Academic journal article Hong Kong Journal of Psychiatry

Mindreadings: Literature and Psychiatry

Academic journal article Hong Kong Journal of Psychiatry

Mindreadings: Literature and Psychiatry

Article excerpt

Mindreadings: Literature and Psychiatry Editor: Femi Oyebode RCPsych Publications GBP12.75; pp142; ISBN: 978-1904671602

During the last few decades, doctors have begun to focus not only on evidence-based medicine, but also to explore how medical ethics, medical sociology, and the arts in general interplay with medicine. There is increasing understanding that the bioscientific model has its limitations and tends to oversimplify our world.

Mindreadings: Literature and Psychiatry, published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2009, is a timely contribution that aims to integrate the arts with psychiatry. It explores the role of literature in examining, clarifying, and defining human emotions, behaviours, and thoughts. Eight of this book's chapters have been published in the journal Advances in Psychiatric Treatment while 3 others were written specifically for this book.

This multi-author book examines the benefits of reading literature and the roles of literature in medical education. It also examines the roles of autobiography, fiction, poetry, and letters in psychiatry. The last 5 chapters of the book examine a range of topics including addictions, dementia, intellectual disability, and autism.

The book has been written primarily for psychiatrists but the clarity of language and absence of jargon make it comprehensible for any audience with background knowledge of psychiatry. Throughout, the various authors have used many examples to answer one essential question: how reading literature helps us to be better doctors. As psychiatrists, we are trained to assess our patients using objective diagnostic criteria and to practise evidence-based medicine. …

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