What’s it about?

A searching, well-researched narrative of America’s social history in mental illness, the New York Times Bestseller, Ron Powers offers a deeply personal story of his two sons’ battles for schizophrenia.

About the author:

Ron Powers is a renowned writer and reporter. In 1973 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism and in 2000 co-authored Flags of Our Fathers, a New York Times bestseller. His perception of mental illness is profoundly personal.


Schizophrenia is a genetic and environmental psychiatric illness and can be debilitating:

Schizophrenia may be unbelievably poor psychiatry. The capacity of an individual to work in society will drastically change the brain. In the brains of people who have Schizophrenia by birth, some genes that may lead to the development of the condition, but symptoms typically do not evolve until adolescence, when cells begin to trim.

This process of pruning that occurs during late adolescence and early twenties kills the brain structures, which promote contact between neighboring cells and unique cortical synapses. This is the brain’s way of eliminating the old synapses and making space for new ones essential for adult life.

But the problem is there. The genes associated with Schizophrenia come alive and fill the gaps as the older synapses are pruned. If the genes are triggered by, among other things, marijuana misuse, stressful environmental factors, the affected individuals reach the known prodromal phase of Schizophrenia.

No large variations in actions are generally evident during this period. This process, however, sometimes leads to a delusional disintegration, which may appear in a variety of forms, including paranoid illusions or greatness illusions. Sometimes this draws friends and families’ attention and sadly reminds the individual about the condition’s presence.

The start of Schizophrenia, though, is always the result of external factors. It’s no coincidence that Schizophrenia is still triggered when the young mind is first faced with severe stress, whether linked to education, socializing, or first heartbreak. Stress is one of the most common. Anything and everything will initiate the prodromal process of the condition.

Another major external trigger is cannabis use which, if the genes for those diseases are found, can predispose an individual to all kinds of psychotic disorders – including Schizophrenia. An article published in the Wall Street Journal recently cited the links between cannabis use and psychosis by many prestigious medical journals such as Lancet.


Mental illness has been marginalized and denied, leading to appalling patient suffering:

Did you ever hear of Thomas Szasz’s name? This prominent 1960 psychiatrist is authoritarian and inhuman in the treatment of mental illness. He tried to prevent others from interfering with mentally ill people’s lives.

His famous 1961 book The Myth of Mental Illness has helped a great deal raise the cynicism about mental illness among people. Szasz argued in the book that what is regarded as mental disorders are simply abnormal habits that were considered annoying and unpleasant by society; according to Szasz, the mind – as opposed to the brain – is immaterial. Mental disorder cannot, however, be interpreted as “false” tangibly.

In 1975, what Szasz wrote was placed under the Supreme Court. It was suddenly a violation of civil liberty for those with psychiatric illness to be admitted or medicated without their consent.

Today, a person suffering from insanity cannot be helped without receiving a legal order or the individual’s permission. However, obtaining an order can take months. And the real irony here is that it is almost difficult to understand that most people living with Schizophrenia need assistance in the first place. Such signs clearly mean that they never seek care on their own.

This is further compounded by the fact that an individual continues to intensify lengthy stretches of untreated psychosis. Schizophrenia is much lower in the brain at those times.

In 1969, Szasz co-founded the Human Rights Citizens’ Committee to follow this viewpoint, even though these findings were clearly in danger. The group remains involved until today, and both views and Szasz have been particularly significant in challenging the validity and the perception of psychiatric illness in the world of psychiatry.


Patient problems are caused by the systematic closing of a mental health institution:

It was allegedly a politically well-intentioned attempt to liberate Americans with mental illness from mental hospitals. It was not thought of enough, though, and its execution was a total failure. In comparison, this parallel “Wonder Drugs” advent further facilitated what was essentially an inappropriate mass institutionalization.

Thorazine medicine, regarded as a treatment for Schizophrenia, was marketed in the 1960s. When psychiatrists’ institution was closing, the shot of the stuff was sent off to their patients and expected to be clear. But the fact is that psychiatric disease is not cured; medications such as Thorazine are likely to stabilize people but can not disappear from their owners.

Although the pharmaceutical companies have persistently capitalized on both the natural desperation to cure and the lack of public knowledge of mental illness since the institutionalization began, these companies have paid countless advertising settlements that promise falsely to cure mental illness; a better option to them than to tell the truth. After all, their money far outstrips what they end up paying in lawsuits. Because there has never been a time in prison for such a crime, no CEO pharmaceutical is a simple economic calculation.

But it wasn’t unavoidable this sorry state of affairs. Indeed, after their release from institutions, state cure and support were supposed to be available for people with mental illness.

This was established in 1963 by the signing of a Mental Health Act Community by President John F Kennedy for $150 million in establishing Community Mental Health Center Across The Nation.


Mental ill Americans were drunk on the streets and in prisons:

There are no institutions for Americans with mental health to care for them any longer. And it has had disastrous consequences. The exponential growth of a highly marginalized group of Americans – homeless – has resulted from deinstitutionalization.

Here’s how the following is:

The patients they had previously lodged were exported to the world after mental hospitals were closed. They were naturally unfit to feel they couldn’t get jobs, they couldn’t help themselves, they couldn’t get government aid with the oppressive bureaucracy.

They then slept on the road without any other support, frightening people with the effects of mental disorders untreated. It hadn’t been long before many had taken to illegal activities to get through from there.

The inhumanity of not seeking psychiatric care for individuals with mental disorders against their will means all of them will commit offenses to sustain themselves. They are arrested then and put back in with the rest of the inmate population when a valid diagnosis has not been obtained.

If this wasn’t sufficiently terrible, oftentimes, they disciplined a person who was dealing with mental illness with one of the most traumatic experiences possible to impose: solitary confinement.

People with mental illness are often more at risk of being victims of government violence as well as being detained en masse. In reality, the police officers in a delusional condition had several cases of murdering civilians.

One indication of James Bond’s and the paranoid schizophrenia diagnosed man. By chatting with himself and behaving irritably, he attracted the notice of the annoyed bystander on the lane. They shot him dead when the police arrived, while he was unarmed, they shot him dead. Two officers were charged with murder after the attack.


The focus of our society should be mental health:

A mental disorder is a latent threat that is easy to ignore before you knock. Yet turning a blind eye is no answer, and we will defend countless people at all times by tangible intervention.

This early on is the first step in making meaningful attempts to diagnose the mind. This stage is personal to the author; you have lost someone to suicide due to the illness that causes a fearful mixture between a hallucinatory episode and a psychotic depression. For the author, this phase is personal. If his son was diagnosed early, he might have prevented the illness before it got too violent.

The other son of the author deals with Schizophrenia now, and the author illustrates how stressful he needs to wait for his son to harm him or others for him to be hospitalized or taken to the doctor’s office. The family was, of course, worried that another son would lose his suicide. Fortunately, he did not, but he’d still not have entered a Dangerous level of insanity if he had been identified earlier.

But we also need to look at the universal advantages and care of people with mental health beyond early diagnosis. For example, the National Mental Illness Alliance calculated that $50,000 is paid to each prisoner with a mental illness. By spending just 2 or 3,000 dollars on treatment, a lot of money can be spared.

Or take Courtney Harding, a psychiatrist in the 1950s, found that people with medications alone benefit tremendously from being taught how to incorporate into the group and improve self-confidence. Fifty-one percent of the participants also did well years after his involvement after Hardening’s report.

Harding established an approach called therapeutic therapy based on this success, a distinct divergence from the conventional medical approach to treatment, maintenance, and stabilization. Unlike the more traditional therapies, their care contributes to people who will contribute to society effectively and positively.

And we must finally note that the Own is often not related to people with mental illness. And it is up to us all to chat about them and their families.