Saturday, 26 February 2011

Recommended reading: Psychiatric Tales

I came across a fantastic collection of graphic short stories by Darryl Cunningham. Cunningham worked at an acute psychiatric ward for several years, which inspired Psychiatric Tales, a moving examination of mental illness and our society.

In eleven powerful stories, Cunningham describes the heart-breaking life at the dementia ward...


... explores the lives of famous people with mental illness, like Winston Churchill, Brian Wilson and Judy Garland...

... opens up the mind of the schizophrenic...

... and discusses the society's response to mental illness and the stigma that the mentally ill still face in their every day lives.


I have read a fair bit of literature on mental illness, and there have been times when I have felt that no matter how much I read, I just couldn't grasp the whole picture. Cunningham shows that sometimes it only takes a simple black-and-white image and a single sentence to make better sense of it all.




Men's cashmere sweater: Apt. 9, Kohl's
Skirt: Gina Tricot
Tights: JCPenney
Boots: Bianco

9 comments:

Shey said...

Wow you hair is getting long again Waves =)
I look forward to reading more about your research, I've seen a couple documentaries online about people with mental illnesses they are very interesting however I have never picked up a book to read more in depth. =)

Charles said...

that really does look like a great read! I love your boots and your cute skirt :)
xx

http://charlesbgoode.blogspot.com

Terri said...

I've not really developed a habit of reading graphic novels/story collections yet, although I understand that there are some very good ones out there. Recently began reading Cruddy by Lynda Barry, semi-illustrated adult material.

Admiring the color blue on you.

melina bee said...

that sounds like a great book-- I really enjoy illustrated or graphic novels and it seems so clever, simple and sensitive.

Charlotte said...

"Cruddy" is great, Terri--I taught it in my grad seminar a couple years ago. Students loved it. And thank you for the tip on this one, Waves--I didn't know of it & will check it out.

Your outfit looks happy--such good blues on you.

JRose said...

Looks like a really interesting book. But how are "belligerince", "abnormal energy" or "grandiosity" mental illnesses? Especially abnormal energy...

Becky said...

Lovely outfit and awesome book! The illustrations are great and the message is even better!

The Waves said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone!

JRose: The book is really interesting, and the phrases associated with Churchill's personality are actually symptoms of bipolar disorder, which is apparently what he suffered from. Cunningham thinks that Churchill's manic traits helped him be the persuasive wartime leader he was.

Darryl Cunningham said...

Thanks for this review. Very kind words.