Foreword Reviews

Taking Control of Schizophrenia

My Story

Clarion Rating: 3 out of 5

Taking Control of Schizophrenia is a hopeful self-help book that suggests ways to live a full life within the context of a mental health diagnosis.

Stewart Lightstone’s Taking Control of Schizophrenia is an empowering self-help guide.

Assuring people with schizophrenia that they can take full ownership of their lives and reap happiness and success, this encouraging book begins with “the basics,” sharing Lightstone’s understanding of thought process disorders, experiences with schizophrenia, and advice for facing fear and anxiety. It emphasizes the importance of one’s attitude when it comes to addressing future challenges, too.

To take control in the midst of schizophrenia, a disorder than it says can seem uncontrollable (more so if one is transitioning from hospitalization back into mainstream life), the book shares advice for getting support, finding happiness, and communicating with others. Its ultimate goal is to help others to fully participate in the world, and to solve their problems in an effective, independent manner.

Still, the book’s encouragements amount to personal, not professional, advice. While some of its compelling advice is based on evidence, as with its neuroscientific presentation of schizophrenia and its coverage of emotional and behavioral intelligence, much of it draws on Lightstone’s individual experiences and unshakable belief in the power of positive thinking. It aims to be adaptable to each person’s life, attributes, and goals; in tone, it evinces deep respect for others living with schizophrenia, whom it says often lack for clear affirmations.

Though it is vulnerable about sharing Lightstone’s story, the book is also careful to afford focus to others going through similar challenges; its broad focus is complementary to its ultimate goals. And the personal elements of the book are engaging, including Lightstone’s self-assessment after his first psychiatric hospitalization: “I thought I was a complete write-off, with no hope and no future, a bona fide crazy man, fit to be tied.” Indeed, his voice is warm and clear, even in navigating his bewildering struggle.

The book’s decision to address its audience as “friends” further imparts its sense of respect and reciprocity; such moments are an empowering force. But the book’s quick pace and short chapters mean that much work is left to be done by its end. The appendices are a more practical element of this brief work; they include advice for caregivers, an inspiring list of affirming statements, and positive adjectives for self-description.

Taking Control of Schizophrenia is a hopeful self-help book that suggests ways to live a full life within the context of a mental health diagnosis.

Reviewed by Melissa Wuske

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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