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?
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
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
This is pure self-indulgence – I know there are many tall people who would like to be shorter, fat who would like to be thinner, old who would like to be younger, and perhaps the vice versas. And what about those who are shunned for race, sexuality, illness? That is far more grave. But we … Continue reading Shortism
Every year the DVLA sends me some forms to fill out. Every year I feel a frisson of fear as I do so, knowing that my psychiatrist will also be asked for his answers to these questions. No lying possible, no bending of the truth. So far, I have been issued with a licence each … Continue reading Driving
It would be daft to think that stress plays no role in mental illness – it is, after all, a normal human reaction in difficult and challenging situations, and I doubt that I’m alone in finding the experience of mental illness really quite stressful. I get stressed when I am ill, and often worry about … Continue reading Does stress make you ill?
Why dwell on the past when you don't have to? Especially when the past was less than happy, and better put aside. Many years ago, as a junior trainee psychiatrist, I wrote an article about my experiences as a psychiatric patient, and showed it to some senior colleagues. I have never forgotten the words of … Continue reading Why bother?