This is a question frequently asked, and unsatisfactorily answered. I don’t know the answers, and I won’t pretend to, but I find it quite a difficult dichotomy – along with many others in the field of mental illness. I once worked for a psychiatrist, years ago, who took the trouble to reassure me that he … Continue reading Biology or psychology?
We all have a personality, but, when you move into the realms of psychiatry and mental health, this term can take on a rather different meaning. It is often also very difficult to discuss, something which is hardly surprising, given the fact that personality disorder can be seen as a punitive diagnosis, one of exclusion … Continue reading Personality
How did I make that leap from them to us, or us to them? I was a patient, a not very active patient, but I had become part of that community. It was better than being part of nothing, and I was no longer working as a doctor, with no obvious prospect of returning. My … Continue reading Patient to psychiatrist
My brain has been somewhat exercised of late, both by my own internal wrangles about psychiatric treatments and by various online debates, particularly about ECT. These debates often seem to be moral and emotional in nature, making it particularly hard to contribute or indeed come to any conclusions. I am someone with a very precarious … Continue reading The problem with treatment
The shocking rise in drug deaths in Scotland, and the reality of how some people have to live led to this poem. I work in drug and alcohol services, and what we see can be truly shocking. We must be hopeful, and continue to improve services and listen to our patients, but we must also … Continue reading Drug deaths
I used to think that being present in any particular situation ensured accuracy. By this I mean accuracy of observation and also of recall; that standing witness to events was always reliable. As a child, I thought of the years as a climbing staircase, with different events, schools and holidays marking out the way. In … Continue reading Memory & more
I have been a psychiatric in-patient on quite a few occasions. I am also the psychiatrist on an in-patient ward. There are differences: I work with people with addictions, whereas my times as a patient have been on general psychiatric wards with severe depression. But there are also similarities, and most of my admissions were … Continue reading Being an in-patient