Your Mental Health and You is written by Sandy Pace, whose blog I’ve followed for some time. He has a degree in psychology, lives with ADHD, and has experienced addiction.
The book covers various areas of your life and your thinking where you could make changes to promote better mental health. It’s immediately clear how passionate the author is about fighting stigma, and is quite vehement in calling out the problems that he sees. He talks about different contexts in which stigma may occur, including religion and the workplace, and there is a particular focus on challenging stigma related to psychiatric medications. He dismisses the argument that medications are bad simply because Big Pharma is one big scam, adding that the people who tend to make that argument are not well-informed of the facts.
The author points out that we sometimes self-sabotage when it comes to medications by paying too much attention to uninformed opinions. He writes that “we are bombarded in today’s world by things that are basically total utter bullshit. We have a tendency to let that impact us. We have a tendency to look in the wrong places and do the wrong things.” So, so true. He gave the example of a friend of his who had suicided after stopping meds because of criticism he received.
The book includes a discussion around the importance of recognizing and dealing with triggers. Attention is also given to effective communication, conflict resolution, and establishing healthy boundaries.
Throughout, there are reminders of the need to work closely with mental health care professionals to help establish and follow the best possible treatment plan that will address all of the different aspects of mental health.
There is no pulling punches when it comes to expressing the author’s opinions. He admits to being blunt, and some parts seemed a bit like a controlled rant, which I very much enjoyed. One of my favourites: “… This is because idiots and their uneducated opinions regarding things they have absolutely no education and understanding in are a waste of your time to so much as even acknowledge.”
The style of writing feels more like talking voice than writing voice, with a motivational, coaching style, with a lot of directly addressing “you” as the reader. It’s a tone that I think would translate really well into an audiobook.
I found this book very refreshing. Stigma deserves a good strong kick in the ass, and this book does just that.
You can find Sandy on his blog Your Mental Health and You.
You can find my other book reviews here.
Visit the Mental Health @ Home Store to find my books Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis and Psych Meds Made Simple, a mini-ebook collection focused on therapy, and plenty of free downloadable resources.