MH@H Book Reviews

Book Review: Alert and Oriented x3

Book cover: Alert and Oriented x3 by Leif Gregersen

Alert and Oriented x3 by Leif Gregersen II, a book about living with a psychotic illness, is offered as a free download from the author’s blog, Mental Health Coping Skills Blog by Leif Gregersen.

The author has schizoaffective disorder, and this book focuses on his most recent hospitalization, which he describes as being unimaginably painful.  The relapse of his psychosis was prompted by a change in medication that his doctor had suggested.

The book includes excerpts from his clinical records, including the notes from his community psychiatrist and nurse shortly before his hospital admission.  There’s also a selection of his poetry, including handwritten poems that he wrote while in hospital.

Besides describing what psychosis is like to experience firsthand, the author provides more general information about his illness and his medications, both past and present.  The book makes a good educational resource regardless of whether or not the reader has background knowledge about mental illness.

While much of the book focuses on the author’s most recent hospitalization, he does touch on other times in his life as well, such as his first admission, when Haldol (an older antipsychotic) injections were a routine punishment for even minor infractions.

Leif is clearly passionate about challenging stigma, and works for his local schizophrenia society doing education sessions in the community.  He writes:

“I wanted to show that those of us you see walking down the street talking to no one (and not using a cell phone) are people who society failed to help despite the fact that our society has more than enough means to do so.”

The book strikes a good balance between up close and personal narrative and more objective information and advice to promote mental health.  I also thought the descriptions of experiencing psychosis were really well done.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering about the title, it comes from Leif’s community nurse’s notes that are included in the book.  Alert and oriented x3 means that someone is alert (obviously) and oriented to person, place, and time, meaning they know who they are, where they are, and what day it is.

The book is available for download from Leif’s blog, Mental Health Coping Skills Blog by Leif Gregersen.

You can find my other book reviews here.

A Beginner's Guide to Self-Publishing from Mental Health @ Home

A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Publishing is a mini e-book containing all the knowledge and tricks that I’ve picked up from self-publishing two books. It’s available from the MH@H Download Centre.

14 thoughts on “Book Review: Alert and Oriented x3”

  1. Wow. That part about how the doctor suggested the med change, and it landed him in the hospital, broke my heart. It’s hard enough to be med-compliant without having to worry that your doc will make a bad decision. (Not having read the book, I’m not blaming the doctor. It was hopefully a good-faith effort to help. It just makes me sad.) The book sounds intriguing and I might read it! This will sound odd, but my intuition tells me that the author’s schizoaffective disorder is more brain-chemistry based than mine. (There’s no better or worse here.) (On the other hand, just run if my meds get adjusted! I’m not sure how I’m intuiting that.) At any rate, I sure hope his doctor learned from this mistake!!

  2. Seems like a very good read. That kind of literature drew me into psychiatry in the first place. It is so interesting to learn about the past (like with Haldol) and the present in psychiatry in general and with psychosis in specific. I believe that every psychosis is so very individual that it is so good that it can be written down to share a little bit. It makes very much sense to me and your review makes me want to read it.

  3. Alert and oriented x3! Love the nursing lingo. I didn’t know what LOC and other terminology meant until I started school. Even on the summary sheets, there are abrevs I don’t know. So many abrevs. 😂

  4. I am Leif Gregersen the author of this book and I wanted to thank this blogger for the review. Anyone wanting a free copy they can freely share, visit and click on the photo of London’s Tower Bridge and then download away. While you are on my website you might enjoy looking through my blog archives which are meant to be mental health coping skills essays. there are also links to videos and to some of my other books. I have written two other memoirs about my life experiences called “Through the Withering Storm” and “Inching Back to Sane”. Stay safe everyone, and happy reading!

  5. I downloaded this and can’t wait to read it! First person accounts can really be beneficial in understanding specific illnesses. ❤️

  6. Looking forward to hearing if you like it. I have two other “mental Health memoirs” titled “Through the Withering Storm” and “Inching Back to Sane” which can be ordered from Amazon. Let me know if you would like them and if you have any problems getting them I can mail them, signed of course. Contact information is at my website

Leave a Reply