The center cannot hold summary by chapter
The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness by Elyn R. SaksElyn Saks is a success by any measure: shes an endowed professor at the prestigious University of Southern California Gould School of Law. She has managed to achieve this in spite of being diagnosed as schizophrenic and given a grave prognosis—and suffering the effects of her illness throughout her life.
Saks was only eight, and living an otherwise idyllic childhood in sunny 1960s Miami, when her first symptoms appeared in the form of obsessions and night terrors. But it was not until she reached Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar that her first full-blown episode, complete with voices in her head and terrifying suicidal fantasies, forced her into a psychiatric hospital.
Saks would later attend Yale Law School where one night, during her first term, she had a breakdown that left her singing on the roof of the law school library at midnight. She was taken to the emergency room, force-fed antipsychotic medication, and tied hand-and-foot to the cold metal of a hospital bed. She spent the next five months in a psychiatric ward.
So began Sakss long war with her own internal demons and the equally powerful forces of stigma. Today she is a chaired professor of law who researches and writes about the rights of the mentally ill. She is married to a wonderful man.
In The Center Cannot Hold, Elyn Saks discusses frankly and movingly the paranoia, the inability to tell imaginary fears from real ones, and the voices in her head insisting she do terrible things, as well as the many obstacles she overcame to become the woman she is today. It is destined to become a classic in the genre.
A tale of mental illness - Elyn Saks
Essay on The Center Cannot Hold
You know from the dust jacket, even before reading the book, that this memoir about living with schizophrenia tells a most unusual story. Who is this Saks, what was her madness, and how the hell did she get to where she is now in spite of it? When you have schizophrenia, and sometimes even if you do not, you hunger to know more. This assignment was derailed, alas, by my recent five-week hospitalization. Before Brock Hill interrupted my reading, Saks, a Vanderbilt grad, had left Oxford with an advanced degree, obtained despite a severe active psychosis and concomitant hospitalization. I was halfway through the book when my own Lyme-induced psychosis forced me to quit. Now, home again, I finished the book: in California, after Yale, Saks meets with new successes — tenure at USC Law School, publishing several books, qualifying as a psychoanalyst, marriage to a man she loves.
The center cannot hold. Saks, p. Science Technology includes: Energy Institute. Public Safety includes: Public safety. Transportation includes: Truck driving commercial , Automotive technology training center. Other programs include: Teacher alternative certification, Computer science Cosmetology, Accounting, Business technology, Weekend college.
These messages were able transcend the topic of mental illness speaking truthfully about the human condition so that anyone can learn from them. This is an important message for everyone to hear. Elyn has spent most of her life in academia which meant that there was a clear pattern to the year: two semesters and a long summer break. It was during these summer breaks that Elyn would have the hardest time with her disorder. The change from her active and engaging life on campus would suddenly come to a close and she found herself isolated and bored back home with her parents.
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Jump to navigation. Saks delves deep into her own experience of living in with schizophrenia to serve up a riveting first-person account of mental illness.
Whatever your image of an individual with schizophrenia, I am willing to bet it is not Elyn Saks. As a psychiatry resident, I have had the tin-foil-hat-wearing patient, the homeless patients who live under highways. She graduated from Vanderbilt, the went on to be a Marshall Scholar at Oxford and received a Master of Letters before going to law school at Yale. Oh, and she has a doctorate in psychoanalysis, too. Now a professor at USC, she specializes in mental health law, criminal law, and children and the law. And she has schizophrenia.