on both sides of the mirror, professionals and patients tell

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By John

On the one hand, books written by professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists, neuroscientists, etc.), with their expert vision, possibly embellished with testimonials from their patients. On the other hand, intimate stories of people affected directly – or very closely – by mental illnesses, unfolding their course of life and care, sometimes complicated with the medical world.

Depression, anxiety, eating disorders including anorexia and bulimia, or even schizophrenia… Mental disorders, which affect approximately one in five individuals during their lifetime, and some of which have exploded since the Covid-19 pandemic, have become a common theme of mainstream work. A profusion of which we can rejoice, as it is important to bring out of the shadows these diseases still too often associated with false ideas and a harmful stigmatization for the main interested parties and their entourage.

In this landscape, the recent book Living with a mental health disorder, written by Mickaël Worms-Ehrminger, holds a unique place, because the author, a graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in cognitive sciences and a doctor in public health and clinical research, is both a specialist in these themes and himself concerned . Since 2021, he has stood out with a series of podcasts devoted to mental health, “Les Maux bleus”, in which he invites patients, carers and professionals to talk about their experience, taking the time to exchange.

Understand, reflect and integrate

It is with this assumed double hat that Mickaël Worms-Ehrminger weaves his work, alternating very personal passages (where he describes without bluntness his experience as a person living with, among other things, eating disorders, depressive episodes and of Gilles de la Tourette) and others, nourished by his professional knowledge and his encounters as a podcaster.

His common thread? Understand, reflect and integrate. “These three steps enable changehe explains in his introduction. Indeed, giving elements of knowledge and helping to understand, questioning one’s beliefs and reconstructing one’s thought pattern allows you to change perspective. » In its approach, testimonials are completely complementary to scientific and medical data. In fact, as the author points out, “psychic suffering is difficult to share, especially with people who have not yet been confronted with it”.