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Schizophrenia: Medicine's Mystery - Society's Shame [Paperback]

Marvin Ross
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

April 30 2008
Written by a medical writer and family member of someone suffering from schizophrenia, this book outlines all of the issues involved with schizophrenia and its treatment including stigma, history, causes, physiological changes in the brain, and best treatments. It is an ideal reference and support for family members and others interested in this disease. It is also suitable as supplementary reading for students in health care fields (including medicine and nursing), psychology, social work and any occupation that needs solid information about schizophrenia. The book is recommended by the World Fellowship for Schizophrenia and Allied Disorders on its website.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Schizophrenia continues to be responsible for a great deal of misery, suffering, crime, destitution and deprivation. Author Marvin Ross has performed a significant service by writing "Schizophrenia - Medicine''s Mystery, Society''s Shame." Ross dedicates his book "To all who struggle daily with the voices and other symptoms of schizophrenia, and to their families who suffer watching their loved ones valiantly struggling to cope." That says it, and Ross lives up to his dedication.

His book keeps everything succinct and blunt. This is an honest appraisal of an ugly subject, one that mainstream society would prefer to keep behind locked, sound-proofed doors.

This hard-edged blueprint takes a logical approach, giving a much-needed critique of historical myth as well as all too recent quasi-scientific blunderings that may have caused decades of delay in the search for rational treatment for this far-from-rational and thoroughly misunderstood disease. Too much received opinion on this subject has been wrong, and Ross correctly dedicates considerable space to expunging error.

Then come the essentials, lucid and well explained. Here is "Schizophrenia Defined," and a section reporting the conclusions of studies into five distinct categories of "Abnormalities." Sections dealing with "Theories of Causation/Treatment" and "Treatment Strategies" must surely be welcome to people who must cope with schizophrenia every day.

If I have a quibble with this book it is that I wanted to rearrange the Table of Contents to place some of the commentary on the lack of progress further down.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Offering practical help, hope and a measure of relief Jan. 1 2009
By Robert Fripp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Schizophrenia continues to be responsible for much misery, suffering, crime, destitution and deprivation. Author Marvin Ross has performed a significant service by writing "Schizophrenia - Medicine's Mystery, Society's Shame." Ross dedicates his book "To all who struggle daily with the voices and other symptoms of schizophrenia, and to their families who suffer watching their loved ones valiantly struggling to cope." That says it, and Ross lives up to his dedication.

His book keeps everything succinct and blunt. This is an honest appraisal of an ugly subject, one that mainstream society would prefer to keep behind locked, sound-proofed doors.

This hard-edged blueprint takes a logical approach, giving a much-needed critique of historical myth as well as all too recent quasi-scientific blunderings that may have caused decades of delay in the search for rational treatment for this far-from-rational and thoroughly misunderstood disease. Too much received opinion on this subject has been wrong, and Ross correctly dedicates considerable space to expunging error.

Then come the essentials, lucid and well explained. Here is "Schizophrenia Defined," and a section reporting the conclusions of studies into five distinct categories of "Abnormalities." Sections dealing with "Theories of Causation/Treatment" and "Treatment Strategies" must surely be welcome to people who must cope with schizophrenia every day.

If I have a quibble with this book it is that I wanted to rearrange the Table of Contents to place some of the commentary on the lack of progress further down. However, Ross, a medical writer, is making a passionate appeal, and his delay in presenting sections on positive progress is understandable: real progress depends on exposing false doctrines from the past. Anyway, his Table of Contents is precise, so readers can easily find their way around, and his Index surely exceeds the most demanding expectations. One hopes that "Schizophrenia - Medicine's Mystery, Society's Shame" will reward readers with practical help, hope and a measure of relief.

Robert Fripp,
Author of "Spirit in Health: Spiritual roots in modern healing"
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Convincing But Worth A Read Nov. 10 2013
By Rasputin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I so disagreed with so much of the first part of the book that I wanted to give this book 2 stars. However, I agree with the author's belief that far too little is being done to treat schizophrenia and his sincere approach to the illness. For that I give it a 3.

Reading some of the other reviews of the book I wonder if they actually read it. If you want a real history of schizophrenia and it's treatment try "Mad in America". This book is more for the proponents of schizophrenia as "brain disease". There is very little convincing evidence provided. Indeed, the author spends the first third of the book outlining studies which purportedly show major differences between "normal" and schizophrenic brains.

Thinking he has us convinced (he hasn't), he moves us on a tangent to the possible discovery of "schizophrenia" genes which likely require social triggers to bring on schizophrenia. The latter is more convincing than the former. It seems likely that social triggers during late adolescence bring on the disease. Which leads to the major problem I have with the book.

The author, after distancing himself from Big Pharma, stresses the need for antipsychotics and reiterates what psychiatrists say: that you have to stay on the medication, likely for life and if you don't you will relapse. Never does he state that the abrupt cessation of these medications will result in psychosis far more acute than that experienced before starting. Surely he's heard of a "washout"?

He stresses that medication alone is not enough to treat schizophrenia and that antipsychotics do not help the negative symptoms. Where I take exception again is with his belief (I don't know of any factual evidence) that antipsychotics "normalize" the brain. This is dangerous thinking (probably coming straight from Pharma) and unless you know that for sure, don't repeat it. I believe there is vast mounting evidence to the contrary.

Nonetheless, there are other useful references made especially for anyone interested in the study of schizophrenia.

Like the headline says, it's worth a read. Disclaimer: I'm not a Scientologist :)
5.0 out of 5 stars A VITAL AND ESSENTIAL BOOK ON SCHIZOPHRENIA . . . June 12 2013
By T. L. Needham, Author - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The word--"schizophrenia" is one of the most stigmatized and dreaded words in our lexicon of medical terms. Public awareness of this illness is remote and generally associated with horrific and random acts of inexplicable violence in our society, or within families. Yet, even within the medical community, from psychiatry to neurology, there is little consensus or agreement on definition, diagnosis, and treatment. Still, progress has been made toward understanding and treatment in many areas. So, when this word "schizophrenia" is first heard, whether as a possible personal diagnosis, or of a friend or family member, or a stranger in the news . . . this book is the first place to look for a greater awareness, understanding, and comprehensive overview of this illness. Marvin Ross has covered in depth all aspects of symptoms, diagnosis, research, treatment, and prognosis. I have personally researched this illness and never found a more complete, coherent, or global source of information. This book offers a much needed awareness, and enhanced understanding, plus hope--for practitioners, patients, family members and society in coming to terms with this illness. A highly recommended and useful book to read, study, and retain as a ready-reference on schizophrenia.

When I Was A Child: Based on a true story of love, death, and survival on the Kansas prairie.
5.0 out of 5 stars An Invaluable Resource for Relatives of First Episode Patients Dec 22 2012
By MidCenturyMike - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An easily read primer on this serious illness that discusses the current societal aspects, stages of the illness, treatments and future prospects for treatment amongst a plethora of facts and information. An alphabetical index makes referencing the information within easy. The links found in the reference section allow further reading of the various subjects by directing the reader to relevant sites.
5.0 out of 5 stars Gregg L. Friedman MD, Psychiatrist, Hallandale Beach, FL Dec 1 2012
By Julie L. Friedman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Schizophrenia; Medicine's Mystery is an excellent textbook which explores the past history of schizophrenia as well as the current treatment options for this serious condition. The book is very well organized and easy to read whether you are a psychiatrist or a family member of someone with schizophrenia. It also looks at current and future treatment options. I give this book 5 stars. By Gregg L. Friedman MD, Psychiatrist, Hallandale Beach, FL
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