At seventeen Lori Schiller was the perfect child the only daughter of an affluent, close-knit family. Six years later she made her first suicide attempt, then wandered the streets of New York City dressed in ragged clothes, tormenting voices crying out in her mind. Lori Schiller had entered the horrifying world of full-blown schizophrenia. She began an ordeal of hospitalizations, halfway houses, relapses, more suicide attempts, and constant, withering despair. But against all odds, she survived. Now in this personal account, she tells how she did it, taking us not only into her own shattered world, but drawing on the words of the doctors who treated her and family members who suffered with her.
In this new addition, Lori Schiller recounts the dramatic years following the original publication a period involving addiction, relapse, and ultimately, love and recovery.
Moving, harrowing, and ultimately uplifting, THE QUIET ROOM is a classic testimony to the ravages of mental illness and the power of perserverance and courage.
Schiller, raised in a loving, affluent family in a New York City suburb, was 17 when she first heard the ``voices'' that would take over her life. Willing herself to appear normal, she resisted the brutally disparaging voices that urged her towards violence and suicide, and she succeeded in graduating from college. But early in 1982, at age 23 and after a suicide attempt, she was persuaded by her parents to admit herself to a mental hospital. For the next seven years, Schiller's auditory hallucinations worsened, and she repeatedly attempted suicide. Diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder, she underwent shock therapy and was treated with antipsychotic drugs. As the symptoms of her disease waxed and waned, Schiller was in and out of hospitals and treatment programs; her weight soared and she became dependent on cocaine. Entering a program at New York Hospital, she suggested to her therapist that she try a new drug, clozapine, which gradually helped her to cope with her illness. Schiller now works at a halfway house. With Wall Street Journal reporter Bennett, she presents her stunning story of courage, persistence and hope. (July)