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In the Matter of Edwin Potter: Mental Illness and Criminal Justice Reform

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True story. This story involves a man suffering from schizophrenia who kills his wife while in a delusion and goes on trial for his life. It is the story of his struggle to regain his place in society and, as a result, lays the groundwork for workable criminal justice reform. Michael L. Perlin, Esq, Professor Emeritus of Law and Founding Director, International Mental Disa True story. This story involves a man suffering from schizophrenia who kills his wife while in a delusion and goes on trial for his life. It is the story of his struggle to regain his place in society and, as a result, lays the groundwork for workable criminal justice reform. Michael L. Perlin, Esq, Professor Emeritus of Law and Founding Director, International Mental Disability Law Reform Project says this of the chapter Reducing Recidivism:“A thoughtful and original piece of work from the perspective of one whose personal experiences have given him an invaluable and unique “take” on the issues at hand. There is so much here to ponder and reflect upon; the author has done all a major service by sharing his own story and views with us. I recommend this to all who take these issues seriously.”


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True story. This story involves a man suffering from schizophrenia who kills his wife while in a delusion and goes on trial for his life. It is the story of his struggle to regain his place in society and, as a result, lays the groundwork for workable criminal justice reform. Michael L. Perlin, Esq, Professor Emeritus of Law and Founding Director, International Mental Disa True story. This story involves a man suffering from schizophrenia who kills his wife while in a delusion and goes on trial for his life. It is the story of his struggle to regain his place in society and, as a result, lays the groundwork for workable criminal justice reform. Michael L. Perlin, Esq, Professor Emeritus of Law and Founding Director, International Mental Disability Law Reform Project says this of the chapter Reducing Recidivism:“A thoughtful and original piece of work from the perspective of one whose personal experiences have given him an invaluable and unique “take” on the issues at hand. There is so much here to ponder and reflect upon; the author has done all a major service by sharing his own story and views with us. I recommend this to all who take these issues seriously.”

30 review for In the Matter of Edwin Potter: Mental Illness and Criminal Justice Reform

  1. 4 out of 5

    Payton Barajas

    A moving, thought-provoking, and inspiring account of a man struggle with schizophrenia, kill his wife, and stood trial for her murder. What tips us over the edge? Who knows what experiences each one of us hides in our hearts or the scars of our mind? What makes us shut the world that has been so terrible to us? What makes us say I just cannot go on; I need to shut myself in a protective cocoon. The reasons are varied and many, they could be social or cultural. But one thing for sure, we want to A moving, thought-provoking, and inspiring account of a man struggle with schizophrenia, kill his wife, and stood trial for her murder. What tips us over the edge? Who knows what experiences each one of us hides in our hearts or the scars of our mind? What makes us shut the world that has been so terrible to us? What makes us say I just cannot go on; I need to shut myself in a protective cocoon. The reasons are varied and many, they could be social or cultural. But one thing for sure, we want to get out of this life, we could commit suicide and many do that. The rest of us, just tune off this World, this life, and wrap ourselves in a protective wrap and we do not feel the need to follow the generally prescribed norms of Society. We have had a nervous breakdown or we are mad. Everyone looks down on us with pity mingled with disgust. ‘Why can’t he take hold of himself, he brought it on himself,’ everyone has an opinion but rarely does anyone have the respect for this terrible illness as one would have for say cancer. Sadly between the sane and the mentally troubled the line is very, fine. My brave friend, still battles it, even in her darkest moments she held on to a job, paid the mortgage of her house that her estranged husband now occupies! The irony of fate, yes, that's life, I suppose. It is a long, long difficult road, with not much respect from people around, all I can do is admire the grit and determination with which people travel this arduous road.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paisley SANCHEZ

    Earlier this week I was reading about the cannibal murderer from a couple of years ago. The inquest was in the news. It was a terrible crime that happened near my home village in Wales. He was a paranoid schizophrenic who had been medicated in prison for a year and a half. He'd come out without any medication or support and told his mother he was hearing voices. No one did anything. He stabbed this poor girl and gnawed on her face. Before reading this book I would have thought that it was just an Earlier this week I was reading about the cannibal murderer from a couple of years ago. The inquest was in the news. It was a terrible crime that happened near my home village in Wales. He was a paranoid schizophrenic who had been medicated in prison for a year and a half. He'd come out without any medication or support and told his mother he was hearing voices. No one did anything. He stabbed this poor girl and gnawed on her face. Before reading this book I would have thought that it was just an excuse. If he could function day to day in prison with his schizophrenia he must have known what was going on, even if he gave into impulses, when he killed the poor girl. I don't look at it that way any longer. I've never understood what it is like to suffer from schizophrenia. I have to amend that, I've never understood what it is to be schizophrenic. It really is a split. It's as if the world has cleaved into two. One is the outer life, ours, and the other theirs, just as complex and real but beyond imagining. It's far more than hallucinatory disordered-thinking. The book reads like science fiction except for one big difference, although there are plenty of characters, there is no plot. It's not dry, it's full of emotion. Anyone in the grip of schizophrenia truly cannot be responsible for their actions because the 'normal' they are not in charge of what they do. Ten stars because it changed my way of thinking.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Chen

    As the mother of a schizophrenic son, this was a hard book to read. I was not unfamiliar with the history, I was aware of the atrocities and I was frightened for the future of my son. After reading this book, I am more familiar with the stories, more horrified at the atrocities, and still frightened for my son’s future, but I am armed with knowledge, tactics, resources, and a realization that there are other caring people besides frightened parents that are trying to help these people suffering As the mother of a schizophrenic son, this was a hard book to read. I was not unfamiliar with the history, I was aware of the atrocities and I was frightened for the future of my son. After reading this book, I am more familiar with the stories, more horrified at the atrocities, and still frightened for my son’s future, but I am armed with knowledge, tactics, resources, and a realization that there are other caring people besides frightened parents that are trying to help these people suffering from serious medical disorders. As someone that grew up with One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the Bell Jar, and I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, and as someone whose mother had been an unofficial advocate for the mentally ill, sometimes putting herself in danger to help, I have had many mixed feelings about mental illness. As I watched my son exhibit many of the symptoms described in this book I felt helpless and afraid, especially since he could not see and recognize the symptoms for himself. This book has given me the tools to verbalize more effectively what my son needs, what our community needs, and what our society needs to provide. These are to help, restore basic human rights, and secure treatment for these people, many of whom are wonderfully complex and interesting but who don’t and can’t experience the world the way we do. It is our duty to fight this fight.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Everly MORRIS

    Memoir and biography are such tricky genres. To be able to tell an effective story while still effectively communicating the "Big Story" - lessons learned, pains earned - of a person's life takes narrative artistry, for one, and poetic vision, for another. It is not simply enough, for instance, to recall a direct digenesis of the subject's life-events - else it becomes journalism - nor to provide a thorough exegesis of every moment - else it becomes banal sentimentalism or (worse yet!) propagand Memoir and biography are such tricky genres. To be able to tell an effective story while still effectively communicating the "Big Story" - lessons learned, pains earned - of a person's life takes narrative artistry, for one, and poetic vision, for another. It is not simply enough, for instance, to recall a direct digenesis of the subject's life-events - else it becomes journalism - nor to provide a thorough exegesis of every moment - else it becomes banal sentimentalism or (worse yet!) propaganda. Rather, one must do the precise same narrative art as a novelist, weaving words together for emotional and aesthetic effect, with the vision of a poet, observing in the mundane the elements of the unique, the powerful, the spiritual, even. David Geiger of course enters into a memoir with one major strength on his side: he has schizophrenia with a very interesting story. The language of the soul is tricky to translate, and yet this memoir speaks eloquently, honestly, and with grace. I feel blessed to have read it. We are all on a journey, one that will last a lifetime, and I recommend this to all who would like the voice of another person who has SMI to share his insights. This journey is tragic, depressing, and uplifting, complex, and simple. David Geiger has a remarkable story and I'm so glad he wrote it and has shared it. Thank you.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Natalie NELSON

    Mental illness is tough. It’s hard to talk about, hard to admit to. But this memoir? This memoir, you guys… brutally honest, uncomfortably real. I cringed and I soared and I recoiled in horror right alongside this amazing man. The thing about mental illness is that it doesn’t preclude anyone. No one is immune. It offers no explanations and no sympathy. For Edwin, one day it wasn’t and the next day it was. I was pulled into his story and other characters involved in this book and I couldn’t read Mental illness is tough. It’s hard to talk about, hard to admit to. But this memoir? This memoir, you guys… brutally honest, uncomfortably real. I cringed and I soared and I recoiled in horror right alongside this amazing man. The thing about mental illness is that it doesn’t preclude anyone. No one is immune. It offers no explanations and no sympathy. For Edwin, one day it wasn’t and the next day it was. I was pulled into his story and other characters involved in this book and I couldn’t read fast enough. I mean, really. This book read faster to me than some of the craziest suspense novels I’ve ever read because I was just fascinated by his story and hoping and praying and waiting for the end result to be good. When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it. I flew through this book not only because of the content, but because the writing style was very easy to read. It was detailed and in-depth and didn’t leave me with too many unanswered questions. The ending was not a great conclusion to the story, but I imagine that’s because his story isn’t over. If you’re reading this review to decide whether you should read this or not, please decide to read this. I really think it’s worth the time.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Zoe CARTER

    In our world, we hunger to label things, people, and situations. From our earliest years, we name them as if that will confine/define them and contain all their messy edges and borders. Labeling helps dissolve fear, and if even slightly clever or risky can grant us power if we are in a contextually appropriate group. This book is a triumphant response to that auto-labeling. If you, or someone you love struggles with mental illness I highly encourage you to read this book. I’ve had anxiety and d In our world, we hunger to label things, people, and situations. From our earliest years, we name them as if that will confine/define them and contain all their messy edges and borders. Labeling helps dissolve fear, and if even slightly clever or risky can grant us power if we are in a contextually appropriate group. This book is a triumphant response to that auto-labeling. If you, or someone you love struggles with mental illness I highly encourage you to read this book. I’ve had anxiety and depression for most of my life, and while my issues are not nearly as severe as those depicted in this memoir, I feel grateful anytime people are willing to open up about their experiences with mental illness. It’s a relief to know that someone gets it, that there are people out there who view these are real illnesses, despite not being able to physically see them. You can look fine and yet not feel fine. This book just gripped me from page one. I could not put it down and I will be passionately recommending it to most everyone I know. It is full of raw, beautiful, and easy to read work, depicting a real and very hard story with glimmers of hope throughout. I cannot recommend it enough!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Derick Ware

    This is a quality read, something where we can learn and understand the many facets of schizophrenia and how to deal with it. Thanks for sharing your story! I also genuinely enjoyed reading about Edwin’s life. His life story started to be quite scary because of the loss of his family, resulting from his own episode of schizophrenia. However, after he was able to channel his disease into something less destructive and was being given a new and better chance in living a renewed life after therapy, This is a quality read, something where we can learn and understand the many facets of schizophrenia and how to deal with it. Thanks for sharing your story! I also genuinely enjoyed reading about Edwin’s life. His life story started to be quite scary because of the loss of his family, resulting from his own episode of schizophrenia. However, after he was able to channel his disease into something less destructive and was being given a new and better chance in living a renewed life after therapy, he was able to cope with the challenges of a man living with schizophrenia. It personally surprised me that someone with mental illness can still manage to remarry, find a job, and live a normal life. Without this book, I would continue to believe that schizophrenia is dangerous and that we should stay away from people who have it or are showing signs that they have it. But then, if we understand how they can be supported just like how we know that just like any other disease, there’s hope that it can be contained or managed. Grateful for this book, sure got me to learn a lot of things!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Wright

    Schizophrenia and the many ways it affects a person’s life if they let it. Edwin had schizophrenia but did not have it monitored or treated. When he unintentionally murdered his son and his wife, his mind was in a loop, and wasn’t aware that this disease has already overtaken him. Moreover, when Edwin realized what has happened, it was too late, and he was sent to a mental institution for proper care and therapy. Soon after that, he was given a chance to see his son again and live a normal life Schizophrenia and the many ways it affects a person’s life if they let it. Edwin had schizophrenia but did not have it monitored or treated. When he unintentionally murdered his son and his wife, his mind was in a loop, and wasn’t aware that this disease has already overtaken him. Moreover, when Edwin realized what has happened, it was too late, and he was sent to a mental institution for proper care and therapy. Soon after that, he was given a chance to see his son again and live a normal life too. In this situation, we can then see that when a person with schizophrenia is aware that they have it and his mental illness is channeled elsewhere, then the harmful tendencies might be avoided. Learning this makes us understand that these people can be helped out, and we can support them as well. When this happens, we are saving the world and our community from further destruction and we are able to help them live better lives. We ought to read this book so that we can become more aware of how to reach out to people who have it and understand their situation with empathy and care.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jamarcus Holmes

    The many faces of schizophrenia and how we can control its unpleasant tendencies. This was what the book talks about and it shares the life of Edwin Potter, a man whose schizophrenia took away the life of his wife and yet was able to live a normal life once again. We are not given a lot of information about schizophrenia, but once we understand how this works then we can work our way against it and know how to deal with it. True enough, schizophrenia is dangerous and it can harm the people we lo The many faces of schizophrenia and how we can control its unpleasant tendencies. This was what the book talks about and it shares the life of Edwin Potter, a man whose schizophrenia took away the life of his wife and yet was able to live a normal life once again. We are not given a lot of information about schizophrenia, but once we understand how this works then we can work our way against it and know how to deal with it. True enough, schizophrenia is dangerous and it can harm the people we love. This is what happened to Edwin, but the sooner he understood how to cope with it and seek help about the episodes of his mental illness didn’t even manifest anymore. People who have schizophrenic tendencies can live normal lives again and they can associate with others healthily and lovingly too. All it takes is for them to understand how to manage it and find a good support group with qualified doctors to constantly monitor and help them cope. Surely worthy of your reading time. I recommend it!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Harvey Copper

    Grateful for the informative and insightful read. I have read some information about schizophrenia, however, I have not read about someone who has gone through it, has harmed someone because of it, and was able to turn his life around after a few years in a mental health institution to recover. I’ve thought that mental illness is something irrevocable. I thought that people who have schizophrenia are a menace to society and that we need to be very careful of associating with them. However, this Grateful for the informative and insightful read. I have read some information about schizophrenia, however, I have not read about someone who has gone through it, has harmed someone because of it, and was able to turn his life around after a few years in a mental health institution to recover. I’ve thought that mental illness is something irrevocable. I thought that people who have schizophrenia are a menace to society and that we need to be very careful of associating with them. However, this book changes that belief and it tells us that, this can be controlled and they can associate with us as normal people can. Having said that, I realized that becoming more educated about schizophrenia and all other mental diseases is very important so that we will be able to keep an open mind about these people and help support any of our loved ones who may be going through it, to live normal and happy lives. Thank you for sharing Edwin’s story! It is very helpful and a reflective read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Madeleine Liu

    A very gripping book. I was particularly interested in this topic as I had watched friends grapple with mental illness in one of their sons, and recently some other friends came to grips with the diagnosis for their daughter. So fervently wish all politicians, law enforcement personnel, and those concerned with medical education would find this book as 'required' reading for their professions. Particularly painful for me was reading what usually happens to mentally ill people at the hands of poli A very gripping book. I was particularly interested in this topic as I had watched friends grapple with mental illness in one of their sons, and recently some other friends came to grips with the diagnosis for their daughter. So fervently wish all politicians, law enforcement personnel, and those concerned with medical education would find this book as 'required' reading for their professions. Particularly painful for me was reading what usually happens to mentally ill people at the hands of police when called for assistance and what happens to them when imprisoned. Our society has not come to grips with this disorder at all. Also of note - it would cost society so much less in tax dollars to care for the mentally ill in hospitals than to keep them imprisoned. Costs about $50K a year per inmate in prisons. Frequently those needing treatment cannot be admitted to hospitals without their consent - but throwing them behind bars without treatment is what society does - and would anyone consent to that? Highly recommended!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Piper Mcgee

    Beautiful and informative. David Geiger shares his own tragic story while also providing background information about mental illness and the way those who need help are treated in this country. I enjoyed (that's perhaps not quite the right word since this topic is certainly tragic) hearing about Geiger's personal story. While the information and research are interesting, the personal anecdotes are what make this book meaningful. Those who suffer from mental illness are more than a statistic. Gei Beautiful and informative. David Geiger shares his own tragic story while also providing background information about mental illness and the way those who need help are treated in this country. I enjoyed (that's perhaps not quite the right word since this topic is certainly tragic) hearing about Geiger's personal story. While the information and research are interesting, the personal anecdotes are what make this book meaningful. Those who suffer from mental illness are more than a statistic. Geiger proves that by sharing about his illness and his court trial. During this time in history, there is a great deal in the news about mental illness, and I can't imagine anyone not being touched by it in some way personally, so Geiger's book is especially important as we must find ways to help those in our society who most need it. Worth-reading and am thankful for the resources and citations at the back end of the book that has given me some additional readings to look into.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Karen Gonzalez

    I read this thanks to an uncle suffering not only from bipolar disorder but also from the effects of numerous years of taking various drugs associated with relief of his symptoms. This was a great, albeit heartbreaking story of how the mentally ill have been treated throughout history, the rise of the medical profession and psychiatry's place in that profession, and the criminal justice system for the mentally ill. When I see my uncle, I see someone who fell into a trap of looking for a miracle I read this thanks to an uncle suffering not only from bipolar disorder but also from the effects of numerous years of taking various drugs associated with relief of his symptoms. This was a great, albeit heartbreaking story of how the mentally ill have been treated throughout history, the rise of the medical profession and psychiatry's place in that profession, and the criminal justice system for the mentally ill. When I see my uncle, I see someone who fell into a trap of looking for a miracle cure to resolve his behavioral problems. Now he is overweight, diabetic, and lacking in the motivation to take control of his own life. He goes in and out of the hospital due to falls and car crashes. His marriage was unsustainable due to his behaviors. Some of this is just the way he is, but some of it may be due to the medicines that he's taken over the years. Unfortunately, the book gives me no confidence in our government or our medical community to put the patient ahead of personal greed.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bella Garner

    Having a friend whose sister has a personality disorder has made me almost morbidly interested in mental illness. This is the first book that has helped me understand her sister's behavior. It's nearly impossible to understand considering it doesn't make sense to someone who does not suffer from mental illness. I read this book in a few hours on a bus tour. I literally couldn't stop even to listen to what the guide was telling me. Edwin has this amazing way of sucking you into his story, and hel Having a friend whose sister has a personality disorder has made me almost morbidly interested in mental illness. This is the first book that has helped me understand her sister's behavior. It's nearly impossible to understand considering it doesn't make sense to someone who does not suffer from mental illness. I read this book in a few hours on a bus tour. I literally couldn't stop even to listen to what the guide was telling me. Edwin has this amazing way of sucking you into his story, and helping you feel what he felt at the time. Like him, you'll experience a roller coaster of emotions. You'll root for Edwin, you'll cry for him, you'll despair with him. You'll recover with him and then be completely disappointed and confused once the madness hits again. But his story gets across the message that psychosis is not something you can consciously stop, no matter how badly you may want to. Once it hits you, you are at its beck and call. If it tells you to do something, you do it and question later. It is truly a terrifying life to lead.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey Hart

    I picked this book up because I have always found mental disorders an interesting topic, and I feel that I have finished this book having achieved exactly what I hoped I would; to have learnt something new. One of the reasons that it took me so long to finish this book was not because it wasn't enjoyable, but rather it made me overly aware of my own quirks. I in no way claim to have SMI but I do have certain things I use to push away thoughts I don't like and this book made me more aware of them I picked this book up because I have always found mental disorders an interesting topic, and I feel that I have finished this book having achieved exactly what I hoped I would; to have learnt something new. One of the reasons that it took me so long to finish this book was not because it wasn't enjoyable, but rather it made me overly aware of my own quirks. I in no way claim to have SMI but I do have certain things I use to push away thoughts I don't like and this book made me more aware of them than ever, and made it harder to ignore them. It may sound silly and ridiculous but I almost feel that anyone who reads this should be prepared to have their own quirks highlighted almost uncomfortably. I read this book with barely any knowledge of schizophrenia, and I do believe it is a brilliant book if you would like to understand it more due to the way it marries the basic science and the human aspect. I do not know what it would be like for someone with more knowledge but I found this an interesting and insightful book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Phillips

    "Life breaks us all", as Hemingway observed. But some are strong in the broken places. Some of us suffer more frequently or visibly than others and have to choose again and again, whether to gather the strength to rise once more. That’s something we love about comic book superheroes--their unlimited resiliency. For at least an hour or two their stories can transport us to another reality where, despite being blown to bits or shot into outer space, full recovery is always just around the corner. "Life breaks us all", as Hemingway observed. But some are strong in the broken places. Some of us suffer more frequently or visibly than others and have to choose again and again, whether to gather the strength to rise once more. That’s something we love about comic book superheroes--their unlimited resiliency. For at least an hour or two their stories can transport us to another reality where, despite being blown to bits or shot into outer space, full recovery is always just around the corner. For us mere mortals, it doesn’t work out that way. Recovery can be long and drawn out, and maddeningly elusive. Even where healing does occur the scars can remain forever. So for inspiration, superheroes have their limits. When I look for real heroes, I’m most impressed by otherwise ordinary individuals who, despite terrible challenges, have repeatedly risen from the ashes, not only to survive but to do some good in the world as well. People like Edwin Potter. Here's a great story to share. Everyone should read this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lucy STEWART

    In the past, I've dealt with my mental health issues, mainly after developing a thyroid disorder and after having children. It isn't easy and in my opinion, isn't taken seriously enough. Many medical professionals are less than compassionate and oftentimes family members look at it as a weakness and feel that it's crippling to their own lives as if the actual person with the disease chooses to be ill. The mentally affected person's life stops, while everyone else expects to move on with their ow In the past, I've dealt with my mental health issues, mainly after developing a thyroid disorder and after having children. It isn't easy and in my opinion, isn't taken seriously enough. Many medical professionals are less than compassionate and oftentimes family members look at it as a weakness and feel that it's crippling to their own lives as if the actual person with the disease chooses to be ill. The mentally affected person's life stops, while everyone else expects to move on with their own. With that said, I had mixed feelings about this book and possibly because it's one-sided, from the man struggling with schizophrenia's perspective. Although, I personally have never been in Edwin's shoes and haven't had to deal with a person with an illness like he is experiencing. I think the book is very well written. I was engrossed from cover to cover and I'm glad to have read it. I commend Edwin for the courage to tell his story and the strength to hang on through all the ups and downs.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Drake Wade

    Edwin’s story is something we need to learn from and look into how we can help support people who have schizophrenia. It has taught me that we should not fear them, but instead help provide an atmosphere where their mental illness will not be provoked and keep an open mind about their ordeal. We all deserve to live good lives. If we start by understanding the cause of this mental illness, then rest assured that we can support these people to the life they longed to experience even if it may seem Edwin’s story is something we need to learn from and look into how we can help support people who have schizophrenia. It has taught me that we should not fear them, but instead help provide an atmosphere where their mental illness will not be provoked and keep an open mind about their ordeal. We all deserve to live good lives. If we start by understanding the cause of this mental illness, then rest assured that we can support these people to the life they longed to experience even if it may seem to be more challenging for them. I also enjoyed reading about his life story! It seemed like he had gone through so much emotional turmoil and a lot of challenging life situations and yet he was able to cope with it, still able to date and fall in love on many occasions. A good read for anyone who wants to learn more about schizophrenia and for some people who have it that there is hope and that they too can live normal lives if done right.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Estrella Wolfe

    Simply awesome, informative, and an enjoyable read as well. This is informative because a lot of us don’t really know a lot about schizophrenia. Upon reading this, we will learn that schizophrenia can be dangerous and well may result in murder or homicide if left untreated. Moreover, if we know how to channel our mental disease into creative dimensions such as art, and if we are constantly being monitored by our doctors and being given proper care, then we can be like Edwin Potter. Edwin was bei Simply awesome, informative, and an enjoyable read as well. This is informative because a lot of us don’t really know a lot about schizophrenia. Upon reading this, we will learn that schizophrenia can be dangerous and well may result in murder or homicide if left untreated. Moreover, if we know how to channel our mental disease into creative dimensions such as art, and if we are constantly being monitored by our doctors and being given proper care, then we can be like Edwin Potter. Edwin was being given a chance to find a job, remarry and fall in love- occasionally. His story is unique yet enjoyable to read about too. He’s gone through a lot of pain and yet he was able to pull through with a lot of help from his family and mentor. I enjoyed reading about his life after his time in the mental health institution because here I saw how a man like him was still looking forward to a life of love and healthy association with others. An awesome read, indeed!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth King

    A unique, educational, and full of insightful information that will change the mindset of many who are suffering from schizophrenia and also to those whose minds are stigmatized with the dangers of schizophrenia. We can’t help but be afraid of the things we do not know, but when we are aware we become empowered. This book offers that and so much more! Loved that I am becoming aware of this mental disease and how the people who go through it can cope with it. I also liked reading about Edwin’s ex A unique, educational, and full of insightful information that will change the mindset of many who are suffering from schizophrenia and also to those whose minds are stigmatized with the dangers of schizophrenia. We can’t help but be afraid of the things we do not know, but when we are aware we become empowered. This book offers that and so much more! Loved that I am becoming aware of this mental disease and how the people who go through it can cope with it. I also liked reading about Edwin’s experience behind bars, his trial, and the process behind his therapy. It also made me see the politics behind everything especially the process and the trial. Furthermore, the chance to live a healthy and balanced life was something surprising for me because I never would have thought that having a mental illness is something that can be contained and treated. This is a great read, perfect for anyone wanting to learn more about schizophrenia.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maria Lopez

    Loved learning about Edwin’s life and the ways he coped and lived life after his unfortunate episode with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is not a joke and anyone who thinks that they have the symptom should have themselves treated and monitored as soon as they can. We need to understand the intensity and the degree of harm that schizophrenia can do to us and if we are quick to have it treated, then we can avoid destructive and harmful behavioral outbursts in the future. This book is important becau Loved learning about Edwin’s life and the ways he coped and lived life after his unfortunate episode with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is not a joke and anyone who thinks that they have the symptom should have themselves treated and monitored as soon as they can. We need to understand the intensity and the degree of harm that schizophrenia can do to us and if we are quick to have it treated, then we can avoid destructive and harmful behavioral outbursts in the future. This book is important because we become aware of the many ways schizophrenia is harmful and the many ways it can be treated and managed too. Furthermore, for those whom we know and care about, we can be given hope that this is something they can change and they can also continue to associate and live with their friends and family in a way that is healthy and grounded. Thank you for sharing this wonderful and educational story! I enjoyed learning from it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lucas Rivera

    Edwin missed out on a lot of wonderful moments of his life with his son, his parents, and his wife because of schizophrenia. Even though he was able to turn his life around, he went through a lot of challenges from the consequences of having lived in a mental health institution and from the people who judge him for it. This book will bring a lot of awareness and insights to all of us! We need to know what a healthy mindset is and what is bound to be destructive. Knowing this will prevent any maj Edwin missed out on a lot of wonderful moments of his life with his son, his parents, and his wife because of schizophrenia. Even though he was able to turn his life around, he went through a lot of challenges from the consequences of having lived in a mental health institution and from the people who judge him for it. This book will bring a lot of awareness and insights to all of us! We need to know what a healthy mindset is and what is bound to be destructive. Knowing this will prevent any major behavioral destructions in the future and will help channel destructive thoughts into a more creative and non-harmful way. We need to read this book to educate us, the people who have it, and the people who think that they have it and are afraid to get treatment. Edwin’s story will open so many doors of opportunities for therapy, for change in the system, and for the government to assist people who have mental health problems so that they too can live good lives.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jaylyn Mcdowell

    An excellent thought-provoking read. Mental health is a reality. It’s a reality in every walk of life. The book interleaves Geiger's personal story with the history of mental illness, reflections on how we treat the mentally ill, and how we ought to. I was very grateful that Geiger chose to write this book. One thing I have learned from our family’s experiences is that mental illness in general, and schizophrenia in particular, have shredded more lives than one tends to think. When I chose to shar An excellent thought-provoking read. Mental health is a reality. It’s a reality in every walk of life. The book interleaves Geiger's personal story with the history of mental illness, reflections on how we treat the mentally ill, and how we ought to. I was very grateful that Geiger chose to write this book. One thing I have learned from our family’s experiences is that mental illness in general, and schizophrenia in particular, have shredded more lives than one tends to think. When I chose to share my story with friends and colleagues, I learned that everyone either has mental illness in their family or knows someone who does. Schizophrenia is in the room with us, and avoiding eye contact is no less than self-delusion. Overall, I found it informative and thought-provoking. At the very least, this book raises awareness of an important issue that needs further dialogue leading to action. Highly recommended to those interested in mental health issues.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Jarvis

    This is a very moving read not only because of the subject matter but the honest, genuine, talented writing itself. I believe that stories about these causes need to be shared more frequently. Many citizens around the world don't understand the heartbreak from this mental illness and continue to believe the misconceptions. Schizophrenia is extremely underrated. I am even guilty of thinking less of this illness before reading the story. This is why I am pleased with how David Geiger incorporates This is a very moving read not only because of the subject matter but the honest, genuine, talented writing itself. I believe that stories about these causes need to be shared more frequently. Many citizens around the world don't understand the heartbreak from this mental illness and continue to believe the misconceptions. Schizophrenia is extremely underrated. I am even guilty of thinking less of this illness before reading the story. This is why I am pleased with how David Geiger incorporates both criminal justice reform and personal details throughout the story; it gave people like me a sense of what the illness is truly like. The contrast of the two perspectives had the capability to shift my thinking from one way to another. Overall, I was pleased with the way this story tied together to adjust my way of thinking; especially because I have no personal experiences with this illness.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Aidan Andersen

    This is an important book that tells about a psychotic person who commits a crime, struggling with mental illness, the criminal justice system, and the need for a healthcare support system for the mentally ill. This book also relates the stories about the valiant, dedicated people trying to change an awful system. The author does a wonderful job taking an emotionally taxing and disturbing topic and making it readable. A less skilled author may have written a book about an important topic like th This is an important book that tells about a psychotic person who commits a crime, struggling with mental illness, the criminal justice system, and the need for a healthcare support system for the mentally ill. This book also relates the stories about the valiant, dedicated people trying to change an awful system. The author does a wonderful job taking an emotionally taxing and disturbing topic and making it readable. A less skilled author may have written a book about an important topic like this and sounded too preachy and continuously condemned the society that allows such horrors to take place. David Geiger told his personal stories with both heart and stinging truth. I hope this book helps fulfill Churchill's quote, "You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else" regarding people with mental illness trapped in jails and prisons because we seem sure to be wrong right now.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Paisley Booker

    Powerful and compelling, very hard to put down and I kept thinking about it each time I had to close the book for real life. It gave me a lot of insight on mental health and the impact that stigma has had and is still having on treatment options for individuals seeking/needing services. This book doesn’t sugarcoat anything and speaks of the lack of resources and options available for people with mental illness and their families. The book follows a man with schizophrenia -Edwin Potter– who kills Powerful and compelling, very hard to put down and I kept thinking about it each time I had to close the book for real life. It gave me a lot of insight on mental health and the impact that stigma has had and is still having on treatment options for individuals seeking/needing services. This book doesn’t sugarcoat anything and speaks of the lack of resources and options available for people with mental illness and their families. The book follows a man with schizophrenia -Edwin Potter– who kills his wife and stands trial for his life as well as a variety of case examples. This was a dense and informative read, and it was not nearly as bleak as you may think. While there is a long way to go in terms of treatment and providing meaningful societal assistance, the book does end on an optimistic note. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and I feel that it is an important book for everyone to read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Aryan McDaniel

    I'd describe this book as a "heavy" read. Heavy mostly due to the emotional roller coaster that comes in, In the Matter of Edwin Potter: Mental Illness and Criminal Justice Reform might be able to make you relate to or at least truly empathize with what people who have schizophrenia go through. Sometimes it was hard for me to read and relate to the hippie Dom that he was describing, so the reading was a bit slow at the start, but reading further in the book, I wish I had cherished that part more I'd describe this book as a "heavy" read. Heavy mostly due to the emotional roller coaster that comes in, In the Matter of Edwin Potter: Mental Illness and Criminal Justice Reform might be able to make you relate to or at least truly empathize with what people who have schizophrenia go through. Sometimes it was hard for me to read and relate to the hippie Dom that he was describing, so the reading was a bit slow at the start, but reading further in the book, I wish I had cherished that part more because it got stressful fast (but difficult to put it down). I read this book primarily to understand an ex-roommate of mine, who, I suspect, had paranoid schizophrenia. A pleasant side effect was also me learning how to cope with a mood disorder. Me having depression and anxiety, which, along with schizophrenia, are considered mood disorders, I gained insight as to how to cope and manage them. Overall a wonderful, honest treasure and an insightful read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kiersten Bray

    After a recent diagnosis that directly relates to the content of this book; I decided to pick it up again. Maybe I was more engaged because it is more relevant to me, whatever the reason I could not put it down. Edwin offers a very honest, unsugarcoated look at his life with schizophrenia. And he really captures what it is like to be a psycho, and how debilitating the inevitable depression is. I saw a lot of my own symptoms in his experiences. That was comforting because it made me realize that After a recent diagnosis that directly relates to the content of this book; I decided to pick it up again. Maybe I was more engaged because it is more relevant to me, whatever the reason I could not put it down. Edwin offers a very honest, unsugarcoated look at his life with schizophrenia. And he really captures what it is like to be a psycho, and how debilitating the inevitable depression is. I saw a lot of my own symptoms in his experiences. That was comforting because it made me realize that I am not alone, that I am not useless and lazy, and if I continue to be diligent I am going to be okay. Although I couldn't get through this book the first time; it tugged on my heartstrings the second time. He is able to capture the pain and helplessness that people with bipolar disorder go through. The more we talk about our experiences, the more we share our stories from the heart, the closer we come to ending the stigma.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lana Smith

    I originally gave this a four-star rating, not because the story wasn’t compelling, but because it wasn’t a page-turner. What I found challenging here is a combination of me expecting to find a book that I would devour, and instead of finding myself stopping to think. I couldn't help pondering the themes of the mentally ill in the criminal system, what it means to hate yourself and forgive yourself, and of course, the presence of God. “God saw it and will remember you.” I should probably preface I originally gave this a four-star rating, not because the story wasn’t compelling, but because it wasn’t a page-turner. What I found challenging here is a combination of me expecting to find a book that I would devour, and instead of finding myself stopping to think. I couldn't help pondering the themes of the mentally ill in the criminal system, what it means to hate yourself and forgive yourself, and of course, the presence of God. “God saw it and will remember you.” I should probably preface this by saying I am not a believer. Not that I don’t believe a god exists, just that I do not affiliate myself with any religion, in particular, I rarely ever pray, and I don’t believe in godly miracles. But parts of this book had me thinking. And that is an outstanding thing for someone like me to say. While I remain non-religious today, there were messages in this book that stayed with me, and for that, I gave this book a 5-star rating.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stella GONZALEZ

    Who should read this? Everybody. Absolutely everybody. Professionals- as a reminder of the perspective from the other side. The minute we lose our empathy and love for what we do, we need to quit. There is no room for impatient, bitter mental health providers in any unit. Family of those supporting a person with mental illness- you're not alone. This book is a comfort and pays homage to the courageous battle we fight every day. Those with mental illness- your battle is seen! And maybe most impor Who should read this? Everybody. Absolutely everybody. Professionals- as a reminder of the perspective from the other side. The minute we lose our empathy and love for what we do, we need to quit. There is no room for impatient, bitter mental health providers in any unit. Family of those supporting a person with mental illness- you're not alone. This book is a comfort and pays homage to the courageous battle we fight every day. Those with mental illness- your battle is seen! And maybe most importantly- the few people out there blessed enough to not have a clue. With the utmost respect, many of the comments I've seen for this book tell me who is blessed enough to still be naive to the reality of psychiatric units, sleepless nights with loved ones, need for FMLA, the list goes on and on. No one can hold that against anyone: you don't know what you don't know. But it's so important to recognize our knowledge gaps. Edwin Potter's story is remarkable!

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