The Center Cannot Hold By Elyn R Saks

880 Words4 Pages

Schizophrenia is an ominous word often associated with psychosis, delusions, as well as paranoia. Society supposedly understands how horrible symptoms like these make schizophrenia one of the worst mental diseases that one could live with, and the story of Elyn Saks is definitely no exception. In the memoir The Center Cannot Hold, Elyn R. Saks brings her readers through the harsh realities of living with schizophrenia, while also dealing with the stresses associated with high school, getting a college degree, while still maintaining relationships with family and friends. Saks had inadequate care as a child when her symptoms first began appearing, and being transferred through countries following school, and being passed from doctor to doctor …show more content…

Just one person who will stay with Saks through her struggle could provide her with an anchoring to the real world, as well as help distract her from the metaphorical demons that Saks believes are living inside of her. Throughout her memoir, Saks inadvertently reveals how a consistent steady hand to guide her could immensely help her in her struggle, the biggest way being that she would finally have something to anchor her to the real world. The author’s most direct representation of her need for someone comes when she is faced with her doctor, Dr. Hamilton, announcing that he was leaving the hospital that Saks was in, she revealed her horror in stating that, “I was horrified … It was Doctor Hamilton who had led me out of the dark woods the last time—how would i ever get out of the woods now?” (76-77). Saks’s emphasis here on the “dark …show more content…

The potentially worst delusion Saks ever had regarding the demons that she feels haunted by happened around the time that she returned to the Unites States after schooling in England, and returned to her initial psychiatrist, when suddenly, “All around me were thoughts of evil beings poised with daggers. They’d slice me up in thin slices or make swallow hot coals” (273). The people in which the author speaks of here represent the metaphorical demons living inside her, and these demons are said to live inside of every person. However, given the author’s mental disease, these demons have been allowed to manifest and grow to uncontrollable heights, and have convinced Saks that she is not allowed to have self worth, or dignity, and that is largely in part to her lack of a guide. This specific illustration of the demons control over Saks’s mind reveal that her own self worth has made her feel worthless, to the point where she feels that being tortured in the most brutal and medieval ways is the only fate she deserves. Had the author had a consistent guide, such as a psychoanalyst or a psychiatrist, she may have been able to come to peace with these demons before they had progressed so far. Among the more literal versions of the “demons”, Saks less directly mentions these same demons in other instances,

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