Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Philosopher's Madness by Lishan Chan

I first chanced across this book when my father encouraged me to read it. My mom has schizophernia you see. But I didn't have the time. When was finally free, my dad had already returned the book to his friend. 

After chatting with my psychiatrist (I've got bipolar) and after hearing him saying that she was a good and outspoken mental health advocate, I decided to get the book. 

It was pretty tough. All the Popular branches didn't stock the title. In the end I went to Books Actually and they were sold out! But they ordered a copy for me that I finished in two days. 

I can relate to the book as a person who has experienced discrimination as a person who has been diagnosed and she portrays this very clearly. In addition, as a philosopher, she asks pertinent questions on whether the disease is a mental or physical problem. 

She has been a writer since her secondary school days and she includes extracts of the descent into madness. It's really interesting how complex her thoughts were already in Raffles Girls' School. It's no wonder she got into the London School of Economics to do Philosophy. 

I'd encourage anyone who has a friend or loved one who is mentally ill to read it to understand them better. Also, I'd recommend that every person who is diagnosed or is about to be diagnosed to read it. She helps one understand the tremendous difficulty of how one accepts one's diagnosis. 

1 comment:

  1. HI Rachel! I thoroughly enjoy your book reviews and would like to get in touch with you. Would you mind emailing me at I couldn't find your email, so i decided to leave a comment here instead. Hope to hear from you soon! -Nicole K.