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Is There No Place on Earth for Me?

Is There No Place on Earth for Me Sylvia Frumkin a highly intelligent young girl became a schizophrenic in her late teens and spent most of the next seventeen years in and out of mental institutions Susan Sheehan a talented reporte

  • Title: Is There No Place on Earth for Me?
  • Author: Susan Sheehan Robert M. Coles
  • ISBN: 9780394713786
  • Page: 483
  • Format: Paperback
  • Sylvia Frumkin, a highly intelligent young girl, became a schizophrenic in her late teens and spent most of the next seventeen years in and out of mental institutions Susan Sheehan, a talented reporter, followed Sylvia for almost a year talking with and observing her, listening to her monologues, sitting in on consultations with doctors even for a period sleeping in Sylvia Frumkin, a highly intelligent young girl, became a schizophrenic in her late teens and spent most of the next seventeen years in and out of mental institutions Susan Sheehan, a talented reporter, followed Sylvia for almost a year talking with and observing her, listening to her monologues, sitting in on consultations with doctors even for a period sleeping in the bed next to her in a psychiatric hospital.

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      Posted by:Susan Sheehan Robert M. Coles
      Published :2019-03-24T23:08:13+00:00

    1 thought on “Is There No Place on Earth for Me?

    1. Susan Sheehan (journalist) made a study in the 1980s of Sylvia Frumkin, a mental patient diagnosed with schizophrenia who was hospitalized multiple times at various locations in and around New York. She spent most of her later teenage years (1970s) and early adulthood in and out of hospitals, dealing with auditory hallucinations, disorganized thoughts, violent and anti-social behaviors, and a host of other problems brought on by her illness. Sheehan interviewed the patient (Miss Frumkin), family [...]

    2. Excellent inside look at how and why the system often fails the mentally and emotionally disturbed people it's suppose to be helping. Sylvia was shuffled in and out of facilities, her medication was changed almost every time she entered a new facility. So many of these doctors basically threw a dart blindly at the question of medication. Only one doctor ever took the time to read her treatment history to properly assess her medication needs. I felt pity for her parents and her sister. Although I [...]

    3. This is a detailed account of a bright but unfortunate schizophrenic. Like many other stories about people with this mental illness, this one is very uncomfortable to read and reminds us very much of what we, as more mentally well-off human beings, all take for granted. Perhaps what is the most unsettling for me to see is how most of the psychiatrists, therapists, and high professionals in this field were so confused, inconsistent, and insensitive in dealing with schizophrenic patients who were [...]

    4. Clear a spot on your calendar because this book will completely absorb you for 48 hours! A writer follows the frustrating and jagged path of a schizophrenic woman through the New York mental health system over decades. Originally appearing as serial articles, the text was never given a vigorous re-edit, so the chronology is a little confusing. However, I think this enhances the merry-go-round heartbreak of this woman's life: institutional admissions, bad drug therapy, huffy exits, broken beginni [...]

    5. Marvelously researched and riveting from start to finish. They don't make nonfiction like this anymore. A gripping and heart-rending portrayal of one woman's nearly lifelong struggle with schizophrenia.

    6. This was a poignant picture of the Mental Health system in the late '70s and early '80s. A young girl and her family struggle with schizophrenia. How she was misdiagnosed and not treated correctly. The stigmatism that comes with mental health. It hits close to home, having a brother who has a mental health disease and spent much of his young adult life in a State Hospital. Hopefully, the mental health system has corrected the problems that occurred in that time. I still see people with mental he [...]

    7. It was interesting to look at psychiatric treatment and how ideas about inpatient versus outpatient treatment evolved with the introduction of newer antipsychotics. The main character's experience of constantly going in and out of hospitals is still a problem that lasts today despite newer atypicals. I do wish the author had put the story in chronological order as it got rather confusing when the story started at a certain point and then went back in time and then went forward again. Also, I wis [...]

    8. Despite the absolutely awful cover art for this book, the writing itself is wonderful. The narrative focuses on the "story" of Sylvia (it is true, so it's not really a story, since it's her life), who is one part normal twenty-something girl, one-part sad mental health patient, and one part Little Edie (guess which parts are the most entertaining to read.) However, Sheehan (who was a reporter when she undertook the writing of the book), also writes about the hospital Sylvia spends most of her ti [...]

    9. Although this book is an interesting (and long) case study of schizophrenia, it also deals with some of the negative aspects of mental health care brought on by the 60's-70's protests for patient's rights. My only compaint would be that the author takes herself out of the narrative too much. You can sense she has something to say, but she never comes out and says it.

    10. Sheehan captures loose associations in a way very few ever have. This is a must read for anyone who wants to know what treatment for mental illness was like in one large hospital in the 1970's. It is an absolutely wonderful portrayal of active psychosis.

    11. A true mastery of journalism, Susan Sheehan documented and encased the story of schizophrenic Sylvia Frumkin in Is There No Place On Earth For Me?. The book was published by Random House Inc. in New York in 1983. It is the First Vintage Books Edition, has 333 pages, and retails for the price of $16.95. In this book you are taken through roughly two and a half years of Sylvia Frumkin life as she struggled through her schizophrenia, being in and out of Creedmore Hospital which is a mental institut [...]

    12. This was an incredibly insightful look at schizophrenia and its treatment in the 60s/70s. I really appreciated Sheehan's matter-of-fact presentation, and the meticulous detail she gave on, well, everything. It did make it a bit tedious, but makes this a fantastic resource for both psychology students and creative writers (both categories I belong to :]). I do wish we'd gotten more of an understanding of how Sheehan got the information, and her place in Sylvia's life. I think it was a good choice [...]

    13. I don't know why I requested this book from my library. Perhaps a Brain Pickings blog post prompted me to look at it? Whatever the reason, this non-fiction Pulitzer winner focuses on one schizophrenic patient who goes through America's mental health system, and I learned a lot more than I originally thought I'd want to learn. Well written, never once boring, and wow, we feel for the patient, her family members and the staffs at all of the many facilities where she lives. Disheartening but relent [...]

    14. If the investigative reporter Nellie Bly were still alive, she probably would have declared Susan Sheehan to be her comrade-in-arms, journalistically speaking, at least, for so eye-opening is this book, a Pulitzer Prize winner in 1983 in the nonfiction category, that one can't help but somehow feel indirectly involved in this true story in regards to time, place and manner.By chronicling the schizophrenic oddesy of a single patient, "Sylvia Frumkin", a pseudonym, Susan Sheehan has performed an i [...]

    15. Superb Pulitzer Prize winning book on a eccentric woman with schizophrenia and how she -- and everyone around her -- are affected by her disease. Random things that struck me· Therapist: "You're right here in this office. This is the real world. Come back from the make believe."Silvia: "You live in the real world and my parents live in the real worldI prefer to live in an imaginary world like Verna. In my world I can be anything I want to be but what does your world offer me Mrs. Poster? In you [...]

    16. What a fantastic piece of journalism. Susan Sheehan followed a paranoid schizophrenic woman over many years as she was admitted and released from hospitals. This was an expose on the inside of a mental institution from the perspective of one very ill person. It was eye-opening and enlightening about mental illness and the treatment of the mentally ill, and it satisfied my morbid curiosity about what goes on inside places like that.As it turns out, the hospital described in this book was down the [...]

    17. This book does not seem to have stood the test of time. When comparing it to more recent descriptions of schizophrenia, like Elyn Saks very good "The Center Cannot Hold", it lacks insight. The book is a compilation of New Yorker articles written over four segments and it too often reads like a magazine procedural. It is as if it hasn't been edited. Character's we have come to know in the early action are reintroduced as if they are making a first entrance, and the story's context never seems to [...]

    18. There was a really good article about this book and the woman who was its subject on NPR but now I can't find itOops, I guess it was in NYT? nytimes/2014/01/25/opiA wowzer of investigative journalism. The story of how hard Sheehan worked to be able to tell the story is as fascinating as the story itself. I'm not able to access the NYer archive of the follow up article on Maxine Mason that was published at the time of her death. Must try to access it at work sometime.I also found the things about [...]

    19. My book club friend asked why we should be interested in reading a book from 30+ years ago, about mental illness, surely we have progressed since then. My response is - I picked it up reluctantly thinking, ugh, this is going to be depressing. But it captured my attention quickly. The central character is intriguing and charming, in her own very individual and troubled way. And as much as it is about one person's journey through mental illness and the systems of the time, it's also about the fami [...]

    20. Make no mistake, this book is a fascinating account of the drains and troubles that come with severe mental impairment. This book is not, however, intended to pull on the strings of your heart, or recount a tale. This book is a study, Susan Sheehan, a journalist, and the content a record that has become a cornerstone of psychological study and education. Though the book may be dated, and many advances have been made in regards to available medication and our health system overall, many of the st [...]

    21. I decided to read this book because I had enjoyed another book by the same author. Also, the subject of mental illness interests me and this book is the true story of "Sylvia", who struggled with schizophrenia for many years. When I started the book, I noticed it was published in 1983 and was concerned that it would be too outdated. It was actually interesting to read about mental health treatment during the late 1960s into the early 1980s, especially at Creedmoor, the notorious mental hospital [...]

    22. This book was absolutely fascinating, and horribly terrifying at the same time. I just feel for Sylvia so much. All those doctors throwing meds at her. Under medicating her. So many shock treatments. In and out of hospitals. And add to that mess, her parents. While I know many people will feel sympathy for them, I actually feel more for Sylvia. I know she has done awful things, especially to her mother. But by that time, she really was too far gone, and with those conditions at Creedmoor also.He [...]

    23. When one reads a book with such critical acclaim as this book has, one feels like they MUST love it. I did, anyway. If all these super-literate, über-intelligent, amazingly artistic people enjoy the book so much as to elevate it above the fold, then it IS good. Period. And only an idiot would argue that point.Well, I have to be honest; I didn't like this book all that much. *gasp*!The writing style is confusing. The book is not told in what exactly chronological order, which in and of itself is [...]

    24. This book earned the author a Pulitzer Prize, but it is quite different from the normal style of non-fiction writers. My favorite non-fiction authors, like Eric Larsen and Sebastian Unger, use fiction techniques to lead their readers into a story--intriguing characters, plot with a conflict, suspense, denoument. Sheehan's prose reads like a clinical report. She even calls her schizophrenic subject Miss Frumkin all the way through the book. Like a clinical report, there is a detachment from the c [...]

    25. This is a book I probably would never have picked up on my own. A friend gave it to me to read when I was working a night desk job.Susan Sheehan spent a year during the 1970s following around ‘Syliva’ a young woman with schizophrenia. As the year progresses Sheehan makes not of Sylvia’s delusions, the medications she receives, the history of the treatment of mental illness, the reactions of Sylvia’s family.Sometimes I felt sorry for Sylvia and sometimes I hated her. Mostly I was just ast [...]

    26. A tragic story beyond a simple review. This is beyond your normal "non-fiction literature" into a transgressive anthropology of mental illness. I have no questions as to why it won the Pulitzer Prize in Non-fiction in the 80s.A beautifully tragic story, that was seemingly brought out from under the waves, and crashes of the seas of institutionalized life. At first I found Susan's style to be a bit tedious and almost "too detailed" as if the author herself had a bit of OCD regarding the tiniest d [...]

    27. Having learned about this book from Dave Sedaris on his last tour through Tulsa (he promotes a book and a thing on every tour. This time it was Sheehan's book and Japan) last winter and I just finished it. It's tedious but I learned a lot from it. It's the story of one Sylvia Frumpkin, a patient/victim of the New York State mental health system. She goes to multiple private and public institutions, sees many doctors, throws many pies and bites many ears in her trials. It's sad, and funny if you [...]

    28. This is a book that'll leave you feeling exhausted and not a little devastated by the end, which is exactly the point of following a schizophrenic woman in and out of institutions in the 70s in Queens and upstate NY for most of her young adult life. It's not an outright tragedy in the way a traumatic event makes you feel immediately sad. It's a slow and painful grind that takes its toll on Sylvia, the woman, and her parents (mostly her mother) and sister, month by month, year by year. It's a har [...]

    29. When I found this book at the library in 2009, I wasn't expecting anything miraculous or amazing. I had tried to read books on schizophrenia and schizophrenics before, and had been sorely disappointed. What I found surprised me.Susan Sheehan's tale of the life of one schizophrenic woman in a New York psychiatric hospital is enlightening and heart-breaking. It was amazing. The beauty of the book is that Sheehan seems to be the only person who doesn't judge Sylvia Frumkin (real name: Maxine Mason) [...]

    30. I just found a list of books on women and madness and realized I had read most of them for the classes I teach and work I do but hadn't thought to review them here. However, this book did not make the list and of all of the books I have read on this subject, it is the one I would most strongly recommend. Sheehan followed a young woman with schizophrenia for a year and, here, charts her long history with psychiatric disability and troubled relationships with systems of care, service providers, an [...]

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