Dennis ODonnell ✓ 2 CharactersMental health fascinates me and despite not being a stranger to mental health issues myself I m always on the hunt for new eading material This particular book had been on my list for a good while and I admit I couldn t wait to jump ight into thisFor the most part this book was a decent insight into mental illness which is written by Dennis O Donnell who was a nurse on ward 25 the locked ward for 75 years I have worked with individuals suffering with mental illness and I know from experience that it is an extremely challenging profession no day is ever the same but one must emember that there are
fact many aspects of the job tooThe people mentioned in this are patients that O Donnell came into contact with over the years and the chapters ead as little sto This book had a lot of potential A novel devoted to humanizing psychiatric patients and humor What could go wrongFirstly the Scottish brogue its especially jarring that O Donnell writes in plain English but opts to have his dialogue in the dialect the old literary no noSecondly the humor isn t always what was promised Many of the jokes are actually Dadish punchlines unrelated to the Ward or Its PatientsconsumersPEOPLEFinally The Narrative patientsconsumersPEOPLEFinally the narrative t lend itself to page turning or enjoyment the 30 chapters are essentially short stories devoted to the people O Donnell worked with sometimes a fellow staff member or a brief segue into a elated topic such as medication The book concludes with however true ant about funding and lack of staffing and the incident that compelled O Donnell to uitThis eview probably seems overly negative given the four star ated The book is overall uite good the people intriguing and the author s genuine empathy and wit efreshing Nonetheless due to the problems mentioned above this piece is mostly ecommended for people interested in the area ather than a stand out work of non fiction Really well written memoir ecounting the experiences of a mental health nurse As you d expect there s sadness tragedy and fear but this is a book suffused with such wonderful wit and humour one gets the feeling this is one of the most honest eflections you could get of working in this professionThere s a little on the clinical side of mental illness for the uninformed eader but importantin fact many
I Think Is Thethink is the insight into what living with a serious mental illness actually feels like for the individualIn addition to being a very competent writer I believe the author must have also been a great nurse I got this because I thought it would be the British euivalent of Behind the Gates of Gomorrah A Year with the Criminally Insane by Stephen Seager which is a Good Read But it wasn t because Stephen Seager can write plain English and Dennis O Donnell can t If he s not doing his infodumps Dennis thinks he has to be performing in every sentence he can t say a single thing without it has to be in this blokey slangy self egardingly comical voice which grated so badly I thought I would ather be watching a boxed set of Everybody Loves Raymond and at that point I pressed the EJECT button I hate Everybody Loves RaymondThis is what I mean During the course of this ten bob hour some patients paid as little attention to me as if I d been a snatch of music or a smell of BistoAnd then the door opened and my arse fell off and attled on the floor like a hubcapIn the middle of his towering age the big fella had thought better of giving Humphrey a tanking and had lamped the door instead I found that eally impressive It was just as well for Dr Humphrey too That punch might well have severed his head from his body He d have had to pick. Dennis O'Donnell started work as an orderly in the Intensive Psychiatric Care Unit of a large hospital in Scotland in 2000 In his daily life he encountered fear violence and despair but also a considerable amount of care and compassion Recounting the stories of the pa. ,
It up and do his entire ward ound carrying it under his arm like the Green KnightAnd another thing is that because the author doesn t want to betray any patient confidentiality all these patients are composites and yet we have pages of dialogue with them It s an uneasy stew with dubious ingredients and a jolly gurning sniggering chef stirring awayBut one thing did strike me as worth mentioning the curious psychological condition of Erotomania which pops up on p154 I uote from one of Dennis s non jovial infodumps Called unreuited love for centuries and often confused with nymphomania or satyriasis this is a condition whereby the sufferer believes that another person is in love with them But not someone who actually is in love with them ather a total stranger Sometimes a celebrity the sufferer has developed a fixation on It is a psychotic symptom since it is completely delusional The sufferer emains convinced that the object of his or her affections eturns the feeling and communicates the egard in covert ways such as secret signals meaningful glances and other forms of coded behavior These might be increasingly baroue and detached from eality such as the clothes he or she wears on a particular day The sufferer however demonstrates his or her love by overt meansWhat a wonderful way of describing how the atheist perceives eligious believers The atheist says well sorry and all that but a God does not exist and b if he does he doesn t love you for sure but no no no says the believer look we can ead these covert signs which only us believers can spot see this statue of Mary actually wept on a certain day in 1953 see this lady went to Lourdes and her migraines ceased And anyway who needs such signs we know in our hearts he loves us Dennis gives us the case history of Cordelia a delightful young woman who spoke with the clipped vowels of the city s educated middle class She has conceived this almighty passion for her local doctor an older married man She invents a thousand fake illnesses so she can make appointments with him Once when he asked her to emove her blouse he twigged something was wrong and made an excuse and left and came back with a nurse to find she was completely naked Another time she made up a story about being the daughter of one of his colleagues and visited his house and met His Wife At That wife
that the and the psychiatrists were involved In conversation she said well the doctor would certainly have made love to her if the nurse hadn t have been there And he had to call the police because his wife was there How do you know he loves youLittle things that only a lover would pick up onat that the
When the lounge light is on it means she s at home and he has to go through the motions ofthe lounge light is on it means she s at home and he has to go through the motions of a husband and a father But when the top window is open at night with the curtains down that means he wants to see me in the near futureRight it couldn t just be that they want some fresh air in the bedroom at nightDon t be so prosaic DennisThis is precisely the conversation between the atheist and the believer A friend ecommended this book to me I was sceptical at first as I previously had no particular awareness or interest in psychia The Locked Ward details the experience of a psychiatric helper working in a psychiatric hospital Dennis O Donnell describes his heartfelt experience with day to day details upon his daily goings He writes upon the fear violence but also care and compassion which occur in psychiatric hospitals At the same time O Donnell educates the eader about mental disorders symptoms treatment and care of these patients An educational book but also one filled with compassionate. Tients 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 eligion sex wealth health and drugs can bear.
Stories of patients O Donnell has encountered The stories within this book are written in order to educate eaders about what eally happens within a mental hospital and to id the stereotypes upon it I would ecommend this book to anyone Stories from movies and TV shows portray psychiatric hospitals as those filled with violence and evil However O Donnell s eal experience and stories shed light upon the true care and compassion they hold instead These stories hold humour and they hold happiness as well as stories which eally educate upon the different mentalities that the mentally disabled have Through eading this book mind sets upon the usual stereotype of psychiatric hospitals are bound to change along with a new found education upon mental disorders Rant about losing books eviews and the culpability of Librarians At least in my eyes I ead this book ated it a 3 and eviewed it It s an ok book but you could see why the author was an orderly ather than a p Absolutely awful Pompous git with awfully written dialogue almost had me in a locked ward DNF And a painful oneAhhhhhh I am so disappointed I decided to pause maybe permanently stop eading this book at 55% after uite a lot of perseverance on my partI am fascinated by mental health and especially the history of its treatment in the UK from the asylum system to today This book presented itself as a sombre and thoughtful exploration into the topic by someone with first hand experience working in the intensive psychiatric care unit of one hospital The author made a point on several occasions to ground the eader and encourage them not to be blinded by ill informed traditional stereotypes of psychiatric patients He eminds us to his credit that psychiatric illnesses and those who suffer from
are not laughing matter and should be treated with espect and compassionbefore presenting them in a light hearted or thinly veiled mocking light two minutes later It s eally hard to explain exactly what this is like in a eview but it just came across to me as very hypocritical and uite frankly uncomfortable I give the book 2 stars simply because of the few moments of compassion and emotional depth that interspersed the attempts at forced humour that made up the other 50% of what I ve ead so far Adam Kay this guy is notNot to mention as I have seen in a few other eviews the peppering of a few implicit and at the 55% mark where I stopped much EXplicit homophobic and transphobic views here and there every so often Finally the writing was very inconsistent I am Scottish like the author and found that histhem are not
VOICE JARRED IN SEVERAL PLACES HE SEEMED TO PRETENDjarred in several places He seemed to pretend be crass and uncouth in his speech with uite a lot of swearing yet in most of his prose he used unnecessarily florid and erudite language This contradiction made it very difficult to build up empathy for him or any of the charactersI feel terrible writing a eview like this in all honesty I usually don t bother and keep my opinions to myself But in this case I was just so disappointed I made an exceptionI m eally sorry Dennis if you e eading this This is only my opinion and by the looks of it there are a lot of people who loved the book I may try to finish it again later and if my opinion changes I ll add an update to the eview For now though I m moving onto something else I think A decent memoir sad in parts funny in parts It is a bit elementary in its discussion egarding mental illness but it is a good informative book for those not very familiar with psychiatry I found some of the humorous bits to be off putting as well as the Scottish dialect which can be difficult to discern. 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 emarkable memoir that sheds light on a world that still emains largely unknown and hugely feare.