The Day the Voices Stopped
The Day the Voices Stopped: A Memoir of Madness and Hope by Ken Steele
3 of 5 stars
The story of Ken Steele, who from the ages of fourteen to forty-six battled persistent, vicious voices in his head and struggled with finding help for his schizophrenia.
[T]he voices were always waiting in the dark, prepared to take advantage of any opportunity, any slight break in my confidence, when they would take over and aim me toward self-destruction.
This memoir was incredibly intense, the kind of story that you don’t easily forget. Ken Steele’s daily struggles for over three decades brought him down to such depths — alcoholism, prostitution, a seemingly never-ending series of psychiatric wards rife with abuse, even rape. His ‘voices’ are absolutely terrifying, the kind of demonic things horror stories are filled with; that alone made this a difficult book to read.
The information that he shares here, though, gives such a clear picture of the struggles people with schizophrenia face that it would be nearly impossible to not feel sympathy for Ken Steele and others who suffer the same illness. He presents a strong cry for mental illness awareness, and the humane treatment of mentally ill patients. The final section picks apart mental health legislature over the last decades, showing the pros and cons of different bills.
Overall: A painfully honest, uncensored look at one man’s struggle with schizophrenia. Not pretty, but an important message regardless.