See below for other reviews, radio and internet TV interviews with Sandra
artist, Sandra Yuen MacKay has an abnormality of the brain - a disease
called schizophrenia. As she says, "My life is schizophrenic because I
have schizophrenia. It will always be there."
Much of her life has been a struggle to cope with the symptoms of
the disease (now rediagnosed as schizoaffective disorder) and the side
effects of the medications required to keep those symptoms in check.
Early in her life, Sandra started to exhibit the typical symptoms of
this disease, which came as a surprise to her unsuspecting family. Her
book chronicles her struggles, hospitalizations, encounters with
professionals, return to school, eventual marriage, and success as an
artist, writer and advocate.
A STORY OF TRIUMPH WITH LESSONS FOR ALL
"There are precious few people who have experienced psychosis and can
convey it accurately, clearly,and concisely. Sandra MacKay's story is
an important one for all of us in the mental health field --doctors,
patients, and their families. It is imperative that we take in the
lessons she is imparting to us all, on how to manage, and in many ways,
triumph, over chronic mental illness."
Julie Holland, MD author, Weekends at Bellevue: Nine Years on the Night Shift at the Psych ER., New York city
COURAGEOUSLY TOLD,FAST PACED, INTERESTING AND READABLE
"A fascinating perspective of growing up and developing a mental illness
early in life, courageously told! Sandra MacKay has written a
fast-paced, interesting and readable experience of learning to live
with a complex mental illness; the more so with the dual aspects of a
psychotic and mood disorder. She writes with keen insight so that the
reader is part of the experience and learns from it simultaneously. The
ongoing dialogue between Sandra, her family and her caregivers offers
the reader a sense of the rollercoaster ride in dealing with the mental health system and shows also her transition to the road of recovery. This is an authentic and honest journey through an illness experience that teaches us the value of individual effort and the recovery process.
Sarah Sinanan, BA, BSc. OT
Coordinator, The Art Studios Vancouver, BC
ARTICULATE, HONEST AND INSPIRING
compelling and immensely interesting story of the author’s journey to
recovery after being diagnosed as a teenager with a serious mental
insight and intelligence shines through in this well written
exploration of the impact psychosis has had on her life. She recounts
her experience in a way that allows the reader to understand and grasp
the challenges of mental illness on an individual, family members, and
friends. Sandra’s story is articulate, honest, inspiring, and engaging
- a ‘must read’ as it helps us to understand that people with mental
illness are more than their diagnosis - they are people who, with
tremendous courage, tackle the challenges and stigma of mental illness
and show us that there is a path to recovery, to hope, and to realizing
the meaning and purpose of one’s own life.
Linda Proudfoot, B.Ed, Regional Coordinator for Vancouver/Richmond, BC Schizophrenia Society
SANDRA ON NAMI ATHENS OHIO NPR
Sandra's best interview in our opinion from March 6, 2011. SCROLL down to LISTEN