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Surviving Schizophrenia [Paperback]

by E. Fuller Torrey
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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Paperback, March 28, 2006 --  
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Book Description

March 28, 2006 0060842598 978-0060842598 5

Since its first publication in 1983, Surviving Schizophrenia has become the standard reference book on the disease and has helped thousands of patients, their families and mental health professionals. In clear language, this much–praised and important book describes the nature, causes, symptoms, treatment and course of schizophrenia and also explores living with it from both the patient and the family's point of view. This new, completely updated fifth edition includes the latest research findings on what causes the disease as well as information about the newest drugs for treatment and answers to the questions most often asked by families, consumers and providers.

Editorial Reviews


“A comprehensive, realistic, and compassionate approach...Should be of tremendous value to anyone who must confront these questions.” (Psychology Times)

“Brilliant.... There is no one writing on psychology today whom I would rather read.” (Los Angeles Times)

“[Torrey] is comprehensive in his coverage of topics and thorough in his discussion.” (NAMI Advocate)

About the Author

E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., is a research psychiatrist specializing in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He is the executive director of the Stanley Medical Research Institute, the founder of the Treatment Advocacy Center, a professor of psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and the author of twenty books. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 546 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 5 edition (March 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060842598
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060842598
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A human look at personally debilitating disease February 27, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The difficulty with a lot of academic work is that it doesn't get to the root of the problem of living with a disease. This book has a wealth of critical information, not just about the medical developments and scientific understanding of mental illness, not just schitzophrenia, but touches on many different organic, chemical imbalances in the brain. More importantly, it talks about the weaknesses in the U.S. medical and welfare systems that present more difficult challenges for people who have physical or chemical imperfects in the body's most critical organ. It presents possible solutions to the difficulties of getting a solid diagnosis and correct treatment.

This is a great book for anyone interested in how the body and brain works. It is written in remarkably simple language, but covers everything from scientific explanations, research and development to social and political obstacles.

This should be a university text book for people studying psychology or psychiatry. If it were, the patients might receive better treatment.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars suicide survivor July 12, 2010
By Kathryn
My son was diagnosed with schizophrenia and commited suicide. He was early in his diagnosis and we didn't have time to learn much about the illness as he kept many things hidden from us until the very end. This book has brought me so much help in my grieving process. Through the knowledge I've gained from this book, a lot of pieces have fallen into place. It doesn't make my pain any less, but it is comforting to have some questions answered regarding my sons behavior that I never associated with schizophrenia. I highly recommend this book and have been passing it around to family members so they can gain a better understanding. I wish my son would have been able to read it himself and see that there is hope. Even if you don't know anyone personally with schizophrenia I would recommend reading it just to gain a better understanding and compassion for those afflicted and their families.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gold Standard for Books on Schizophrenia August 22, 2007
Torrey is so profoundly accurate in his writings on schizophrenia and manic depression that one can safely ignore authors who ridicule or reject his arguments. He's that good.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was so accurate. It helped me get a better understanding of what he goes through each minute of the day. It also, showed how we as a family can learn to cope with the difficulties of the disease. Even if our son is ot ready or maybe not willing to deal with the illness himself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Monica
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the most informative and well-written (easy to understand) book about this most unfortunate disease that could strike any one or any family status society classifies themselves in this world. I believe it should be read in all school health classes throughout the U.S. And I totally agree with Dr. Torrey that all health providers, (even our elected Congress men and women) should be required to read this book because then "society" would think twice about making "judgments" toward families and patients that are stricken with this disease. After reading the patients' symptoms and what they experience, truly gave me a whole different perspective and heart-felt compassion for the patients and their families that are having to live with this disease. The best thing I learned and believe from "Surviving Schizophrenia", is that Dr. Torrey acknowledges that there is "hope" for this disease!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars From a patients point of view October 25, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As I read through the publication I found much of what was being said to be interesting information. However being a person with schizophrenia I have found it to be more than overcritical. Sure there are several people that cannot function after being diagnosed with schizophrenia, but there are some who can resume a regular life. I am currently enrolled in college, associate with other people, drive, and carry on my life as regular. Though schizophrenia leaves a large shadow over my life, it is not good to give up hope of resuming life. Perhaps the authors point of view is of those with more serious symptoms, and such i feel it makes his publication inaccurate. When he said to give up hope, that is when he decided to put the book down. For truly in the case of schizophrenia one should never give up hope, for that may be the only thing they have to hold onto to!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Helpful August 15, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Easy to understand, and gives quite an insight into my sons illness. I now understand more of what he is going through. A few chapters near the front were a bit clinical and hard to follow, otherwise book was great.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The chartbook for sailing schizophrenia's stormy seas August 18, 2011
When families must navigate the maelstrom of mental illness, they need so much yet know so little. This is especially true of the world's most devastating mental illness, schizophrenia. The burdens it imposes on families and society are enormous--to say nothing, of course, of those loved ones whom it afflicts.

One of these burdens is acquiring the best information possible in the most expeditious manner from the most authoritative sources amidst the most confounding circumstances. When a family is flailing, there are precious few opportunities to exclaim, "Eureka!" Fortunately, such a chance comes to us (hopefully sooner rather than later in the journey) with E. Fuller Torrey's definitive Surviving Schizophrenia, a gold mine of useful and sympathetic information for all those who are traumatized by this most tragic and misunderstood illness.

Torrey thoroughly and accessibly covers all that that families need to know. He tells us what the illness is like for the sufferer. We learn about its causes, onset, and prognosis. He describes all aspects of its treatments. He details the rehabilitation of the illness, the major problems related to it, and how families can survive it. We are shown the dimensions of the illness, how it appears in the public eye, and a copious agenda of public policy issues for families to advocate. Torrey also tells us what we should not to know, or at least believe, namely, which theories and modalities are ineffective, incorrect, or outdated. He even provides us an annotated list of the best and worst books on schizophrenia, based on his own extensive research and experience in the field.

Surviving Schizophrenia is satisfyingly comprehensive.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate
If you truly want to understand schizophrenia, this is the only book you need. I actually own two copies. Well written and very informative.
Published 15 days ago by TheUrbanRecluse
5.0 out of 5 stars Calming my concerns
One of my family members was recently diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, and this book was extremely helpful in allaying some of my fears about her future. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Rachel C. Owens
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction to Schizophrenia Treatment
This book is a good overview of the treatment of schizophrenia.

I couldn't give it five stars only because I agree with the other reviewer that E. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Christina Bruni
5.0 out of 5 stars Still reading
Still reading and digesting. Interesting and will be good to relate to my brothers condition.
Will let you know when I finish.
Published 26 days ago by Diego Di Michele
4.0 out of 5 stars I have had schizophrenia for half of my life since I was 20 now I am...
My mother's mother was born in 1911 the year schizophrenia became a diagnosis and my mother was born in 1948 the first year of the now outdated schizophrenogenic mother theory. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Daniel A. Neubauer
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite author on mental illness topics
I already had the previous edition of this book, and I thought it was great. Well written, pulls no punches, just the right amount of technical information for an educated reader. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Judi Rollings
5.0 out of 5 stars Very practical
I like the simple examples and exercises in the workbook. I feel that the suggestions are inspiring and most of the time, I was inspired and it motivates me to brainstorm for more... Read more
Published 2 months ago by theresa moo
5.0 out of 5 stars ALL families dealing with a Schizophrenic must read this book
I have Torry's first edition and now I've added the 6th edition to my library. My sister has Schizophrenia and her symptoms began when she was a child. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book Written On Schizophrenia. Here's Why.
Surviving Schizophrenia is the best, most informative book there is on schizophrenia. Dr. Torrey brilliantly interlaced quotes by people with schizophrenia with the science and his... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mental Health Expert
1.0 out of 5 stars Makes me feels like a hopeless defective person
As a person with schizophrenia who is making improvements with the help of psychotherapy, reading this book makes me feels like I am somehow different from everyone else who... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Rune
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Topic From this Discussion
Torrey is a liar
I'm a Schizophrenic who also has Major Depression as a co-occurring disease. I have done marvelously on Abilify for my Schizophrenia and Lexapro for my depression. There is hope out there today with modern psychiatry. Just don't let your Schizo get too far along before you seek treatment... Read more
Oct 20, 2012 by Dr. Paul |  See all 7 posts
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