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Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite
My Schizophrenia: One Man’s Struggle With Mental Illness by John U. Gunter is an autobiography about John’s own journey in dealing and coping with Schizoaffective disorder. Schizoaffective disorder is essentially schizophrenia with manic or depressive bouts and affects less than 1% of the population. Like all mental illnesses, there is a genetic component as well as environmental factors involved. John candidly recounts his life story of growing up with this disorder, dealing with delusions, paranoia, and auditory as well as visual hallucinations among other things. He also discusses his frequent bouts of hospitalizations, drugs, crime, violence, family life, as well as the toll a mental illness takes not only on the patient, but on the family members and caregivers as well.
I think we need more books like My Schizophrenia: One Man’s Struggle With Mental Illness by John U. Gunter that truly document mental illness from the patient’s perspective and, not only that, also provide a rare glimpse into a patient’s mind and thought process. In this book, some of the hallucinations, both auditory and visual, that John describes really made me truly understand what it must feel like living with this on a daily basis. The writing is extremely candid and comes across as simple and sincere, which I appreciated. I actually learnt a lot from this book and found it to be not only engrossing, but very educational as well. Hopefully books like this will go a long way towards removing the stigma associated with mental illnesses in society and I would highly recommend this book to everyone.