Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Take two books and call me in the morning

Not to disparage those nice people in the UK, but come on. Who didn't know that reading books could ease depression?

A bunch of medical types in the county of Devon, apparently. They honestly think they've stumbled onto something new:

Doctors usually send patients to the pharmacy to get
medication, but from tomorrow GPs in one county will
be packing people off to the library with prescriptions
for self-help books. Those with symptoms of depression,
anxiety or eating disorders will be referred to clinics
where they will be prescribed books to read alongside
support sessions with graduate mental health care

The scheme in Devon, which is the first of its kind in
the UK, aims to cut waiting lists for more serious
cases, reduce over-prescription of drugs and offer
some form of treatment for patients who may
otherwise receive none.

That's right, folks, and you read it here first: the idea that self-help books can actually, uh, help people is just now occurring to the Brits.

The chosen books aim to help those suffering from
depression, anxiety, bereavement and eating
disorders, as well as victims of child abuse. The
initiative, which has been welcomed by some
charities, will begin in Devon tomorrow but is
likely to spread across the country.

Wow. And the next thing we know, it'll spread to the Colonies. People everywhere will start buying self-help books!

New prescription for mental health: read a good book

All right, I'll stop tweaking the Brits. Although I'm sure they can take it. They are, after all, the people who produced that master of satire, P. G. Wodehouse. I dare you to read one of his "Jeeves" stories and not laugh.

Which brings me to the question of the day: What books do you reach for when you're blue?


Anonymous said...

Certainly not self-help books! **gg** Any fiction by an author that I know will take me into the story where I leave this one behind for awhile works.

tristan coulter said...

I’ve been rather stressed out for the last couple of weeks so I’ve started reading pretty heavily again. You’d be proud of me. Right now I’m working my way through “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand. I feel better about myself already, thank you Ayn Rand! I’m also starting to work on my own economic/personal philosophy which is a hybrid of Objectivism, Christianity and capitalism. I like Rand’s thoughts on epistemology and politics, but disagree with her thoughts on ethics, which is where the Christianity come into play.
Rand says "...he [man] must work for his rational self-interest, with the achievement of his own happiness as the highest moral purpose of his life."
To me, that seems batty.

But I digress, reading is good for the soul and nothing beats a good laissez-faire capitalistic system for economics.

Brenda Coulter said...

Uh...thank you, Tristan. I had to look up "epistemology".

Now be a good capitalist and go back to work.