Thursday, 2 August 2012

Dr Joanna Moncrieff - and Raymond Briggs

I am about to provide a link to an article that is about three years old:

The reason is that earlier this evening I was checking the Mad in America sites to see if there had been any recent comments on my recovery story (there was one and it had been posted more than three weeks ago, to my shame).  After replying to it I followed a link on the site (as you do) about an upcoming conference - wish I could go, speakers include David Oaks and Robert Whitaker. 

I noticed one of the speakers at this conference is a Dr Joanna Moncrieff, a UK psychiatrist - googled her, and found the above very sensible and unbiased piece, about medication and how psychiatrists should be honest about what they are administering and the effects of it.  I am going to look her up further in a mo (and may even write to her, I am not sure to what effect).

GUESS WHAT?  Raymond Briggs wrote back to me!  (see post entitled 'Raymond Briggs' of a few weeks ago).  And he said - I kid you not - that my book is, 'Superb...Absolutely brilliant.  Fast-moving and unputdownable'.  He wrote me two pages in his wonderful copperplate handwriting - Raymond Briggs took the time to send me a long letter!  I love that man.

Anyway.  Just couldn't resist putting that in - I got the letter three weeks ago, but held back on sharing it until now, hugging the information all to myself.

Back to Dr Moncrieff and Google now. 


  1. I read that BBC article when it came out and I learnt about Dr Mocrieff's book:

    I really would like to read it but it's rather expensive! She seems dead on with her views on psychiatric meds and isn't afraid to speak out on her views. I haven't heard much about her recently, would be interested to see what your research reveals. I would be interested to see how her book went down with the 'psychiatric world' as I read the article just before the book came out and as it's been so expensive, I haven't read it yet. So I would be interested in your research.

    Would also be interested in how your friend's 12 year old relative is, unless it's too personal or something. I would just like to know how she is, if she's OK and everything. Still can't believe that a 12 year old who says she's been hearing voices gets instantly diagnosed with schizophrenia, unless there is more to it that you didn't write about in your article - I'm not asking you to say if there was or anything.

    Glad Raymond Briggs wrote back to you and his description of your book was dead on! Glad you've found your talent with writing and I hope you have a long successful career with it!

    Katy x

  2. Hi Katy, good to hear from you again. Yes, I looked up the book and was put off by the price tag too - plus Dr Moncrieff is preaching to the converted in my case - but it is good to know that there are reasonable psychiatrists out there. I found a website which she co-founded - Critical Psychiatry and a blog of the same name written by Duncan Double which looks interesting. I also spent some time on the site of the publishers of Dr Moncrieff's last book - published in 2009 - PCCS books, who are indie publishers of mental health books; bear them in mind if and when you write yours.

    I have been on holiday, but will phone my friend soon and see if she has any news regarding the girl. The girl is a relative of her friend - so one step removed from her, but she was particularly concerned as she and I have daughters of the same age, which brings it home.

    I wrote to Alison Brabban (from the Schizophrenia Commission) about the case, and she replied while I was on holiday - she was also surprised at such an early diagnosis. I don't know any more about the case than I wrote, but I will certainly keep you posted - within the bounds of confidentiality, of course. Poor child...

    It's late now so I must go, the computer has well and truly sucked me in this evening (but I have enjoyed it). All the best, and thanks for your kind comments. Louise x

  3. There is an interview with Joanna Moncrieff on "Madness Radio"

  4. Thanks, I'll have a listen. I didn't write to her in the end - I got sidetracked by some other stuff on the Mad in America site, and I wasn't sure what I would have said anyway. I am just really interested in any psychiatrist who looks at alternatives to medication - it gives me hope that the profession may be changing in its outlook.

    Actually, I have been meaning to tune in to 'Madness Radio' for as long as I remember. But not tonight - because once I start I think I will be listening for hours. I am ghost-writing a book for someone - he is physically disabled and wants to write the story of his life to raise money for Great Ormond Street and the Children's Trust. I allocate a few hours each week to his book, and tonight is earmarked for that.

    Oh, and Kit-Kat, thanks for your re-tweet about my book yesterday. My friend is on holiday now, due back later this week, I haven't forgotten my promise to keep you updated.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. No worries :) retweeting isn't difficult or time consuming!

    I hope you didn't mind me posting a link to your blog and book on my YouTube video - I didn't think you would but now I'm thinking I should have consulted you first... Apologies!!

    No rush with your friend, I'd just like to know that she's ok and not going to become another victim of the system.

    Katy x

  7. Argh my iPod is playing up, I've either replied 15 times or not at all so here I go typing this again!!!

    No worries on the retweet it's not difficult or time consuming to do it :) I hope you didn't mind me posting a link to your blog and book on my YouTube video, I didn't think you would but now I'm thinking I should have consulted you first... Apologies!!!

    No rush with your friend, it would be nice to find out that she's ok and not going to become another victim of the system especially at such a young age.

    Hopefully my iPod will send this properly now, else I'm off to type reply number 16 on my laptop!!!

    Katy x

  8. Hi Katy

    I had no idea that you had made a YouTube video, but thank you very much for linking to the book and blog on it. I will have a look now! Any publicity is good for me - the more people that read this stuff, hopefully the faster the message will spread that mental health problems happen to everybody, it is all normal and nothing to be ashamed of. One day in the future I hope that young people will be able to be honest about their emotional distress without fear being locked up or forcibly treated or shunned by society because of their suffering. The possibity of being part of that future is what keeps me going. L x