Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Center Cannot Hold by Elyn Saks

Are you a TED Talks nut like me? I scan those new listings regularly, eager to learn something wise and brilliant new life connection. A couple of months ago, I listened to Elyn Saks talk through her own life with schizophrenia. Wow. She can be so transparent and unemotional about what she has experienced, and oh so truthful. When I realized she had a book out, you can guess where I made a beeline to....yep: the library.

And it was worth it. I am kind of a nut about life- issue books but you already knew that. And Dr. Saks has a life issue that I have never read about, at least not with this lens and transparency. I am not sure how this book is categorized: is it a memoir or an autobiography? I am gonna guess the latter (but now that I read her website, I see she calls it a memoir). She writes with heartbreaking detail a number of her experiences with schizophrenia, offering us a fly-on-the-wall view of what life has been like for her as well how those experiences have helped her form what she does. A lawyer, she specializes in mental health law, teaching at University of Southern California. She brilliantly uses her own at times horrific experiences to advocate for those often without a voice: the mentally ill. Her work inspires me to continue exploring how to access my life experiences to support and advocate for others. She is just remarkable.

Here is the link to the TED Talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/elyn_saks_seeing_mental_illness.html

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