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I was born in Barcelona and have lived in the UK for many years now. I'm a writer, translator (English-Spanish and vice-versa) and I'm a medical doctor and worked in Forensic Psychiatry many years. I also have a BA and a PhD in American Literature and Film, and a Masters in Criminology. I've always loved books and apart from writing them I review them often. I write a bit of everything, check my books for more information and my about page for links. My blog is bilingual, English and Spanish.

Comments (9)

  1. I started working in the ambulance service in London in 1979. Many of the old-fashioned asylum buildings were still being used as mental hospitals back then, Gothic monstrosities like Frien Barnet, for example, among others. Many patients had been in them for most of their lives, some since long before WW2. Conditions were poor, with disturbed people left wandering around unattended, staff shortages, and ‘secure units’ that were little better than locked rooms, with seriously unstable people locked inside in small groups. Straitjackets and strap restraints were used frequently, and some patients were so heavily medicated, they hardly moved. I found it very distressing, as I previously had no idea it was anything like this.
    ECT was also regularly prescribed, and various Psychiatric Sections used to detain people who really should not have been in such places.
    If this was the beginning of the 1980s, I can only imagine what it must have been like in the 1880s. I am sure that this is a fascinating book indeed.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Thanks, Pete. I can imagine. Things have moved on quite a bit, although ECT is very useful in some very specific cases (and has fewer side-effects than medication). Actually, the big asylums were a big improvement over the way patients were treated before. Inhuman doesn’t quite cover it. Have a good week.

  2. dgkaye says:

    Wow, this does look like quite an interesting read Olga. I’ll add it to my #recommended by Olga files. 🙂 xx

    1. Thanks, Debby. It is not a light read but definitely one for people interested in the subject. Have a great week, Debby.

      1. dgkaye says:

        Thanks as always Olga. Happy week to you too. 🙂 x

  3. Thanks for sharing this lovely review, Olga! I just added it to my TBR list! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Natalie. I hope you enjoy it (in a manner of speaking!).

  4. This is very interesting. I just found out not too long ago that Idiot, Imbecile, Stupid . . . were actually mental conditions. I’ve always been fascinated with mental health and psychology. Thank you Olga!

    1. It is amazing to think what was not only acceptable but in common use not so long ago. It is fascinating to study how mental health has evolved over time. Thanks, Vashti. Have a good week.

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