The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness

 
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Schiller's gripping, heart-rending and ultimately triumphant story of her journey into madness and back to reality is told through the voices of Lori and her family, friends and doctor, and captures a rare, astoundingly vivid view into the inner life of a schizophrenic.

Customer Reviews:

  • Heartbreaking
    In this riveting memoir, Ms. Schilling recounts in detail her spiraling descent into mental illness, which began in adolescence, when she first heard the voices that she would fight for the rest of her life. Her heartbreaking narrative about this debilitating disease, schizophrenia, gives us all a compassion for these victims that we may not have had before. Her poignant tale reminds all of us who have our mental health intact just how lucky we really are.

    The subject is explored from many angles. Her roommate helplessly stands by, knowing something is wrong but not knowing what to do. Her distraught parents are tortured by the worry that they may have caused this. Her distressed brother worries that the disease may strike him next. The story is told through chapters in the first person written by all those touched by Lori's illness, including hospital notes and a long chapter by Dr. Dollar, one of the two doctors who finally broke through to Lori with extensive therapy and the help of a new experimental medication.

    Her courageous battle gives hope to all of us, those who have a battle of their own to wage, as well as those in the life of someone who does. I cried when Doctor Fischer left, and I cried when Lori finally put the hospitals behind her to start a new life on her own, a successful life filled with the love of family and friends.

    "At last, my life is my own."...more info
  • The best
    This is simply the best book i have read for a very long time. It goes deep into the psychological state of the patient and the friends and family members with a gradual time frame. It is nice and descriptive and i feel i have been taken with them into the quiet room. It is a great book...more info
  • The Quiet Room
    Descriptions were so detail and vivid that I felt like I had witnessed the whole event....more info
  • Riveting!
    This book helps see into the confused world of mental illness like no other. Wonderful & hopeful!...more info
  • The Quiet Room
    Lori Schiller has written a riveting account of her descent into schizophrenia, her many years of suffering and her courageous breakthrough. It's an amazing true story that is sure to touch you in many ways....more info
  • Sad but triumphant
    Also a Westchester resident, I was very moved and sadened by Lori's story. It really comes from the heart, and I felt her pain as I read the story. I've encountered a few people afflicted with this disease and became fascinated in knowing more about the subject. Lori's book gives you great insight and follows the slow but unavoidable deterioration of your mind. Don't miss this wonderful book!...more info
  • Quiet Room
    Could not put the book down. At the end I wanted to know more about Lori. Very good reading....more info
  • A Very Realistic POV
    This book helped me through my troubles and illness with bipolar and let me see and know that other people are going the exact same thing. So any one interested in reading of how it really is and what really goes a mentally uncapable person through family and being in mental institutions then please read this book because it tells how it is. A real sense of scenery and the restraints and the treatments that they put the patients through. I have personally been it all and this book tells it truthfully....more info
  • Informative, interesting, seeking info about sz, this is it!
    I really enjoyed this book. Also the seller was quick and the book was everything they advertised it as....more info
  • Excellent Memoir of Schizophrenia
    Schiller writes grippingly and insightfully of her experience of schizophrenia including the "cold wet packs" of ice water soaked sheets used to restrain and calm her psychotic outbursts and her times in hospital "quiet rooms". The writing style is journalistic and factual when dealing with intense emotions and experiences. She is wonderfully descriptive in explaining the reality of her delusions and hallucinations, the experiences of pychotherapy, suicide attempts, cocaine use, psychiatric hospitals and half way houses. Eventually clozaril helped (with psychotherapy) to bring her back from the abyss of severely disabling schizophrenia. Her full diagnosis is "schizoaffective" disorder as her illness includes a bipolar disorder component. The accounts by Schiller, her family members, doctors and friends lend insight to the course of her disease especially as experienced by her family. I was particularly struck by her parents' progress from denial and resentment of both her diagnosis and her doctors to growing insight into schizophrenia and eventual recognition of the illness in their family history. While the multiple accounts make the narrative more difficult to follow they also add greatly to the story. Highly recommended! ...more info
  • speechless
    I don't know how to say how great this book is. I think society rejects mental illness as a bogus and nothing to pay attention to, but I found Lori's experiences to help me understand myself better than most of the other stuff out there has. All I can say is read this book, and let it tell you what it has to, and be your own judge. There is little I can do to help someone understand how enlightening this account can be....more info
  • You can't put it down!
    Being in a psychiatric hospital much like Lori, this book rang bells of similarity. Finally a look onto the other side of this illness. Beautifully written from all perspectives. An easy reader, but well worth picking up!...more info
  • Excellent!
    I usually don't read books, but I was forced to read this one for an Abnormal Psychology class. This book kept me interested from beginning to end. It gave me a better understanding of schizophrenia. A must read for book readers.
    ...more info
  • A Journey into the Torment of Madness
    Contrary to the subtitle of this impressive book, the most part of it - at least 95% if not more - is about the descent into madness and the struggle with it. Despite all the efforts made by Lori, what ultimately makes a true difference and saves her from schizophrenia is a medication. Lori Schiller is indeed a very courageous person, however. I'm not denying that, but as for many cases, sometimes it's a chemical problem in the brain (as a machine) and not a psychological problem of the mind, as most doctors seem to be obsessed about.

    One strong point of the book is that it has several narrators, and thus, gives you different points of view on the case of schizophrenia and its effects within a family and among friends.

    Another thing that I found relevant was how infuriating doctors and medical staff could be. It's really upsetting to see how the very people who are supposed to help do the very things they shouldn't do: like considering a mentally ill person a "drama queen" and a "manipulative liar and pretender". Sad to say, but I think doctors still need to change in that aspect, even today. The lack of insight from the people who are supposed to take care and heal the mentally ill is downright frightening. It's very saddening that the truly caring doctors are the exception in a profession where it should be the main concern of all.

    There are things that made me wonder, though, in the course of Lori's narrative. For instance, often she tells that even after months and months of hospitalisation she still does not believe that she has a problem, and that she is not sick; at that point I wonder whether it is her insane rationality that has taken over and tells her what to think or whether she truly wonders about it. In the latter parts of the book, she clarifies that somehow by giving instances where her rationality was severely hindered by her mental disease. But during the narration, I sometimes was confused. Like, she seeks to die ever so often, but fears to tell about her "Voices" because she's afraid they would kill her. That didn't make much sense, but I supposed that schizophrenia affected her reasoning in such a way that it allowed that sort of thinking. I understand that describing such a state of mind is extremely difficult and can at best be vaguely abstract, however, I feel like there was more to tell on schizophrenia per se. Maybe I'm wrong, it's only an impression.

    In conclusion, I think this is a very important book for everyone involved and concerned in mental diseases; I don't know what doctors have to read in order to become doctors but I sure hope that such narratives are mandatory for people who specialise in psychiatry. Getting as much insight as feasible is primordial in such cases, I would think....more info
  • The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness
    A must read if you work in the Mental Health field or have family members with a mental illness....more info
  • Sad insight to mental illness
    I read this book and cried throughout it. I could feel her pain as well as how it was effecting the family. A must read, ...more info
  • Difficult to put down and difficult to forget
    Lori Schiller's story is beautifully written and difficult to forget. What makes this story of a journey through treatment for schizophrenia exceptional is that it is told by several people, not just Lori. Her father, a psychologist, deals with her illness through denial. Her mother faces it with overwhelming sadness. Her brothers are confused and embarassed. Her friends are overburdened. Lori is not the only person suffering due to her mental illness. I was amazed with her strength during her ordeal. How difficult it must have been to live with multiple voices belittling her, constantly yelling insults, telling her she would die, telling her to kill others. After years of misdiagnoses, treatment by indifferent mental health professionals, hospitalizations, halfway houses, overmedication, undermedication, self-medication through cocaine abuse and constant suicidal thoughts, Lori finally comes to terms with her illness and fights to overcome it. With the help of several caring healthcare professionals, Lori learns to live with the voices that will always be a part of her life....more info
  • A illness of its own
    I chose to read this book for a project at school because mysister Andrea in California is suffering from this disease. I havelearned a lot about the illness through the mind of Mary-Beth (Lori Schiller). I think that it is good that she was able to recognize that she was encountering an illness. To be able to see the problem and put it into remission, and then to turn around and write a book on how she did it, she helps other people get a better understanding. This disease can tear a person and their family apart very slowly. I know that my sister will soon end up the way Mary-Beth did if I do not seek help for her. By reading this book it gave me a preview of what things could be like. I only pray that they do not get any worse ... As far as the book, I liked it a lot and I thought it was very educational....more info
  • Couldn't put it down, brought excellent understanding
    I could not put this book down...one of the best I have read on any mental illness. What makes this one so unique is each chapter was written by a different person and how they were affected by schizophrenia....mom, dad, psychologist, friend, brother, and many by the patient who wrote this book. Really brought in a clear understanding of how all are affected by this disease and what it really looks like in the day to day life. The best part is after reading a entire book of discouragement and what seems to be hopelessness, it ends with great hope!...more info
  • Rare and informative
    As a psychotherapist, this book made a deep impression on me. I never expected to read such a convincing and engaging acccount of the schizophrenic's experience. I feel more able to empathise and understand by clients for having read it. I recommend it highly to anyone interested in the subject and, especially, to anyone struggling with the disease in a friend or family member....more info
  • Compelling
    This is a unique and beautiful book. Any person with interests in Psychiatry or Mental Health issues must read it. It's the first time I experienced what a schizophrenic felt first hand. A must-read!...more info
  • Perhaps the best direct account of schizophrenia
    This book, along with "The Eden Express", is one of the best accounts of schizophrenia. The quality of writing is extremely high, the story is told with good pace, and the ending is hopeful. Lori's description of schizophrenia itself- the disorienting and downright frightening aspects of the disease- is one of the best accounts of the disease that I have read. It's comforting to think that the treatment of this disease has improved substantially since the 1980s due to the advent of the atypical antipsychotics, but I have my doubts as to whether these newer medications are really all that effective. Overall, this book is excellent and should be read by anyone interested in schizophrenia or mental illness in general. Avery Z. Conner, author of "Fevers of the Mind"....more info
  • You CANNOT put this book down!
    a must read for familes, friends, and persons working in the mental health field!!We met Lori on her book tour, she was as inspiring in person as in the pages of this excellent book!...more info
  • The Value of Medication
    What this very moving account illustrates is the value of proper medication as the main (but not only) treatment for schizophrenia. Lori first became ill starting in 1976 when she was 17. She and her family all suffered until 1989 when she began to emerge from the depths of the disease after having started clozapine.

    While people with schizophrenia need support from family, friends, and mental health workers, they primarily need good medications to help deal with the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Clozapine was first introduced in Europe in 1971 but withdrawn four years later due to its side effects. While it is a very effective agent, it also has some very severe side effects. One in 100 people will experience a blood disorder called agranulocytosis. This can and has led to death.

    Lori was one of the first in the US to get clozapine when it was re-introduced in 1989 because of its effectiveness. She, and many others, have benefited from it. Thanks to continued research, a number of other new drugs have been introduced into the marketplace since Lori began her treatment but more research is needed.

    Marvin Ross
    Author of Schizophrenia: Medicine's Mystery - Society's Shame ...more info
  • Outstanding
    Lori Schiller has done a magnificent job of chronicling her battle with schizophrenia. Horrible, taunting voices drove her to suicide attempts, drug abuse, numerous hospitalizations, and homelessness. Eventually she got the right treatment, the most important component of which was the antipsychotic drug Clozaril. I'd like to see more from her, because this book is Pulitzer Prize-caliber writing....more info
  • "A Message of Hope for the Seriously Mentally ILL"
    Lori Schiller is one of the most courageous women I have ever read about, and, in her book, "The Quite Room," she tells the heart-rending, true story of her daily battle with schizophrenia - and manic depression - that was very nearly the end of her on several occasions.
    The fact that she came through it, and was able to live an independant life after years of hospitalisation, is a credit to herself, her doctors at New York Hospital, White Plains, New York, her parents, who never gave up hope, and Clozapine, a drug, I believe, that is able to help one in three people with schizophrenia do better than any other drug. I believe, also, that other new drugs are being tested or are even avaiable that can help even more people. Let's hope so.
    But this book, "The Quite Room," and its author, are truly, truly, amazing.
    All the best, Lori. Stay well. ...more info
  • Great true story
    I read this book a year ago, but I still remember how much it affected me. As I am resident of Westchester (she lived in Scarsdale) and a young woman of 22 yrs old (at the time), her story had a major impact on me. Her story made schizophrenia a real possibility for anyone. She was very intelligent, went to an ivy league college, had friends, a seemingly good life. But the disease got hold of her anyhow. I couldn't put this book down. And I was proud of her in the end for combating her illness enough to life alone at the age of 30. I don't want to give any more of the story away. I highly suggest anyone reading it....more info
  • The Most Profound Journey
    I thought I went through imense things in my life! From trials to victory, Lori Schiller went through one of the most indiscernable mental illnesses in the world. Lori Schiller, a living testimony, fights and goes through distressing moments fighting vulgar words and phrases from the "Voices." It practically hypnosized me-- for the descriptions and all were so reflective and intense. A biography as well as an autobiography, from her perspective to others' perspectives-- it came to the point where I actually felt as if i were her schizophrenic mind. This book almost inevitably made me shed much tears of hurt and anguish and later of joy. I felt as if I were her self-conscience. It is truly the most profound book I have ever read in my life! I truly recommend this book to all, but because of some parts of the context, a mature audience is prefered....more info
  • I highly recommend this book!!
    I thought this book was wonderful! Very informative. The author did a great job at explaining and describing mental illness. I could not put the book down. I have recommmended it to many people....more info
  • Perspective Changing
    Mental health receives very little emphasis in the media, public planning, and political rhetoric, mainly because assumptions of what schizophrenia, mood disorders, and other mental illnesses are like for people are generally made without consideration of individual experience and social impact. This is a book to give to people who believe the world turns exactly how they think it does. With the inclusion of entries from friends, family members, and hospital staff, it illustrates how interconnected the impact of mental illness is, how important support is, and how incredibly difficult daily life can be.

    Peter Gamache, MBA, MLA, MPH...more info
  • Powerful, Uplifting (and sometimes triggering) Account Of Schizophrenia
    The Quiet Room is a powerful account of a woman lost in her illness of schizophrenia. I was amazed at how the author, Lori, hid her hallucinations from people for so long before getting treatment. I found myself angry at her parents for denying her illness for so long and delaying treatment which she very much needed years before it was received.

    It's also amazing that Lori made it through her experience of schizophrenia and was able to tell her story. During the worst of her illness, she was extremely suicidal at times and thought nothing of it (for example, playing a game of crossing the street again and again with her eyes closed and walkman blaring so she couldn't hear the cars). She could have easily died at those times and not come through to tell her story.

    This book was very well written and made me feel for Lori. I couldn't put this down once I started. Although, I did give it a five star review and found it to be one of the most interesting books I've read, I don't necessarily recommend it to everyone.

    At times this book was too well written, too many details and caused parts of the book to be triggering for me. I'm not schizophrenic (never have been), but I've been in hospitals for depression and other things. Lori's details of the "quiet room" (seclusion in the hospitals) and what happened to her when she was out of control in the hospitals was disturbing to me, as I've been in different "quiet rooms" in hospitals and I found myself remembering my own experiences and getting upset. Just because this was triggering for me, doesn't mean it will be for others. I'm just saying, you've been warned.

    As triggering as this book was, it remains a five star for me. It was gripping, intense, real --just the way a book should be-- and I loved it. I liked the way the story was told through family members as well. It helps the reader see the perspectives of those who loved Lori. It shows how her illness affected others.

    Overall, The Quiet Room is a sad book. But it's inspiring and uplifting at the end. If Lori can make it through the horrors of schizophrenia, we can make it through our day-to-day lives of work, school, and dilemmas. This book gave me hope. ...more info
  • Exprsses prfectly how it feels to think/know yr going crazy.
    The book "The Quiet Room" is one of my all time favorite books. Possibly my favorite. If I could, I'd give it 10 stars or MORE!!! I have been diagnosed as having some sort of "disorder" also, though not as severe. Not only did this book give me hope for myself, it helped me to realize my own interest in psychology. In reading it, you can feel the color of each piece of the story, each mood; the grayness and and the colorful spots. Any book which can draw you in this much is definately worth reading, so DO!!! It's a great book and experience, and if you suffer from any kind of mental illness, at times it feels as if she's describing your story....more info
  • You MUST read this book
    I first read this book when I began working with adults with mental illness. It is an amazing book that does something that most books cannot. It gives the reader an insight to the struggle with schizophrenia for the individual, as well as their loved ones. Regardless of your profession or contact with people with mental illness, every person owes it to themselves to experience Lori's story. It breaks down stigma attached to Schizophrenia and illustrates to the reader that mental illness can affect anyone, directly or indirectly....more info
  • An insightful glimpse into life with schizophrenia
    This is a beautifully written book about a woman's battle with schizophrenia. She begins by describing her descent into the illness and the confusion she experienced. Somehow Lori Schiller manages to describe her experiences with the illness so that you can always see the person inside the mental illness. This is not an easy feat but invaluable for professionals in the field. The most moving scene, to me, was her description of being in a psychiatric hospital and hearing a baby crying. She was frantic because no one would help the baby-yet the baby wasn't real. This is what mental illness is like and why it is such a painful experience. My favorite part of the book was that she reaches a point where she is successfully living with schizophrenia. Too often we forget that people can live with this illness. Not everyone is forever doomed to a halfway house or psychiatric hospital. This is a book every mental health professional should read, especially if you are considering work with the mentally ill....more info
  • Very good book for the interested reader
    Primarily Lori Schiller and Amanda Bennett, but also Lori's family, Dr. Doller et al did an excellent work to open the window to the rest of us, socially acepted as "sane", to have a view into the mechanics of an actually "crazy" mind. I hadn't read a book like that for a long time, not a single sentence in this book is fluff! There is also an excellent movie in this book
    ~
    Lori, sweetheart, you are brave!!! Not only for fighting your sickness to a manageable state yourself, but also for being bravely honest to narrate your inner world despite "the voices"
    ~
    My son, also in his teens, started acting very weird and I thought he was just a spoiled brat, till my wife pointed out to me the obvious; "he wasn't OK" and he started to talk about "voices" and very similar things.
    ~
    I didn't really know what to do (he came from overseas to live with me, so I basically didn't know him). I fell like I had gone to a foreign country and would see signs I could not really comprehend. Lori helped me understand things better. I found clear answers to some very concrete questions I had myself about clinical craze
    ~
    Thank you Lori Schiller
    ~ ...more info
  • Schizophrenia comes ferociously to life in this book
    If you have any curiosity about the world of the schizophrenic mental patient and about mental hospitals, this book is a must read. Lori Schiller does an excellent job of describing that world in much descriptive detail as she experienced it during the 1980s. And she chronicles her descent into deeper and deeper illness and then her amazing recovery after she is placed on the dangerous drug, Clozapine. I could have used a scene or two with dialogue, but as a true personal account, the book is good even so. Lori Schiller's loving parents had the money or perhaps the insurance coverage to sustain her for years in private hosptals. One needs to note that for every Lori Schiller who amazingly recovers from schizophrenia, there are thousands of hopeless patients on back wards of state hospital who, unlike her, will never recover and will never be able to write about their worlds. Lori is a miracle-child in every way....more info
  • It was an amazing wonderful book
    This was a couragous women to be able to write about herself and tell everyone what she went through. I have a relative who has the same condition but not to that extreme who is on some of those medications. I learned alot from this book about your illness and my sisterinlaw. Thank you very very much....more info
  • Haunting Reality
    Even in a perfect world, the glass is sometimes cracked. And so it is in "The Quiet Room", when Lori Schiller's reality begins to fall apart.

    Schizophrenia is a disease that effects millions of people. Still, it is often thought of as split personality and is treated that way because of Hollywood.

    "The Quiet Room" shows us schizophrenia up close and personal. Not only is it written from Lori's views, but also her family and doctors. The book carefully displays the turmoil a family goes through when a loved one suffers from a disease, any disease.

    The book goes into wonderful details and lets the reader in on secrets that would never be told. A truly wonderful read....more info

  • Does Anyone Have an Update on Lori?
    I loved this book's depiction of mental illness and have re-read it several times. I am going to push a question that has been alluded to in past reviews. This book was published 11 years ago. Does anyone have any updates as to how Lori has been doing since then? Thank you very much. ...more info
  • A must read for all adults-
    This is a book that not only educates but provides the reader with a new compassion for those who deal with mental illness. Ms. Schiller presents a very complete picture of the sufferings of the mentally ill. From her writing, I gained a new perspective- including greater compassion- for those who are victims of this awful illness. I have only the highest praise for her honesty, her insight and her struggle. She is to be highly commended. A definite read....more info
  • Wow
    Well, I received this book yesterday and just couldn't put it down. This book was written in a brilliant way with stories from lots of people in Lori's life, with outstanding honesty. By being able to see everyones views, it gave an amazing insight into this life, a life most people just can't even imagine. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone, it offers hope to anyone going through this themselves....more info
  • An incredible journey
    Before reading The Quiet Room I knew very little of mental illness and its effect on people. This book has given me a better understanding of a person's world who was dealing with schizophrenia. I could not put it down for one second! I think that it was very well-written and had a lot of surprising twists and turns. This book is especially astonishing to me simply because of the fact that Lori had written it herself. For someone who was once so sick and mentally disturbed, I feel that she was very brave to have lived it all again while informing others of this horrible disease and what it can or cannot cause. This book gets a tremendous two thumbs up from me!...more info
  • Amazing book
    I think everyone should read this book. It taught me a lot about mental illness and all the challegens that go with it. I highly recommend the book, and I'm glad it's part of my collection....more info
  • INSPIRATION!! GRIPPING! EYE OPENING!
    I'm a psychologist. I attended a seminar several years ago and had the pleasure of meeting this author and hearing her speak. What a courageous soul! The book was excellent; she told her story well! For those of us who are so-called 'sane' -what a shocker to have a personal glimse into how devastating a mental illness can be and how much of an uphill struggle it can be for people like her. What an eye-opening experience! I give her much credit for her battle and she has come out triumphant!!!...more info
  • Inside Their Mind - Distinguishing Teen Behavior from Psychological Torment
    This book has changed my life. I am 40 years old. My mother is schizophrenic and my teenage daughter is now a hereditary statistic as she is also stricken with this terrible disease. I have always been the "informed" consumer and research everything that affects my life. Before my daughter began experiencing early onset of schizophrenia, I had dealt with my mother's illness extensively later in her life. I was with her during a psychotic break. I had the gut wrenching experience of processing a Baker Act through the courts to hospitalize her against her will. I engaged in productive and intelligent consultations with her medical providers. I thought I had this disease understood. I thought I knew...

    The most unique and enlightening element of this biography is that the biographer began her life similar to my daughter's. Straight A student, gifted, very beautiful, popular, social, supportive & loving parents and an achiever in every way. So WHY does someone who has so much going for her sink so low? HOW can teachers, parents, siblings, friends distinguish symptoms of mental illness from common teen behavior and drama?

    It is so easy to rely too heavily on the amazing new drugs that are currently available. We can easily, mistakenly feel a false sense of understanding and security. There is no cure for schizophrenia. There is no ONE pill that fixes ALL. There are a myriad of symptoms. There are hundreds of medications with hundreds of side affects. This book has given more insight than I could have ever dreamed in sorting all this out. After reading this book, my daughter and I are a team now. I really do understand. She is not just a badly behaved teen. She trusts me and I trust her.

    She is only 14. She hears voices. They scream at her! She is being watched. She is in fear for her life.

    We are in this together now with my having a clue - hearing her - perhaps for this first time. ...more info
  • captivating
    This was a very good book. It was as if i was behind the scenes...more info
  • Read it in 2 days
    This is a very moving, perspective-changing book. Also a very honest one. I'm researching schizophrenia genetics now at UCLA and wanted to get an 'inside' view of schizophrenia. I began reading this book 28 hours ago and finished it this morning, never really putting it down except for a 5 hour catnap. Bless you Lori, wherever you are. I hope you're doing well. The amazing accomplishment of this book is that it truly enables the reader to have a glimpse of the life and torment of being a schizophrenic. I came away much more sympathetic to what so many of our fellow human beings go through. Absolutely the best non-scientific book I've read this year....more info

 

 
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