Fallible: A Memoir of a Young Physician's Struggle with Mental Illness - Book Review

Fallible: A Memoir of a Young Physician's Struggle with Mental Illness

Author: Kyle Bradford Jones
Genre: Non Fiction - Autobiography
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Date Published: April 2, 2020
ISBN-10: 1684334551
ISBN-13: 9781684334551

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Book Review of :  Fallible: A Memoir of a Young Physician's Struggle with Mental Illness


Fallible: A Memoir of a Young Physician’s Struggle with Mental Illness is a moving chronicle about the trials and tribulations of the author, Kyle Jones’ struggle to succeed in life while emotionally afflicted with severe depression and anxiety. Jones’ bouts with depression and anxiety reared its ugly existence when he was just a teen and became more pronounced during his Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mission in Ukraine in 2000.  Jones writes about his Stresses during his years in college and his many years of physician residency. He talked about how he and physicians, in general, feel they must hide their emotional issues to prevent being punished by licensing boards or mistreated by “Physician Health Programs.  Jones makes it clear that depression is an occupational hazard in medicine.

Jones reconstructs his early symptoms, and his descent into long-term condition.  He interweaves his life narrative with facts about depression and lists of his thoughts and feelings.  He writes candidly and openly about his experiences and treatment attempts, and many will recognize their own experiences in his story. For those who’ve never suffered from depression, Jones’ story can help to understand the struggle. He talks of how he found it very difficult to survive on little sleep. Many of his contemporaries seem to have little trouble existing on 5 hours of sleep, but sleep deprivation did not work for Jones.

Jones uses his own battle with depression and anxiety as a window to peer in on the history of how the condition is being tackled.  He discusses the various ways depression and anxiety affects people, many of the different psychiatric treatments that have been used to attempt to treat it, and some of the potential effects that the treatments can cause.

His experiences with depression and anxiety are raw and real. He talks about how his condition created problems between him and his wife, Becki, and how he hit rock bottom in his second year of residency.

The prevalence of suicide by doctors is addressed. He talks about how the conditions are hidden so well that it prevents a doctor from getting help, and suicide becomes the only door to freedom.  When doctors are punished for occupationally induced mental health conditions, they become more hopeless and desperate. Fallible does a lot to tackle the stigma surrounding mental illness.

If you are someone who has struggled with bouts of depression and anxiety, you’ll find this book can go a long way to remind you that you’re not alone. Fallible is a very interesting and inspiring read, putting across the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual sides of depression and anxiety.  Not only is it helpful for those who are dealing with these issues, but also a great resource for anyone looking to better understand what anxiety and depression can be like. Jones’ impassioned writing provides a great explanation for those who have no firsthand knowledge of depression.

Reviewed by: James B

About Kyle Bradford Jones


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