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Surviving Schizophrenia 4e [Paperback]

E. Fuller Torrey
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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There is a newer edition of this item:
Surviving Schizophrenia: A Manual for Families, Patients, and Providers Surviving Schizophrenia: A Manual for Families, Patients, and Providers 5.0 out of 5 stars (2)
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Book Description

April 26 2001

Since its first publication nearly twenty years ago, Surviving Schizophrenia has become the standard reference book on the disease, helping thousands of patients, families, and mental health professionals to better deal with the condition.  In clear and compassionate language, Dr. E. Fuller Torrey explains the nature causes, symptoms, and treatment of this often misunderstood illness.  The classic guide also addresses the many issues of living with the disease, for both patient and family, and includes the latest research findings on the causes of and treatments for schizophrenia.  Also here are lucid answers to the questions most commonly asked by families, consumers, and providers.  This fully revised fourth edition of Surviving Schizophrenia is a must-have for the multitude of people affected -- both directly and indirectly  -- by this serious, yet treatable, disorder.


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"A comprehensive, realistic, and compassionate approach...Should be of tremendous value to anyone who must confront these questions." -- Psychology Times

"A comprehensive, realistic, and compassionate approach...Should be of tremendous value to anyone who must confront these questions." -- Psychology Times

"E. Fuller Torrey is a brilliant writer. There is no one writing on psychology today whom I would rather read." -- Los Angeles Times

"E. Fuller Torrey is a brilliant writer. There is no one writing on psychology today whom I would rather read." -- Los Angeles Times

About the Author

E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., is a research psychiatrist specializing in schizophrenia and manic-depressive illness. He is currently the associate director for laboratory research of the Stanley Medical Research Institute, president of the Treatment Advocacy Center, and professor of psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.


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Schizophrenia, I said. The word itself is ominous. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I read this book because I agree with many of the things Dr. Torrey says about severe mental illness. I DO NOT agree with everything he says, but much I do agree with. One claim of Dr. Torrey's that he makes in this book that I do not agree with is his claim that "anti-psychotic drugs are extremely safe drugs." While this might be soothing info to a schizophrenic ignorant to the realities of anti-psychotic medication, it is hardly true. It doesnt let off a schizophrenic for taking their neuroleptics however Dr. Torrey could have said something along the lines of "dramatic improvements are needed in developing truly safe anti-psychotic medication."
Furthermore, usage of anti-psychotic medication for non-schizophrenia uses such as mood and anxiety disorders is extremely dangerous and should be dramatically curtailed.
Other than that, I found this book to be comprehensive and good. While I personally am not diagnosed with schizophrenia, I found it fascinating and of high quality nonetheless. For anyone diagnosed with any severe form of mental illness (schizophrenia, bipolar, severe depression) I would recommend this book to. Just the chapter on mental health advocacy/lobbying is worth the cost of the book IMO. More people with serious mental illness need to become involved in politics and mental illness lobbying. That is the only way things will ever really improve and Dr. Torrey makes this clear.
More mentally ill individuals need to vote.
What I found most interesting about this book though is the sardonic and derisive description of psychiatry, coming from another psychiatrist who is a specialist in severe mental illness. This is extremely rare and its why I admire Dr. Torrey. He says the things that some people think, but dont have the guts to say in public.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Is Not Enough June 6 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
My son is alive and thriving today largely because of Dr. E. Fuller Torrey's books and activities on behalf of the severely mentally ill.
Six years ago, Dr. Torrey's third edition of Surviving Schizophrenia was the first book I read on the subject. Our family was in crisis after my oldest son had his first psychotic break. Dr. Torrey's practical, sound, humane advice was godsent information. I had read Bateson and Satir years before in grad school. Based on their writings, I felt responsible and guilty that my son developed schizophrenia. Dr. Torrey's book allowed me to move beyond misplaced guilt with it's clarity of thought on an illness beset by flakey books and ideas. His practical advice guided us in selecting a multidisciplinary team to work with our son who is doing well even though he requires occasional hospitalization. Dr. Torrey's endnotes guided us into a wide field of research that broadened our understanding. I have since read extensively on the subject: neurology, genetics, and psychiatric texts; legal and medical journals; history; etc. I spend two days a month at the UC Davis Medical School's library researching psychosocial and cognitive-behavioral treatments. I also advocate for sane public policies that are directed toward the severely mentally ill. You cannot beat this book's wise counsel. In one place, you can find information on almost every aspect of the illness. As broadly read in the field as I am, I discovered new and exciting developments in Dr. Torrey's latest edition. This is the first book that I would give anyone who needs to understand schizophrenia. For families, consumers, and providers, Surviving Schizophrenia is the bible on almost every aspect of the disorder. Buy copies for yourself, parents, children, friends, teachers, clergy, ....
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must for the Loved Ones of the Mentally Ill Oct. 14 2001
Format:Paperback
I come from a large family, a house with a lot of love. So when not just one--but two--of my siblings developed major mental illness, I struggled for years to understand them. Then several years ago I read this book and cried tears of recognition. At last, I finally understood things from the point of view of my brothers. Soon I had everyone in my family reading this book and truly it opened many eyes. "Surviving Schizophrenia" explodes many common myths about mental illness but more importantly it shows families and loved ones how to cope. I now understand that it is only natural to have "me too" fears about mental illness but most of these fears are groundless. Likewise many parents needlessly blame themselves, wondering what they did wrong. "Surviving Schizophrenia" was a Godsend, helping me to realize that mental illness often strikes the most gifted, talented individuals. And far from "poor parenting," families of the mentally ill often develop extraordinary coping skills, such that they are more "together" than families untouched by mental illness. What's more, this book gave me greater confidence to talk about this subject without feeling the least bit of stigma. And confidence to live my life fully, without fear of being thought an "oddball," either because of my brothers or my chosen profession. Plus the resources are excellent. I highly recommend it to anyone who is even remotely interested in this topic.
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Format:Paperback
A person I know who has schizophrenia told me that this book was the best description of the disease he had ever seen. Certainly I found it to be the most lucid and comprehensible to someone who has not experienced the disease. In addition, Dr. Torrey's caustic description of our hodgepodge of policies toward the severely mentally ill should be required reading for policy-makers everywhere, since -- as Dr. Torrey shows -- schizophrenia ends up affecting everyone, not just those who suffer directly from it. (We could probably wipe out the national debt if we could recover just the lost value of economic activity by family members, police, jail and prison employees, courts, and others diverted from their other tasks to deal, inadequately in many cases, with the disease's effects.) In this new edition, he has enlarged and updated the coverage of the disease's symptoms, its treatments, and their adverse effects; he has also expanded considerably the section on advocacy and added a few more of his incisive and entertaining reviews of other books on the subject. Buy several copies and send the extras to your elected officials: we can all benefit from substituting good science, good sense and compassion for what is all too typically done now.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very, Very Helpful
SURVIVING SCHIZOPHRENIA has to be one of the most helpful books ever written. When I first read an earlier edition in the 1990's until this latest edition, I have found many... Read more
Published on May 29 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars the good the bad and the fricken holy mad
As the adult daughter and only survivor of a mother/brother team of schizophrenics, let me say this: While the info is welcome, Torrey's plea to families to be understanding and... Read more
Published on March 29 2004 by N. M. DeSmet
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding Psychosis.
If you have ever had problems with anxieties, fears, paranoia, manias, hallucinations, visions, confusion, catatonia, or delusional thinking, then maybe this book can help you. Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2004 by New Age of Barbarism
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best!
I have to say that, when it comes to describing schizophrenia and it's repercussions, this is one of the best! Read more
Published on Sept. 4 2003 by Tom
5.0 out of 5 stars The best general book about schizophrenia
This is an excellent, comprehensive book about schizophrenia that is a must read for anyone interested in the illness. Dr. Read more
Published on April 3 2003 by Avery Z. Conner
1.0 out of 5 stars Madness
Torrey is psychiatry's Torquemada. There is no limit to the "scientific" tortures that he supports applying to unwilling to heretics labeled "schizophrenic. Read more
Published on Nov. 14 2002 by Nicolas S. Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource
This is an excellent resource for family members of the mentally ill. It gives a very clear picture of what schizophrenia is (as clear as current medical science can be anyway) ETF... Read more
Published on Aug. 11 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Where the rubber meets the road!
For nearly twenty-five years I have provided care to patients afflicted with major mental illness such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Read more
Published on April 25 2002 by Jeffrey J. Drury, RN, MSN
4.0 out of 5 stars the more pain you have felt, the more pleasure you can know
EFT seems to assume that people with schizophrenia must modify their expectations about how far they will go in the area of life they choose to live in, explore, master, love. Read more
Published on Aug. 31 2001 by David Baird
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