Mind Without a Home: A Memoir of Schizophrenia [NOOK Book]


Experience the inner world of a woman with schizophrenia in this brutally honest, lyrical memoir.

Have you ever wondered what it is like in the mind of a person with Schizophrenia? How can one survive day after day unable to distinguish between one’s inner nightmares and the everyday realities that most of us take for granted?

In her brutally honest, highly original ...
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Mind Without a Home: A Memoir of Schizophrenia

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Experience the inner world of a woman with schizophrenia in this brutally honest, lyrical memoir.

Have you ever wondered what it is like in the mind of a person with Schizophrenia? How can one survive day after day unable to distinguish between one’s inner nightmares and the everyday realities that most of us take for granted?

In her brutally honest, highly original memoir, Kristina Morgan takes us inside her head to experience the chaos, fragmented thinking, and the startling creativity of the schizophrenic mind. With the intimacy of private journal-like entries and the language of a poet, she carries us from her childhood to her teen years when hallucinations began to hijack her mind and into adulthood where she began abusing alcohol to temper the punishing voices that only she could hear.

This is no formulaic tale of tragedy and triumph: We feel Kristina’s hope as she pursues an education and career and begins to build strong family connections, friendships and intimacy—and her devastation as the insistent voices convince her to throw it all away, destroying herself and alienating everyone around her. Woven through the pages of her life are stories of recovery from alcoholism and the search for her sexual identity in relationships with both women and men. Eventually, her journey takes her to a place of relative peace and stability where she finds the inner resources and support system to manage her chronic illnesses and live a fulfilling life.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The author does an amazing job of capturing her mental illness and presenting it to the reader as if we were seeing into her mind….the author has a truly amazing story to tell and I'm glad I read it. Not many people with schizophrenia are able to accomplish what Morgan has, and her story is inspiring and thought-provoking."
- Book Hooked Blog

"Morgan opens her heart and pours it all out on the page allowing the reader personal insight into the disturbing elements of a disease that is so often misunderstood. Mind Without a Home is naked, transparent, and disturbing in its blatant reality. A true eye-opener. "
- My Bookshelf Blog

“Inventive, jaggedly lyrical and disturbing.”
- Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A poet's anguished memoir about her struggles with schizophrenia and alcoholism. Morgan grew up in a handsome family in which "Dad look[ed] like Burt Reynolds, Mom like Elizabeth Taylor." But trouble brewed just beneath the surface. Work kept her father away from home while alcohol kept Morgan's mother distant from her daughters. Through a series of chronologically ordered vignettes, Morgan reveals how emotional dysfunction, mental illness, and alcohol and drug abuse fractured her family. In her early teenage years, the author experienced hallucinations that included visits from people she called "the Suits." At age 15, she overdosed on a cocktail of pills so that she could join them. For a time, alcohol helped still the voices "from the other realities;" then Morgan became addicted and eventually dropped out of college. Meanwhile, her middle sister battled on and off with drug addiction while her younger sister sank irretrievably into both substance abuse and mental illness. Morgan continued to be in and out of mental institutions for psychotic breaks that doctors believed were manifestations of dissociative identity disorder. A correct diagnosis of schizophrenia, along with the medication that helped her manage her illness, did not come until she was able to get over her own fear of telling the truth about her condition. Yet through all the personal turmoil--which also included coming to terms with her own bisexuality and watching her mother die of alcoholism--Morgan learned how to cope with her alcoholism, finish college and harness a powerful imagination to write poetry and earn an MFA. Liberated from fear and filled with love for a God, who "sen[t] sparrows" that let her "forget about the mud," she found a peace that was all the more meaningful for its fragility. Inventive, jaggedly lyrical and disturbing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616495015
  • Publisher: Hazelden Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/13/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 260
  • Sales rank: 348,430
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Kristina Morgan is a first-time author. She is currently married, working, and managing her co-occurring disorders, schizophrenia and alcoholism, with medication and Twelve Step recovery.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I received this book from TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair

    I received this book from TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.  

    Mind Without a Home: A Memoir of Schizophrenia by Kristina Morgan is a book that hooked me just from the title.  I am very interested in books about psychology, and this one is no different.

    Kristina tells her own story of alcohol addiction and schizophrenia living/diagnosis.  It's disjointed in parts, but it's supposed to be an echo of how Kristina's life feels as someone who has schizophrenia.

    I could not put this book down.  For the first 3/4 of the memoir, I was so hooked.  Kristina gives insight into her disorder in a way that I haven't seen before and she's very honest.  She also describes her family life, her battles with alcohol, and her many visits to mental institutions.

    When I reached the 3/4 mark of the book, though, my interest lagged a little.  I'm not exactly sure why, but I do have some ideas.  Maybe Kristina's story became more disjointed and harder to keep up with.  Maybe I was "over" the way the story was written by that point.  I'm not exactly sure.

    No matter the reason of why I thought the book lagged at the end, it's still one I would recommend.

    Kristina gives readers an inside look into her life with schizophrenia, in a way that reminds you that individuals with mental illness are human and struggle to maintain a sense of normalcy.  It's hard not to be touched by this book.

    Are you a fan of books on psychological issues?

    Thanks for reading,

    Rebecca @ Love at First Book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Kristina Morgan opens the prologue of her memoir Mind Without a

    Kristina Morgan opens the prologue of her memoir Mind Without a Home in September of 1993 when she is twenty-nine years old. She has been sober for eleven years, has overdosed seven times in three months and hears the voices of men and women urging to hurt herself and others. She gets drunk and tries to kill herself again but doesn't succeed.
    From there we meet Kristina's family- Jeremy and Hannah, her parents, and sisters Rose and Hunter. Her parents married because Hannah was pregnant with Kristina. Over the years, Hannah became an alcoholic, Rose became a sleepwalker and occasionally used drugs, Hunter was a heavy drug user and Kristina had schizophrenia and was an alcoholic.
    Kristina's family had a lot of issues, but luckily she had two sets of grandparents who, at various times in her adult life when she needed them most, took her in. I really felt for them, trying their best to help their granddaughter through the many hospitalizations.
    The book shows what it is like to live with mental illness, a topic that we have seen in the news recently and really needs to be addressed by society. Kristina hid her illness for a long time, but finally, like many who suffer from paranoid schizophrenia, it comes to surface in her late twenties.
    She describes mental illness as a "Stephen King novel. I knew it was there, I knew something was happening, but the first 300 pages it had to yet to reveal itself. I was on page 150. I still had time before my heart was cut out and my mind completely poisoned."
    The reader is dropped into her world, where she hears the constant hum of voices, is heavily medicated, sleeps for long hours at a time, can't get or hold a job, moves from place to place when roommates can no longer put up with her behavior, deals with frequent hospitalizations, and tries desperately to find and hold onto a mate.
    Kristina gets a job as a high school English teacher, which she loves, but loses it when the principal discovers her history. It devastates Kristina, for teaching gives her structure and joy. She falls in love with men and women, but can't sustain a permanent relationship, although she does have long on-again-and-off-again relationships with a few people until they can't take it anymore.
    Living in a big city, one sees many people sleeping on church steps, wandering the city during the day, and the assumption is that they have some sort of mental illness. The most important thing I got from this memoir is the feeling of empathy for those with mental illness. We are put into their shoes in this shattering memoir.
    Morgan is a poet, and the language here is poetic. She uses imagery a great deal of the time, and anyone who enjoys poetry will probably get more from this book than others.  Near the end of the book, she writes a note titled "Dear Self" that beautifully sums up where she is. If I have a criticism, it is that it can be repetitive towards the end of the book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    While reading Mind Without a Home, I couldn't help but think of

    While reading Mind Without a Home, I couldn't help but think of all the over-the-top, even negative, Hollywood portrayals of mental illness. I knew those were likely a distorted version of reality, but I still wasn't sure what to expect when I opened this memoir.

    Things had a tendency to get terribly scattered and confusing throughout the book, seemingly out of order. The author often switched between calling her mother and father by their first names, or Mom and Dad, or Mother and Father - sometimes changing within the same paragraph. I found myself wondering if I'd missed a backstory along the way. Portions felt out of place, or odd, and just confusing. I think this is just the way her mind processes and remembers events in her life.

    Regardless, this is a memoir. This is her story, a triumphant one at that. Morgan is certainly a creative type, with a flair for dramatic wording. Sometimes the narrative seemed to focus more around Morgan's family, almost putting schizophrenia on the back burner. I think many of my lukewarm feelings about the book come from not clicking with her writing style, but I'm still glad to have read it. Morgan tells her story in a openly raw, honest way and offers readers a personal and realistic glimpse into the mind of a schizophrenic. 

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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