The unforgettable memoir from the best-selling author of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep and Three Things About Elsie.
A few years ago, I found myself in A&E. I had never felt so ill. I was mentally and physically broken. So fractured, I hadn't eaten properly or slept well or even changed my expression for months. I sat in a cubicle, behind paper-thin curtains, and I shook with the effort of not crying. I was an inch away from defeat...but I knew I had to carry on. Because I wasn't the patient. I was the doctor.
No sleep, skeleton support, a head full of anatomy lectures and idealism: this is life for our junior doctors in their first few years on the wards. Here, Joanna Cannon tells her own story in visceral, heart-rending snapshots.
We walk with her, facing extraordinary and daunting moments and meeting her patients: from attending her first postmortem, learning the overwhelming power of a well or badly chosen word and sitting with a young woman in her final hours to small sustaining acts of kindness and connection. These moments teach her that emotional care can be just as critical as restoring a heartbeat - and eventually lead her to her true home in psychiatry.
Deeply moving, warm, compassionate and beautifully written, Breaking and Mending shows us why we need to better care for mental health - and for those who care for us.