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ss triple helix - summer 2013,  A Thorn in My Mind

A Thorn in My Mind


Mental Illness, Stigma and The Church
Cathy Wield

Instant Apostle, 2012
£8.00 Pb 200pp
ISBN 9780955913525

A good book to buy for yourself, or for someone whose family member or friend is struggling with mental illness. But don't be too quick to buy it for a depressed family member or friend. As the author says, there are many books on that subject; this is not one of them.

The first half is autobiographical. Cathy Wilde introduces herself, writes of the emergence and effects of severe mental illness on her and her family, varied reactions from those in the church, her experience of various treatments and how her illness impacted on her faith. It is written from a position of recovery with insightful observations of her own thoughts and the behaviour of those around her.

The second half shifts to mental illness itself – a brief history, occurrences in Scripture, its symptoms, classification and treatment, and mental health services. All this is with knowledge that comes from working as a psychiatrist, but written for those unfamiliar with medicine or psychiatry. It is accurate but not complex and succeeds, I think.

The subtitle 'Mental Illness, Stigma and The Church' is, in my opinion, an important and relevant subject. It certainly doesn't limit the target population of potential. An informative book for just about everyone.

Richard Day is a Clinical Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist based in Dundee.

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