In the frontiers of America's mental health institutions, fighting for freedom can become very personal. Six years into a protected clinical career as a mental health counselor, Clyde Dee moves to Seattle, and takes a job in a Section 8 housing project. Getting to the bottom of what's going on in a fractured system, he becomes embroiled in the politics of the local drug war until he decides to go off a small dose of anti-psychotic medication. Clyde then faces threats and a re-conceptualization of a fractured past and is stopped by police in an effort to exit the country. He is incarcerated in a psychiatric ward for three months and released to the streets. In the years that follow, he moves through American disparities and cultural delusions, facing some of his worst fears come true, and striving to gain back what he lost.
|Publisher:||Outskirts Press, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.73(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite Fighting for Freedom in America: Memoir of a "Schizophrenia" and Mainstream Cultural Delusions by Clyde Dee is a non-fiction book that focuses on some of the harshest realities of life. Clyde Dee was a mental health counselor when his life was turned upside down. Taking a job at the Section 8 housing project was perhaps the worst (or the best) thing to happen to him. Embroiled in politics and games, his life becomes increasingly difficult when he is incarcerated in a psychiatric ward. After three months, he comes back to the real world as a changed man. But he is homeless and jobless; however, he has the will and strength to face down his fears and conquer them. Now he has empathy for the mental health patients and how they survive day after day. Clyde Dee is such an inspiration for people who deal with mental health issues day after day. This book would be informative and very encouraging for people who are either suffering from mental illness or who treat people with a mental illness. For an average person like me, it was insightful and instructive. I finally understand what a person with a mental illness feels like, lives like, and how he fights for his sanity and his life every single day. You cannot help but feel their pain and hope for the best. Life is very tough and the way Dee described it, things are even harder for the mentally ill. This book has compassion, passion, understanding, and a force of will that will allow any person to become better and make peace with themselves. Great job.
This ought to be required reading for anyone involved in the mental health industry or anyone who has a friend or family member with the "dangerous gift" of mental illness. A cross between the anonymous memoir "Go Ask Alice," Plath's "The Bell Jar," Burroughs's "Naked Lunch," and Kerouac's "On The Road," told in the earthy, matter-of-fact style of a Hemingway novel. A compelling read: I couldn't put it down until I had read it cover to cover. Combines serious clinical analysis with the empathetic and humanizing "person-centered" approach of the consumer/survivor/ex-patient movement. Moving and real. Read it!
This is a book for the times as issues of mental health are finally getting a wider audience. It is a difficult book, as the author, a trained mental health professional, dumps the reader right into his own experience with precarious mental health. But persisting to the end is well worth it. When a potentially dangerous work environment, triggers fear that becomes paranoia, the author is plunged – and takes you with him – on his journey into an alternate reality, through the mental health system including a stay in a state mental hospital, through emotional isolation from his family and eventually to a better place. It may make you laugh, weep, and rage. Through Clyde's experience the reader comes to understand his profound empathy for those with mental health issues who are stigmatized and thus isolated from the people and resources most likely to help them to some level of recovery. Dee's book has much in common with Patrick Kennedy's book Common Struggle. Both authors struggle on a daily basis with their illnesses and both are passionate about improving the lives of those with mental health problems. But the Kennedy name and resources provided Patrick Kennedy access to the best resources. When Patrick was hiring caregivers to help him through detox, Dee was digging in dumpsters for food and riding a bicycle ten miles each way to work to a job he hated just to keep himself from being homeless.