Literature and madness: fiction for students and professionals

J Med Humanit. 2009 Dec;30(4):237-51. doi: 10.1007/s10912-009-9089-1.


Psychiatry studies the human mind within a medical paradigm, exploring experience, response and reaction, emotion and affect. Similarly, writers of fiction explore within a non-clinical dimension the phenomena of the human mind. The synergism between literature and psychiatry seems clear, yet literature--and in particular, fiction--remain the poor relation of the medical textbook. How can literature be of particular relevance in psychiatry? This paper examines these issues and suggests a selection of useful texts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Drama*
  • Humanities
  • Humans
  • Medicine in Literature*
  • Psychiatry*
  • Students, Medical*