‘Henry’s Demons’: Mental Illness From The Inside

On a snowy February day in 2002, British journalist Patrick Cockburn was in Kabul, Afghanistan, covering the fall of the Taliban. He picked up his satellite phone to call his wife, Jan, back in Canterbury, England. Even over that shaky, hollow telephone line, Jan sounded anxious.

“I could not make out the details, but I grasped that Henry, our 20-year-old son, had nearly died when he swam Newhaven Estuary, fully clothed, and was rescued by fishermen as he left the near-freezing water,” Cockburn writes.

Henry was taken first to a regular emergency room, and then to a mental hospital, where doctors diagnosed him as being in the first stages of schizophrenia. Now, almost 10 years later, Henry is beginning to recover, and he and his father have collaborated on a memoir of his experiences, Henry’s Demons: Living With Schizophrenia, a Father and Son’s Story………

by NPR Staff

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