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By jtobair on 08-15-17
Should be required reading for every psychiatrist
If you could sum up Smoking Cigarettes, Eating Glass in three words, what would they be?
Broken systems terrorize
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Anita rose like a phoenix from the broken mental health systems of the 60s to persevere and flourish.
Any additional comments?
This book is a must read for anyone going into the psychiatry/psychology field (as well as anyone who is interested in mental health). As someone in the medical field, I was drawn to this book because I heard about the questionable practices of the psychiatric field in school, but a firsthand account of the horrors would bring much-needed light and compassion to the subject. This is such a well done memoir that, at times, I have to admit that I forgot I was reading non-fiction; this book reads like fiction. It grabbed me by my collar and didn't let go. I think the one and only criticism I have for this book is this: it progresses very linear and easy to follow, but then after Anita requests her records, it starts to skip around a bit and gets just a bit hard to follow. Otherwise, this is a great book that I think should be required reading in every university that teaches any sort of medicine or mental health studies. I also have to point out that after reading this book, I can acknowledge how hard it must be to market and ask for reviews, especially those that aren't positively glowing. This author has come such a long way in her life and has accomplished so much, I bet none of her psychiatrists could've predicted her being able to handle becoming an award-winning author (among everything else!).
I volunteered to review the audiobook through Audiobookworm Promotions; this in no way affects my opinions. Anita Perez-Sawyer narrated her own book, and I think that was very fitting for this situation. I am not always a fan of author-narrated books, but this is such a personal and emotional story that I can't imagine it being appropriate for anyone else to narrate this book. This is not a professional-level recording as you can hear a few swallows and stumbles over words, but it did not lessen my experience any. There were not any pops/crackles/static in the Audible recording; it's still a high quality recording.
If you are in a mental health field (or just curious as to what the not-too-distant-past was like) I absolutely implore you to read this book. It's well worth your time and will open your eyes to the suffering that a broken system caused. I believe many mental health diagnoses could have been prevented or cured with traditional talk and drug therapies rather than the more extreme ECT and lobotomies that caused irreversible damage. It's my hope that with books like this and people in the mental health world like Anita Perez-Sawyer that history will never be forgotten and never repeated.