Narratives of Recovery from Serious Mental Illness by William Tucker


In this informative and inspiring book the author narrates the stories of 12 patients whom he treated during their recovery from serious mental illness.

These narratives reveal their common struggles: misdiagnosis, dual-diagnosis, impeded access to medication, medication-adherence issues, homelessness, employment/unemployment issues, and problems with governmental agencies.

They also reveal some of the satisfactions of practicing outreach psychiatry: appreciating the patients’ resilience, persistence, and talents, and the cooperation of outside service-providers, all of which promote recovery.

Each patient’s path is unique.  Their successes remind us that schizophrenia, paranoia, bipolar illness, and substance abuse need not preclude a productive and satisfying life.

· Direct quotations from patients demonstrate their awareness of their problems and progress.

· Patients’ acceptance promotes flexibility and creativity from their psychiatrist.

· Team members provide innovative and targeted support.

· The psychiatrist identifies aspects his interactions with these patients that contributed to his professional development.

· A unique feature is the documentation of patients’ monthly progress for up to 6 years.

Though no one knows what initiates recovery, this book vividly describes how it does so.   For psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers these are compelling stories of hope and a powerful call to consider outreach psychiatry.

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