Archives for posts with tag: psychiatry

Hi all:

As you know, I love books and I review books. I recently joined a team of reviewers I’d been following with interest for some time, Rosie’s Book Review Team (see the logo at the bottom of the page). They are a fabulous team and Rosie is a great team leader.

I was very intrigued by Vanessa Matthews’s The Doctor’s Daughter and you’ll soon see why. First let me tell you a bit about the author.

Author Vanessa Matthews

Author Vanessa Matthews

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Vanessa’s debut poetry collection ‘Melodies of my Other Life’ was published by indie press Winter Goose Publishing in 2013. Since then she has been featured in several poetry publications, has won two poetry contests and has developed her fiction writing skills through training with the Arvon Foundation and mentorship from The Literary Consultancy. The Doctor’s Daughter is her first novel. When she is not writing fiction, Vanessa works as a freelance copy writer and marketing consultant. She lives in the South West of England with her husband and four children.

You can find out more about Vanessa Matthews, here:

SOCIAL MEDIA –

Facebook.com/vanessamatthewswriter

Twitter @VanessaMatthews

Goodreads.com/goodreadscomVanessa_Matthews

Instagram.com/vanessamatthewswriter

Pinterest.com/nessamatthews
And now, the novel:

The Doctor's Daughter by Vanessa Matthews

The Doctor’s Daughter by Vanessa Matthews

THE DOCTOR’S DAUGHTER. A prominent psychiatrist’s daughter realises insanity can be found much closer to home when she unlocks secrets from the past that threaten to destroy her future. 

It’s 1927, women have the right to vote and morals are slackening, but 23 year old Marta Rosenblit is not a typical woman of her time. She has little connection with her elder sisters, her mother has been detained in an asylum since Marta was born and she has spent her life being shaped as her father Arnold’s protégé. She is lost, unsure of who she is and who she wants to be. Primarily set in Vienna, this dark tale follows her journey of self-discovery as she tries to step out of her father’s shadow and find her identity in a man’s world. Her father’s friend Dr Leopold Kaposi is keen to help her make her name, but his interest is not purely professional and his motivations pose greater risks that she could possibly know. Marta’s chance encounter in a café leads to a new friendship with young medical graduate Elise Saloman, but it soon turns out that Elise has some secrets of her own. When Marta’s shock discovery about her family story coincides with her mother’s apparent suicide, Marta can’t take anymore. None of the people she has grown to love and trust are who they seem. Her professional plans unravel, her relationships are in tatters and her sanity is on the line – and one person is behind it all.

Here is my review (WARNING: It’s a long one. I’ve tried not to share any spoilers.)

I am a psychiatrist, and when I read the plot of this book I could not resist. A book set in Vienna about the early times of psychiatry, and a woman, the daughter of a psychiatrist, trying to develop her own ideas and become independent from her father’s overbearing influence. I had to read it.

The book is fascinating and very well-written. I suspect that somebody without my background might enjoy the story more for what it is, and not try and overanalyse it or overdiagnose it. Arnold Rosenblit’s theories are suspiciously reminiscent of Sigmund Freud’s. And of course, he also had a daughter, Anna, who dedicated her life to study and develop child-psychology. I’ve read some of Freud’s works, but I haven’t read that much about his life, although from what I’ve seen, his relationship with his daughter was much more congenial than the one Arnold (a man difficult to like, although the description of his relationship with his wife is quite touching) had with Marta, the daughter of the title.

The book is written in the third person and mostly narrated through Marta’s point of view, although there are chapters from her friend Elise’s perspective, her father’s, and Leopold’s, a physician and long-time friend of the family.

Marta is a very complex character, and one I found difficult to simply empathise with and not to try and diagnose. Her mother was locked up in a psychiatric asylum when she was very young and she became the subject of her father’s observation. The father tried to keep her as isolated as possible from his other daughters, but the oldest daughter looked after her, even if minimally, and they were all in the same house. (It made me think of the scenario of the film Peeping Tom, although Arnold does not seem to have been openly and intentionally cruel.) She appears naïve and inexperienced, at least in how to behave socially and in her role and feelings as a woman, but she is a doctor, a psychiatrist, attends and organises her father’s talks and lectures, and teaches outside, therefore she’s exposed to society and has always been. This is not somebody who has truly grown up in isolation, although she has missed a guiding female figure in her life and the close emotional attachment.

She has her own psychological theories and ideas, but finds it difficult to make her father listen to her. She has very low self-esteem, self-harms and has been doing so for a long time, and when she enters a relationship with a man, she’s completely clueless as to standards of behaviour or how to interpret this man’s attentions (a much older man than her, but somebody with influence and who promises to help her). Although she was not brought up by her mother, I wondered how realistic some of her behaviours would be for a woman of her social class at that period. However, the novel does paint the fine society of the time as a close set-up with a very dark undercurrent, with drugs and alcohol being consumed abundantly, and adventurous sexual behaviours being fairly common, and perhaps Marta is reflexion of such contradictions. On the surface, very controlled (the superego), but with strong and dark passions underneath (the unconscious).

Eloise, the friend she casually meets (or so it seems at the time), is a formidable character, determined, strong-willed, and resourceful, prepared to fight the good fight for women in a society of men. It’s very easy to root for her.

There is a classical villain, that you might suspect or not from early on, but who eventually is exposed as being a psychopathic criminal. The difficulty I had with this character was that I never found him attractive enough or clever enough to justify the amount of power he had over everybody. He is narcissistic and manipulative but even he at some point acknowledges that he uses people but has no great contributions or ideas of his own. It is perhaps because we’re privy to Marta’s thoughts and we see behaviours most people wouldn’t see that we don’t fall for him, but later on he’s revealed to have behaved similarly with quite a few people, especially women, and for me, it was difficult to understand why they would all fall for him. Marta is a damaged individual and he takes advantage of it, but what about the other women? And the rest of society? Leaving that aside (it might be a personal thing with me), he’s definitely somebody you’ll love to hate. (I’m trying not to spoil the plot for readers, although the description of the books gives quite a few clues).

The ending, despite terrible things happening and much heartache, is a joy. Considering what has gone on before, everything turns very quickly, and it’s difficult to imagine that in real life psychological healing would be quite so complete and perhaps so smooth. But it is a fairy tale ending, and although a dark tale, one of sisterhood triumphant.

A word of warning, the book can prove a tough read, as some pretty dark things take place, and there are some cringe-inducing moments. It is not an easy read, but it will challenge you and make you think. And that’s not a bad thing.

I was offered a copy by the author in exchange for an honest review.

And now, the links:

Kindle edition £2.54 http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00Y165LRQ?*Version*=1&*entries*=0  (UK link but available worldwide)

Here the link in Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Vanessa-Matthews/e/B00JESTBAO/

Paperback edition £7.99 https://completelynovel.com/books/the-doctors-daughter–1 (A paperback edition will also be available on Amazon within 2-6 weeks but is available now on CompletelyNovel.)

Thanks so much to Vanessa Matthews for her thought inspiring book, thanks to Rosie Amber for co-ordinating and organising this wonderful team, and you know what to do, like, share, comment and CLICK!

Ah, and as you know, the second book in my series Angelic Business 2. Shapes of Greg is due to be published very soon (15th July). I’ll be telling you more next week, but in the meantime, I thought I’d leave you a new video:

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A new initiative we’re going to be trying at Literary World Interviews. Would you be interested in having a psychiatrist’s opinion on relevant issues of your writing? Come over and have a look!

Lit World Interviews

Hi all:

I’d been having a chat with Ronovan about the possibility of writing something regular for the blog, apart from the reviews that I do as often as I can, and we’d discussed some ideas. As I’m a psychiatrist and had until recently been working in forensic psychiatry, I thought about the possibility of offering a serviceto authors who are considering either writing about mental disorders in their books, or would like a psychiatrist’s point of view or opinion on some conundrum they find themselves in (well, they find their writing in).

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The idea at the moment, if you think that could be of use, would be to create a form where you might have a bit more space than in the comments, to describe the issue (you could also share a short sample of the writing…) and then I would discuss it by way of a post…

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Hi all:

Yes, I keep on writing, and as promised, I’ve been having a look at old posts. And this time I decided to go back to the very beginning.

My first post was on the 16th of October 2012 and I called it ‘Trying to Blog’. Bless!

Here I repost it, with some clarifications and a bit of embellishment (I don’t think I had worked out the use of bold in the blog). I also decided to add a picture…because it’s pretty.

Here it goes, traveling back in time to 16th October 2012 (Ah, don’t miss a special invitation at the very end):

Hi all:

I’m Olga and although I’ve been writing (and reading) since I was a child, I’ve never focused on it. There have always been other things, like studying Medicine, then Psychiatry, then working…Every so often I take one of those life-changing decisions. I’m never quite sure if they’re due to tiredness or desperation, or a mixture of the two. Do you know that strong feeling that you should be doing something else or that there must be more to life? I came to the UK after trying unsuccessfully to find a job as a doctor back home (Barcelona). I’m not very patient and I tend to give myself time-limits. ‘If such and such hasn’t happened in…a month, a year, 3 years…it’s time to move on. In the case of the job (or an exam to get a job) 3 years was my limit. And after some years training and working in psychiatry one good day I reflected that there were many other things that I really enjoyed (literature in particular). I always thought I might go back to university after retiring and study, but that particular day I thought: ‘what am I waiting for?    What if I could make a living out of teaching at university or found some other job related to it? Let’s try it now.’ I loved the degree (American Literature at Sussex University), including the year abroad (Mount Holyoke) to the point that I stayed a further 3 years and completed a PhD (the Films of David Mamet). No jobs came my way, and tired of working as a locum psychiatrist after over a year I decided to find a full time permanent job (yes, I know, not many of them these days) in psychiatry. Because I had worked in forensic psychiatry before and I found the dealings with the criminal justice system particularly interested those are the jobs I’ve done since. (Since publishing this post I had another one of those moments and I left my job in March this year. Now I’m writing, translating and exploring other avenues. Read this post for more details.)

Wonderful creations by Lietta Cavalli exhibited at the Museum of Costumes in Florence's Palazzo Pitti. I love the owls!

Wonderful creations by Lietta Cavalli exhibited at the Museum of Costumes in Florence’s Palazzo Pitti. I love the owls!

After a health scare this year (thankfully only a scare, now three years back and no further developments) I again came to one of those turning points on the road when you realise all those things you’re saving to do some time in the future might be left undone. Carpe diem! Let’s try to see if my writing can come to anything.

I’ve been reading a lot about self-publishing and realise that although technically pretty easy, just getting your book out there isn’t enough and you have to convince somebody to read it (and not only your Mum. By the way, although my mother doesn’t understand the technical aspects of it, she’s very enthusiastic. She’s always been of the opinion that anything that makes me happy must be good. If only…). So social networking and social media are the word. And there we are…trying. I have  webpage (another attempt…it will change I hope), a facebook page (not quite used to the concept) a Twitter account (I quite like twitter although it is difficult to strike the balance of spending enough time there but not letting it take over your whole life. Maybe it will get better with time), and now…I was missing the blog.

I’m not sure what I’ll be writing about but if I find anything that I find interesting or useful, I’ll bring it here. I also intend to post how my adventure on self-publishing is going.

Several people have suggested that I might be able to advice on psychiatric matters (I don’t mean treating people or giving consultations, but rather on a creative capacity). Do ask if you want to run ideas by me. I’ll try and answer if I have a useful answer (or can signpost).

And I’ll try and not talk about the weather.

I intend to also blog in Spanish, so that is still to come.

Thanks and feel free to contact me via Facebook or Twitter also.

Good luck and be good!

And more of her dresses!

And more of her dresses!

And as promised, the invitation. Sally Ember is interviewing me live tomorrow at 10 am Eastern US Time. I know not everybody might be able to catch it live, but she’s also kindly posting the interview in You Tube, so you might be able to listen to it at a more convenient time and date.

Here I leave you the Promo Post that has all the information:

Welcome to Episode 13 of *CHANGES* G+ HOA with another intriguing author, Olga Nuñez Miret, Ph.D., who also blogs and reviews bilingually in English and Spanish.  Join us LIVE https://plus.google.com/events/cc1tgg69iabjof2d4otgeh2c244 on Wednesday, November 19, 10 – 11 EST USA , or catch our conversation any time on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7PX-lwvbRA.

Explore Olga’s website at http://www.OlgaNM.com

 

Thank  you for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment, and if you can, listen to the interview. Ah, and I’ve won NaNoWriMo (although I can’t claim it officially yet). I’m over 50000 words! 

Hi all:

As you will remember I told you that I was going to participate in NaNoWriMo this November and that would not let me much time for original content so I would be sharing some of my old posts. (Yes, I keep writing. I think it’s going well, but at the rhythm I’m going I won’t know for sure until I reread everything…:)

A few weeks ago I got an e-mail from Juliette Forster who thought I could be interested in sharing her post/resource about Mindfulness. As you’ll know there has been a fair amount of research about the benefits of Mindfulness in recent (and not so recent times).

I agreed and I thought I’d take the chance to remind you about two previous posts I had written discussing my personal experience with Mindfulness (I continue to practice it, just in case you wondered).

Here is Juliette’s introduction:

Mindfulness has become the latest mental health watchword, with more and more healthcare professionals as well as patients regarding it as something to be taken seriously rather than a flash in the pan treatment that has no basis in scientific fact or research. Whilst it is true it uses some techniques that are grounded in Buddhist meditation, that’s not the whole story. For more information on this interesting topic, you can read on here.

http://www.kwikmed.org/mindfulness-simply-meditation/

And here I bring you my two previous posts (but if you don’t have time, just check Juliette Foster’s post).

 

Hi all:

I wanted to tell you a bit about what I’ve been doing over the last few days (this was in September 2013). I went on holiday to see my parents, in Barcelona, but when I came back I attended a retreat organised by Dr Russell Razzaque, a consultant psychiatrist who works in a PICU (Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit) in London. The retreat took place at the Carmelite Priory in Oxfordshire (a lovely and secluded place with great views of Oxford), and its remit was to offer training to a number (26 plus the organiser) of psychiatrists on Mindfulness.

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The grand Meditation Hall of the Burmese Buddhist Temple, Singapore. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to Wikipedia (yes, I know, but’s it’s a brief definition):

Mindfulness as a psychological concept is the focusing of attention and awareness, based on the concept of mindfulness in Buddhist meditation. It has been popularised in the West by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Despite its roots in Buddhism, mindfulness is often taught independently of religion.

Clinical psychology and psychiatry since the 1970s have developed a number of therapeutic applications based on mindfulness for helping people suffering from a variety of psychological conditions, and research has found therapy based on mindfulness to be effective, particularly for reducing anxiety, depression, and stress.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindfulness_(psychology)

I had been reading about Mindfulness, even tried some of the guided meditation audios provided on-line, but found it a bit difficult to make full sense of it by myself, or get any idea of how well, or badly, I was doing.

Although there’s a growing body of research on the use of Mindfulness (and Mindfulness based therapies, like Mindfulness based Cognitive Therapy and Acceptance Cognitive Therapy) as a therapeutic approach, I must confess I was more interest in it for its own effects on myself, or in recognisable parlance for my own ‘professional development’.

We had a number of talks and instructions as to what Mindfulness was or could do, but most of the stay was focused on practice. We had 24 hours of silence (including not only not talking to each other, but not reading, writing, using the phone, social networking or any other ways of communicating), and engaged in plenty of exercises of meditation, including sitting meditation, standing meditation, and walking meditation (that as quite a few participants noted, and I also thought, because you walk very slowly backwards and forward in the same stretch it makes you look like a very slow zombie), mindful observation (observing a raisin for 5 minutes and then eating it and trying to notice all flavours, sensations, texture in another five minutes) and mindful eating.

The focus (as I understand it, and as you see I’m no expert) of mindful meditation is the breathing. You focus on your own breathing, or a particular part of your breathing (we were trying to focus on our abdominal breathing and a particular point of the abdomen) and whilst meditating, every times thoughts came to our heads, we acknowledge them, let them go, and focus back on the breathing. It is a mode of acceptance. Yes, we have thoughts, and we might be distracted by them, but should not feel bad about it. It’s normal, it’s natural; we contemplate the phenomenon and go back to the breathing.

It is an attempt to try and swift the balance we have of allowing our rational and conscious mind to take over, with its worries, its anxieties, etc. One of the quotations I liked (not sure I can live by it but…) is: ‘thinking is overrated’. We might have silly, bizarre or weird thoughts, but they are not all we are. We are the context and the thoughts live within, like fishes in the sea (we’d be the sea), or passengers in a bus (we’re the bus and our thoughts the passengers).

We started the sessions with 10 minutes meditation sessions that increased up to 20 minutes and we would do the three types of meditation in a row; we would be doing periods of 1 hour by the end of the second day.

How did it feel? Well, I don’t know. Thoughts come to your head, but you are just supposed to contemplate them and let them go, and it’s Ok if you get distracted, you just go back to your breathing and acknowledge that happened. There’s no judgement of that being good or bad. Not easy to do. Or rather, yes, after a while you might get better at letting the thoughts go and trying and focus on the body and sensations. It’s a very strange feeling and I understand it takes practice.

I can’t say if it’s for me or not. Russell’s advice is that before you can recommend it to other people (Mindfulness itself, other techniques based in it might be useful and can be run without that much experience) you should be a seasoned practitioner yourself, and his suggestion was to make meditation a routine, and if we manage to keep going for 100 days in a row, then we can consider ourselves practitioners. I guess like other things that become habits, it requires commitment. I have started with it, downloaded an App: called Insight Timer (www.insightimer.com) that allows you to not only keep a log of your own meditation but also connect with other people and I’m intending to have a go. I’ll keep you posted, but as a concept I found it very interesting and can see how it could be helpful to some people.

For more information about the organisation that Dr Russell Razzaque has created, check here:

www.mindfulcollege.com

Although it has mental health practitioners in mind, it offers interesting information about therapeutic uses, where to go for retreats, research…so have a look!

Thanks for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it or are interested (or have plenty of experience that want to share) please, like, comment, and share!

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Zazen cushion used by Soto-zen school. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Today at Sarvodaya’s Early Morning meditation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You’ll remember a few weeks back I wrote a post about my experience during a retreat organised to teach Mindfulness to a cohort of psychiatrists. I’ll add the link at the end of the post, just in case you didn’t see it (or you want to refresh your memory. Not that I’m saying it’s the most memorable post ever written on the subject but…).

I thought that I’d probably be back to talk more about it. As I explained, to be considered a ‘practitioner’ by the College of Mindful Clinicians you had to practice mediation continuously, every day without a fault, for 90 days. So far, I haven’t failed a day. I got a message that I had reached 30 days last week. (As I review this post on the 4th I’ve gone over 40).

How am I finding it? Well, as I said in my first post, I wasn’t sure if it would be for me. I still don’t know. Some days I realise by the end of the meditation that my mind has been wondering all the time (or it feels like it), others, not so much. More recently I’ve been trying some of the guided meditation routines, as I find it easier to try and focus my mind on what the person is saying, and I’ll keep on checking. Interestingly enough, through Insight Timer I got a message of thanks this week (I think it was Tuesday) when somebody thanked me for meditating with her. It was a nice detail.

Life has ways of putting you to test. Today (27th of October, as I write posts in advance and schedule them when I can) was one of those days. I had agreed to do psychiatric assessments out of hours and somebody called me to ask me to do one. I’m going to be leaving my job in the next few months and it was the last thing I wanted to do, but didn’t think I could say no as I had offered and forgot to withdraw the offer. Who else were they going to find on a Sunday? Broadband wasn’t working, so could not let people know what I was doing. I had to go shopping in a hurry because shop would not be open when I came back. The assessment itself proved a bit problematic, but we eventually reached a resolution. In the meantime I had managed to connect via phone and been not very kind to somebody who caught me on a bad moment. I got home, tried to do something I had been working on yesterday (and spent some money on too) and realised it would not work. And then, of course, my printer run out of ink and when I went to change it, I had two cartridges that were the wrong type. I might try to return them, but have no idea where the receipt might be after all this time. Nothing major, but enough to put me in a bad frame of mind.

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PemaChödrön: At the Omega Institute, May 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I visited Hay-on-Wye (yes, I’ve also written a post about that too), I bought a book by Pema Chödrön, called ‘When Things Fall Apart’. Her works had been recommended at the retreat and I thought maybe this was the time to have a look. I’ve only read a few chapters but she encourages us to look at things and stay with things when they are irritating, collapsing around us, and cause us fear. Not running away from them will make us more aware of ourselves and who we are. Not necessarily happier, but I guess more us, and maybe we’ll learn to be kinder to ourselves, and with that, to others.

She mentions the story one of her teachers used to tell when asked about fear. He explained how his own teacher encouraged him to confront things that made him afraid. One day he was going with two other students to a monastery and there was a huge dog chained by the door. It was pulling at the chain and appeared intent on attacking them. Suddenly the chain broke and the dog leaped forward running towards them. The other two students froze and screamed in fear. Pema’s teacher explained that he started running towards the dog. The dog was so surprised that it turned around, its tail between its legs.

As she writes:

‘We can meet our match with a poodle or with a raging guard dog, but the interesting question is — what happens next?’

In my case, I think I need to learn to say no rather than spend my life feeling aggrieved by things that I don’t need to do. I also need to be realistic with my expectations (of other people, sure, but mostly of myself). And I need to give myself some space and take it a bit easier… And, of course, check the type of cartridges I buy. Let’s hope broadband will be back once the storm is over…Or I can always change providers…

Thank you for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it or it has made you think, please comment, share, like…And you don’t even have to click today (unless you want to read my previous post). (And update as I’m checking this before publishing it… The supermarket took the cartridges back. The broadband thing… seems to be a problem with the phone installation inside of my house, so nothing to do with the provider).

Here links to my previous posts:

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/hay-on-wye-a-paradise-for-booklovers/

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Thanks to my dear friend, great author and awesome blogger, Lord David Prosser, for interviewing me for his blog! Start following him and don’t forget to check his books. You’ll have a good laugh!

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Welcome to an Interview with : Olga Nunez Miret

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Author of. I Love Your Cupcakes

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A brief synopsis.

Dulce, Adelfa and Storm, the protagonists of I Love Your Cupcakes are business partners, friends and share some “interesting” family connections. All the men Dulce meets only ever talk about her cakes and she’s tired of it. Her friend Adelfa, although she’s a Chemistry Professor, can’t manage to find the recipe for the perfect relationship. And Storm, the third of the partners of their bakery/coffee shop/bookshop/art gallery and ex-fire station, is an artist who is not a master in the art of love. How could they imagine that at the studio of the contest “Do You Have What it Takes to Be the Next Baking Star?” they’d find sexual harassment, cheats, fights and also love?

With dogs, fire trucks, London double-decker buses, school buses, artists, chemists, engineers, architects, intrigue, scandals, bigamy, and…

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I’m not saying goodbye to my blog. You might remember that I published a post about changes a few weeks ago. This is my last week at my job. I finish this Friday (28th of March), after nearly 8 years here (it would have been 8 years in May).

Caricature doctor dogImage courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Caricature doctor dog Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As some of you know, I work as a psychiatrist in a forensic unit. I work for the NHS (National Health System) in the UK. I came to this job after working for nearly two years in the private sector (also in forensic psychiatry, in a medium secure unit). I had no issues with the care offered there, and the pay was better than in the NHS (even after nearly 8 years here I only now I’m close to the same pay I had there). I left partly because I wanted to do further training (and it was difficult in a smaller organisation not set up to offer training opportunities) but also because the idea of medicine being run as a business didn’t quite fit in my head. The company could be bought and sold overnight to anybody (a petrol company, an investment firm, another health organisation) and you had no saying on the matter. It was difficult to know in which direction things were going when you didn’t know who was in charge from one day to the next.

MRI Scanner Image courtesy of cooldesign / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

MRI Scanner Image courtesy of cooldesign / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I came back to the NHS, taking a pay cut (although my pay was quite reasonable for NHS standards in my particular role, as I was fairly experienced), because I felt at least I’d have some sense of where we were going. Years later I can honestly say I don’t like where things are going. I understand the NHS is a mammoth that swallows any money thrown at it. I also understand that things have changed dramatically from the time of its inception, when population was younger, smaller, and less demanding. Medicine has also changed, becoming much more reliant on technology and expensive procedures and medication (although some of the interventions that would increase massively the health of the population are not expensive, but convincing people to stop doing things that are harmful is very difficult). And yet, telling  people that you can do the same job for less money (or they’ll find others who will), cutting beds, getting rid of hospitals, and relying on systems of reporting and accounting that cannot reflect what is really important is not much of an answer. I’ve had enough and I’m off. I hope things get better, but I can’t see it. May I be wrong.

Thanks for reading and feel free to like, share and comment.

As a postscript, I intend to carry on blogging, if at all I can, although I might be itinerant for a while and doing some exploring. I will try and leave some posts prepared in advance and I hope my adventures will give me even more material for future posts. But if I’m missing or not replying to comments for a while, assume I’m somewhere having fun!

If you love your heart, don't smoke  Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you love your heart, don’t smoke Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hi all:

I have mentioned a few times that I am planning some changes. I am leaving my job by the end of March. Yes, I know it’s not the best time to leave a job. But…

“There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing”. (Aristotle)

Why am I leaving? There are a variety of reasons, but I’ve found this reflection by Steve Jobs that gets to the heart of it:

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” (Steve Jobs)

I’ve made some changes to my life in recent years. I moved to the UK now many years back, I studied psychiatry and worked in it, I decided to leave it and studied American Literature (BA and PhD) and came back to psychiatry for a few years. More recently I’ve started publishing my books (I’ve been writing for many years but it was never the right moment. You know how it is). I loved studying Literature. I’ve always loved books and reading, and it was a fantastic period of my life, even though I had to do locums and work during my holidays. I have loved some jobs, or to be more specific, some periods at some of my jobs. But since taking up writing more seriously, the gap between what I’d really love to do and what I do everyday has become more evident.

And so, as Mark Twain says:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore, Dream, Discover.” (Mark Twain)

Image courtesy of Dominic Harness / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Dominic Harness / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve tried to do what in Spain we call ‘to swim and keep an eye on your clothes’, to have it all: security and adventure and do what I love. It doesn’t work. Maybe there are more important things.

“What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”  (Bob Dylan)

I hope that applies to a woman too. (Don’t worry. I only need to look after myself and have no dependants.)

After all, the definition of success is personal:

“Success is falling nine times and getting up ten.” (Jon Bon Jovi)

And:

“He has achieved success who has worked well, laughed often, and loved much.”(Elbert Hubbard)

I think I need to laugh more. See if I manage.

“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” (Christopher Columbus)

I hope you come with me!

Thanks for reading and if you fancy liking, sharing or commenting, don’t let me stop you!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Some quotes I’ve collected over time but most of them come from Brainyquote.com. I leave you a link for your inspiration.

Links:

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_future.html

Hi all:

In the last of my holiday season special posts, I thought as we’ve just had the big opening of the year 2014, it might be the time to think about what we’re going to be doing next year. I don’t know you, but I’m planning for big changes. Job, life in general, writing… Probably writing is the thing I’m clearer about. My first plan is to publish Escaping Psychiatry (that I had published as three separate novellas) as a single book, with an epilogue and a fabulous new cover by the very talented Ernesto Valdés.

I’ve mentioned a Young Adult series in the past. I’m planning on finishing writing the whole of it before publishing it, and I’m at the moment writing the second novel. We’ll see. (The title of the series, if it doesn’t change, is: Angelic Business). Recently I’ve had some ideas for a new romance (as it seems that Click Me Happy! has been well received by those who’ve read it). I’m also planning on revisiting some of my finished works and there’s one I think will see the light soonish…

As a teaser, and because I hope Escaping Psychiatry should be published (with a bit of luck, and I must confess I haven’t had much of that recently) by the end of January, I leave you with the description, the cover, and a bit of the second story ‘Teamwork’. I hope you enjoy it and I’ll keep you up-to-date on my progress.

Description:

‘Escaping Psychiatry’ has it all: intriguing characters, noir style, thrilling pursuits, dangerous situations, crime, serial killers, religion, family secrets, murder, psychological insights, mental illness, trauma, debates about prejudice and morality, heated trials, police investigations, corruption, and mystery. If you enjoy ‘Wire in the Blood’, ‘Cracker’ and ‘Lie to Me’ and you are not scared of going deeper and darker, dare to read on.

‘Escaping Psychiatry’ is a collection of three stories with the same protagonist, Mary, a psychiatrist and writer. She is trying to develop her literary career but circumstances and friends conspire to keep dragging her back to psychiatry. Initially published as three separate novellas, this volume compiles the three stories and adds an epilogue that brigs closure to previous narrations whilst at the same time opening avenues for new adventures for Mary and her friends.

In ‘Cannon Fodder’, Phil, a lawyer who is good friends with Mary asks her to provide a report on one of his clients, a young African-American man called Cain White. Cain is a very religious man and has been accused of inciting a riot at a religious meeting. Although his actions have never been violent, some people find the content of his speech inflammatory and disturbing. He says he can hear God’s voice. And more important he insists that God is black and his appears to be a Black Nationalist message. Is Cain insane, deluded, misguided, looking for media-attention, or a Saint? To find an answer to these questions Mary talks to his family and friends. Although she concludes he is sane,Mary’s investigation uncovers some very damaging revelations about his family life, beliefs and local attitudes. Who is a saint and who is a sinner is a matter for debate. The more Mary gets involved in the lives of Cain and those close to him the more she realises how dangerous secrets are. Like time-bombs ready to set off any minute.
‘Teamwork’: Captain Tom McLeod, from the San Francisco Police Department, invites Mary for a meal at home with his wife. When she meets their other guest, a young detective called Justin, she quickly realises there is an agenda well beyond a friendly meal. Justin’s partner, mentor and father figure, Sgt David Leaman, was killed a couple of months earlier during a routine investigation. Justin witnessed the event but he insists in going back to work and refusing any therapy or counselling. Tom and others at the department are concerned about his mental state but have failed to convince him to accept professional help. Both Mary and Justin are reluctant to engage in the ambush/informal consultation organised, but eventually decide to give it a try. At first sight it appears to be a straight forward case of unresolved grief, but things aren’t as clear-cut as they appear and Mary ends up getting too personally involved with the case, to the detriment of her professional objectivity. Who is the real expert in matters of the heart and soul?
In ‘Memory’, Mary runs out of her apartment after a difficult encounter with her friend Phil, and goes missing. When she is found it seems that she was hit in the head, abducted and raped. As a result of the head injury she initially cannot recall what happened or remember many details of her life. She never recovers memory for the assault and finds it difficult to come to terms with something she cannot recall. Her relationships and her whole life are left in turmoil following the traumatic incident. The clues point towards a serial killer who could not finish his job in her case. But some things do not fit in. Who disturbed the killer? Why was she left there? The crime and the investigation surrounding it have a profound impact on Mary who decides that she needs to reconsider her life and start anew.
The epilogue revisits Mary at the point of the trial of her abductor and sees what changes have taken place in her life. Will she finally manage to Escape Psychiatry?

Although these stories are fictional, the author, a forensic psychiatrist, brings her expertise and insight to the material, lifting it above a standard crime caper. Olga is thinking of writing more stories in the series. If you’d be interested in reading them, let her know.Links and points of contact available at the end of the book.

Cover:

 

Cover of my new book

Cover of my new book

  

Beginning of ‘Teamwork’:

It’s true what they say. ‘There’s no such a thing as a free lunch.’ She should have known. Mary had wondered why Capt. Tom McLeod had invited her for dinner at home. He was one of Phil’s friends and she’d met him while Phil was giving legal advice to one of Tom’s men regarding a complaint of police brutality. He’d also been instrumental in helping her research the role of the profiler for one of her books. She owed him one. When he asked her to a family dinner she couldn’t say no. Now, at his door, with a bunch of flowers for his wife, Maureen, and a bottle of Spanish wine, she wondered how he knew she was in town, and why he had bothered to trace her. Only for dinner? It seemed like too much of an effort. Maybe it was her suspicious mind…

“Hi Mary. Lovely to see you after all this time.”

Tom McLeod was as smart as usual. Not the typical image of the cop with a fag in his mouth and an untidy shirt. Although in his fifties and with greying hair, he was always dressed in neat dark suits, clean-shaven, and with shiny shoes. Even at home, though?

“Hi Tom. These are for your wife. And this…for you” she said, handing him the flowers and wine.

“Thank you. Excellent choice.”

Mary smiled, although she wasn’t truly convinced of the honesty of his comment. She had asked for the shop assistant’s advice when choosing the wine as she understood nothing about it and hardly ever drank.

“How did you know I was here?”

“I was talking to Phil and he told me you were coming to San Francisco. Research? He didn’t tell me much about it.”

“Hitchcock’s Vertigo. The scenery, the buildings, the old San Francisco, Spanish colonialism…Maybe…Depends on what I can find.”

“It sounds good. Maureen is in the kitchen putting the last touches on the meal.”

A young man, ash blonde, with blue eyes and a baby face, stood up from the sofa when they walked in.

“Oh. This is Justin Kelly, one of the detectives in my department. Dr. Mary Miller. A friend of the family.”

“Mary, please” she said, offering her hand. He shook it, looking at her with…worry?

Mary went to say hello to Maureen and do a bit of gossiping, leaving the men alone. Maureen was one of the very few women she knew who seemed born for the role of housewife and mother and truly enjoyed it. After some chitchat about the McLeods’ two sons, Tony and Patrick, Mary decided to proceed with her investigation.

“Who is this Justin, then?” Mary asked.

“Oh…Poor guy. He’s going through a really hard time. He comes from a very traumatic background. One of Tom’s men, Sgt. David Leaman…did you meet him?…took him under his wing and…treated him like a son. A truly good job he did with him. Recently…about two months ago, they were working together in a case and…Sgt. Leaman was killed. Tom is quite concerned about Justin, who seems to have reacted very weirdly to the whole thing. He just wants to go back to work, won’t talk to anybody, won’t have counselling…”

So that was it. An informal consultation. That’s what Tom wanted. Fair enough, but at least he could have told her. However hard she tried to leave psychiatry behind and get on with her other career, it didn’t seem to work. She was always pulled back.

“Is it nearly ready?” Tom asked from the dining room.

“Yes. Ready!”

Dinner was somewhat weird. It was evident that Justin wasn’t a regular visitor to the house and didn’t quite know what to say. And he didn’t seem the talkative type either. He was sitting opposite Mary, and asked her:

“Doctor in what?”

“Literature and film, aren’t you?” Tom replied for her. Once Tom got distracted by his wife’s conversation she added:

“I also studied Medicine. And Psychiatry. I still work at it sometimes.”

She’d hit the target. His face changed and he became even quieter. Shortly after, he said that he needed to make a phone call. He wasn’t too long and remained as quiet as before when he returned. Both Justin and she made their apologies quite early and left together. Once in the street, as he opened his mouth to say goodbye, Mary said:

“Listen, I didn’t know anything about it. I asked Maureen in the kitchen and she told me what happened to Sgt. Leaman. I’m terribly sorry. But Tom hadn’t told me anything. I can see why he invited me, and I must say I found it a bit weird at the time, but he’d always been helpful and kind to me, I couldn’t say no for no reason. I just wanted you to know that I didn’t come here with the intention of analysing you or anything like that. Goodnight then. And good luck.”

As she turned to leave, he asked:

“Could we…talk? In confidence?”

“If you think it might help…”

“Oh, I don’t know. I don’t talk much. David was one of the few people I’ve ever talked to…And his wife Lea, but less…She’s too distraught to bother her with the way I’m feeling right now.”

“Let’s go somewhere. Do you know any place?”

“There’s an all-night diner not very far away from here. There’re never too many people there.”

He was right. There were a couple of people having something to eat, but otherwise the place was dead quiet. Mary ordered a hot chocolate and he had some ice-cream and coffee. He had a spoonful of the ice-cream and put it to one side.

“No appetite? You didn’t eat much at the McLeods either.”

“No. I don’t feel like eating.”

“Have you lost weight?”

“Probably. Clothes seem loose now.” He went quiet. Mary asked.

“Are you sleeping all right?”

“Not really…I fall asleep easily enough, and then…I wake up in the middle of the night. I keep having these horrible nightmares…I can see David being shot in the head over and over again…”

“Did you see it?…I knew you’d been there, but I didn’t realise…”

“Yes. I was there. When I close my eyes I keep seeing him…falling down…Yes, I know…post-traumatic stress and all that crap. I don’t care what you call it; I’m not going to let it beat me. Not after what I’ve been through. I was beaten up by my father, tortured by him, really…He sent my mother and me to hospital time and again until one day…he hit her; she knocked her head against a banister and died. I pushed him downstairs, he was drunk…He didn’t die but ended up in a coma, like a vegetable. He finally died a couple of years ago and I couldn’t have cared less. It was a relief. I was 14 when all that happened. And then…They put me in a children’s home, and I did drugs, and drank, and…other things…And David caught me at a robbery…I was 16 at the time, and…I don’t know what it was, but he felt sorry for me. Lea says I probably reminded him of the son he lost as a child. Anyway, he took an interest, took me home with him and…He can’t be dead!” Justin burst out crying and Mary kept quiet, offering him a tissue after a few minutes.

“I hadn’t cried…for a long time. It makes me feel stupid and…”

“Vulnerable?…We’re all human and we hurt. It’s allowed, you know?”

“No. Not me. If I let everything come out…It’s a can of worms, Mary…Can I call you Mary?”

“Sure you can.”

“It’s…The only way I can get on with my life is by forgetting what went on before. Dave used to tell me that I didn’t have control over what the bastard of my father did to me, and that he’d been punished for it, and I might as well concentrate on the rest of my life, because over that…I had some control and I could decide what to do. I could change it over; I could become anything I wanted if I just tried hard enough.”

“He was right, of course. But it isn’t always that easy. We need help sometimes, we aren’t that strong. We need to understand how we feel to move on. We cannot block everything out.”

“I am trying. I am trying very hard…Dave was…I was going to say like my father, but that’s an insult given the circumstances. He was like my father would have been if I had been given a choice…He accepted me when I was at my lowest, helped me through all the crap of coming off drugs and alcohol, taught me how to behave in civilised company, and managed to convince the police department that I deserved a chance…with my past…Oh, I don’t know why I’m telling you all this shit.”

“It’s fine.”

“I don’t talk. It isn’t my way. Even with Dave…We did things, he gave me advice, but he wasn’t the touchy-feely kind of guy, and he always taught me to put a brave face on things and get on with it.”

“He must have been a very strong man.”

“Yes. He didn’t…Not long ago Lea told me about the son he lost. From his first marriage. His son drowned in an accident when he was six, and his wife died in a car-crash a year later. He never told her anything else about them, or talked about his feelings. And he never mentioned them to me. He had a picture of his son in his bedroom, but I never dared to ask.”

“That was his way of coping, then. Not everybody is the same, Justin, and it isn’t a weakness to talk about the way one feels. It’s OK.”

“I’ve been trying to go back to work for ages. They gave me time off following the shooting, gave me compassionate leave, and now don’t want me to go back. They insisted that I have bereavement counselling, but I refused. I know Capt. McLeod wanted me to have an assessment, a psychological assessment, of how I was before I went back. I imagine just in case I became a homicidal maniac and shot everybody in sight or something like that.”

“As I said, he didn’t tell me anything, so I don’t know their worries. Although Maureen told me that they felt you’d reacted in a rather weird way to his death, not saying anything, not expressing any feelings.”

“What do they want me to do? Cry? I won’t. Why do I have to express myself their way? And what do I need counselling for? Is it going to bring Dave back?”

“No. Of course not. It might help you come to terms with…”

“The only thing that could help me come to terms with it would be to catch the fucking bastard who did this to him, and kill him.” Justin’s eyes were bright, his lips trembling, the veins in his neck bulging, and his breathing had become shallow.

“Justin…You’re a policeman. You can’t take justice in your own hands.”

“And who is going to stop me? Who? This hatred is the only thing that makes me get up in the morning, the last thing I think of before I go to bed.”

“Revenge and hatred are destructive emotions. You’ve learned to control your behaviour and your anger, don’t let them get the better of you.”

Mary wondered if her advice was the wisest thing to tell him. That young man was evidently not only bereaved, but also depressed, and maybe his anger was the only thing he was living for. The only person he trusted had died. He must have felt an orphan all over again.

“Maybe you’re right. I know Dave wouldn’t have approved of what I’m saying, but it drives me mad. I keep fantasising over it. I think about killing him. Not shooting him, but killing him with my own hands. I want to see the life escaping from that bastard…Sorry…I shouldn’t talk like that.”

“Talking about it isn’t a problem. If you came to do it…that would be a problem.”

Justin looked at her in the eyes, and then looked down.

“I know. I know. Now you’ll talk to Capt. McLeod and I won’t have a chance of ever going back until I’ve undergone therapy. It’s my own fault. I should have shut up.”

“Justin…Capt. McLeod didn’t ask me to assess you. At least not yet. And I could only talk to him about whatever you allowed me to. There are confidentiality issues. I would never agree to do anything without your consent. Although, if you ask me, I think you need to ventilate your feelings and not let them destroy you. What you feel is perfectly normal and reasonable. If you refuse to allow yourself to feel it, though, it might become a problem.”

“Who can I talk to about it?”

“Maybe counselling isn’t such a bad idea.”

“Oh no, I can’t talk to one of the police counsellors. I don’t trust them. And they don’t know what they’re talking about. But I’ll talk to you…You’re easy to talk to.”

Thank you for reading. Sorry it ended up being a bit long but I wanted to give a bit of an idea…And if you’ve enjoyed it, please comment, share, and like! And Happy New Year 2014!

Hi all:

I wanted to tell you a bit about what I’ve been doing over the last few days. I went on holiday to see my parents, in Barcelona, but when I came back I attended a retreat organised by Dr Russell Razzaque, a consultant psychiatrist who works in a PICU (Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit) in London. The retreat took place at the Carmelite Priory in Oxfordshire (a lovely and secluded place with great views of Oxford), and its remit was to offer training to a number (26 plus the organiser) of psychiatrists on Mindfulness.

The grand Meditation Hall of the Burmese Buddh...

The grand Meditation Hall of the Burmese Buddhist Temple, Singapore. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to Wikipedia (yes, I know, but’s it’s a brief definition):

Mindfulness as a psychological concept is the focusing of attention and awareness, based on the concept of mindfulness in Buddhist meditation. It has been popularised in the West by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Despite its roots in Buddhism, mindfulness is often taught independently of religion.

Clinical psychology and psychiatry since the 1970s have developed a number of therapeutic applications based on mindfulness for helping people suffering from a variety of psychological conditions, and research has found therapy based on mindfulness to be effective, particularly for reducing anxiety, depression, and stress.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindfulness_(psychology)

I had been reading about Mindfulness, even tried some of the guided meditation audios provided on-line, but found it a bit difficult to make full sense of it by myself, or get any idea of how well, or badly, I was doing.

Although there’s a growing body of research on the use of Mindfulness (and Mindfulness based therapies, like Mindfulness based Cognitive Therapy and Acceptance Cognitive Therapy) as a therapeutic approach, I must confess I was more interest in it for its own effects on myself, or in recognisable parlance for my own ‘professional development’.

We had a number of talks and instructions as to what Mindfulness was or could do, but most of the stay was focused on practice. We had 24 hours of silence (including not only not talking to each other, but not reading, writing, using the phone, social networking or any other ways of communicating), and engaged in plenty of exercises of meditation, including sitting meditation, standing meditation, and walking meditation (that as quite a few participants noted, and I also thought, because you walk very slowly backwards and forward in the same stretch it makes you look like a very slow zombie), mindful observation (observing a raisin for 5 minutes and then eating it and trying to notice all flavours, sensations, texture in another five minutes) and mindful eating.

The focus (as I understand it, and as you see I’m no expert) of mindful meditation is the breathing. You focus on your own breathing, or a particular part of your breathing (we were trying to focus on our abdominal breathing and a particular point of the abdomen) and whilst meditating, every times thoughts came to our heads, we acknowledge them, let them go, and focus back on the breathing. It is a mode of acceptance. Yes, we have thoughts, and we might be distracted by them, but should not feel bad about it. It’s normal, it’s natural; we contemplate the phenomenon and go back to the breathing.

It is an attempt to try and swift the balance we have of allowing our rational and conscious mind to take over, with its worries, its anxieties, etc. One of the quotations I liked (not sure I can live by it but…) is: ‘thinking is overrated’. We might have silly, bizarre or weird thoughts, but they are not all we are. We are the context and the thoughts live within, like fishes in the sea (we’d be the sea), or passengers in a bus (we’re the bus and our thoughts the passengers).

We started the sessions with 10 minutes meditation sessions that increased up to 20 minutes and we would do the three types of meditation in a row; we would be doing periods of 1 hour by the end of the second day.

How did it feel? Well, I don’t know. Thoughts come to your head, but you are just supposed to contemplate them and let them go, and it’s Ok if you get distracted, you just go back to your breathing and acknowledge that happened. There’s no judgement of that being good or bad. Not easy to do. Or rather, yes, after a while you might get better at letting the thoughts go and trying and focus on the body and sensations. It’s a very strange feeling and I understand it takes practice.

I can’t say if it’s for me or not. Russell’s advice is that before you can recommend it to other people (Mindfulness itself, other techniques based in it might be useful and can be run without that much experience) you should be a seasoned practitioner yourself, and his suggestion was to make meditation a routine, and if we manage to keep going for 100 days in a row, then we can consider ourselves practitioners. I guess like other things that become habits, it requires commitment. I have started with it, downloaded an App: called Insight Timer (www.insightimer.com) that allows you to not only keep a log of your own meditation but also connect with other people and I’m intending to have a go. I’ll keep you posted, but as a concept I found it very interesting and can see how it could be helpful to some people.

For more information about the organisation that Dr Russell Razzaque has created, check here:

www.mindfulcollege.com

Although it has mental health practitioners in mind, it offers interesting information about therapeutic uses, where to go for retreats, research…so have a look!

Thanks for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it or are interested (or have plenty of experience that want to share) please, like, comment, and share!

Zazen cushion used by Soto-zen school.

Zazen cushion used by Soto-zen school. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PSYCHIATRIST'S OFFICE FROM THE 1958 FILM, &quo...

PSYCHIATRIST’S OFFICE FROM THE 1958 FILM, “TERROR IN THE HAUNTED HOUSE”!!!! (Photo credit: spike55151)

As you know I work as a psychiatrist and my job involves seeing people, assessing them, coming up with diagnoses and looking after them (as I work in a hospital) and prescribing medication. Psychiatrists study Medicine and like in any other specialties in Medicine we then go on to study and work more in depth on our subject.

Although all doctors should be able to communicate well, that’s of the outmost importance in Psychiatry. You need to try and be a good listener, non-judgemental and try not to be too directive. After years of listening and observing people I can’t sometimes help offering some general advice and try to apply it to myself.

Here I leave you some of my “pearls of wisdom”.

First, be kind to yourself. Many of us tend to judge ourselves very harshly and punish ourselves for being less than perfect. I always advise people (and that’s very difficult to do in the heat of the moment) to try and think what advice they would give to somebody else (a friend, and acquaintance) if they were telling them about the same issues, problems, they are going through. Think about it. Would you tell them they were horrible? Would you punish them? Then, grant yourself the kindness you’d give others. Yes, learn from your mistakes, accept responsibility, but then move on and try and not make the same mistake again.

Second and very related to the first, try and gain perspective. Things that appear huge at the time are not so from a distance. It’s not easy, but if you can learn to try and step out of the situation and get a more balanced view, you’ll realise what the really important things are and which are your priorities. Don’t sweat the small stuff. (A caveat of this would be, don’t take everything personally. Yes, sometimes people might make nasty comments about you, but sometimes we might personalise pretty anodyne or neutral comments and imbue them with a meaning they don’t have.)

Third. When you’re feeling low it might feel as if you’re in a deep hole and there’s no way out. Sometimes it’s not evident but there is a way out and we can’t see it because we keep digging further down rather than looking up. However far up and difficult there are always alternatives. Not everybody is helpful but there are people who can help. You don’t have to do it all alone.

**********************************************************************************************************************************************

And now I leave you with a video Emmy award winner Alan Cooke (a.k.a Wild Irish Poet) has created talking about my writing and works. There’s some (?) use of poetic license but he’s such a wonderful narrator and has such a great voice that…

Well, I know you’re curious. Check it out!.

http://youtu.be/tp7XF2PIDNQ

It’s also available in my Amazon author page:

http://www.amazon.com/Olga-Núñez-Miret/e/B009UC58G0

If you want to check Alan’s work, go here:

https://www.facebook.com/wildirishpoet/

Or  check his webpage:

www.wildirishpoet.com

This is my post where I included a review of his book ‘Naked in New York’ and some other great books.

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/coctail-of-reviews-a-plague-of-dissent-a-year-of-book-marketing-part-1-naked-in-new-york-and-the-key-to-success/

DON’T FORGET TO CLICK

Thanks for reading.

Living in the Gap

“Ruffled feathers and endless squawking over a minor difficulty is typical of a crow’s life. I lean back on the counter and realize that could be my line….”

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