual + The Complete Family Guide to Schizophrenia: Helping Your Loved One Get the Most Out of Life
Price For All Three: CDN$ 41.80

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Review

"Like a Sea World underwater view, Me, Myself, and Them provides a riveting peek into the world of schizophrenia for parents like me who yearn for understanding. For young people with schizophrenia, like our son, the book orients a frightening illness. For both families and persons with mental illness, this book is laced with hope, something in short supply in most other books."--Mindy Greiling, Minnesota State Representative and Executive Board Member, National Alliance on Mental Illness

"This beautifully told personal story provides an innovative platform for solid information about schizophrenia and its treatment. Highly informative to persons struggling with the onset of psychosis, and to families, friends, and mental health workers who struggle to understand and help."--William T. Carpenter Jr., M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacoogy, University of Maryland School of Medicine

"I strongly recommend this book to patients, families, clinicians and researchers interested in a first hand account of how schizophrenia changes the way the world looks, feels, and behaves. It is very moving and very informative. From compelling descriptions of changes in mood, cognition and perception to explanations about how the brain is affected and how drugs work, this brief but detailed personal statement and review of the state of the field is invaluable."--Daniel R. Weinberger, M.D., Director, Genes, Cognition and Psychosis Program IRP, NIMH, NIH

"The authors provide a first rate resource for anyone whose life is touched by schizophrenia. Through solid, easy to understand language, the manuscript provides useful guidance for others coping with this disease. Highly recommended." --Ming Tsuang, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego

"Me, Myself and Them: A Firsthand Account of One Young Person's Experience with Schizophrenia is a straightforward and marvelously lucid retelling of Kurt Snyder's battle with his demons. Not only does it show us the experience of psychosis, it also explains, in jargon-free language, what each element of that experience means. Compelling and eminently readable, a book like this ought to be required reading for all high school and college students, demystifying as it does an illness all too long shrouded in misunderstanding, confusion, and fear."--Pamela Spiro Wagner, author of Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia

About the Author

Kurt Snyder is a database administrator for the state of Maryland as well as president of his local volunteer fire department. Rachel Gur, MD, PhD, is Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where she has acted as Director of the Neuropsychiatry section and the Schizophrenia Research Center. Linda Wasmer Andrews is a freelance health and psychology writer based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is the coauthor of Monochrome Days: A Firsthand Account of One Teenager's Experience with Depression as well as the author or coauthor of numerous other books, including Stress Control for Peace of Mind. Her writing has appeared in magazines such as Self, Parenting, and Psychology Today.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest, emotional, and inspiring Aug. 21 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book offers an emotionally charged and realistic but hopeful look at Schizophrenia from the perspective of a man who suffers from the illness. I work in the field of psychiatry and read this book with my friend who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. Both he and I found the book to be objective, honest, and inspiring. The author outlines the struggles of Schizophrenia but does not focus on the limitations it has caused, he instead offers his struggles as lessons and tells of what worked best for him. Many times throughout the book my friend came to tears and said reading the pages were like reliving his own experiences. I am grateful this book was recommended to me by a peer and I would recommend it to patients, peers, and families of those touched by Schizophrenia. My friend, who has good insight into his illness, said this book helped him understand even more about himself and his illness. I highly recommend this book for anyone to read, especially those in the field of mental health or those who have friends, loved ones, or are themselves suffering from Schizophrenia.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed and Informative May 10 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is honest and written by someone experienced in the reality. He is not an academic studying from a distance. Difficulties, challenges, onset and coping strategies are outlines, and common misconceptions are discussed. This is a must read for anyone experiencing this mental illness or anyone involved with that person.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was looking for Feb. 8 2009
By Noah J. Ribaric - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Let me just say that after purchasing this book I learned a valuable lesson: always read the reviews before buying. This book is very much like something I would have read as a freshman in Psych 101. In spite of the title, it tells surprisingly little of the author's story and focuses mainly on the causes and treatment of schizophrenia, and how to deal with it on a daily basis. Don't get me wrong, that is the intent of this book, and it was very well written, it was simply not the book I was looking for. Unless you have schizophrenia yourself, or are close to someone who does, this probably isn't the book for you.
The patient, Kurt, tells his story in a very serious and straightforward way, with a lot of candor. Unfortunately, just when his story would start to draw me in, it would be interrupted by various vignettes, statistics, and case studies written by the book's co-authors (Raquel E. Gur, MD, PHD, and Linda Wasmer Andrews). I actually found myself skipping entire sections just to maintain the flow of Kurt's story. Despite having the disease over a period of years, Kurt's experience with schizophrenia is very condensed, and very little focus is put on the details of his hospitalizations, which is something I was curious about.
This book serves its purpose as a rudimentary resource on schizophrenia; however, if you are looking for detailed memoirs of someone who suffered with the disease, this may not be the book for you. If you are curious about the mind of a schizophrenic patient, I would recommend The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness by Lori Schiller and Amanda Bennett, or Center Cannot Hold, The: My Journey Through Madness by Elyn R. Saks, instead.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Valuable Book but Misleading Title Jan. 8 2009
By Marvin Ross - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is one of a series of books by the Adolescent Mental Health Initiative founded by The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands. It's goal is to inform young people about the scientific research and treatment of common mental disorders including schizophrenia. Dr. Patrick Jamieson of the University of Pennsylvania states in the forward that the book is aimed at adolescents who are struggling.

Kurt Snyder, the author of this volume, tells his story of developing and recovering from schizophrenia and does so from multiple points of view. It is his story but he does not ignore the fact that there are millions of people in the US (and elsewhere) who are also faced with this challenge. Like many with schizophrenia, he initially refused to take his medications and mixes his personal account with the big picture. While hospitalization is a not too pleasant experience for anyone, he points out that there may be times when it is required and lists the positive benefits to be achieved from being in hospital.

What he does emphasize on P 89 is that schizophrenia is a very treatable disease. The fact that Kurt was on medication for six years at the time of writing and was able to put his life back together again, should serve as a positive example for adolescents or anyone struggling with this issue. What is also important is that he reports that side effects of prescribed drugs have been infrequent. That is often one reason that people refuse to take what is prescribed.

My only complaint is that the title is too close to the film Me, Myself and Irene which presents the old myth about schizophrenia as being multiple personalities. A companion piece to this book might be the DVD Cutting For Stone which presents a realistic view of an adolescent's descent into schizophrenia and its impact on him and his family.

Marvin Ross
Author of Schizophrenia: Medicine's Mystery - Society's Shame
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accurate and engaging book March 19 2008
By Granny RN - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a psych nurse, I found this book to be not only accurate, but very engaging. There are a couple others with different Axis I diagnoses that I'm going to get as well. Thinking of purchasing some for the psych unit to help newly-diagnosed folks understand this isn't the end of the world, there is hope, and there are others out there who understand.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I learned much reading this book. May 30 2008
By C. J. Cox - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very well written and informative book. It provided information and insight into the illness of schizophrenia. I learned much from reading it and gained new insight and perspective about the disease. We all need to know more about mental illness-only when we all do, can we collectively remove the stigma attached to it. Thank you for writing this personal and painful tale and educating me.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable March 7 2011
By David Austin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Me, Myself, and Them is Kurt Snyder's own account of living with schizophrenia, an experience that began for him at the age of 18. But his account is supplemented by observations from an academic in the field of psychiatry, neurology and radiology (Raquel E Gur) and a journalist specializing in mental health issues (Linda Wasmer Andrews).

It is hard to find anything much to criticize in this book. If I have one very minor criticism, it is that more hasn't been done to address the issues of stigma and stereotyping in connection with schizophrenia. These issues are not ignored, but they are dealt with rather fleetingly toward the end of the book. My own feeling is that these are very important matters that should have been raised earlier and dealt with more thoroughly (but this doesn't stop me from giving the book a five-star rating).

As I see it, Me, Myself, and Them offers the reader two major benefits. First, it mixes personal experience with explanatory detail in a very readable way. Some of the background observations tend toward the technical, but they are offered in a straightforward and readily understandable way. The book also offers some guidance on legal and financial matters, thus adding another dimension to its more practical aspects. This book strikes the perfect balance between specialized medical description, advice for sufferers, ordinary everyday narrative, and emotional involvement.

Second, and perhaps more important, is the fact that this is a very positive, optimistic book. It clearly gives the message that schizophrenia is treatable. While it cannot actually be cured, substantial recovery is achievable. With treatment matched appropriately to the individual, a sufferer can go on to lead a very full and rewarding life, with the condition downgraded (potentially, at least) to little more than an occasional inconvenience - I certainly wasn't previously aware that such a positive outcome was possible.

Me, Myself, and Them is primarily aimed at schizophrenia sufferers and their families, but it is also invaluable for anyone who wants to get away from popular misconceptions and gain a better-informed understanding of what schizophrenia is.
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