Disclaimer: If you or someone you love are suffering from mental health problems please seek professional help.
About The Author
Mio Angelo is a fellow blogger who runs a blog called mentallyillinamerica
. As you can probably guess from the name he is a mental health blogger. He suffers from Schizophrenia and writes on his blog about his experiences as well as other topics such as quotes, philosophy, poetry and many more. I first began interacting with him through the comments section and thought he was a lovely person and a really good writer. Further conversation proved just this- he is an absolute delight to talk to and a very talented writer. I was even able to guest post on his blog
which was such a great experience. I really love that he is out there talking about mental health because as you guys know I strongly believe that we need to talk more openly about mental health and get rid of the stigma that so often accompanies mental health illnesses. In this book he talks about his experiences and how he was able to learn to live with his mental illness.
“I know that it won’t be easy—it never has been
easy. It is going to take a strong commitment to living a better life by making good choices!”
The books describes his whole life from youth to his current life and talks about the ways in which his life foreshadowed the mental illness that he now lives with as well as to what extent genes and the experiences he had in the past played a role in his mental health. He talks about being “different” as a child and his relationship with his parents and other family members. He also talks about his symptoms like hallucinations, delusions of grandeur and other symptoms associated with schizophrenia. He also acknowledges how lucky he is to have reached a point in his life where he is able to control his symptoms and function normally to an extent because a significant number of patients who suffer from schizophrenia are not able to keep taking medications regularly and end up having to spend their entire lives in mental health facilities or are forced into even worse situations like homelessness due to the lack of proper mental healthcare facilities.
“As Han Solo said in Star Wars, “I don’t want to know the odds.”
I really liked that he mentioned recovery and how recovery for people dealing with mental health problems is not about going back to normal because for him and for many people suffering from mental health problems there really is no “normal” anymore and this becomes our new normal. For a lot of us recovery simply means learning to live with our symptoms or rather despite our symptoms. The can come and go, they can be worse on some day then others, medication/therapy/alternatives to medication can help to an extent but for many mental health disorders your symptoms may never fully leave and that’s okay because there are ways to control them to an extent and learn to live with them.
“In this arena of difficulties, I can tell you that I have good days and bad days, but mostly
bad days. During a bad day, I try and salvage things by working to make the day better overall!
And, sometimes it works!”
He also talks about how a number of people suffering from schizophrenia don’t realise they are actually suffering from a mental disorder. Those that do realise that they have schizophrenia have to choose between taking medication for the symptoms and dealing with the side effects or living with the symptoms and not taking medication. I’ve taken psychology for three years and when we studied about schizophrenia one of the things we learnt is that medication for schizophrenia is known to have very harsh side effects which is why quite a large number of patients (compared to patients that have other mental disorders) end up taking medication for only a short while and eventually end up taking it altogether. There are also no cures for schizophrenia and although therapies such as CBT have been known to help some patients, most patients find that only medication really helps get rid of the symptoms or at least make the symptoms manageable. Therefore, unlike other mental disorders schizophrenia is very reliant on medication and has few alternative options making it very difficult for patients. This is something that is addressed in the book and I’m glad it was addressed as it is a very important issue.
“It’s a catch 22 for a lot of us.”
Despite everything the writer has been through it’s incredible that he is still able to remain positive and do his best at improving himself, his life and his mental health. I think this book has a very motivating and inspiring message. Although I don’t suffer from schizophrenia, I do suffer from other mental health problems- my most challenging one being anxiety and I honestly felt better after reading this. I found it very inspiring and also very relatable because certain things he talked about like the lack of proper facilities etc. for mental health, how recovery does not mean full recovery and the impact of nature/nurture were things I have felt the same way about myself.
“So, the only thing I have to lose are my bad habits.”
In conclusion, this was the first book I’ve read by Mio and I thought it was extremely well written, interesting, uplifting, relatable and inspiring. As someone who suffers from mental health problems I always find it amazing when someone is able to open up and talk about their experience because even if just one person in the world can relate and feel motivated to not give up by it then you’ve already made a difference. I like that despite the obviously heavy and emotional content Mio was able to add some humour to lighten the mood. It helped show that not everything is horrible all the time. Of course there are ups and downs but there is also good along with the bad. All anyone can do is their best and I think Mio has learnt how to do his best despite the situation he is in.
“I just love being able to say, ‘I did my absolute best here today,’ and will rest easier
tonight, knowing that.”
To get a copy of Mio Angelo’s book contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to check out his blog by clicking here.
For all things books click here.
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