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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Book Reviews

In this section we encourage our readers to review books they have read which have a mental health theme.

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Latest Reviews

  • Sectioned - My Experiences While Detained Under the Mental Health Act

    Reviewed by Dr. Shahrina Nabi       21/05/2014

    In her book Hilary Coveney describes her experiences of being sectioned under the Mental Health Act between June 2010 until discharge in August 2013. This is her story about how she had benefited as well as, using her word, ‘ hindered ‘, by this admission to hospital. I am humbled by her courage to write a book about this distressing time in her life. She has written in the forward “I hope you enjoy reading this book and that it will shed some light on how at least one mental health patient experienced the help she received”. read more...

  • Prayer Life: how your personality affects the way you pray

    Reviewed by Dr Anne Parfitt-Rogers       17/03/2014

    Many people will pray during their lives, particularly in times of stress and difficulty. Written by psychiatrist Dr Pablo Martinez, 'Prayer Life: How Our Personality Affects the Way We Pray' explores the complexities of prayer in relation to our personality, covering areas such as Myers Briggs types, neuroticism, depressive personalities and schizophrenia. The book describes the value of prayer as a treatment and support during illness and tackles problems such as concentration difficulties, 'bad thoughts' and self-acceptance, drawing on scientific studies and Judaeo-Christian and Eastern philosophies. read more...

  • The Shock of the Fall

    Reviewed by Nathan Filer       18/02/2014

    The Shock of the Fall is a book which the author, Nathan Filer, originally envisaged in a different format. He had pictured it composed of the materials written on and by the narrator, Matt, such as type-written sheets. Matt suffers from treatment resistant schizophrenia and uses the resources at his Day Centre in Bristol to write his story. Nathan Filer is a psychiatric nurse and his professional experience and his compassion and empathy for his patients shines through in this eloquent and moving account, not only of life with schizophrenia but also of loss and grief. read more...

  • Tigger on the Couch

    Reviewed by Ross Mirvis       21/01/2014

    “Tigger on the Couch” explores the mental health issues of a far-reaching group of childhood characters. This includes the aforementioned Tigger’s ADHD, Willy Wonka’s schizotypal personality disorder and Tinker Bell’s borderline personality disorder. read more...

  • Eccentrics: a study of sanity & strangeness

    Reviewed by Dr Chandrashekar Gangaraju       05/12/2013

    I am grateful to the service user who gave this book to the Consultant Psychiatrist that I was working with a couple of years ago. I found it interesting and bought my own copy. This book is a product of psychological research on over a thousand eccentrics. It is an absolute joy to read. It is packed with facts and quotes with some interesting details about people from history that I did not know. Some descriptions are very funny and some you would think are just unbelievable. read more...

  • Still Alice

    Reviewed by Dr Frances Travers       15/11/2013

    “Being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is like being branded with a scarlet A. This is now who I am, someone with dementia. This was how I would, for a time, define myself and how others continue to define me. But I am not what I say or what I do or what I remember. I am fundamentally more than that.” ‘Still Alice’ was recommended to me by a friend with a shared interest in psychiatry. I've read it twice, and found it unputdownable. read more...

  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    Reviewed by Purvesh Madhani       26/09/2013

    This is a fine piece of science writing and similar to Dr Mukerjee’s book the Emperor of All Maladies in many ways. read more...

  • A Song of Ice and Fire – A Game of Thrones, Books 1 – 5

    Reviewed by Dr Chanpreet Blayney       13/09/2013

    An epic tale currently spanning five books – 1) Game of Thrones 2) Clash of Kings 3) Storm of Swords 4) Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. The books are set on a mystical and medieval backdrop in the world of ‘Westeros’. Society is ordered in a distinct feudal hierarchy - from the Royal family, the Nobles, the ‘Lesser houses’ down to the peasants. The dramatic interplay involving the Royals and Nobles forms the basis for ‘A Game of Thrones’ - where politics, treachery, family honour and lust for power culminate in War. read more...

  • When something terrible happens children can learn to cope with grief

    Reviewed by Dr Rahat Ghafoor       13/09/2013

    This book is one of range of books by Marge Heegard. This book is designed to be used by children aged 6-12 who have witnessed or experienced a traumatic event. It is an excellent book which can be used by professionals working with young children who have experienced loss, victimization, or family dysfunction caused by natural disaster or human violence. It is intended to help the children to almost any overwhelming event that creates anxiety and helplessness that impairs a child’s functioning. read more...

  • The Future of Imprisonment

    Reviewed by Dr Chandrashekar Gangaraju       27/08/2013

    I chanced upon this book on Amazon given my interest in prisons and mental health after having read about Alexander Macononochie. In this collection of essays I came across terms and concepts in penal policy that were totally new to me. It opened up a whole new way of looking at offenders and also the wider issues around prisons. read more...


The opinions expressed here are those of the reviewers, and do not represent the views of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Selection of a book for review here does not mean that the College endorses any of the information, products or views described in that book. The "Buy this book" links lead to external sites, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists does not bear any responsibility for transactions made on those sites.

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