Patrick Cockburn Henry's Demons

ISBN 13: 9781847398598

Henry's Demons

3,59 valoración promedio
( 729 valoraciones por Goodreads )
 
9781847398598: Henry's Demons

An honest and harrowing dual memoir by a British journalist and his son, about the son's sudden descent into schizophrenia. It tells of Henry's steep descent into mental illness and of his father Patrick's journey towards understanding the changes it has wrought.

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

About the Author:

Patrick Cockburn is Iraq correspondent for the Independent in London. He has received the Martha Gellhorn prize for war reporting, the James Cameron Award, and the Orwell Prize for Journalism. He is the author of Muqtada, about war and rebellion in Iraq; The Occupation (shortlisted for a National Book Critics Circle Award in 2007); The Broken Boy, a memoir; and with Andrew Cockburn, Out of the Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein. Henry Cockburn was born in London and raised in Canterbury, where he attended King's School and received several awards for his artwork. In 2002, during his first year studying art at Brighton University, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He recently moved out of a rehabilitation center to begin living independently.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

CHAPTER ONE
Patrick


On February 8, 2002, I called my wife, Jan, by satellite phone from Kabul, where I was writing about the fall of the Taliban. It had been snowing, and as I leaned out of the window of the guesthouse where I was staying to get better reception, I felt very cold. Jan’s voice sounded thin and distant but more anxious than I had ever heard it, and I felt a sense of instant dread as I realised there had been some disaster. I could not make out the details, but I grasped that Henry, our twenty-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. The fishermen feared he might be suffering from hypothermia and took him to a general hospital in Brighton. The police had been called, they had decided that Henry was a danger to himself, and he was now in a mental hospital. Jan gave me the phone number, and as soon as I had finished speaking to her, I tried to call the hospital. After many failures on the satellite phone, I got through and explained who I was. A nurse said that Henry was all right, and I asked to speak to him. When he got on the phone, he said, “I’m okay, Dad,” in a weak and frightened voice that did not reassure me. I replied, with an assumed confidence I certainly did not feel, that he should not worry because everything would turn out all right in the end.

I had told Jan I would rush home as quickly as I could. Kabul was then the worst place in the world from which to leave swiftly in an emergency. The only way of getting a flight out of the city was to fly on a United Nations or foreign aid organization plane from Bagram airport, north of Kabul. But I knew these flights were infrequent and often refused to carry journalists. I had recent experience of the land routes out of Afghanistan, and all were highly dangerous. I decided the only way to get home quickly was to drive east to Islamabad in Pakistan and take a plane from there. I explained my plan to my driver, Gul Agha, who gulped a little at the thought of going through the Kabul Gorge to Jalalabad and the Pakistan border because roving bands of Taliban were still attacking travellers on the road. They had executed four journalists in a convoy that had stopped at one of their checkpoints. I told Gul that my eldest son was very ill, and he said that, if such was the case, he would simply drive over anybody who tried to stop us. In any event, the road was mostly empty. There were few other vehicles or gunmen manning checkpoints, and I thought that the bandits or Taliban fighters must have become discouraged by the cold and the lack of travellers to rob, and gone home. We reached the Khyber Pass and the Pakistani border, where officials issued me a transit visa, and leaving Gul Agha behind in Afghanistan, I took another car to Peshawar, where I spent the night. The following morning I drove to Islamabad and got a plane back to England.

There was probably something expiatory in this mad dash. As I sat in the back of Gul’s car, I wondered what I had been doing talking to Afghan warlords and drug smugglers when my own son was in such trouble. I was completely shocked and taken by surprise at what had happened to Henry. In late January, Jan had mentioned on the phone what we later realised were some warning signs, such as Henry going barefoot, being stopped by the police when he climbed up a viaduct wall, and his suspicion of mechanical objects such as clocks. At the time I did not quite know what to make of this behaviour, but I was perplexed rather than deeply worried because I suspected that eccentricity on Henry’s part had been misinterpreted. It never occurred to me that these might be dangerous signs of a mental disorder, since I knew nothing about mental illness. When I had last seen Henry at Christmas six weeks earlier in our house in Ardmore in Ireland, he had seemed to me to be his usual intelligent, charming, and humorous self.

Ever since he was a child, Henry was intensely alive and interested in everything and everybody around him. He had elfinlike good looks, with curly light brown hair, sparkling grey-green eyes, an impish smile, and great warmth. Over the years I had become used to reading reports from Henry’s teachers praising him enthusiastically for being able, original, likeable, and articulate, but often adding, with varying degrees of frustration, that he could be spectacularly ill organised, was forgetful of all rules and regulations, and did only what he wanted to do himself. This praise and criticism of Henry was consistent over the years, from infants’ school in Moscow in 1985 when he was three to his private school in Canterbury when he was eighteen. He was naturally rebellious, but his rebellion took the form of evading the rules rather than confrontation. There was a certain quirkiness in his nature. He found King’s School in Canterbury, an ancient foundation beside the cathedral, too snobbish, so, to meet more ordinary townspeople, he started to juggle coloured balls in the streets while a friend stood beside him playing the violin. From an early age, his artistic talent was apparent. His paintings and sketches were strikingly elegant and original, winning him at least one valuable prize. For all his messiness and disorganisation, he could work very hard when he had to and had no difficulty getting the right A-levels to enter art college in Brighton at the end of 2001.

Henry and I had always been very close, and as he entered the final years of his education, I was pleased that his early life appeared to have been happy and untroubled. He was invariably high-spirited and good company. In the back of my mind, I was glad his childhood had not been torpedoed by any disaster, which was what had happened at least in part to my own when I caught polio in Ireland at the age of six in 1956. After a nasty time in the hospital, I had, for several years, worn a plastic waistcoat to keep my spine straight and used a wheelchair to get around before graduating to crutches. I threw these away at the age of ten, but I have always had a severe limp, cannot run, and do not drive. As I watched Henry growing up, I felt all the closer to him because the evident happiness of his childhood seemed to compensate for the occasional misery of my own. As he grew older, I was proud of the way he got on well with my friends, mostly foreign correspondents, though they were far older than he was. Very occasionally, I worried about the lack of friction between Henry and me, thinking it might be a sign of a lack of maturity on his part that his sense of identity was not developing a hard edge. He was not emotionally tough; he was too reliant on an easy social manner and too easily cast down by small setbacks in his life or occasional rejection by other people. I wondered if he might be something of a Peter Pan, a boy whose magical charm made it difficult for him to grow up.

Just before Jan rang me in Kabul to say that Henry had almost drowned, I had been far more concerned about Henry’s thirteen-year-old brother, Alex. He was having a difficult time at King’s, where he was in his second year as the top scholar. He had always been shy and more introverted than Henry, his smile gentle rather than impish. He read more, studied harder, and in a quiet way, was highly competitive. He always did well at school and was spectacularly good at mathematics, passing exams years before he was supposed to take them. I would find pieces of paper in the house in Canterbury covered with his abstruse mathematical calculations. He had a shock of dark hair, grey eyes, and a look of studiousness emphasised by a pair of black-framed spectacles, which made him look, as a young teenager, like the film version of Harry Potter. French schoolchildren, who often came to Canterbury to see the cathedral, would point excitedly at him in the street and shout: “’Arry Pottayr! ’Arry Pottayr!” A year earlier, when Henry was at art college in Brighton, Alex had won a valuable scholarship offered by King’s, which cut his fees in half, and I had hoped this would boost his self-confidence. Unfortunately, it had exactly the opposite effect; during his first year, Alex felt that as the top scholar of his year, he was not living up to his own or others’ expectations, and this depressed him. He had many friends at his previous school, but he was not making many new ones at King’s. Some months earlier, when I was in Afghanistan covering the start of the war to overthrow the Taliban after 9/11, Jan had told me that Alex was very unhappy at school. I came back for his half term, travelling through the Hindu Kush mountains with some difficulty, but it was not clear what we could do about his distress. I said to Jan that it was unclear how to help Alex, but it was a relief that Henry’s life seemed to be coming right at his art college. When I saw Henry at Christmas, I asked him how he was enjoying being a student in Brighton, and he said: “I have never been happier in my life.”

I slept most of the way on the flight from Islamabad to England. I had prearranged a car to take me from the airport to Canterbury. Jan had lived in the ancient cathedral city for over twenty years in a little seventeenth-century house on Castle Street, opposite a park filled with lime trees that had pale green leaves. At one end of the street were the battered remains of a Norman castle which gave it its name, and looking down the street in the other direction, one could see the great tower of Canterbury Cathedral rising above the rooftops. The street itself had once been full of ordinary shops such as a watch mender and a green grocer, but at the time of my return from Kabul, a housing boom had led to almost all these being replaced by estate agencies, the windows of which were filled with depressing pictures of ugly houses at high prices.

I had disliked the house for years because it was too small for me, though Jan, Henry, and Alex just fitted into it and were happy there during the years when the boys were growing up. As they loved the house, and I spent so much of my time living in houses or apartments of my own in other countries, I never felt I could insist on selling it and buying a bigger one. This was symptomatic of Jan and my relationship: very affectionate but bearing the marks of long separations. Jan and I had lived apart for extended periods since we first met, when we were both students at Oxford in 1970. I had then gone to Belfast to write my Ph.D. at the height of the troubles, and while there, I had decided to become a journalist rather than an academic. My father, Claud, and my two elder brothers, Alexander and Andrew, were all journalists so it seemed a natural thing to do. During the following twenty-five years, I covered crises, rebellions, and wars everywhere from Haiti to Afghanistan, working first for The Financial Times and later for The Independent. I had been stationed as a correspondent in Beirut, Moscow, Baghdad, Washington, and Jerusalem, as well as living out of a suitcase for long periods in places such as Port-au-Prince, Tehran, Kabul, and Chechnya. All this while Jan stayed in academia, teaching English literature briefly at Liverpool University and then for many years at the University of Kent at Canterbury. My job was highly mobile and hers was largely stationary, though she did manage two years in Moscow and also in Washington. Ours was a marriage which seemed to work, though too many of our communications were shouted messages over decrepit and antique telephone lines from Beirut or by a satellite phone powered by a car battery from villages in northern Afghanistan. Sitting in the back of the hired car as I was driven from the airport to Canterbury that chill February evening, I wondered if having his parents living in two different countries had contributed to Henry’s breakdown.

I was not sure what this breakdown amounted to or how permanent it would be, and when I saw Jan’s slim shape outlined by the light as she stood in the doorway of her house, I felt relieved that I could learn the seriousness of what had happened to Henry. Even though on one level, I knew he had suffered a disaster and come near dying, I thought instinctively of mental illness as if it were a physical ailment, albeit a very serious one like a brain tumour, which might be dangerous but was also curable. After a quick embrace, I walked into the downstairs sitting room of Jan’s house, which was dominated by an ancient brick fireplace to one side of which was a small red sofa. We sat on it together as Jan described the sinister changes she had seen in Henry since Christmas. It was, she said, as if another personality had been invading his mind and taking him over. Only then did I get an inkling of the depth of his psychosis. As she spoke, I began to see that our son was entering a different, nightmarish world induced by a mental disorder, though I did not yet really know what this implied or whether it was permanent. Jan knew a little more about mental illness than I did because there were signs of it in her family. Her grandmother had suffered from bipolar disorder and had been in and out of mental hospitals. Jan had also received sage advice about what Henry’s symptoms might mean from her therapist, whom she had started seeing eighteen months earlier, when she was suffering from a severe depression brought on by a series of family deaths and disasters.

“It was not one single thing that Henry did which was so worrying in the days before he almost drowned at Newhaven,” explained Jan on the night of my return. “It was rather an accumulation of many small but bizarre things that he did and said.” Jan has a photographic memory, better than that of anybody I have ever known; she is able to recall pages of poetry she has read only a few times. She could remember in great detail all of Henry’s actions since I had last seen him. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I was still hoping that at least some of Henry’s actions could be explained by student eccentricity or his original cast of mind, but as Jan spoke, these hopes evaporated. The first incident had happened two weeks earlier, on January 28, when Henry had been arrested by the police and spent some hours in a cell. Passersby had seen him, barefoot and dishevelled, climbing the dangerously high wall of a railway viaduct and reported him as a potential suicide. He stoutly denied to the police that he was trying to kill himself, claiming that he had climbed the viaduct to get a better view of Brighton. Henry, as we were to find over the coming years, could often sound convincing when explaining his most bizarre behaviour, and the police had let him go.

Henry’s explanation of the viaduct incident might have been true, but Jan was worried enough to go to see him for lunch in Brighton the next weekend, taking Alex with her. The two brothers had always got on very well. The plan was that Alex would stay the night in Henry’s room, which was in an apartment he shared with other art students in the Phoenix hall of residence in Brighton. The visit rapidly turned into a disaster. Jan and Alex drove down from Canterbury, arriving at the Phoenix at one P.M. on Saturday, expecting to meet Henry and go out to lunch. He was not there, though the door of his room was open, so they went in. The place was an appalling mess even by adolescent standards, with empty coffee cups, discarded takeaway meals, and dirty clothes all over the floor. On a table was a new-looking Indian book on teaching oneself meditation. A large cartoon-cum-doodle daubed on the wall looked half-finished, as if inspiration had run out before it was completed. Henry’s mobile phone was lying on a desk, but it had been tak...

"Sobre este título" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

Comprar nuevo Ver libro

Gastos de envío: GRATIS
De Reino Unido a Estados Unidos de America

Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

Añadir al carrito

Los mejores resultados en AbeBooks

1.

Patrick Cockburn, Henry Cockburn
Editorial: Simon Schuster Ltd, United Kingdom (2012)
ISBN 10: 1847398596 ISBN 13: 9781847398598
Nuevos Paperback Cantidad: 10
Librería
The Book Depository
(London, Reino Unido)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Simon Schuster Ltd, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. UK ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. On a cold February day two months after his 20th birthday, Henry waded into the lethally cold Newhaven estuary and almost drowned. The trees, he said, had told him to do it. In Afghanistan, Patrick learned that Henry had been admitted to a hospital mental ward. Ten days later he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. With remarkable candour, Patrick writes of the seven years Henry has since spent almost entirely in mental hospitals. Schizophrenics are at high risk for suicide, and his parents live in constant fear for Henry s life. The book also includes Henry s own account of his experiences. In these raw and eerily beautiful chapters he tells of his visions and voices, the sense that he has discovered something magical and profound. Together, Patrick and Henry s stories create one of the most nuanced and revealing portraits of mental illness ever written, and a stirring memoir of family, parenthood, and courage. Nº de ref. de la librería AA89781847398598

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 6,82
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: GRATIS
De Reino Unido a Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

2.

Patrick Cockburn, Henry Cockburn
Editorial: Simon Schuster Ltd, United Kingdom (2012)
ISBN 10: 1847398596 ISBN 13: 9781847398598
Nuevos Paperback Cantidad: 10
Librería
The Book Depository US
(London, Reino Unido)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Simon Schuster Ltd, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. UK ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. On a cold February day two months after his 20th birthday, Henry waded into the lethally cold Newhaven estuary and almost drowned. The trees, he said, had told him to do it. In Afghanistan, Patrick learned that Henry had been admitted to a hospital mental ward. Ten days later he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. With remarkable candour, Patrick writes of the seven years Henry has since spent almost entirely in mental hospitals. Schizophrenics are at high risk for suicide, and his parents live in constant fear for Henry s life. The book also includes Henry s own account of his experiences. In these raw and eerily beautiful chapters he tells of his visions and voices, the sense that he has discovered something magical and profound. Together, Patrick and Henry s stories create one of the most nuanced and revealing portraits of mental illness ever written, and a stirring memoir of family, parenthood, and courage. Nº de ref. de la librería AA89781847398598

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 7,81
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: GRATIS
De Reino Unido a Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

3.

Cockburn, Patrick
Editorial: Simon & Schuster Ltd 2011-12-08 (2011)
ISBN 10: 1847398596 ISBN 13: 9781847398598
Nuevos Paperback Cantidad: 1
Librería
Ebooksweb COM LLC
(Bensalem, PA, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Simon & Schuster Ltd 2011-12-08, 2011. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. 1847398596. Nº de ref. de la librería Z1847398596ZN

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 7,85
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: GRATIS
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

4.

Cockburn, Patrick
Editorial: Simon & Schuster Ltd
ISBN 10: 1847398596 ISBN 13: 9781847398598
Nuevos PAPERBACK Cantidad: 1
Librería
Qwestbooks COM LLC
(Bensalem, PA, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Simon & Schuster Ltd. PAPERBACK. Estado de conservación: New. 1847398596. Nº de ref. de la librería Z1847398596ZN

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 7,85
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: GRATIS
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

5.

Cockburn, Patrick
Editorial: Simon & Schuster Ltd
ISBN 10: 1847398596 ISBN 13: 9781847398598
Nuevos PAPERBACK Cantidad: 1
Librería
Bookhouse COM LLC
(Philadelphia, PA, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Simon & Schuster Ltd. PAPERBACK. Estado de conservación: New. 1847398596. Nº de ref. de la librería Z1847398596ZN

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 7,85
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: GRATIS
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

6.

Cockburn, Patrick
Editorial: Simon & Schuster Ltd
ISBN 10: 1847398596 ISBN 13: 9781847398598
Nuevos PAPERBACK Cantidad: 1
Librería
BookShop4U
(PHILADELPHIA, PA, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Simon & Schuster Ltd. PAPERBACK. Estado de conservación: New. 1847398596. Nº de ref. de la librería Z1847398596ZN

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 7,86
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: GRATIS
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

7.

Cockburn, Patrick
Editorial: Simon & Schuster Ltd
ISBN 10: 1847398596 ISBN 13: 9781847398598
Nuevos PAPERBACK Cantidad: 1
Librería
Vital Products COM LLC
(Southampton, PA, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Simon & Schuster Ltd. PAPERBACK. Estado de conservación: New. 1847398596. Nº de ref. de la librería Z1847398596ZN

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 7,86
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: GRATIS
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

8.

Cockburn, Patrick
Editorial: Simon & Schuster Ltd
ISBN 10: 1847398596 ISBN 13: 9781847398598
Nuevos PAPERBACK Cantidad: 1
Librería
Booklot COM LLC
(Philadelphia, PA, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Simon & Schuster Ltd. PAPERBACK. Estado de conservación: New. 1847398596. Nº de ref. de la librería Z1847398596ZN

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 7,86
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: GRATIS
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

9.

Cockburn, Henry, Cockburn, Patrick
Editorial: Simon & Schuster Ltd (2011)
ISBN 10: 1847398596 ISBN 13: 9781847398598
Nuevos Paperback Cantidad: > 20
Librería
cbs distribution ltd
(Brecon, Reino Unido)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2011. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería ABC22991

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 4,78
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: EUR 5,60
De Reino Unido a Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

10.

Patrick Cockburn, Henry Cockburn
Editorial: Simon & Schuster Ltd (2011)
ISBN 10: 1847398596 ISBN 13: 9781847398598
Nuevos Paperback Cantidad: > 20
Librería
smeikalbooks
(London, Reino Unido)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2011. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Brand new book. Fast shipping form our UK warehouse in eco-friendly packaging. Fast, efficient and friendly customer service. Nº de ref. de la librería 9781847398598N

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 6,22
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: EUR 4,19
De Reino Unido a Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

Existen otras copia(s) de este libro

Ver todos los resultados de su búsqueda