Title: And Then I Thought I Was a Fish
Author: Peter Welsh
Publisher: Self Published
UK Publication Date: 1st January 2013
PATIENT NAME: Peter Hunt Welch SEX: M ADMIT DATE: 10/18/2000 DOB: 02/28/1980 HISTORY OF PRESENTING ILLNESS: The patient was a fairly poor historian, appearing unable to provide a coherent description of the events preceding his current hospitalization. In a rather vague and disorganized manner, he acknowledged the presence of persecutory concerns. He reported unusual experiences like having seen the earth and the bottom of the sea. In the emergency room, he reported concerns that he might have killed a buddy of his and that he could take a friend’s soul from his body. He also reported his ability to be in contact with God. Initially he denied any alcohol or drug use. Later on, he admitted having had LSD on several occasions. He described his trips as traveling the world and touching things. He also acknowledged the use of heroin, crack cocaine, mushrooms, ecstasy, and speed, but he was not able to provide more details. THIS REPORT IS STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL. Redisclosure is prohibited by law. NOTE: This information has been disclosed to you from records whose confidentiality is protected by federal law. Federal regulations (42CFR part 2) prohibit you from making any further disclosure of it without the specific written consent of the person to whom it pertains, or as otherwise permitted by such regulations. A general authorization for the release of medical or other information is NOT sufficient for this purpose. PERMISSION REQUEST: I would like to ask myself if it’s okay to put my medical records in a book to entertain total strangers. I need explicit permission. PERMISSION APPROVAL: Because of our tautological relationship, I hereby explicitly grant myself the right to publish this information in whatever form I please. (From Amazon.co.uk, 13th February 2013)
Okay, so I got this book after seeing it was a Kindle Freebie for a day or so and with my interest in mental health was interested to see this authors take on his experience. Unlike many of the books I have read about mental illness the author has only had one instance of serious mental illness, compared to the recurring problems many people are faced with. Ultimately he has concluded that his illness was to do with the drugs he took at the time and his lifestyle which tipped him over the edge.
This is a well written book, which captures the bizarre adventure Peter takes and his view of the experience compared to what nurses or doctors wrote while his was in a psychiatric ward. It shows the destruction drugs can cause without being a book to chastise those who take them on a recreational basis. Linked in with his experience there is some academic background to why he may have responded the way he did, but sometimes I felt these were given as far too clear cut and established then they are in reality.
I think the important thing I got from this novel is that it is an honest retelling of an experience which influence the authors life and is one which is worth reading. After the main text is other peoples stories, I did not go on to read these, but will return to them at a later date. They give response of others to the authors experience, questions the author has been asked via his website and their opinions.
An interesting read and one which I think many of those who dabbled in drugs would find interesting, or those with an interest in mental health.
3.5 out of 5