Category Archives: Book Review

介绍书《在咖啡冷掉之前》

我在报纸上看到这本书的推荐,想说或许自己看完后,可以介绍给一些经历失落与哀伤的朋友看,外加觉得它的标题挺特别的,就到书局去找它,结果发现大部分分行都卖断货了,后来机缘巧合下,去北京工作的时候,一名助教老师送了这本书给我。其实它和我在这里看到的版本好像不太一样…

作者川口俊和

作者川口俊和

这本书写关于在一家能让人回到过去却又同时有许多非常麻烦的规则得遵守的咖啡店里发生的四个故事。看的过程确实让我掉下眼泪,所以还是有它触动心弦的地方,只是或许是原著作者的处女作品,或者因为是翻译的关系,个人认为它写得有些唠叨冗长,一开始有点想放弃不看了,另外就是故事情节的发展和转折好些地方我都“不小心”猜到了,所以少了惊喜与感动。

无论如何,作为一本关于失去、失落、遗憾、弥补的书,我想它还是有一定程度的称职的,有兴趣的人可以看一看,只是千万别抱着太大的期望。

介紹書:<情緒勒索>

作者周慕姿

作者周慕姿

在大眾書局(Popular)以RM37.90買下的<情緒勒索:那些在伴侶、親子、職場間,最令人窒息的相處>,這可能是近年比較少見的題材,所以買來看看。之前也曾寫過一篇關於患者對家人的情緒勒索個案,請看這裏

在看這本書的過程中,很期待關於”如何不成為情緒勒索者”的部份,但幾乎沒有提到。書的重點放在如何不成為情緒勒索的受害者,我想還是值得介紹給一些朋友、患者和家屬看的。只是我覺得,如果大家都努力不成為情緒勒索者、也努力去察覺不讓自己情緒勒索他人,那就不會出現所謂的受害者了(當然那只是理想世界,現實中不可能出現,所以還是需要幫助受害者的這類書)。

而書中我最喜歡的,是關於自我價值的部份:

我相信:
我不需要總是做得到什麼,或證明什麼,才代表自己是有價值的。
就算我有一些缺點,甚至我有時候會失敗……但我都相信,這些事情,是因為我”沒做好”,而不是”我不好”。
只要我好好努力,我相信我可以做的好,而我也不會因為這個失敗,就懷疑自己存在於世界的意義。
這就是:對自己,完全的接納

對我而言,這就是對自己無條件的愛。而作者相信,能對自己完全的接納,則不會容易陷入情緒勒索者的漩渦裡,這點我認同。事實上,我認為,人們若都能對自己完全地接納,許多抑鬱、焦慮的問題皆不會出現了….

(關於對自己完全地接納,看這裏:給自己無條件的愛。)

Book “The Practice of Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy”

By Donald Robertson

By Donald Robertson

I took the Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy in mid 2012 (more about my background of hypnotherapy here). The author of this book, Don Robertson was the course facilitator and trainer. I learnt my first “proper” meditation (dehypnosis!) with him, including my favourite “leaves on the stream“. So until today I can still always relate his Scottish accent with meditation, relaxation and hypnosis, because of how much I learnt from this knowledgeable man from Scotland at that time.

I believe this is the most well-informed and extensive textbook in this subject, a non-state hypnosis approach that is based on scientific research and clinical trials. It is nothing like any other books on hypnosis that you will find out there. It starts from the basics (history), theories, and practice of it.

So yes, it is highly recommendable to anyone from a scientific backgrounds (even if you are an engineer or programmer), who are interested in hypnotherapy and CBT, to have a go. I’m more than happy to answer any question you may have, just get in touch! Though, the most suitable readers of this book (i.e. those who will gain enormous benefit) are existing CBT practitioners who would like to include hypnotherapy into their practices and make them even more effective.

我穿越疯狂的旅程:一个精神分裂症患者的故事

在吉隆坡的书局找不到这本书,所以去中国工作的时候,请那里的同事帮我买的,人民币40元。有兴趣看的人,可以和我借,或网上买。

By Elyn R. Saks

By Elyn R. Saks

情况允许的情况下,我不爱看翻译书,但是这次却选择了看这本原著英文的中文书,其中是为了一些病人还有他们的家属,希望我可以给他们介绍一些这类型的中文书,而我之前看过的都是有英文版。如果读者还有知道任何关于精神疾病患者自传的书的介绍,请留言让我知道,谢谢!

大部分时候,广大民众听说的精神分裂患者,一般都是在新闻上,显然这些新闻报道的也不是关于他们的什么好事情,通常都是一些伤害了自己或别人的新闻,也很容易让人误以为精神分裂或精神疾病患者就是有暴力倾向,对社会造成危害(研究显示,事实并非如此,甚至相反)。

而本书的作者,是一名法学院和精神病学教授,明显发病的时候,还是一名大学生。所以,是的,她在“成为一名精神病患者”后,再经历多年的坚持和努力,经历无数的挫折,才有今天的生活,依旧正在吃抗精神药物和进行谈话治疗。

这本书蛮厚的,同时也表示她写得挺仔细,其中她在早期也患有厌食症(anorexia)、强迫症(OCD)、抑郁症(depression)、疑病症(hypochondria也称“健康焦虑症”health anxiety)。它不只帮助读者更了解精神分裂症从患病初期,否定诊断拒绝治疗等,到后期的选择性接受,整个心理路程与经历,也可以从患者的角度,去看到社会、医疗、教育等的不公。

作者谈到住院经历(身体和四肢长时间被固定在床上):

在我最后的两次住院经理中,医生对我的预后诊断分别是“很差”和“危重“。假如没有那些非常熟练的、非常敬业的谈话治疗师–精神分析师–对我进行治疗,那么我肯定还停留在医院所预言的那种悲惨的生活之中。

关于接受这个疾病并与它共处余生,

如果你是一位患有精神疾病的人,你所面临的挑战是找到适合你的生活。然而,事实上,难道这不是我们所有人所面临的挑战吗?无论我们是否患有精神疾病。我的幸运之处不是我已经从精神疾病中康复。我还没有康复,我也将永远不能康复。我的幸运之处在于:我已经找到了自己的生活。

A Beautiful Mind (2001/film)

I categorised this post under “book review”, though there is a book under this same title, I’m writing about the 2001 film, directed by Ron Howard.

The book/film is based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel prize winner in Economic sciences, who was diagnosed as having paranoid schizophrenia, with delusions and hallucinations.

I started to watch the film without knowing it has anything to do with mental illnesses, just thought it’s just another biographical film (like one that I just watched last week, “The man who knew infinity”, based on the life of Srinivasa Ramanujan, an Indian mathematical genius).

It is a film portraying paranoid schizophrenia well, so well that when we, as audience see things through the eyes of Russel Crowe (John Nash), we might not even realise that those are all delusions and hallucinations, and couldn’t differentiate that those are not even reality.

The film also emphasises the importance of family supports and continuation of medication (which according to some sources of the web, is not based on what John Nash really did). During the later part of his life, he got on without taking any medicine, would still hallucinate but just do not respond to them. This is the part that I personally like in particular, sometimes medicine may not stop all the hallucinations completely, but when you’re aware which is reality and which aren’t, you can carry on with life, with them being there. There was a scene when a man approached him, and he had to ask his student who walked past, “Can you see him?”, to make sure that the man was real, not his hallucination!

I’d recommend it to family and friends of those who are diagnosed as schizophrenia, it does help understanding the illness better to quite an extent, and of course for those who’d like to understand the illness better.

Introducing “Recovered Grace: Schizophrenia”

by Harris Ng Yoke Meng

This book was bought from MPH at RM38 many years ago. It is now no longer available in most of the major bookstores in Malaysia, but I believe it’s possible to order it at MPH or Kinokuniya.

The book serves as an inspirational story to sufferers of mental illness and their caregivers, and for me, more importantly and personally as a mental health professional, it helps us to care for the mentally ill more sensitively and effectively.

I remember Harris talked about revealing his illness to his then 3 month girl friend Violet, on a Valentine’s day, how she was shocked and then willingly going to see his psychiatrist together. This reminds me a lot about the patients in our clinic, who sometimes bring their new partner to see us, wanting their partner to understand their illness better and sometimes planning their future based on that. You might guess that experience like this would scare them off, but no, quite often, those partners are just like Violet in the book, having deep love and attachment for the patient that they can also accept this part of them.

Towards the end of the book there was also some discussions on the media’s portrayals of the mentally ill committing crimes, which often end in homicide, murder or suicide.

Such bizarre stories, though real, often stigmatise the sickness. Although there are hundreds of thousands of mental health cases, perhaps only one in a thousand end up in such a mess. The press much provide follow-up reports. What happened after that? … Should society continue to view mental illness with deadly fear?

What to do when one who suffers from mental illness committed crimes due to his mental states?