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Synopsis

Schizophrenia affects more than 3 million American adults. Despite being classified as a severe mental illness, a brain disease that can be treated, it remains misunderstood. Schizophrenia still carries a stigma that too often devastates and silences families.

For 30 years, Margaret Hawkins sister Barb lived cloistered in her family home in suburban Chicago, a prisoner of undiagnosed schizophrenia. Hearing voices and paralyzed with fear, she was never evaluated, never treated, and refused to leave the house.

After Schizophrenia is the story of Barbs descent into severe mental illness and the healing that has come only in recent years: after her parents death when Margaret became her guardian. With uncanny grace and humor, Margaret chronicles her familys struggle with Barbs mental illness, the love that carried them through, and the virtual army of healthcare angels willing to come to Barbs aid. This is an extraordinary story of severe mental illness and the healing that is possible with prompt diagnosis, good drugs, good care, and a fierce belief in the power to get well.

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