Freudian Script: Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Could you recognise a narcissist? This highly topical Freudian Script explores Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and is brought to you by my friend and colleague, forensic psychiatrist Dr Bernard Chin. DISCLAIMER: This blog post is designed for writers of fiction. If you are concerned that you or someone you know has symptoms of mental health problems, […]

The Anti-Stigma Thesaurus: Rewriting the Language of Mental Health

Despite how the nursery rhyme goes, words can hurt. They can also be used to reinforce mental health stigma, particularly in crime fiction. Words are powerful – and “with great power comes great responsibility”. The longevity and influence of words can be epitomised in that one quotation, first used centuries ago and popularised by a […]

Freudian Script: Work-Life Balance

Another junior doctors’ strike, another blog post from me! My theme, however, is one that is relevant to all professionals but particularly writers of all stripes. I am talking about the mythical work-life balance. What is work-life balance? This term is most commonly used when talking about the proportion of life spent on employment compared […]

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest v Modern Psychiatry

There is no doubt that One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is one of the seminal films in mental health fiction. Its legacy is still strong forty years later – barely a week passes without one of my patients mentioning the film, usually comparing it to the ward or my proposed treatment plan. But it […]

REVIEW: The Other Side of Silence – Linda Gask

As a psychiatrist, I walk a fine line of understanding. While I can try to empathise with the people I see in my clinics and on my ward, I cannot truly know their experiences. Sometimes that helps to give me the distance of objectivity, and sometimes it leaves me lacking. Linda Gask has a markedly […]

5 Mental Health Truths from Inside Out

When I first heard about Disney Pixar’s new film Inside Out, I knew it would be a winner. What I wasn’t prepared for was how well it handles emotions, personality and their psychological underpinnings. Here’s five lessons about mental health you can take away from Inside Out and how they can help both writing complex […]

On Strange and Norrell and Madness

The BBC has once more proved the worth of the licence fee with the stunning adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s novel Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Now we’re all had time to digest the series, I wanted to think on the depictions of “madness” in the adaptation and what writers can learn about depicting mental illness, […]

Freudian Script: Cannabis and Psychosis

With the recent study from King’s College London linking “skunk” to diagnosis of psychotic disorders, I thought it would be a good time to examine the link between cannabis and psychosis in detail. I have previously written about cannabis and psychosis while talking gangs and drugs, but we didn’t look at the evidence base. As […]