Issues of mental illness

In My Room by Jim Lucey (Gill & Macmillan, €16.99 / £13.99)

This book has already been featured in The Irish Catholic, but readers might like to be reminded of its theme. Professor Jim Lucey has worked for a quarter of a century in St Patrick's Hospital and is currently a professor at Trinity College Dublin. St Patrickís owes its existence to Dean Jonathan Swift, a man who himself suffered the agonies of mental anguish. Here Prof. Lucey attempts to break down the barriers that the dean himself realised existed between patients and those anxious to cure them.

Thankfully modern treatments are more effective than in the 18th Century, but they still depend, as this book depends, on the personal connections between the patient and the doctor.

Here Lucey gives voices to those patients, in a very effective way. Mental illness is the elephant in the room for many families in Ireland.

Professor Lucy goes a long way to demystifying the mysteries and of making the patient a normal part of our society.