LLOYD I. SEDERER, M.D.
is Medical Director of the New York State Office of Mental Health, Medical Editor for Mental Health for The Huffington Post, and Adjunct Professor at the Columbia/Mailman School of Public Health.
Full bio can be found here.
Martin was 20 years old when he was arrested for the second time. Responding to auditory hallucinations, his aggressive behaviors endangered people on the street and in his apartment building. While incarcerated at Rikers Island (New York City's now infamous jail, where thousands of others with serious mental illness reside), he received antipsychotic medication. When released, however, he discontinued the medication and became ill again, reoffended and ended up with a lengthy stay at an upstate prison. Life there fostered survival-based antisocial behaviors that would make community reintegration even more problematic upon release.
Louise developed schizophrenia at age 18. Her illness progressed. She refused mental health treatment, became disruptive at home, and was hospitalized on a general hospital psychiatric unit. After discharge she refused treatment and began living on the streets, moving from shelter to shelter. By the time she was 35 years old, she suffered from severe hypertension, uncontrolled diabetes, and emphysema. She would visit a local emergency room once or twice a month. Sometimes she was hospitalized for either medical or psychiatric care; exposure to the elements and her lack of self-care were taking their toll. She looked 20 years older than her age and was at high risk for more illness and an early death.
Real-life scenarios and authoritative information are written in a compassionate, reader-friendly way, including checklists to bring to a doctor’s appointment so you can ask the right questions. For readers who fear they will never see the light at the end of the tunnel, this book gives hope and a path forward.