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Dennis O'Donnell started work as an orderly in the Intensive Psychiatric Care Unit of a large hospital in Scotland in 2000. In his daily life he encountered fear, violence and despair but also a considerable amount of care and compassion. Recounting the stories of the patients he worked with, and those of his colleagues on the ward, he examines:

�the different major mental disorders - their symptoms and manifestations

�the various methods of treatment - medication, therapy and conversation

�how religion, sex, wealth, health and drugs can bear influence on mental health

�the prevailing attitudes to psychiatric illness - the authorities, the professionals & society

What emerges is a document of humanity and humour, a remarkable memoir that sheds light on a world that still remains largely unknown and hugely feared.

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