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Mental Survival


Mental Survival
By Oliver Swingler

ISBN: 978-1-78382-294-2
Published: 2016
Pages: 96
Key Themes: poetry, mental health services, depression, isolation, recovery


Mental Survival is a collection of articles, personal experiences, poems and songs, mostly centred around the theme of mental health. The writer draws on a wealth of experience to focus on psychiatry and counselling, the side effect of drugs and ECT, stigma and abuse, shedding light on much that is wrong with attitudes and care for the increasing numbers of people suffering debilitating mental distress. He also shows that despite an often daily battle against suicidal thoughts and chronic mood swings, it is possible to have a rewarding life, with moments of caring companionship, mostly winning the struggle to maintain a positive attitude and self-respect.

About the Author

Oliver Swingler was born 10th March 1948, and is currently actively retired despite physical disability and being a mental health survivor for 55 years. His working career has included 37 f different jobs, from factory labourer to Customer Services Supervisor, Sales Manager to Hospital Porter, Shop Assistant to Volunteer Co-ordinator, barman to Adult Education Lecturer Ė and over the years heís done a variety of voluntary work, including VSO on island of St Helena, working with people recovering from head injuries, housing advisor with a Shelter Housing Aid Centre. Apart from 19 years semi-retreat from the world in the Emin esoteric cult, Oliver has been an active campaigner on a variety of issues, a student Socialist Society Chair, NUPE Shop Steward, Chair of Lifeboat mental health co-operative, and two Tenantsí and Residentsí Associations. As well as writing songs for a left/green choir, heís most recently been active against fracking and global warming, as part of White Ribbon Campaign anti-violence against women, seeking justice for families of victims of the DWP, Atos, Maximus, Capita, and most recently re-joined the Labour Party after 50 years absence to support Jeremy Corbyn. A believer in social housing, Oliver has lived in a council flat in Newcastle-upon-Tyne for 26 years; heís divorced and has one son.

Book Extract


Here it comes again pain, pain, pain.

Elephants donít arrange to have memories wiped out
Larks donít sing tunes that awaken chronic doubt
Electric eels donít give shocks to others of their kind
Cheetahs donít advise speedy cures that damage the mind
Tortoises donít punish those who are a bit slower
Reindeer donít stigmatise whatever they see as lower
Owls donít manufacture darkness for hunting their prey
Crocodiles donít submerge animals in terror for pay
Oysters donít clam up if treatment is put to the test
Nightingales donít wilfully disturb other creaturesí rest
Voles donít produce the dependence on hibernation
Unicorns donít pretend whatís real is an invention
Locusts donít strip bare while announcing that itís healing
Spiders donít weave to confuse other spidersí feeling
Iguana donít make ugly innocent hope and belief
Vultures donít pick at the bones of those suffering grief
Earthworms donít aim to undermine the vulnerable naÔve
Tigers donít lurk behind caring postures that deceive
Hornets donít sting to sell results in published research
Eagles donít use old, weak ones to establish their perch
Rattlesnakes donít have hidden agendas that cause fear
Ants donít build nests that alienate every ant near
Psychiatrists and their drugs often do Ė theyíve done it to me
Yours may be the next mind to be raped by ECT

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  • Model: paperback
  • 10000 Units in Stock

This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 07 July, 2016.