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  • Published: 15 January 2013
  • ISBN: 9780099554356
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $22.99

The Locked Ward

Memoirs of a Psychiatric Orderly




An extraordinary account of life behind the locked doors of a secure psychiatric ward from a nurse who worked there for seven years. This is a memoir which will appeal to fans of the bestselling Stuart: A Life Backwards and Gabriel Weston's top-10 bestseller Direct Red.


An extraordinary account of a nurse's life behind the locked doors of a secure psychiatric ward.

Dennis O'Donnell started work as an orderly in the Intensive Psychiatric Care Unit of a large hospital in Scotland in 2000. In his daily life he encountered fear, violence and despair but also a considerable amount of care and compassion. Recounting the stories of the patients he worked with, and those of his colleagues on the ward, he examines major mental health conditions, methods of treatment - medication, how religion, sex, wealth, health and drugs can bear influence on mental health, the prevailing attitudes to psychiatric illness, the authorities, the professionals & society.

What emerges is a document of humanity and humour, a remarkable memoir that sheds light on a world that still remains largely unknown.

'This is a superb study of people whose minds have gone wrong, and the art of caring for them' Evening Standard

  • Published: 15 January 2013
  • ISBN: 9780099554356
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Dennis O'Donnell

Dennis O'Donnell was born in Scotland and attended Edinburgh University where he read English. He was an English teacher for many years before leaving to become a psychiatric orderly. He now lives in West Lothian.

Praise for The Locked Ward

This book is packed with witty insights and humorous moments… Makes for excellent bedtime reading

Psychologist

This book is packed with witty insights and humorous moments… Makes for excellent bedtime reading

Psychologist

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