Dennis O'Donnell started work as an orderly in the Intensive Psychiatric Care Unit of a large hospital in Scotland in 2000. For seven years, he cared for patients with serious mental disorders. In his daily life he encountered fear, violence and despair but also a considerable amount of care and compassion. Recounting the stories of the patients he worked with, and those of his colleagues on the ward, he examines:
• the different major mental disorders -- their symptoms and manifestations
• the various methods of treatment -- medication, therapy and conversation
• how religion, sex, wealth, health and drugs can bear influence on mental health
• the prevailing attitudes to psychiatric illness -- the authorities, the professionals & society
What emerges is a document of humanity and humour, a remarkable memoir that sheds light on a world that still remains largely unknown and hugely feared. A memoir which will appeal to fans of the bestselling Stuart: A Life Backwards and Gabriel Weston's top-10 bestseller Direct Red.