in 2007, she published an acclaimed memoir of her struggle with the disease, “the center cannot hold.” her book is a frank and moving portrait of the experience of schizophrenia, but also a call for higher expectations — a plea that we allow people with schizophrenia to find their own limits. saks: subjectively, the best comparison i can make is to a waking nightmare. saks: except for my first two years at oxford, and intermittently when in a serious episode, i have always been able to work. also traveling and giving talks is stressful for me; i usually decompensate the evening after i have given a talk, remaining in the land of psychosis for several hours. i was also said to be “gravely disabled,” and the reason given was i couldn’t do my yale law school homework!
i was fortunate that my analysts were all willing to take a risk for me and help me manage on my own, outside the hospital. i suppose that my own trauma around the use of force really motivated me to study this. i have been on all sides of the medication counter, so to speak: a patient, a lawyer for patients, a teacher about patients, a writer about patients, and a therapist for patients (i did some clinical work in connection with my studies for a ph.d. in psychoanalysis). also, as someone with schizophrenia i can try to give a window into the mind of someone acutely suffering psychosis—that’s what i try to do in my book—so others can appreciate it and understand it more. in addition to having a great job i have a great husband and great friends.
current science spotlights the positive coping tools, attitudes, and stories of people with schizophrenia, a chronic and serious mental health condition. though symptoms can vary from person to person, those with high functioning schizophrenia often have the same or similar symptoms as others with this condition, including negative and positive symptoms. a 2021 study of 96 people with schizophrenia examined the role creativity might play in clinical symptoms, neurocognition, and social functioning.
schizophrenia is a lifelong condition that can sometimes present with severe symptoms, even for people who are “high functioning.” high functioning schizophrenia means you still experience symptoms but you’re able to participate at work, school, and in your personal life to a higher degree than others with the condition. with the right treatment plan, schizophrenia symptoms can be managed. did you know there are many types of therapy for mental health and that anyone can benefit from it?
diary of a high-functioning person with schizophrenia. legal scholar elyn saks talks about her struggles with, and surprising triumphs over, high functioning schizophrenia typically refers to an individual’s ability to manage symptoms to engage in meaningful work, education, and doctors who specialize in mental health used to divide schizophrenia into different subtypes: catatonic; disorganized; paranoid; residual; undifferentiated., .
although not an official diagnosis, high-functioning schizophrenia generally refers to being able to function successfully in work or social realms in the face of symptoms of the illness. schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder in which people interpret and behavior that impairs daily functioning, and can be disabling. the writer explains that as someone who is considered to have high-functioning schizophrenia, she still experiences some symptoms and needs this mental disease manifests with signs and symptoms that cover the entire range of human mental activity such as the ability to think, .
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