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His comic strip Psychiatric Tales has been regularly appearing online and he's just posted the amazing and heartfelt last chapter along with an. Here, at last then, is the final chapter of Psychiatric Tales. As ever if you spot any mistakes or have anything critical to say, then please let me. Psychiatric Tales draws on Darryl Cunningham's time working in a psychiatric ward to give a reasoned and sympathetic look into the world of mental illness.
Read An Excerpt As readers of Art Spiegelman's Maus, Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, David Small's Stitches and Alison Bechdel's Fun Home are well aware, the graphic format of inked drawings augmented by tightly written captions and dialogue balloons — a medium long associated with comic strips and satirical political cartoons — adds a powerful dimension to memoirs. Darryl Cunningham joins these illustrious illustrators with his heartfelt first book, Psychiatric Tales. Drawing from his years spent working as a health care assistant on an acute psychiatric ward in his native England, as well as his own experience with acute depression, Cunningham has produced 11 graphic vignettes about mental illness — and graphic they are. Cunningham does not try to sugarcoat brain diseases. He employs bold, often stark, heavily inked, black-and-white illustrations and unadorned prose to convey the alienation and misery behind self-mutilation, suicide, anti-social personality disorder, bipolarity, schizophrenia and clinical depression. Depicting self-cutters, he captures the pervasive bleakness with drawings splotched with rain and blood: "Pain provides temporary relief against unbearable emotional distress," he explains. He confronts issues of caring for the mentally ill, including toileting in a dementia ward, with similar, unflinching directness: "One day, I was helping a staff nurse assist a patient to the toilet when we spied another patient taking his trousers down in the corridor.
This books delves inside the mysteries of mental disorders - presenting explanations and recollections using the cartoonist's own experiences as both a psychiatric and care nurse and as someone who himself has suffered from depression. Being able to see the issue from both sides allows Darryl to present matters in a forthright and instantly accessible way which will allow m This books delves inside the mysteries of mental disorders - presenting explanations and recollections using the cartoonist's own experiences as both a psychiatric and care nurse and as someone who himself has suffered from depression.
Being able to see the issue from both sides allows Darryl to present matters in a forthright and instantly accessible way which will allow many to understand the trials of both sufferers and those connected to them - perhaps for the first time.
Topics covered include Bi-polar disorder, self harming, suicide, depression and theauthor also shows how for some famous people mental disorders were part of what may have made them great. Frank, hard hitting and moving. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Other Editions 4.
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To ask other readers questions about Psychiatric Tales , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Feb 18, Dov Zeller rated it it was ok Shelves: I was so looking forward to reading this but once I picked it up it didn't take long for me to reach my limit of tolerance.
The stories are not considered and explored in a way that I found interesting or satisfying and instead it just feels like Cunningham is in pedantic lecture mode. Raina's GR review got to a lot of my feelings about it, but she is more generous in her assessment, which I appreciate. Here is a quote from her review: The anecdo I was so looking forward to reading this but once I picked it up it didn't take long for me to reach my limit of tolerance.
The anecdotes or 'stories' of Cunningham's experience generally take up less than half of each chapter, with statements teaching the reader about mental illness filling up the bulk of the book.
Which would probably be helpful to a lot of people who haven't been exposed to many mental illness issues. But to me, it sometimes came off as a zine version of a 'be sensitive to people who struggle with this' tract. View 2 comments. This book is tiny. We get chapters on dementia, self-harming, depression, personality disorder, schizophrenia and bipolar.
A definition, the currently recommended treatment, a quick character sketch of a patient encountered by the author, and This book is tiny. A definition, the currently recommended treatment, a quick character sketch of a patient encountered by the author, and on to the next. It was quite a kindly dementia, there was no hostility, no distress, it was just like a long fade-out on a favourite record. She gradually lost the ability to form words but she was quite happy to chat away in approximate sounds, to which we had to nod along and smile.
The incomprehensible vocalising had the exact same timbre as a real conversation, her voice rising and falling and emphasising some sounds — somewhere in her mind she was making perfect sense, and — strangely — so were we when we talked to her about the weather or ourselves. She never noticed that anything was amiss. It went on for months like until eventually the strange non-conversations petered out and she lapsed into silence.
And soon after that the kindly gentlemen with the black cloak gathered her up. He says: Mockery, discrimination and stigma persist, despite research showing mental illness to be as real as any other illness.
I thought that was a strange thing to say. Who needs any research to prove that? Is he talking about a coven of Szasz and R D Laing followers who deny that there is such a thing as insanity? Many people still believe mental illness to be a failure of character and self-discipline he complains. So yes, sometimes people are still told to snap out of it when they can't. As opposed to people stigmatising mental health, in some sections of society many people are very keen to pathologise their own behaviour, such as those involved in the addiction industry.
Another burglar demanded to know from me why he repeatedly broke into houses and stole VCRs. He asked the question aggressively as if "the system" had so far let him down in not supplying him with the answer, as if it were my duty as a doctor to provide him with the buried psychological secret that, once revealed, would in and of itself lead him unfailingly on the path of virtue.
Until then he would continue to break into houses and the blame would be mine. But … in an unexpected way, the new Goodreads rules came to my rescue.
I have to put all thoughts about the author out of my mind and just, you know, concentrate on the book. Thanks for the reminder, Goodreads. Suzanne Vega https: Like the Weather: Boys of Bedlam: Steeleye Span https: Sleepy man Blues: Bukka White https: Love in a faithless country: Richard Thompson https: Like a monkey in a zoo: Vic Chestnutt https: Thank You: Brian Wilson https: Cloud my sunny mood: Dan Hicks https: View all 5 comments.
Published on my book blog. I got this book as a birthday gift from two dear friends of mine. We share many interests, and the workings of the human mind is one of them, so they figured this book would be a good match for me. It's a good premise. The author spent a few years working as a health care assistant in a psychiatric hospital and draws on his experiences to tell short stories about mental illnesses.
Unfortunately, I didn't like it as much I thought I would. I was hoping for an insightful l Published on my book blog. I was hoping for an insightful look into this fascinating, often misunderstood world, but I felt that all the stories were superficial, with the exception of the author's own tale the last story in the book. Many of the "stories" didn't even feel like stories at all, more like a textbook description with pictures accompanying it.
I couldn't understand the constant mention of how people need to be more open-minded and tolerant towards mental illness. What's the point of saying that to a reader who is interested enough to try this book? I can definitely see a heavy influence from Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood , both in graphic qualities and narrative, but this book lacks the profoundity and poignance that "Persepolis" has.
Moreover, sometimes I felt like the drawings didn't even need to be there at all. However, there were some positive points. The author's story was powerfully told made me wish that the rest of the book was like that and some of the personal stories of the patients he mentions are genuinely strange and interesting. This is an ok book, and it's fairly interesting, but I do wish it dared to go deeper.
View 1 comment. Dementia Ward; 2. Cut; 3. It could be you; 4. Darkness; 5.
Anti-Social Personality Disorder; 6. People with mental ilness enrich our lives; 7. Blood; 8. Bipolar Disorder; 9. Schizophrenia; Suicide; How I lived again. Right from the introduction, which is an explanation about why the book exists, the book came across cold, detached and distant. I took me one chapter, [dementia ward] which was only nine pages long to profoundly hate this book. I was deeply disgusted.
I have NEVER read a more, superficial, egocentric, disrespectful, utterly unsympathetic depiction of mental illness in my entire life. That is what the first chapter was about! It was vile, degrading, cruel, and just disgusting! I would never want anyone to treat mentally ill people like this! The concept of this book sounded interesting, but it wasn't quite what I was expecting. Instead I got a brief overview of several types of mental illness depression, schizophrenia, bipolar, etc with several examples within each chapter not full stories, but rather "I once worked with a patient who It read more like a textbook in graphic novel form, telling about symptoms and stress The concept of this book sounded interesting, but it wasn't quite what I was expecting.
It read more like a textbook in graphic novel form, telling about symptoms and stressing how mental illness should not be stigmatized. The final chapter told of the author's own struggle with mental illness.
Since I have a bachelor's in psychology, this book did not tell me a whole lot that I didn't already know.
I find mental illness and psychiatric hospitals fascinating and I felt like some of the examples could have been fleshed out to full stories, and that would have interested me more. I'm not sure who would be a good audience for this book, since the information is really too general for an audience of mental health professionals, and I'm sure a lay person curious about mental illnesses would not seek this book out to learn about them.
I did think the stark black and white illustration style worked well with the subject matter, keeping the tone from getting too heavy as very serious things like suicide and cutting were discussed. I was able to fully appreciate the graphic form of these stories. I admire the author for trying to describe mental illnesses to potential readers who might not otherwise understand them.
I think, given the brevity of the work, he does a reasonably good job accomplishing what he intended to do. I enjoyed these graphic stories. The author-artist describes patients he met while training to become a mental health nurse.
The account became emotionally powerful when, in the last section, he describes his own difficulties with depression and anxiety, and how he was able to cope and thrive despite these illnesses. Everything from dementia to anti-social personality disorder to schizophrenia to self-harm to bipolar disorder, to depression, etc.
I'm really glad this is shelved in nonfiction in my library system, because it totally is. Although the subtitle prepares you for short stories, they're really just short chapters discussing a different illness or illness-adjacent issue.
The art is really lovely, don't get me wrong. As Cunningham says in the last chapter, he's especially great with cityscapes. Generally, though, this felt very didactic to me. The anecdotes or "stories" of Cunningham's experience generally take up less than half I'm really glad this is shelved in nonfiction in my library system, because it totally is.
The anecdotes or "stories" of Cunningham's experience generally take up less than half of each chapter, with statements teaching the reader about mental illness filling up the bulk of the book.
But to me, it sometimes came off as a zine version of a "be sensitive to people who struggle with this" tract. Maybe it's a geography thing. Maybe England is more supressed about these things than amerika. Personally, though I'm by no means an expert, I'm fascinated by the many ways our brains can be wired and have therefore sought out books, movies, and other media on this topic.
I also have friends who are open about their struggles. So I feel like there was very little new information for me. I appreciate the effort in this, the struggles Cunningham went through as he worked his way through it. I found his personal story the last chapter to be the most compelling part, and I wish that the book had had more of an overarching narrative, perhaps integrating his story with the informational bits, with more detail about each of the individual stories contained within.
I'd especially have liked to see Cunningham discuss how it felt to work in a facility while struggling with his own mental health. Was he diagnosed before? Or did interacting with the patients give him insights into his own conditions? The art really is beautiful, though.
View all 3 comments. May 20, Andrew rated it it was ok Shelves: Its a series of tales told by some guy who worked with the mentally ill.
He wants the mentally healthy to appreciate mentally ill people, not be afraid of them, and accept them. That's a noble cause, but it makes for a dull book and the book doesn't go beyond that attempt. I suffered from mental illness psychosis, for lack of a more precise term, or lack of wanting to elaborate for a shor "understand the trials of both sufferers and those connected to them" - That pretty much sums up the book.
I suffered from mental illness psychosis, for lack of a more precise term, or lack of wanting to elaborate for a short period a few years ago Not to suggest that I'm fully recovered, I think mental illness will always be in effect, and a full 'relapse' is always a fear.
I really wanted this comic book to be about the 'trips' that occur - I wouldn't mind writing a comic about my experiences. Instead of something really fascinating, this is a book concerning an outsider writing about the external realities of people having mental illness symptoms I wanted to simply write: They are not the illness, they just experience it.
Anywho, I think that mental illness sufferers suffer because of how they are treated - to a great extent, but not completely - and this book suggest how the suffering can be reduced by us non-sufferers "understand[ing] the trials of both sufferers and those connected to them". If you've read this far, you don't need to read this book - go read a real book on mental illness while wearing your empathetic boots.
It is informative, sensitively done and very personal. It stays with you long after you read it. I hope this guy keeps making comics, he is one to follow Nov 12, vostendrasamigosyotengolibros rated it it was ok Shelves: I don't really know how to feel about this book, in one hand I appreciate that a person is interested in talk a very hard subject, in the other hand I feel that the book has a voyeuristic approach in people with mental illness and it's targeted to neurotypical public.
But I don't find this approach helpful even that I know that cartoonize people who suffer of a mental illness can be a eye catcher for neurotypical and can help to go to the later message of demystifying the subject, besides that i I don't really know how to feel about this book, in one hand I appreciate that a person is interested in talk a very hard subject, in the other hand I feel that the book has a voyeuristic approach in people with mental illness and it's targeted to neurotypical public.
But I don't find this approach helpful even that I know that cartoonize people who suffer of a mental illness can be a eye catcher for neurotypical and can help to go to the later message of demystifying the subject, besides that it has a very on point talk about people with schizophrenia not being dangerous people like media try to tell us and I think that now on day this is a very important message , the book go on with a lot of unnecessary detail and data that can be triggering and I think very incorrect to share, like giving the how to suicide in an mental institution and how and were and how far people self-harm themselves, going on detail on how and were people with dementia poop or pee.
I didn't like the chapter of people with mental illness can be creative and give something to society because, you know if they don't or they can't work, have a artistic production, or "give something to society" they are still people and deserve to have the better life quality they can have and also the suffering artist myth is not helpful or real or good to anybody.
Feb 27, Amber Lea rated it it was ok.
This is really simplistic and at times repetitive. I was hoping for more humor and insight. I either wanted there to be more personal stories, or more exploration of mental illness itself.
Overall it was a bit bland and shallow, but I still read it all the way through because it's like Next is promoting the book and have a plan for that. Best wishes claude. I knew this was going to be big the second I began reading it, and I'm happy to hear it will be published. I'm going to download a copy for myself and friends. Thank you for being a voice for the many people that feel like they don't have one. As described in your more recent posts, it's usually nowhere near as bad as people think, but it is something of a slog of a process, with no sure progress guaranteed, and not exactly good times for all overall.
Very cool. I like your story of survival, of not giving up.
I am off on my own little story of survival, and it be great to meet some of your followers, Darryl. Or maybe meet you for a beer.
Cheers, Michael www. Thank you and bless you. Isn't it strange how what initially breaks us is what can eventually salve and save us I have lived with various brain-based injuries my whole life and at 51 years of age, I am starting over again after my marriage shattered apart three weeks ago.
We're all in this together I look forward to reading your entire book Jaliya http: I read this on days when I have no drive to do anything and seem to dissolve into tears at the slightest provocation and can't remember why I'm a worthwhile human being. It helps carry me through the darker hours. Thank you so much. Of all the times for me to happen upon this post, it comes at a moment it is most dearly needed, and it's so odd that someone posted this on their Facebook feed today and I happened to catch it.
Thank you for your work and for your work about your struggles. Your work is eminently relatable to me, and could not have appeared at a more well-timed moment as I make my way.
Post a Comment. Creator of Psychiatric Tales. Cartoonist, Writer, Thing. Wednesday, 4 November Psychiatric Tales: Last Chapter. Here, at last then, is the final chapter of Psychiatric Tales. As ever if you spot any mistakes or have anything critical to say, then please let me know. I tend to think of these online versions of the stories as beta versions, which still need debugging.
So all comments help. The book still isn't finished. I have to redo much of the lettering in the first half of the book, correct spelling mistakes, plus rewrite and redraw four pages of an earlier chapter which, as it stands, is factually confusing. The book will be out from Blank Slate in Feb and will be available through their website and various other places.
Posted by Darryl Cunningham at Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom. Graphic Science download Graphic Science. I'm always available for commissions. View my complete profile. Want to help me create more fine comics? Then why not donate? Many thanks. Science Tales Science Tales debunks popular myths and exposes the lies of scientific naysayers and conspiracy theorists. Order the book here. Twitter Follow AcmeDarryl. Featured Blog. Truth be told I have been putting this off all week, and here I am Blank Slate Books.
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