The Shock Of The Fall- Nathan Filer-Another Review


After hearing good things about this book from Jackie of this parish and others, I downloaded it yesterday.

I thought I'd have a quick scan of the first paragraph, but the next thing I knew I had finished the first chapter and was halfway through the second. I found myself surreptitiously reading snatches of it whenever no one was looking, similar to what Jackie has already described.

I've spent all of today engrossed in it, to the detriment of my flat's cleanliness. I haven't quite finished it yet but I wanted to make sure that I got some words down sooner rather than later.

Its been emotional. I've previously seen the odd thing here and there that has been written from the perspective of within a mental health disorder. Many of them, no matter how well meaning, can to me come across as just not quite right, or too patronising, or a little bit glamourising. I think this book gets it pretty much spot on.

I have a fair amount of indirect personal experience of serious mental health disorders. My current day job pretty constantly exposes me to cases of suicide and self harm. I've previously, as a community pharmacist worked closely with Assertive Outreach Teams and Crisis Assessment Teams. I and several of my friends have suffered or suffer from mental health issues to varying degrees of severity. Most importantly and closest to my heart is the fact that my best and oldest friend suffers daily from a whole range of horrible mental and physical health demons. I find myself in the middle of a long and possibly endless process of having to accept that no matter how ferociously I love her, there is nothing I can do that will permanently fix anything for her.

So yeah, that's sort of my declaration of interest there I guess. What I can say is that the style of writing intangibly reminds me a lot of my friend, although the character of Matthew and situation he is in is very different to her, so it rings true to me and I think its pitched about right. The different fonts and things, which would probably get my back up in less realistic books as being too gimmicky, didn't bother me at all in this book.

I think this is a pretty important book for health care professionals too- the writing about the impact of adverse effects, and compliance issues, and how that feels from a patients perspective are important for those of us who routinely dole out antipsychotics to patients we may never see. For me, its a reminder that every case I deal with, and every bit of pale green paper I'm handed, is a person with a story.

Apologies if most of this isn't actually about the book, but I like to know how books make people feel, so that's what I'm writing about. Its prompted a lot-I really do mean a lot- of thinking. I feel sure that my friend wont mind me writing a bit about her, and hope that if she does see this, she'll appreciate it for what it is- an indirect and awkward way of saying that I think about her lots and love her and yet another apology for my inadequacies in dealing with the whole situation. This book allowed me a little inroad to be able to gain more understanding, and I really appreciate that.


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