Friday, 15 March 2013

Great interview from Mad in America

I just came across this interview from Rachel Waddingham, of the Hearing Voices Network.  This lady is really courageous and articulate.  It's only a short video, about six minutes.  Here's the link:

I also wanted to mention that I have just received a five star book review on Amazon from an American psychiatrist, Gregg L Friedman.  I got quite tearful when I read it - it says that my book is an excellent read, packed with useful information, and will be helpful to psychiatrists, patients, and their families. 

I used to be completely in awe of doctors, and suppose I do still have a sense of respect for the medical profession.  I have become disenchanted with psychiatry over the years though, because of the diagnosis I was given and how it affected my view of myself.  And as I get older I have realised that I need to be the guardian of my own health, instead of trying to hand the power over to medical professionals to help me. 

However, the fact that I got so emotional when I read this review shows that I am not as strong or as independent as I thought - because I really am grateful that a doctor - and a psychiatrist - has taken the time to read my book and review it.  And the fact that he thinks it is helpful, that seems like a real accolade to me.

Don't get me wrong, I am grateful to every person who has taken the time to read my book, whether or not they have found the opportunity to review it.  Sales have dropped recently - not surprising really, since it is about 21 months since I first published the book.  Yet still, every day this month I have sold an average of a couple of e-books and a paperback, and sometimes it seems to me not much short of a miracle, that every day there are people who spend money on a product that I have written and manufactured.  People who think that my book is worthy. 

And the very best thing is when I hear from the people who have been helped or inspired by my work.  I intend to create a folder soon, of all the emails I have had (and a few letters) from people who have appreciated my work.  And the reviews, or course.  It really is all quite incredible, and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to get my work published and read, and commented upon.  There can be no better career than writing in the world!

Thank you all for reading. 


  1. More and more people should write about their breakdowns and their experiences with the "Mental Health" services.Reading these books should be compulsory for young psychiatrists who have never experienced a breakdown. Otherwise how can they understand what is going on? In hospital they see their patients for a few minutes that's all. The system needs changing really. The psychiatrists are hard done by too. How can they do a good job if they see their patient only on ward rounds where the patient clams up of course and sometimes gets laughed at?

  2. You're right, on both counts. Luckily, more and more people are writing and speaking about their experiences now, and hopefully over time more of these books will get read. I give away copies of mine to people who I think might benefit and ask them to pass them on when they have finished - but my story is only a drop in the ocean.

    What surprises me when I read others is how similar the very strange experiences of psychosis turn out to be. I really think there needs to be more education about it in the general population.

    And yes, I'm sure that psychiatrists don't go into the profession to harm, but to help. I don't think they are aware of the abuse that goes on in the system - they are not present when patients are forcibly medicated, which I remember as the most traumatic event imaginable. Sometimes I wonder if I am still traumatised by it!

    Some psychiatrists, even working within the current system, do make a positive difference. The ones I disapprove of are those who refuse to communicate with the patient - I have met a few of these over the years, and I find it really odd. You speak to them and they just sit silently and say nothing...I don't think they know what to say.

    Hopefully, the culture is changing. In this area, we have a service user group who work with psychiatrists to try to make them see things from the patients's perspective - although I do wonder whether the ones who agree to be part of this initiative are the ones who really need it.

    Anyway. Onwards and upwards.