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8/3/10

Elyn Saks, Schizophrenia, & High Accomplishment


"Elyn Saks is a law professor at the University of Southern California, a Marshall scholar, and a graduate of Yale Law School. She also suffers from schizophrenia -- an illness that many would assume makes her impressive resume an impossibility. In 2007, she published an acclaimed memoir of her struggle with the disease, 'The Center Cannot Hold'. Her book is a frank and moving portrait of the experience of schizophrenia, but also a call for higher expectations -- a plea that we allow people with schizophrenia to find their own limits. "

Of her condition, she says this, "At one end of the spectrum, I will have transient crazy thoughts (e.g. I have killed people) which I immediately identify as symptoms of my illness and not real. A little further along the spectrum, I may have three or four days of being dominated by crazy thoughts that I can’t push away. And at the far end I am crouching in a corner shaking and moaning."

Despite all that, she attended graduate school at Oxford and has a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant. More

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