In 2008 Jeff Daigle sat down to write about living with mental illness. Shackles No More...is the culmination of his efforts to help others understand what life is like when you are diagnosed with schizophrenia. Jeff talks about his struggle with alcoholism which began in his teenage years and the onset of audio hallucinations at the age of 19. Jeff’s memoir takes the reader though his journey of realization and understanding of his illness. He describes in detail many aspects of what it is like to live with schizophrenia and how he has coped with the symptoms for many years.
Finding the right medication has been hard and nothing works perfectly but Jeff says that once he started Clozaril it worked like a miracle. His friends notice an immediate change in him.
Today, Jeff lives with co-occurring disorders: schizophrenia, depression and alcoholism. It has been a long road of recovery for Jeff with many ups and downs along the way. In 2005 Jeff began work at Shalom House as a Peer Support Worker and Consumer Educator. In his role as Peer Support Worker Jeff provides assistance and companionship to individuals who are at different stages of their recovery from mental illness. With Jeff’s help they learn how to integrate back into the community and learn to control their symptoms and anxiety.
Jeff is also a Consumer Educator. He is part of a small team of consumers who visit high schools, colleges, Crisis Intervention Team trainings and businesses to share their personal stories of mental illness and recovery. Their goal is to fight the stigma associated with mental illness by opening a dialog about how people can help others who may be suffering from symptoms of mental illness. These presentations are always enlightening not only to the listeners but also to the presenters.
If you would like to read Shackles No More in its entirety