The Day The Voices Stopped: A Memoir of Madness and Hope

The Day The Voices Stopped: A Memoir of Madness and Hope

by Ken Steele, Claire Berman

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Overview

For thirty-two years Ken Steele lived with the devastating symptoms of schizophrenia, tortured by inner voices commanding him to kill himself, ravaged by the delusions of paranoia, barely surviving on the ragged edges of society. In this inspiring story, Steele tells the story of his hard-won recovery from schizophrenia and how activism and advocacy helped him regain his sanity and go on to give hope and support to so many others like him.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786724789
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 08/05/2008
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 577,041
File size: 448 KB

About the Author

Ken Steele was, until his death from heart failure in October 2000, the publisher of New York City Voices: A Consumer Journal for Mental Health Advocacy. He was also editor of The Reporter, the monthly newsletter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill/NYC-Metro chapter, and spokesperson for the National Mental Health Association's "Partners in Care."

Claire Berman is the author of several books on family relations, including Caring for Yourself While Caring for Your Aging Parents (1996) and Making It as a Stepparent (1986). She lives in New York City.

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Day the Voices Stopped: A Schizophrenic's Journey from Madness to Hope 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It reads like a Stephen King novel, opening with a pinnacle of life reveled in, and proceeding to draw you quickly and deeply into a world of gruesome horror, murderous voices, and personal pain so vivid it takes your breath away. In truth, the most frightening aspect of this book is that it is not a work of fiction, but rather the last great gift of an amazing man. I knew how difficult it was for Ken to retell, and hence relive, so many of the episodes that made up his 32-year odyssey battling the constant haranguing of the delusional voices that tried so desperately to steal him from us. I did not know, however, how his book would so finely detail the suffering, pain and anguish that made up so much of his life. Over the summer of 2000 as he was reliving his past, Ken, in a weak and tired voice would tell me, 'Joseph, you have no idea how hard this is.' He was right. I cannot for a moment fathom what it would be like to spend more than 3 decades resisting voices steadily outlining all your suicide options, and cannot imagine the fortitude required to relive it so that it could be shared around the world. Perseverance is high on the abundant list of things one takes away from Ken's story. But there is another that really struck, and stuck. More than 30 years of living a life that virtually no one understood resulted in a man of near-complete understanding. Not in the sense of patience, for many know how little of that Ken possessed (he was making up for 30 years of lost time), but how the global and societal view of mental illness had led him to the lowest depths a person can reach, how it could be changed, and what he did to ensure his experiences were not those of others who follow. Six months have passed, and I still think of him every day. While reading his book, there were times I could hear his voice. That wasn't what gave me the chills. I got those when I read several passages in which Ken described efforts to bring about change he hoped would occur in his lifetime. He died six days after finishing the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I knew Ken Steele for two years as his young assistant. I witnessed the pain he went through while writing this book, reliving a journey filled with mistreatment and neglect. Like Ken, I am a paranoid schizophrenic. He gave me hope when I was hopeless in the mental hospital and asked me to work for him. The voices he heard were different from the voices I heard that no one else could hear, trademarks of our mental illness. Steele¿s voices commanded him to do the unspeakable. They were with him night and day for over 30 years, most of his life. It was remarkable the day his voices stopped because he wasted no time and began his work as a legendary advocate for us, the mentally ill. The Day the Voices Stopped is a personal and realistic account of what it's like to live with schizophrenia. It's inspiring for all readers as we can see through Ken Steele that the disease is treatable and recovery is possible.