Book review #2: Panther by David Owen

I have mixed feelings about this book. While on the one hand it provides and interesting comparison between the Panther and depression, I felt let down by the ending and found the book felt almost unfinished? Although I guess you could look at it like depression- there is no definite end.

As someone suffering with depression the ending of the book made me feel hopeless and worse than when I’d started, leaving me almost wishing I hadn’t read it. I had hoped it would provide relief and show that it can be got through, instead it almost showed the opposite. I know it’s not this book’s job to help me in any way, it’s a work of literature not a therapy book. But anyway, I had hoped that this would be a good thing to read to help me get through it but I’m not so sure it’s that helpful.

One thing I would have really liked is more focus and explanation on Derrick, because Derrick himself had depression! He was depressed and binge ate and I was really hoping for some sort of revelation at the end of the book whereby he’d realise he was depressed and ‘understood’ what depression was (understood is the wrong word, I have it and I still don’t understand! Empathise with it I guess?). I also thought that talking about Derrick’s depression might have helped make it clear that not all depression is crying and screaming etc, although the author did this well using the dad.

I also wanted more explanation on why Derrick did some of the things he did, like the slightly creepy sex obsession and obsession with Hadley? But maybe that’s pushing my luck.

However, the book was very well written and I liked how even though it was on a difficult subject it was almost made lighter by the Panther hunt which acted as a good break between the heavier aspects. I thought the symbolism of the panther was really special and Derrick’s hunt enduring.

Overall, although there are some aspects I’m still unsure about, such as the ending, I thought it was a very thought-provoking book. I probably wouldn’t recommend it to people struggling with depression or family/close friends of those affected as I think it can be quite a difficult read with those circumstances, but I would quite possibly recommend it to other people who are interested in the topic.

Thanks for reading.

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Louis Theroux: By Reason Of Insanity REVIEW

Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity is a two-part documentary published in March 2015 by the BBC.
The documentary is about those who are cleared of criminal charges due to reasons of insanity by court. The episodes are an hour long each, during which you meet several patients and follow their stories.

Part one of the documentary on the BBC.
Part two of the documentary on the BBC.

Louis Theroux explores the world behind Ohio’s mental health hospital where people go when they are not deemed sane enough for trial.

The documentary was very interesting while also a bit chilling at times. The stories of individuals were explored and from a psychology point of view it was very interesting to see how different each patient and their symptoms were, even under the same diagnosis.

Being a sufferer of mental health issues myself, I was nervous about watching this documentary. I am relieved to say it hasn’t made me feel any worse about my mental health- I enjoy exploring mental health in a wider context than just my diagnosis, so seeing these people who have committed extreme cases of violence due to a mental illness was particularly interesting but also heartbreaking. I feel I can relate to some of them especially with their depression, although I personally do not have delusions. I think programmes like this raising awareness of mental health conditions to the general population are so important, so I really valued the chance to watch it.

I did find on a few occasions I wasn’t sure of what Theroux had said and whether it was appropriate/ thought it might be unnecessarily upsetting, such as saying to one patient that he wanted him to feel more guilty/express more emotion when clearly the patient struggled with emotional difficulties and therefore it wasn’t his fault and was also a sensitive topic. I found one of the parents shocking, calling her son a ‘nut’ for having schizophrenia, but I guess this is how people behave in real life- sad, but true.

Anyway, overall it was a great documentary and I would recommend it to both those suffering with mental health issues and others.

Other reviews:
The Guardian
IMDb
The Telegraph

Thanks for reading.

Quest bar review

After seeing people rave about Quest bars I decided it was time to try one for myself!

Using @girlslifee iherb discount I saved $12.68 on two already discounted boxes of Quest bars from iHerb, one chocolate chip cookie dough and one double chocolate chunk with 12 bars per box.





Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Review

I tried the cookie dough flavour first, heated in the microwave for 15s. It tastes exactly like cookie dough I don’t know how it’s got so little sugar and so much protein and healthy goodness in it!

The chocolate chunks melted when I heated it, it tasted like pure chocolate which is always a plus.

It was quite sweet and maybe a bit sickly, but apparently having it with milk works really well and gives you a break from the sweetness.

The cookie dough wasn’t my cup of tea but I loved the chocolate chips in it, so I was looking forward to trying the double chocolate chunk one; I was hoping will be a winner- who doesn’t like chocolate after all.

And sure enough, I tried a double chocolate chunk Quest bar and it was delicious!



Double Chocolate Chunk Review

I don’t usually have snacks cause they’re not actually in my plan, but I was hungry after my psychology exam so I listened to my body and had decided to try the DCC Quest bar.

I tried it raw first which was nice, although the second time I baked it in the oven and it was even better!

Raw quest bars are chewy and have an almost doughy texture unlike other protein bars which I quite liked. They are filling and you can eat them raw, bake them or microwave them which means you won’t get easily bored!

Baked DCC Quest bars taste just like brownie, and the chunks go all oozy and gooey and it is just so delicious.
I cut mine into little squares and baked it for 6 minutes on gas mark 6, and the result was a chewy brownie consistancy which I found perfect.



So, Quest Bars overall?

I find these bars really filling which is kind of hard, but I think they’d be really good if you had binge urges as they fill you up and satisfy you without having to eat lots.

Overall I think Quest bars are a fab creation and there are so many flavours to chose from you cant go wrong really.

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Thanks again to @girlslifee for the discount and for helping me out choosing and ordering my Quest bars. She really is super and you should all go check out her blog.

I have done a review guest blog post on her blog, GirlsLifeeTips, “iHerb order by my follower – Post 7

Her blog: www.girlslifeetips.wordpress.com
Her instagram: @girlslifee
Her iHerb discount: QJJ366

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Thanks for reading.