Service user memoirs are frequently reviewed in The Psychiatrist and other related journals. Some academic publications include first-hand accounts of mental ill health, and there is a lively market for autobiographical books and articles about mental illness. But clinicians already have extensive contact with service users and it might seem unlikely that they have much to gain from reading memoirs. In this article I suggest that the greater depth of reflection in published memoirs means clinicians do in fact have something to learn. I illustrate my argument by showing how memoirs cast a light on the world of information and conclude by suggesting reasons why memoirs raise issues that are of increasing clinical importance.
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