Book Review | How Can I Help? A Week in My Life as a Psychiatrist by David Goldbloom & Pier Bryden

David Goldbloom and Pier Bryden
ARC, 367 pages
Publication date:
February 23rd 2016
Simon & Schuster Canada
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

You are not alone. These words are something we take for granted and it’s only when mental illness hits close to home and we reach out that we realize how true these words ring. Mental illness has touched my life in several ways, I’ve had friends and sibling of friends suffer from depression, bipolar illness and schizophrenia. My brother tried to kill himself multiple times in his first and second year of university and both my sister and I have suffered from severe anxiety in the past. Furthermore, with my educational background in psychology, mental illness has always been a topic of interest for me.

I’m sure that the majority of people may already be aware of statistics shows that 1 in 5 Canadians deal with mental illness each year, mental illness is quite commonplace. Today, I feel that people are more open to sharing their experiences with mental illness with others. However, as seen in Dr. David Goldbloom’s How Can I Help? we still have a long way to go when it comes to reducing the stigma associated with mental illness in addition to how it’s dealt with in our society.

What I appreciated with regards to How Can I Help? A Week in My Life as a Psychiatrist by David Goldbloom and Pier Bryden are how the book is written in an entertaining and accessible manner. The other thing is how the book is structured to illustrate a week in the life of a psychiatrist. There are numerous misconceptions concerning what psychiatrists do, it’s enlightening to hear from an actual psychiatrist what their job essentially entails.

As a result of the book’s structure we get a glimpse at the various types of patients that require psychiatric assistance. Furthermore, I liked how we catch glimpses of Dr. Goldbloom’s life outside work and his background in addition to brief social, historical and cultural background on psychiatry practices and research. Psychiatrists and other doctors are people too, and I appreciated how the book acknowledges that they are not invulnerable to biases and human emotions.

There is much that I can say regarding mental illness and this book, however in order to keep this review brief I will that I believe this book is one that every person should read. After all, in a society where stigma remains when it comes to mental illness, it is vital that we all take the time to educate ourselves so that we can not only support those in our lives who are suffering from mental illness, but also take care of our own mental health.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.


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