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Library JournalIn her new memoir, clinical psychologist Lauveng writes about overcoming schizophrenia and states that one-third of schizophrenics recover with no ensuing problems. However, she offers no research to support her claim. The thrust of her memoir is that people should be treated as people and not identified by their illness. She chastises the medical profession for irresponsibly diagnosing mental illness in people who express their perfectly normal needs in a different way. People with mental illness desire understanding, acceptance, and control over their lives, just like everyone else, and this is a valid demand. However, schizophrenia is defined literally as “cleaved mind,” and for ten years Lauveng experienced horrible hallucinations, in which someone called the Captain viciously berated her. Schizophrenics can become a danger to themselves and/or others, warranting admittance to a psychiatric hospital. Unfortunately, readers don’t find out what happened to the Captain or to Lauveng’s illness. Oddly, she isn’t telling.
Verdict A fine addition to a mental illness memoir collection but not a replacement for classics like Joanne Greenberg’s I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.—Nadine Dalton Speidel, Cuyahoga Cty. P.L., Parma, OH
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