Follow Here To Purchase When Quietness Came: A Neuroscientist's Personal Journey With Schizophrenia

Author:  Erin L. Hawkes MSC

ISBN: 978-0-9878244-4-8


When Quietness Came is the second book I’ve read  in a series of books published by Bridgeross. The series is devoted to enlightening the public about mental illness. The first  book I read and reviewed in these pages, What a Life Can Be by Carolyn Dobbs, herself a psychiatrist, was so good at giving the reader an inside look at the named mental deviation I was eager to continue reading books from the series.

Both books make the same point and make it forcefully:  people afflicted with a diagnosable mental illness should not be treated as generic “cases” defined simply by their diagnosis. These people deserve to be treated as the individuals they are because when they are so treated they have important gifts to offer society.  The author herself cites books by intelligent women who suffered from schizophrenia that influenced her decision to write about her own experience in order to enlighten her own family about what she was experiencing and her decision to not just keep a journal but write a book that would be:

to others as The Quiet Room and Welcome Silence had been to me. I wanted to draw alongside my fellow schizophrenics and let them identify with my experiences, and, most importantly, I wanted to give them hope and inspiration that even if you are at times psychotic you still have a life to live.” (p. 107) 

This determination comes immediately before the description of a scene in which hospital staff mistreat, restrain and forceably medicate the author, a scene in which the real players are as threatening as the imagined ones, a scene that left me feeling outraged by the callous injustice of it. 

In his introduction to the book, Dr. Richard Reilly, a professor of psychiatry at University of Western Ontario, says this:

. . .  Erin makes the point that there is more to a person with schizophrenia than faulty neurotransmitter levels. We should not call people schizophrenic or regard them as “another case.” Rather, Erin asks all of us to consider and respect the person with the illness. Erin’s symptoms fluctuated with stress in her life. She found that reducing stress led to a decrease in her symptoms. However, Erin also found that clinicians and hospitals were reluctant to put much faith in her stress relieving strategies and too often she ended up secluded or restrained . . .  .seclusion and restraint should be last resort, used only when other interventions such as having capable nursing staff talk and spend time with patients do not work.  A major barrier in implementing this simple approach is that cost-cutters have reduced budgets to levels where most psychiatric inpatient units are now understaffed.” (p.7)

Both these books are important contributions to a worthy cause, the cause of respecting the humanity of people whose brains sometimes work differently than the majority. For  this reason I  highly recommend both these books and all the titles from this publisher with a mission and hope that they will be widely read. Perhaps eventually these books written by people with inside experience as well as scientific training will influence not only the people who are striving to overcome these afflictions but the people who work with them in treatment.  In a word, Erin Hawkes and Carolyn Dobbs are onto something big.


Follow Here To Purchase When Quietness Came: A Neuroscientist's Personal Journey With Schizophrenia

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