The Center Cannot Hold

My Journey Through Madness

Saks, Elyn R.

Book - 2007
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Center Cannot Hold
Elyn Saks is a success by any measure: she's an endowed professor at the prestigious University of Southern California Gould School of Law. She has managed to achieve this in spite of being diagnosed as schizophrenic and given a "grave" prognosis--and suffering the effects of her illness throughout her life. Saks was only eight, and living an otherwise idyllic childhood in sunny 1960s Miami, when her first symptoms appeared in the form of obsessions and night terrors. But it was not until she reached Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar that her first full-blown episode, complete with voices in her head and terrifying suicidal fantasies, forced her into a psychiatric hospital. Saks would later attend Yale Law School where one night, during her first term, she had a breakdown that left her singing on the roof of the law school library at midnight. She was taken to the emergency room, force-fed antipsychotic medication, and tied hand-and-foot to the cold metal of a hospital bed. She spent the next five months in a psychiatric ward. So began Saks's long war with her own internal demons and the equally powerful forces of stigma. Today she is a chaired professor of law who researches and writes about the rights of the mentally ill. She is married to a wonderful man. In The Center Cannot Hold, Elyn Saks discusses frankly and movingly the paranoia, the inability to tell imaginary fears from real ones, and the voices in her head insisting she do terrible things, as well as the many obstacles she overcame to become the woman she is today. It is destined to become a classic in the genre.

Publisher: New York : Hyperion, c2007
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781401301385
Branch Call Number: 616.898 S158c 2007
Characteristics: 340 p. ;,22 cm
Alternate Title: My journey through madness


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Feb 15, 2015
  • sbryant124 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

She is incredibly lucky to have the intellectual, financial and interpersonal resources that she did/does

Oct 31, 2013
  • lizapierce rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Such a great read. A view into schizophrenia that even mental health workers do not normally get to see, and one that provides a lot of understanding.

Jun 24, 2011
  • penpencil22 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

the book provides a lot of insight into the development and living with schizophrenia.


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