The Center Cannot Hold Essay

1476 Words Jul 11th, 2012 6 Pages
Abnormal Psychology

Summary of text:

The book “The center cannot hold: My Journey Through Madness” written by Elyn Saks is a gripping and eye opening story about her personal battle with the lifetime sentence of Schizophrenia. The book starts out by telling about her childhood in Miami Florida. She lived a normal life, for the most part, with a normal family who loved and supported her. Though even from an early age she knew something was off. She was a quirky, paranoid girl who almost seemed at times to have obsessive-compulsive disorder. She often thought people were outside her house waiting to come in and abduct her.

These strange feelings were not all that plagued Elyn in her childhood; she also had a struggle with
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Finally she completed her degree at Yale and had to watch as her best friend Steve moved away. While she was at Yale her beloved first therapist Mrs. Jones was in a terrible car accident and passed away, this was a massive blow to Elyn, and her sanity. Amidst these hardships she managed to get a job at a small law school were she taught for two years. She then decided to take a job at the University of Southern California where she researched and worked her way towards tenure. USC is where she met her next monumental therapist that would play a massive role in her life, Mr. Kaplan.

Kaplan was not like her beloved Mrs. Jones but was indeed a competent analyst, so Elyn continued treatment with him for many years. As she taught, wrote articles for publication, and received treatment she was at a constant battle with whether or not to stay on medication. She hated drugs and had struggled with taking them, against advice from numerous physicians and therapists, since the onset of her illness. She would constantly tamper with the dose making living with this illness harder and harder to do. Kaplan was the first therapist to break Elyn down for herself in a way she could understand, he told her that she was in theory three people: Elyn, professor Saks, and the lady of the charts (lady having the psychotic thoughts and scattered thinking). This helped Elyn to cope and set goals for nurturing Elyn and Professor Saks

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