The Outsider: A Journey Into My Father's Struggle With Madness

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Crown/Archetype, Oct 30, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 288 pages
An unsentimental yet profoundly moving look at one family’s experience with mental illness.

“A haunting, poignant story of a son’s life with, and without, his father. A rare and moving portrait of one of life’s major struggles—the devastation created by severe mental illness.” —John Oldham, M.D., Director of New York State Psychiatric Institute

In 1978, Charles Lachenmeyer was a happily married professor of sociology who lived in the New York suburbs with his wife and nine-year-old son, Nathaniel. But within a few short years, schizophrenia—a devastating mental illness with no known cure—would cost him everything: his sanity, his career, his family, even the roof over his head. Upon learning of his father’s death in 1995, Nathaniel set out to search for the truth behind his father’s haunted, solitary existence.

Rich in imagery and poignant symbolism, The Outsider is a beautifully written memoir of a father’s struggle to survive with dignity, and a son’s struggle to know the father he lost to schizophrenia long before he finally lost him to death.

• Recipient of the Kenneth Johnson Memorial Research Library Book Award
• Winner of the 2000 Bell of Hope Award

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User Review  - hayduke - LibraryThing

A memoir about a son's investigation into his father's downfall due to paranoid schizophrenia. A poignant look at the travails of the mentally ill in this country that made me think twice on ... Read full review

The outsider: a journey into my father's struggle with madness

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

It was only after his long-estranged father died that Lachenmeyer discovered he had been living on the streets. This book is a son's attempt to reconstruct his father's downward spiral from a ... Read full review


The Outsider
The Gatekeeper
The Sociologist
The Father
The Prisoner
The Schizophrenic
Part Three
The Thief
The Patient
The Untimely 24

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Page xv - Schizophrenia; the diagnosis involves the recognition of a constellation of signs and symptoms associated with impaired occupational or social functioning.

About the author (2001)

A frequent lecturer on mental health and homeless issues, Nathaniel Lachenmeyer lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife.

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