Journey of a Schizophrenic: A Witness of Faith provides a peek inside the mind of a man who struggled with schizophrenia and ultimately found help through Jesus Christ.
At age eight, William McGregor Paterson began showing signs of mental illness, and by 25, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Turning to alcohol for relief from his problems, Paterson became an addict and eventually ended up on the streets. In time, his newfound faith in Christ helped him beat his addiction and fight for a better life.
Sharing his struggles and victories here, Paterson hopes to break down cultural perceptions of schizophrenics and encourage fellow sufferers that with drug therapy and faith they “can still have a good life.” He does not claim to have a deep knowledge on schizophrenia, yet he offers intriguing insight into the illness and how public misconceptions cause sufferers to be labeled and banished to a life of poverty and loneliness.
Sadly, though, this book’s beginning is a jumble of events and unexplained wild thoughts. For instance, Paterson believes a mysterious “series of events” led him to help his community, but “dark powers” tried to stop him. He never discloses what these events were. At times he is profound, with statements such as, “We are spiritual beings going through a human experience.” But more often his spiritual comments are convoluted and readers may struggle to understand them. Poor grammar, missing documentation of facts, and occasional typos add to the reading challenge.
Should one persevere, Paterson’s writing becomes more coherent but heartbreaking. We learn of his encounters with the police, his endless wandering, his many trips to psyche wards, and his own family seemingly pushing him back on the streets. Yet, Paterson inspires with his unshakeable faith in God.
For schizophrenics and their loved ones, Paterson may provide a comforting voice to which they can relate. Unfortunately, the disjointed writing style might cause many to abandon the book before the end.
Also available as an ebook.