Schizophrenia In The Army


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175 in stock


By Gregory Hitchcock

ISBN: 978-1-84991-831-2
Published: 2012
Pages: 74
Key Themes: Mental Health, Schizophrenia, Military


The book is a personal journey of a mentally ill soldier and his efforts at recovering from his paranoid schizophrenia. Greg finds himself going from average to an increasingly paranoid mentally exhausted schizophrenic. He is ultimately discharged from the military after spending time in the mental ward of Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. After years of soul searching, Greg finally finds himself by going back to his roots and what he loves best to do – writing.

Book Extract

This is a story of personal struggle and sacrifice, of someone with schizophrenia.

After nearly fifteen years of writing about the news and fifteen years of listening to people’s personal stories, from their cries of despair to their sounds of joy, I am able to make sense of the world.

Journalism is a tough and often thankless job. It has been made even tougher through the pain and anguish of my mental illness and the social stigma attached to it.

Has anyone told you that you should prepare for the unexpected?
My life definitely has not turned out the way I planned it, not because I have failed to prepare, but for all the monkey wrenches thrown in my life’s path.
I am Greg Hitchcock. I am a writer, journalist, and filmmaker. But I consider myself first and foremost a storyteller.

I suppose I became interested in stories when I was a young child camping under the stars listening to other storytellers tell of the man with the golden arm and other spooky campfire tales.

Or it could have been when I was listening to my grandmother telling stories of our family such as the time when my great-great grandfather owned a shipping company in Norway, lost all his money through bad business dealings, and came to the United States as one of the countless numbers of immigrants starting life over again.

Anyway, my own particular story began when I was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 20 while serving in the U.S. Army. I will be turning 46 in December and while I still have schizophrenia, I have come to a much better understanding of my mental illness than I did many years ago.

This is a story of the challenges of someone with a disability and of someone who, after many years of self-doubt and self-denial brought on by stigma, overlooked his disability to turn his attention to his abilities.

Most of all, I am an example of what can be achieved after all the monkey wrenches have fallen.

1 review for Schizophrenia In The Army

  1. Will Kettle (verified owner)

    I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I began reading Schizophrenia in the Army: A personal memoir of recovery, but couldn’t put it down after digesting the opening lines by author Gregory Hitchcock.
    Although some of the passages are so disturbing they should come with a warning, I believe Hitchcock’s memoir should be required reading for all military chaplains and mental health professionals who are entrusted with the care of our troops – commencing with the most basic of training, possibly at the recruitment level.
    As prepared as I thought I was to read boot camp horror stories involving physically exhausting training and exercises designed to strengthen self-discipline, I was shell-shocked by the apparent lack of guidance when it came to non-corporal matters involving impressionable young recruits. Until reading Hitchcock’s memoir, the image of soldiers marching into battle with broken hearts and wounded spirits had not entered my mind.
    No wonder it was impossible for me to complete the memoir without wiping away tears as I grieved Hitchcock’s loss of innocence while simultaneously pondering ways his descent into emotional and spiritual hell might have been prevented along the way.
    From the account of his first long ago night at Fort Dix to his last day at Walter Reed, I kept wishing a chaplain or compassionate counselor might appear to prepare him for the mental and moral challenges that awaited him in the two very different military settings.
    The former US Army Private-turned-civilian journalist is worthy of being saluted for the courage he has demonstrated in sharing details of some of the gut-wrenching episodes from his past that helped to shape him into the humanitarian soul he is today. The pen truly is mightier than the sword, and Gregory Hitchcock is to be commended for using his literary skills to try to help combat the stigma associated with a schizophrenia diagnosis.
    The insight Hitchcock has gained and the leadership abilities he has demonstrated throughout his long and difficult recovery prove him to be a Wounded Warrior deserving of dignity and respect. Indeed, I believe the author of this memoir has the potential to become the kind of holistic healer Private Gregory Hitchcock desperately needed, but had no way of accessing, in the military a quarter of a century ago.
     Ann Hauprich
     Ballston Spa, New York, USA

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