The Book of David

proof that online mental health services can be given and Monitored online

The textbook: THE BOOK OF DAVID is dedicated to the late DOCTOR DAVID SHOOMAN RIP.

If David had lived he would have been well on the way to being a consultant psychiatrist. But David did not live. I dedicated the book to him and his memory.

Peter,David's father and my life long friend died with an aching heart and Bernice his mother lives on in the shadows of anguish interspersed with rays of sunshine from her grandchildren. One of them, Gur, is David's son.

If you want to know why I chose to write the book -- then buy it. MIB Amazon Page


My name is Doctor Michael Benjamin.
Like David, I too was born in Leeds, only a long time before him. I am now at the end of the long psychiatric career which I specialised in: community psychiatry; setting up psychiatric services; forensic psychiatry and personality disorders.
I was educated in Aberdeen, Scotland in the 60s. Scotland at that time was a hotbed of the new left and the ideas of the brotherhood of man and power to the people. It was the age of Ronnie Laing. I recommend everybody to read his works. I suppose I was born, professionally speaking, into the school of anti-psychiatry. Nevertheless, I come from a staunch left-wing family which also will explain something.
Over the time that I spent in my profession I became more and more sceptical. Today, with nigh on fifty-five years experience I can claim that I know less and am indeed far less certain than I was when I started my profession. I deeply suspect the pharmaceutical companies-they are there to make a profit and everything else is secondary. I am sceptical about the intrinsic honesty of the way medications are approved.
I am convinced that what you can't prevent you will never cure. I am sure that the majority of patients suffer far more from our treatment than they do from the illness. You could say this about a lot of medicine but, in psychiatry in particular we have a penchant for taking people who are not suffering and making them suffer because others cannot tolerate their behaviour or the way they think or the way they feel.
Of course, having a mental illness or disorder is not a get out of jail free card; it does not mean that you can abolish the law or social norms. But on the other hand if you believe that you are the Messiah or you think that you can speak or are speaking to extraterrestrial beings, then I say good luck to you.
Unlike many of my fellow psychiatrists who started the journey with me I virtually never changed my point of view.
What I would have told David had he had lived would be to stay as enthusiastic and be very sceptical. Don't believe anything apart from what you believe yourself and have seen yourself with your own eyes.
Do not discredit what others say; listen carefully to your colleagues and your teachers. But most of all, listen to your patients and their families.
At the end of the day it is the patients and their families who will have to experience and live with whatever you're trying to treat. Their opinion and their desires count more than yours.
I would have hoped at the end of the day that David would have become a community psychiatrist putting his efforts into prevention and non-pharmaceutical interventions. I believe David would have been able to grasp and apply the modern world of Internet and mass communication and subtle uses of media.
Where there is life there is hope; unfortunately, David's life was terminated far too quickly. I hope, that someone somewhere might read what I would have said to him and take on some of its messages and apply the content in the way they find best.

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Last but not least a page about David Shooman and my passion: Leeds United with some appropriate music. <<||>>