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MAS professor authors book on schizophrenia

by Jo Ann Jones, COEHD    |    August 22, 2016

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Dr. Josie Méndez-Negrete, professor in the Consortium for Social Transformation’s Mexican American Studies (MAS) program and the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies, recently authored a book on her family’s experience with schizophrenia. The book was published in July of 2015 by the University of New Mexico Press.


The book, A Life on Hold: Living with Schizophrenia, is written as an autoethnography that weaves both personal stories of her son, Tito, with current literature on schizophrenia. Tito was first diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1991.


“It was a cathartic yet painful process of telling my son’s story so that others may glean information about a person who is beset by severe mental illness and how the illness also impacts those with whom Tito interacts and relates,” said Méndez-Negrete.


Méndez -Negrete’s book was written, she said, by placing herself in her son’s shoes. Her book, which took 10 years to complete, is one of the first books of its kind published by a Mexican American author.


“This approach starts with the self in context of culture, whereby lived experience becomes the lens with which I gain insight into my and others’ sociocultural lives, including my own,” she said. “My research is facilitated through ‘mindbodyspirit,’ as I make a best effort to be mindfully present as a whole person who is aware of how I am positioned inside, outside, and within the problems I study.”


A Life on Hold: Living with Schizophrenia is currently a finalist for Latino Literacy Now’s 18th Annual International Latino Book Awards in the Best Health Book category. The awards ceremony will take place on Sept. 8.


“With the publication of A Life on Hold: Living with Schizophrenia, I feel accomplished and relieved to have been able to tell and document our experience with mental illness,” said Méndez-Negrete. “I wanted to show how the disease consumes and impacts the lives of those who live with schizophrenia, and to impart knowledge about the evolution of the disease so that others who may be confronting it can recognize the disease.”


For more information or to purchase a copy of the book, visit the University of New Mexico Press website.



Book cover courtesy of the University of New Mexico Press.


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