About "Surviving Schizophrenia" 
a novel by Stephen C Southon

When Barbara Mason, aged nineteen, is diagnosed with schizophrenia, her world is turned topsy-turvy. She is an attractive girl with shoulder-length dark hair, dark eyes – so dark that they appear permanently dilated – a visage clear of blemish, and a petite figure. She is a student with an above average record, and she participates in social activity at university. She comes from a conservative background, and is of mixed heritage – European, Māori, Samoan. But the illness schizophrenia puts this ordinary life in disarray. Barbara passes through the “revolving doors” of psychiatric hospitals.
     Barbara’s attention to studies quavers as she battles schizophrenia. She abandons herself to alcohol and louche dance at the nightclub where she tends bar. And she juggles her prescribed drugs – “kick starting” each morning, and “knocking herself out” each night. She is exposed to the vice of youth – alcohol, sex, drugs. Her experience is accentuated by the terrifying illness, schizophrenia.
     Battling drugs, Barbara questions her medical counsel. She witnesses long-term treatment among friends at the outpatient clinic. They suffer weight gain, lethargy, lack of motivation. She fears socialization among a dysfunctional proletariat. As she sojourns through psychiatric hospitals, community clinics and hospices, she becomes anxious about the future. Will Barbara complete her studies? Will she find professional employment? The worst comes to the worst. Barbara drops out of university. She takes a job as a call girl. She encounters drug abuse. She confronts oblivion. Barbara suffers another visit to a psychiatric hospital.
     Will Barbara survive schizophrenia? She fears: “I’ll end up a bag lady living under a bridge with nothing to live for but a roll-your-own cigarette..”

"Surviving Schizophrenia" by
Stephen C. Southon
available at