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ISBN: 9781847470874 Published: 2007 Pages: 132 Key Themes: schizophrenia, mental health services, recovery Description This, Mark Ellerby's fourth book on the subject of schizophrenia, deals further with his experiences of and thoughts on living with schizophrenia. Mark is an entertaining and informative writer and this is a worthy addition to his previous works. About the Author My biographical history is very much dominated by schizophrenia which began at age 21. I had just graduated from university and starting a PhD. course in political philosophy. I had to give up my PhD. after a five year struggle with the illness due to a lack of information to hand about what hearing voices actually is. Book Extract Changing the labels? As I said in a previous essay I was so confused by all the terms which surround having a mental illness and the wrongful connotations some of them have I really had no idea what was going on even when the doctor diagnosed me. This to me raises the question would changing the labels make the whole confusing problems of being schizophrenic any clearer from the outset? 'Manic Depression' was replaced by the label 'bi-polar' which is much more self explanatory. I have recently heard of proposals to replace the label schizophrenia too. In the end you cannot avoid the above confusions of explaining the illness without being careful about exactly what you say, and what you might leave out. 'Schizophrenia' is a real umbrella term covering a number of different symptoms and indeed types of illness. It may be better just to divide the diagnosis up on this basis, though often the different symptoms are experienced by the same individual. To my ears as I said the word itself sounded frightening even though I was still very unclear about its meaning. About the easiest label for the lay person to understand is depression. Depression is so common place that not only will everyone have heard of it they will probably know someone who has had it themselves, and more than likely within their own families. I see no point in replacing this label and it seems as it seems quite innocuous.
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