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Voluntary Madness: My Year Lost and Found in the Loony Bin Hardcover – December 30, 2008
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As someone whose mental illness (schizoaffective disorder) is and was NOT voluntary, I could tell Vincent that, for me, Seroquel made and continues to make the difference between life and a living death.
The onset of my illness brought loud and threatening hallucinations (voices that threatened to kill me and worse). I was treated with a variety of drugs, the first of which were not very helpful for me.
When my doctor tried giving me Seroquel, however, my life returned to normal as the drug built up in my system. The delusions stopped almost completely, and what voices I heard from then on were and are few and far between. They were also easy to distinguish from real sounds and ceased to be frightening--they became merely annoying and easy to ignore.
While the drug was sedating at first, my body adjusted to it very quickly (it is usually taken at bedtime for this reason). I could also tell Vincent that I certainly DO NOT twitch, drool, or fall asleep during daily activities!
If and when people experience these side effects from drugs, their doctors should withdraw them slowly and gradually while starting them (also slowly and gradually) on new ones. Unless I missed it, Vincent failed to mention that this simple solution to these problems is even possible.
Stopping any psychiatric drug slowly and gradually, under a doctor's supervision, is also an easy way to avoid a painful withdrawal. Vincent demonizes Effexor, for example, as causing withdrawal, but she never mentions that this withdrawal is avoidable.Read more ›
While her ignorance of the topic may be her greatest sin as a journalist, her greatest sin as a writer is mainly that the book is not more interesting to read. By focusing so exclusively on herself, she fails to spend enough time describing the fascinating, colorful characters that one encounters on a unit like "Meriwether Ward 20," which would have made the book a lot more entertaining.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My first book about pure isolation was "Alone" by Admiral Byrd -- about working solo in the Antarctic winter for several months. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jodie O'Kelly
The writing is annoying. I bought this because it's "mandatory" for a class I have. Not sure I am going to be able to swallow it.Published 14 months ago by K. Hodge
Meh. Some interesting stories. Good insight, especially if you know little about our mental health system. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Pamela
A cynic would say that Norah Vincent took the "Goldilocks" approach to mental health, waltzing through three institutions and finding the last one (a kind of New Age... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Peter Baklava
I find it necessary to begin with responses to many of the unfounded criticisms of the book. To begin with, Norah makes it clear that she is not merely pretending to have... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Patrick L. Bertlein
First of all, I vehemently disagree with her disdain towards medication, and for that reason I hesitate to recommend it. Read morePublished on July 18, 2014 by Deena Sao
This book was confronting and initially quite off-putting.
The author immersed herself in the world of the mentally ill - although for only weeks at a time - to give her... Read more
My spouse has significant emotional health issues that I didn't understand. This book did a fantastic job at explaining the journey to healing and whats necessary. Read morePublished on June 10, 2014 by story
Such a cool narrative I could feel the bed sheets and tile floors of all the mental institutes the journalist did a great jobPublished on September 11, 2013 by john corrigan