PDF or EPUB Let Me Not Be Mad A Story of Unravelling Minds
PDF or EPUB Let Me Not Be Mad A Story of Unravelling Minds
The author of this book is a neurologist or psychologist so it s not surprising that the flap copy compares him to Oliver Sacks and RD Laing Those names are guaranteed to piue my interest and the summary also promised that there would be a prescription for a truly empathetic therapy at the end so I took the book out of the library without ever having heard of it before Normally I check everything out on Goodreads firstThe book is indeed structured like an Oliver Sacks book with chapter after chapter illustrating Dr Benjamin s interactions with his patients but he doesn t have Dr Sacks tidy storytelling style and my mind wandered uite a bit The comparison to RD Laing was uite apt though because he too is calling BS on himself and the whole diagnostic profession Those were my favorite parts so I coped down my favorite uotes Here goes1 Coy behavior begins early in development to elicit nurturance and educe the possibility of adult aggression 2 Doctors would always be the central characters in their own emergencies the patients just extras And my very favorite written about a patient with divine delusions of himself 3 He wasn t the first bipolar ADHD narcissist addict whatever he was who had gone to town on his Higher Power Though I ve said this in other eviews it applies here too 5 star gems of wisdom amid a 3 star sometimes boring narrativeThe book took a dramatic and unexpected turn about three uarters of the way though I won t spoil it but I will say that it s about the author s personal life The events don t seem to be presented chronologically so I was confused by precisely what happened to him and I was elieved to find another Goodreader who felt the same The last chapter was a pleasant surprise though It wasn t at all the empathetic therapy I was expecting but I like itIf you are interested in the practice of psychology this book is worth checking out But I warn you it s a bit experimental in its organization It s meant to eflect the disordered jumble of a human mind which means the author is eally showing and not telling but if you like a traditional narrative you might find the book hard to get through Written in dense muscular anarchic prose taking us deep inside the delirious fictionalised mind of its author the book has the feel of a juggernaut elentlessly plowing towards the cliff face It s got a truly original and utterly uncompromising feel Occasionally you feel a bit like you e playing catch up but it is despite its confusing feel honest striking and at times savagely funny An outstanding original debut As urgent and compelling as it is profound Unmissable This book is all of wonderful thought provoking and also very confusing I am still not sure I fully understand it or completely followed it perhaps that is the point When finished it almost feels like my mind is addled as much as the author s which could well be a sign of how consuming the writing is and that this is written to make your thoughts and feels echo those of th I did not like this book I ead a eview in the NY Times which proclaimed it as exellcent with a write up so compelling I was pleased to purchase it through for. Simultaneously a memoir a series of case studies a confession and a hall of mirrors A K Benjamin’s Let Me Not Be Mad takes the eader on a twisting psychological journey through madness love and self destructionA oom with two people in it One of them is talking the other is listening Both of them need helpWritten from a uniuely affecting and involved perspective this is a story that be.
16Rarely do I trash a book in a eview It was awful Presumably you the eader are observing the author observe himself as his life unfolds and a degenerative condition unravels his life The beginning of the book has a chapter per client for the eader to notice the author describe the symptoms of the patient the difficulties of the healthcare system the balance of trying to see the patient as human as they deteriorate It makes the eader aware of the difficulty of neuropsychology as opposed to talk therapy no worried well here And after about the first 6 we start to see the break down of the author which erodes to workplace incompetence He is sent to therapy which seems to be absolutely no useDid the book make me intrigued Not at all Was I interested in the characters I began to see the author as very self serving an had no empathy for him by the end of the book Does this kind of thing happen to people with a degenerative mental illness Yes it does Is it tragic when that occurs Yes it is I did not care about the author I flipped through the last pages The epilogue did not disclose the diagnosis or outcome It would have been better if I had donated the 16 to a go fund me for his after care or for his children It was the worst book I have ead all year I don t even want it in my bookcase Ick Ick I m tossing it into the Goodwill pile Ick What a waste of time I do not ecommend the book Just brilliant and life changing AK Benjamin s Let Me Not Be Mad is a fascinating hybrid of a book In part a collection of case studies of patients with neurological problems it is also a ather slippery memoir an exploration of the doctor patient elationship and a critiue of Britain s National Health System Intense ironic sharply observed allusive erudite and in places possibly pseudo scholarly the book demands a lot from the eader This is particularly the case in its final third where the narratormemoirist the pseudonymous AK Benjamin is himself in psychological free fall Up to this point the eader knows Dr Benjamin as a trustworthy medical professional A neuropsychologist apparently employed in the general neurology department of a hospital in northern England he has described his work gathering patients stories and testing those whose brains aren t functioning properly for a variety of easons dementia epilepsy traumatic brain injury motor neurone disease and mental illnessDr Benjamin comes across as a capable deeply empathic diagnostician though one whose approach to his work has seemingly been idiosyncratic and unconventional He meets patients for coffee and does non pencil and paper diagnostics in soccer stadiums for example However in the last part of the book the eader s impression of Benjamin is largely undone by details of a mind and a life spinning out of control In disorganized and at times incomprehensible prose the memoirist presents himself as a person who is as troubled as any of his patients unning for years from a diagnosis he didn t want to accept and for which he efused treatment He eveals that some of the case studies he described are not based on patients but on himself and his own psychiatric hist. Gins somewhere familiar – the consulting oom – but ends somewhere utterly unexpectedThrough a series of intense encounters with minds on the brink it shows how fine the line is between strange behaviour and catastrophic illness between truth and fantasy Then it shows what it’s like to cross that line leaving a trail of destruction in one’s wakeIt is a book about confronting the
A.K. Benjamin ¾ 5 characters
Ory The most notable of these cases concerns B the young son of dysfunctional psychologically absent parents a boy known to leap from bedroom windows and shock himself using a model train setGiven these later evelations it s not surprising eally that one of the earliest cases Benjamin presents is that of a ecently etired and widowed woman whose memory is failing Lucy has ecently been found in the wrong house watering a neighbour s houseplants On another occasion she forgot to turn off a tap before answering the phone and flooded her home Her semantic memory ecall of facts is eceding and her speech is odd similar sounding words are spoken in place of the ight ones Based on her clinical presentation and her MRI scan she s diagnosed with early onset dementia but a few months later when the scan is epeated the abnormality hypoperfusion of brain tissue which led to her catastrophic medical labelling is no longer in evidence The neurologist overseeing the case is forced to walk back the diagnosis Lucy s behaviour is now to be viewed as an extreme esponse to bereavement and significant life changes Too late She has accepted the initial verdict and begun the descent into actual dementiaBenjamin explores a study of the ways in which input from medical professionals can drastically alter ead limit patients perceptions of themselves and their capacities His awareness of such studies may explain in part his own esistance to a diagnosis when he was a younger person Ultimately however his dysfunction catches up with him His professional approach can no longer be written off as that of a maverick It is clear that his behaviour is abnormal and his judgement dangerously compromised He is madFor the most part I found Benjamin s book a fascinating one The mind behind it if disordered is nimble and capacious There are innumerable literary neurological psychological and pop culture eferences not all of which I comprehended I suspect if I eviewed this book on a different day I would highlight different sections and might even draw different conclusions about it That s how ich and stimulating it is I do wish the last section which deals with the author s madness had been controlled I suspect Benjamin wanted to communicate the degree to which his mind had unravelled However I m not sure that forcing the eader to wade through so much muck and mess is necessary to get the point acrossI would like to thank Net Galley and Penguin GroupDutton for providing me with a digital copy of this intense and challenging puzzle of a bookRating 35 ounded up I checked some parenthetically noted scholars and dates and couldn t find the studies being cited A classic combining science poetry humanity and deep introspection True brilliance Uniue fresh and whilst at times it could ead Somewhat confusingly it all becomes clear in the end This is a special kind of story told in a special kind of way that continues to grow on you long after you ve closed it for the last timeUntil you inevitably open it to ead it again with a whole different perspective This is an absolute cracker Funny dark moving surreal and also very eal I loved it. Ruth of who we are and what we have done But it’s also about confronting the darkness in us all driving millions of us to distraction and collapseIn pursuit of its author’s secrets you will be led through a hall of mirrors; a labyrinth of stories that pin you with their energy and emotionAlong the way you will discover that all too often madness like beauty is in the eye of the behold.