Raising the Alarm is an autobiography by Arron Whittaker. He lives with schizoaffective disorder and borderline personality. He also has a trauma history, and is sure that he’s on the autism spectrum, although he hasn’t been diagnosed.
The author uses a pen name for this book, and explains the steps that he’s taken to conceal the identity of the people who are included.
He begins with his difficult childhood, and how this likely contributed to his mental illness. He describes himself as “socially inept” as a youngster, and gaming played an important role for him.
The book moves on to the author’s university years, at which point he started abusing drugs. It was around that time that his illness began to make an appearance. The book covers the treatment he initially received, his subsequent return to drug use, and the steady worsening of his illness, The author describes several attempts to end his life, delusions, various delusions, and the reckless spending of mania.
Despite all of the difficult times, the author explains that “after years of hardship, I am finally in a place where I have purpose, although it seems my purpose has become writing which is not where I thought life would take me.” With this book complete, he plans to shift his writing to fiction.
Over the last few months, I’ve read several books by authors with schizoaffective disorder. I think it’s so important that stories like this get told, because there’s not enough of them. This book offers readers a valuable glimpse of what life with this illness is like.
Raising the Alarm is available on Amazon (affiliate link).
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.