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By Stephen J. Habel
Key Themes: depression, suicidal thoughts, mental health services
'The Confession of St. Zyprexa' is a short story about a boy who grows up and experiences mental illness as a priest. He has a nervous breakdown on the pulpit and thinks it is Revelation. It delves into what it is like to have mental illness and shows the feelings that people with mental illness sometimes have. It does a great job at describing what a breakdown feels like - focussing particuartly on the after effects. Stephen describes, in vivid detail, what it is like to be institionalised and how numb it can make one feel. It's a great look at one man's life and how it culminates into mental illness, in particular schizoaffective disorder.
'Diary of A Lost Soul' is a fictional account of the conditions in American mental institutions and one man's plight and escape from one. The protagonist, Matthew Jones experiences debilitating lows and highs and eventually attempts suicide at his job. He meets a mentally retarded man in the institution and escapes with him. The short story/novella is a look at mental illness and how much pain it can spawn in one's life. It also shows how lacking in sufficient treatments mental institutions in the USA are.
About the Author
Stephen J. Habel was born in Chicago, Illinois where he now resides and writes full time. He attended the University of Illinois-Chicago with a major in English. He hopes to write several more manuscripts and to eventually work writing for a film company or possibly starting a film company of his own. He enjoys listening to music, reading, writing, watching movies and taking walks around Chicago.
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