The Other Side of Silence - Linda Gask | | Review

August 29, 2015

In partnership with Summersdale Publishers  I responded to a tweet the company put out about reviewing a non-fiction book that is in the final stages of publishing, I took up the opportunity and lovely Abbie from Summersdale sent me a copy of The Other Side of Silence written by Linda Gask which is due to be published 10th September 2015. The last few days I have been reading and taking notes before producing this review. I hope this is an informative read for you and that you might decide to buy it, because I know that when it's released I'll be getting myself a copy because I loved it.

The Other Side of Silence
Linda Gask

The Other Side of Silence documents psychiatrist Dr Gask's experiences with mental health and depression in particular. In form of a memoir, readers see depression through the perspective of doctor and patient unfortunately Gask being on both sides of the spectrum.

It delivers a funny (Not a comical funny, rather a bizarre funny!) point of view because being a psychiatrist and knowing how psycho-therapy works first hand and then ending up as a patient to another psychiatrist could seem like failure to the victim. There's almost this assumption that doctors cannot get ill and if they do, they can treat and heal themselves. It's an ideology that society has concluded. However, readers are able to see this is not necessarily the case. The Other Side of Silence records Gask's own battles before finally coming to a conclusion of what factors of her life have made her who she is today. 

Gask tells her own stories about her patients revealing and explaining all the possible factors that can trigger depression and other mental illnesses. Patients struggling with eating disorders, attempted suicides, self harming, alcoholism and underlying psychological problems; her job being to unravel her patients problems and find their root cause.

This memoir sheds light on depression and fights the stereotype of what depression really is and how it affects its sufferers in different ways. The idea that is developed effectively through-out is that one singular case of depression is not the same as the next. Numerous factors come into play with the progression of mental illness, including loss, grief, fear, loneliness, lack of trust, past toxic relationships and the long lasting affects of one's childhood. 

A popular craze in terms of therapy lately is mindfulness, Dr Gask covers it as well as other types of therapy. She confidently tells readers that asking for help and talking to somebody is okay. It doesn't mean you're weak. It's acceptable more widely in society nowadays to ask for help.

Dr Gask lays bear the demons in her mind in this insightful, inspiring and important memoir. Her own experience of the pains of mental illness, her visits to various psychologists, the over-whelming pressure of performing in the medical profession and her turbulent relationships with her mother and father.

The Other Side of Silence is a positive read, one containing typical medical jargon and up-lifting quotes about fighting mental illness,  never the less an informative book I couldn't put down (Or in this case, I don't have the physical copy yet, I couldn't close the document).

Being a bookworm myself I don't normally dabble into non-fiction, however combining my passion for awareness for how mental health is portrayed in society and this fantastically written piece I am now a full convert to the non-fiction world. This powerful memoir is recommended for someone with minimal knowledge of mental health, those who are interested in mental illness and the way the brain works, those studying a medical profession and most importantly, those suffering or know of somebody who is suffering. 

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