Henry’s Demons is the true story of a young man’s struggle with schizophrenia and his parents’ attempts to help him. Interestingly it’s written by a father and son, and the son’s chapters illuminate how his view of the world is radically unhinged during his psychotic episodes. The story takes place in the UK and it’s heartbreaking to see how a country with a theoretically much more comprehensive coverage of illnesses than the US still gets it very, very wrong when it comes to helping the sickest mental patients. (Compare with The Soloist, for instance.)
It’s most intriguing that therapies to combat mental illness seem to have improved so little in the past decades compared to other diseases, and despite the dramatic damage it causes to patients (Henry is very lucky to be alive!) and society at large (as measured by the number of police-hours expanded in rescuing him from various situations). The father-author thinks this is because of prejudices against mental patients. That would be very sad, indeed.