Customer Review

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bright Shafts of Light..., 14 Sep 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Dark Threads (Paperback)
"Whenever I'm sitting with a patient, and I begin to get the feeling one of us is mad, my first assumption is that it is the patient" ~ Thus began a psychiatrist giving a talk to myself and fellow Relate counsellors back in the late 1970s. Sadly, that assumption won't always prove accurate. This book, a personal memoir, sheds light on the awful and disturbing chain of events that unfolded back in the late 1960s when a teenage girl made the simple mistake of asking the right question in the wrong place; a mistake that led to five almost unimaginably painful years which threatened to ruin her life.

One of the most fundamental human rights is the right to be unhappy, and one of the most valuable human qualities is the capacity to bear, and voice, doubt. Sadly, this young woman made the mistake of voicing her doubts and unhappiness in a context that lacked the imagination to see these human qualities as anything other than dysfunctions to be treated with copious doses of mind-altering and dependence inducing drugs, and sending electric currents zinging through her brain. Thankfully, she survived the dark tunnel of psychiatry at its most myopic and arrogant, to emerge to recount her tale with a quiet, determined strength and, what must have been a painful honesty. Hers has been quite a journey.

This book is not for the faint-hearted, no easy bedtime treat to send you contentedly off to sleep; but it is well worth reading and the themes stayed with me long after the last page. It is a patient's personal story with much to teach the psychiatric profession, and all who append labels to that which they do not understand, and most probably, regard with fear. There is much arrogant mis-diagnosis and subsequent `bad medicine' described in The Dark Threads, and it would be all too easy (and dangerous) to take comfort behind the conviction, `of course it wouldn't happen nowadays!' Mercifully, despite the book's vivid details of much damaging, inappropriate, and inhumane medical treatment; and an undeniably difficult home life and upbringing, there are also bright shards of humanity that shine through the chapters. Thank goodness for the brave independence of Dr Copeland, for young Danny's faith in his own judgement, for a teenage girl's best friends, for a loving Pastor with his head screwed on, and for a young woman's instinct to never quite lose faith in those rare shafts of light... and for having the courage in middle-age to remember back to those dark days and enlighten us with her brave story.

Kevin Chandler
Author, and therapist.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 May 2010 11:21:45 BDT
Interesting review - makes me want to get the book.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

4.4 out of 5 stars (39 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (26)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
12.99 7.19
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 12,109