Family Resources

Family Resources: Lived Experience with Psychosis

Many families report that learning about the experience of psychosis and caregiving is most meaningful when people with life experience share their stories.  The following resources provide a firsthand account of peoples’ experience.

Skip to section: First person account family members, Lived Experience client, Siblings

“My Story with Schizophrenia”
Mind your Mind

Link: /

This short 5 minute video describes basic facts about schizophrenia, including symptoms, treatments and statistics, as well as some of the myths and stigma surrounding the illness. The narrator describes her experiences with psychosis including her delusions and voices she heard, the ways in which she coped and her efforts to both cover up her illness and seek help.  She talks about her recovery and her hopes to use art in the future to help others cope as well.

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness
Kay Redfield Jamison
Random House Inc, 1996

From Amazon:

In her bestselling classic, An Unquiet Mind, Kay Redfield Jamison changed the way we think about moods and madness.

Dr. Jamison is one of the foremost authorities on manic-depressive (bipolar) illness; she has also experienced it firsthand. For even while she was pursuing her career in academic medicine, Jamison found herself succumbing to the same exhilarating highs and catastrophic depressions that afflicted many of her patients, as her disorder launched her into ruinous spending sprees, episodes of violence, and an attempted suicide.

Here Jamison examines bipolar illness from the dual perspectives of the healer and the healed, revealing both its terrors and the cruel allure that at times prompted her to resist taking medication. An Unquiet Mind is a memoir of enormous candor, vividness, and wisdom—a deeply powerful book that has both transformed and saved lives.

The Center cannot hold: my journey through madness
Elyn R. Saks
Hachette Books; Reprint edition (August 12, 2008)

From Chapters/Indigo:

Elyn Saks managed to achieve both professional and personal success in spite of being diagnosed as schizophrenic and given a “grave” prognosis. In this memoir, she frankly and movingly discusses the disease, and the treatments that helped her to cope and thrive.

Me, Myself, and Them – A firsthand account of one young person’s experience with schizophrenia
Kurt Snyder with Raquel E Gur and Linda Wasmer Andrews
Oxford University Press; 1 edition (October 29, 2007)

From Chapters/Indigo:

During his second semester at college, Kurt Snyder became convinced that he was about to discover a fabulously important mathematical principle, spending hours lost in daydreams about numbers and symbols. In time, his thoughts took a darker turn, and he became preoccupied with the idea that cars were following him, or that strangers wanted to harm him. Kurt’s mind had been hijacked by schizophrenia, a severe mental disorder that typically strikes during the late teen or young adult years. In Me, Myself, and Them, Kurt, now an adult, looks back from the vantage point of recovery and eloquently describes the debilitating changes in thoughts and perceptions that took hold of his life during his teens and twenties. As a memoir, this book is remarkable for its unvarnished look atthe slow and difficult process of coming back from severe mental illness. Yet Kurt’s memoir is only half the story. With the help of psychiatrist Raquel E. Gur, M.D., Ph.D., and veteran science writer Linda Wasmer Andrews, Kurt paints the big picture for others affected by adolescent schizophrenia.Drawing on the latest scientific and medical evidence, he explains how to recognize warning signs, where to find help, and what treatments have proved effective. Kurt also offers practical advice on topics of particular interest to young people, such as suggestions on managing the illness at home,school, and work, and in relationships with family and friends. Part of the Adolescent Mental Health Initiative series of books written specifically for teens and young adults, My, Myself, and Them offers hope to young people who are struggling with schizophrenia, helping them to understand and manage the challenges of this illness and go on to lead healthy lives.

All Family Resources:

General Education

Lived Experience with Psychosis

Caring for Someone