23 June 2014

The skeleton cupboard- book review

When Mumsnet emailed asking for bloggers to read and review 'The Skeleton Cupboard' by Dr Tanya Byron, I replied straight away. I have always had an interest in psychology and development and I had followed several of Dr Byron's television programmes in the past and liked her style! I was thrilled when I was selected and started reading as soon as the book arrived.

It opens with a pretty graphic description of her grandmothers murder when Byron was just a teen and how as a result she became interested in the subject of brain matter and just what leads people to behave and do things in the way they do.

The book then follows her through her years of psychiatry training, Byron talks about six placements- a hospital outpatient department, an inpatient unit, eating disorder clinic, GP practice, geriatric unit and a Drug dependency unit and her complicated relationship with her mentor throughout. The book is both fact as well as fiction, all the case studies are fictitious, Byron writes,

"...because confidentially is a core principle of my profession, while all I describe is drawn from real clinical practice, the characters I write about are not modelled on real individuals. They are constructs, influenced by the many incredible people I had the privilage of meeting during my training. (Tanya Byron 2014)" 

I enjoyed reading about the case studies and imagined them as real, wanting to know what happened next and how it would...if it could all work out.

Byron writes this book brilliantly, it is impossible to put down and each section leaves you wanting to find out more about the case studies, her relationship with her mentor, and her thoughts of her inner self, maybe as a psychiatrist she knows what we want to read to keep us engaged either that or she is a very talented writer!

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know about mental health as throughout the book it provides the reader with many opportunities to question the sanity of our own thoughts, our practices and challenges our preconceptions towards others, especially those with mental health problems. The book also encourages us to look beyond the problem to discover what it is really all about.

N.B I received this book from Mumsnet in return for this review. All thoughts and opinions written within this post are my own honest thoughts.


  1. I really like the sound of this book - thanks for sharing with #TriedTested

  2. I do miss reading - I don't think I've got the brain cells for this at the moment though - I'm more a rom com girl these days!
    Thanks for linking up with #TriedTested this week x


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