The Day the Voices Stopped: Autobiography of Ken Steele
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The Day the Voices Stopped
The Day the Voices Stopped is the autobiography of Ken Steele, a man who suffered from schizophrenia for the majority of his life, only finding peace and solace after finding the right anti-psychotic medication.
Steele began hearing voices at the age of fourteen through the radio, before eventually leaving his parents’ house ,without their support, at the young age of seventeen years. The voices regularly told Steele to commit suicide, to harm himself, and to give up on himself because he wasn’t worth anything. The voices told him to “hang himself…set yourself afire” because, “the world will be better off. You’re no good, no good at all (page 1)”. It is interesting to see his version of events, to see him slowly slip into the world of psychosis. It is much different than seeing someone or hearing about someone who is already a schizophrenic- it gives a different perspective by allowing the reader to understand the pain and suffering that one goes through. At first, Steele notes that he could hear voices, but he couldn’t understand what was his reality versus what the voices were telling him. His parents were terrified, especially after he thought he could talk to others, as well as the unborn baby brother that his mother was carrying (page 7), “Grandma would overhear me responding out loud to the voice’s demands and think I was on the phone to a friend (page 8).
Steele continued to note, through heartbreaking and very interesting stories and perspectives, on how the voices would not leave him alone and how they were relentless, “Voices dogged me at every step, Look at you Kenny. You’re a real mess…when was the last time you washed (page 92)?” Steele noted that what the voices said usually came tr...
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...pitals and psychiatrists were like that, although he only paints a negative picture of this, it would have been better to see a more neutral sided view of the account of hospitals and psychiatrists during that time. Similarly, the thing that I did not like about Jamison’s An Unquiet Mind was her way of relying on others so much. She was personally struggling with a disease that she needed help with, but she focused too much on herself (although this is understandable as she was in pain and depressed). She really did not care for others and had the empathy to understand the pain that her disease was putting on them as well.
Overall, both books were highly enjoyable and uplifting and shows one that even the people in the harshest of conditions and illnesses can overcome their illness and thrive if they take the right medication and struggle through to the end.