My Story: Taking Control of Schizophrenia

Stewart (Andy) Lightstone

Publisher: iUniverse Pages: 144 Price: (paperback) $13.99 ISBN: 9781663227300 Reviewed: January, 2022 Author Website: Visit »

Author Stewart Lightstone discusses his challenges coping with schizophrenia in this volume, which also offers suggestions on managing the thought-process disorder.

Frustratingly, the author provides few details about his treatment or the course of his disease. He notes that he was approximately age 16 when a counselor first recommended he enter a psychiatric hospital, where he stayed for two months. It’s hard to discern his specific maladies related to schizophrenia, although his suggestions for managing stress, calming down, communicating with others or finding energy despite medication side effects are likely related to his own life-long issues.

Regarding advice, the author addresses common concerns, from medication management to dealing with side effects, anger control and hospitalization. He offers simple tips on how to manage the disordered thinking/behavior or lack of energy related to schizophrenia, such as
drinking coffee, going to a neutral place or writing down your “big dream.” Listing his own failures and successes in high school and college, he encourages others to strive for personal goals and to participate in the local mental health care community.

While the author provides many anecdotes of his life with schizophrenia, he sometimes leaves readers wanting more details. For example, he writes that when he went to an ER with seizures, he was left for hours—some of it lying on the floor—until a nurse came in and “a large needle…was jabbed in my hip.” (What caused this lack of care? And although he mentions people coming in and out of the room, one wonders why no one helped him off the floor.) The chronology is also somewhat disjointed as the narrative often jumps around in time.

While this heartfelt chronicle of the author’s experiences isn’t likely to appeal to general readers, those affected by schizophrenia, including caregivers, may appreciate his practical tips on how to deal with the disorder’s social and psychological challenges.

Also available as an ebook.

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