The Gift of Schizophrenia: A Testimony by DJ Cushing

The Gift of Schizophrenia: A Testimony
DJ Cushing
Outskirts Press (2010)
ISBN 9781432763565
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer, PhD, for Reader Views (2/11)


From a psychological viewpoint, Schizophrenia is misunderstood and often treatment by non-educated therapists provides more crises for their patients. Author DJ Cushing describes his own journey through discovering his life falling apart, being diagnosed with Schizophrenia, and how others viewed him.

One theme that I noticed throughout the book was that doctors or therapists first hospitalize then they try to diagnose and help. As the author states, many times the information received is hard to understand, much less try to overcome. When one is hospitalized for psychiatric reasons they lose their identity-they become a label and have to follow everyone else’s rules.

Cushing’s journey is well written, easy to follow and understand. His writing gives readers an opportunity to get into the mind of those who are diagnosed with mental illness. His honesty is truly a gift to see what individuals experience every day. Sometimes these individuals are never given any hope of recovery and this adds to their stress and anxiety.

There needs to be more educational awareness on Schizophrenia.  Individuals with this diagnosis, as with other mental health diagnoses, do not have a tail and two horns; they are not dangerous when on medication. Before we judge we need to learn the facts.  DJ Cushing has provided us with his personal story in “The Gift of Schizophrenia: A Testimony.”

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