By Lorraine Blackburn
Key Themes: self-harm, mental health services, recovery, hope, autobiographical
This book gives an interesting account of Lorraine's life which involved going into hospital, self-harming, etc. It portrays the uncertainty she felt and how she tried to understand herself. The aim of this book is to make lay people and professionals more aware of this issue and to let other patients know that they are not alone. It gives you hope and sees people with poor mental health as survivors rather than sufferers.
About the Author
Lorraine Blackburn is 35 years of age and has bi-polar disorder. She was wrongly diagnosed for 18 years with clinical depression. She has now overcome her condition and wants people to know that they are not alone.
Right that's it - I'm starting now, this minute, second even. Don't ask me why, I'm unsure of everything in my life at the moment. The only thing I do know, if I don't start writing now my brain along with the rest of my body will explode. There are only so many times you can go around the hospital grounds trying to march it off. If you have never suffered with mental illness, or even stress and anxiety, I guess you will be wondering what I am talking about. Itís a long story but hopefully you will have found the answer to at least this, if nothing else, by the end of this book.
I'm 34 years old and have been told that I have experienced ten lives into my one. I know I have journeyed through thousands of experiences; many bad, some ok, others good and a few life changing, most of which I shall try to share with you. I have lived with poor mental health or bad mental illness whichever way you'd like to view it, since a teenager. I've had many diagnoses; nightmares/overactive mind as a child, bad premenstrual syndrome as an early teenager, anxiety and depression in my later teens and early twenties, closely followed by post-natal depression in the remainder of my twenties.
However the real big one, the misjudged/guided diagnosis that ruined my life for about 4 years and tormented those of my family is Congenital Compound Clinical Depression. These are not my words but those of my last NHS consultant psychiatrist who answered my question with this title when I finally had the nerve to ask what was wrong with me. So it is not a bad, albeit tasteless, tongue twister considering! My own interpretation of this title is that it had genetic origins, compiled of many complicated parts and was in fact a serious depression (I can vouch for that part). I remember very little of the actual happenings at that time, but the remaining feelings and emotions are available to me every moment of the day, if I choose to turn my mind towards that direction. My last and I logically believe, correct diagnosis is Bipolar Disorder, with an impulsive personality. Although I actually believe this is the way forward, even writing these words makes me want to curl up in a ball and sob. Why? I donít seem to be able to accept this diagnosis on an emotional level: itís as simple as that.
Writing this book, in a way, is extremely selfish. From later pages you will find I had (and still have) a passion for the sea and sailing. I am viewing this book as a sailing journey, or as us old sea dogs would say Ďa passageí! I know this journey is going to take me through some calm tranquil seas, whilst at other moments raging storms and even unexpected, violent, windy squalls. I hope to survive all of this. I wish to bring some meaning to my life, to the pain, to the distress and at times agony. Amongst this I long for some peace of mind and acceptance of my illness, so that I can finally release the anger and move on with my life. Above all if I can help just one person accept their illness, let another know that someone else feels the same and itís possible to cope and educate someone else in the nature and emotional aspects of this illness. Ultimately being able to show that a peaceful dawn can rise after a wild storm, i.e. life is worth it. If I can fulfil any of these needs, then this whole passage will have been precious and priceless.
'Alive With Bipolar' by Lorraine Blackburn
This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 01 November, 2006.