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  • When Do I Get My Shoelaces Back?

    When Do I Get My Shoelaces Back?
    by Suzy Johnston

    "Sometimes I want to kill myself so much that the air grows thick with the urgency of it all."

    In the spring of 2008 Suzy Johnston, who suffers from bipolar disorder along with its psychotic symptoms, fell ill with viral hepatitis A. Immediately she had to come off all her psychiatric medications and experienced her worst ever episode of severe mental illness, resulting in her recovering in a psychiatric ward for seven months.

    This is the actual diary she kept during those fraught and dangerous times. This is a raw, immediate and highly literate account of psychosis, written ‘in real time’. Suicidal impulses, paranoia, hallucinations and delusions are described in acerbic and uncompromising language.

    The account is a must-read for both mental health practitioners and anyone wanting a first hand impression of mental illness. No other account captures so vividly the unrelenting pain and pressure of in-patient recovery.

    Suzy Johnston is also the author of The Naked Bird Watcher and The Snow Globe Journals – accounts of living with and managing recovery from mental illness.

    At the age of 17, Suzy Johnston Syrett developed the initial symptoms of depression with the condition developing into manic depression/bipolar affective disorder whilst studying at St Andrews University.

    After graduating, her deteriorating health saw her being hospitalized on 6 occasions with acute episodes of severe depression. Following her recovery, she first became involved in mental health awareness programmes in 1999 when she joined the Education Team of the Renfrewshire Association for Mental Health. Giving talks to senior secondary pupils, social workers, etc., and writing about having mental illness for student psychiatric nurses led to the writing of her autobiography The Naked Bird Watcher which was first published in the spring of 2003. To Walk on Eggshells by her mother, Jean Johnston, is the carer's account of Suzy's journey of recovery. The spring of 2009 saw the publication of The Snow Globe Journals - a more probing and searching account of Suzy's battles with mental illness.

    In addition to her writing, Suzy is also a a musician/song writer with the accoustic band, Bad Alice, formed with Lindsay Roberson in 2007. Their first CD, Walk in my Shoes, can be purchased at Bad Alice Music, where you can also listen to samples of their songs and view the lyrics.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: When Do I Get My Shoelaces Back? started by David Baxter View original post
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