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any good fiction books on mental health

(65 Posts)
NotYoMomma Mon 28-Oct-13 15:26:22


I have been really interested recently in psychology and mental health, both historically, fictionally, and in real life.

books I have found interesting are 'the interpretation of murder' - I loved reading about freud and Jung in a fictional sense

and 'the ghost road' by pat barker - I enjoyed reading about shell shock back in the day (the equivalent of ptsd?)

I loved K-Pax (the whole trilogy!) and found it utterly utterly fascinating.

does anyone have any other recommendations for me please?

Feenie Sat 09-Nov-13 15:08:46

Still Alice - a really beautifully written book about a woman with Alzheimer's.

gingganggooly Sat 09-Nov-13 15:02:25

I'm reading Nearest thing to crazy by elivabeth forbes

awaywego1 Sat 09-Nov-13 01:07:27

I read 'the shock of the fall' a few weeks ago and thought it was excellent. Have also just finished 'the view on the way down' which was readable but not as excellent.

scottishmummy Fri 08-Nov-13 21:55:13

Trick is to keep breathing,Janice galloway

dozeydoris Fri 08-Nov-13 21:48:12

I loved Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown: Life, Love and Talking it Through by Lorna Martin when I read it a few years ago. Though it isn't really fiction but is from her weekly columns in the Guardian, 'Conversations with my Therapist'.

Also the Examined Life by psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz, which was a book of the week on Radio 4, is interesting though, again, not fiction.

mimbleandlittlemy Thu 07-Nov-13 17:00:45

Just remembered The Queen of the Tamburine by Jane Gardam and Astonishing Splashes of Colour by Clare Morrall, both of which deal with mental health issues. Mark Haddon's A Spot of Bother is about a man having a nervous breakdown.

jerseygal78 Tue 05-Nov-13 22:43:43

I would second Shock of the Fall - Ive only read 5 books since dd1 was born 4 years ago (I used to get through 5a month) & I flew through this in days!

Iaintdunnuffink Tue 05-Nov-13 21:48:49

I read one recently called The Shock of The Fall, would recommend it.


There's also the 1980's film which is also great but set later post Vietnam.

MacaYoniandCheese Tue 05-Nov-13 16:08:38

Up From the Blue by Susan Henderson deals with parental depression.

fromparistoberlin Tue 05-Nov-13 16:04:00

The Boy with a Top Knot

on schizophrenia, very good book

Thewhingingdefective Tue 05-Nov-13 12:13:49

The Secret Sctripture by Sebastian Barry
The Wilderness by Samantha Harvey

MrFranklyShankly Tue 05-Nov-13 08:16:16

In the middle of the Medea complex, seems to be very good, historical fiction, very interesting.

comeonbishbosh Mon 04-Nov-13 22:18:40

Notes on (from?) an exhibition by Patrick Gale. Excellent read, great plotting and characters, centres on the impact of the mother's mental illness.

Wilkie Collins is good on this too - The Woman In White is the obvious one, but, 'Man and Wife' has an interesting 'minor' character, with MH issues.

SarahAndFuck Sun 03-Nov-13 13:16:57

True Things About Me by Deborah Kay Davies.

I was sent this to review in 2010 and remember it as being quite good, but with some pretty grim sex scenes later on.

A Kind of Intimacy by Jenn Ashworth.

I've read this several times now and no matter how often I do read it I find it has a slow build up that's worth waiting for.

NotYoMomma Sun 03-Nov-13 12:48:32

this is really cool smile thank you so much for the recommendations! the non fiction suggestions look intriguing too so I will definatley have a look at those too!

CircassianLeyla Sun 03-Nov-13 12:39:07

Oh super thanks. Don't want to hijack but loosely it is about early 20 century infanticide in Britain. I can't click in your name to PM. Would be delighted to hear about your research too.

TheWanderingUterus Sun 03-Nov-13 12:25:26

Related to women and mental/physical health:

Mad, bad and sad by Lis Appignanesi
Hysteria by Andrew Scull
The female Malady by Elaine Showalter
Women and Madness by Phyllis Chesler
Hot flushes, cold science by Louise Foxcroft
The technology of Orgasm by Maines
A history of women's bodies by Shorter
Agnes's Jacket by Hornstein
Freud on women by Elizabeth young-Bruehl
Nymphomania by groneman
Menstruation and psychoanalysis by Lupton
Medical muses by hustvedt (although she misses out the whole sex side of hysteria it is a good read)
Women of the asylum by Geller and Harris
The curse by Delaney et al is a good introduction to menstrual madnesses.

Madness in general

From paralysis to fatigue by shorter
The lives they left behind by Darby Penney
Presumed curable by Gale and Howard
Asylum bound by Townsend
Gentle asylum by Andersen
Gracefully insane by beam
Inconvenient people by wise
Customers of the mad trade by scull
Psychiatry for the rich by MacKenzie
Psychiatry for the poor by Hunter and Macalpine
Bedlam by Arnold (I think) is very readable.

The Showalter and Apignanesi are the best general ones IMO. Apologies about lack of capitals etc, did it on my Ipad in a rush. Would love to hear more about your dissertation Circassian.

CircassianLeyla Sun 03-Nov-13 11:33:29

The WanderingUterus - I am doing my dissertation on women and feeble mindedness and would be extremely interested in your recommendations.

BasketzatDawn Fri 01-Nov-13 17:36:06

And Sylvia Brownrigg's novel The Delivery Room has a therapist as the main character, with Balkans war as background, so a bit of trauma there too.

BasketzatDawn Fri 01-Nov-13 17:32:12

Poppy Shakespeare - by Clare Allan
Alastair Campbell's All in the Mind
Marian Keyes' recent novel The Mystery of Mercy Close has depression as a theme
Her baking book is good too - includes bits on depression - Saved by Baking

Stevie77 Fri 01-Nov-13 14:51:16

Sebastian Faulks' Engelby and Sister by Rosamund Lupton

TheWanderingUterus Fri 01-Nov-13 14:32:28

Antonia White - Beyond the Glass. I can't see if anyone else has suggested that, but its very good

I can suggest lots of non-fiction (doing a phd in women/madness) if you are interested but all the fiction I was going to suggest has been suggested, pretty much.

skolastica Fri 01-Nov-13 13:51:59

Susan Howatch 'Starbridge' series - very very good on the mind/religion/spirituality thing. Some of it is like being in a counselling session.

Ahardyfool Wed 30-Oct-13 23:22:48

Second Wally lamb suggestion. Also, 'A Spot of Bother' by mark haddon

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