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Saturday, 10 March 2007

Clare Allan spent 15 months in a mental hospital and nine years recovering from the trauma of psychosis. Now she has published a book, Poppy Shakespeare. There's a short piece in the latest issue of marie claire that she wrote, chronicling briefly her experiences.

They sound horrible.

The world had closed its doors and I was locked outside. It wasn't that I couldn't imagine growing old and having a baby — I couldn't imagine the next five seconds, let alone five minutes.

Which sounds like depression.

Friends called; I left the answerphone on. I felt threatened by their concern. I wouldn't use the phone anyway, fearing it was bugged, my paranoia was all-consuming. Outside I constantly checked over my shoulder and even resorted to hiding in doorways to shake off the phantoms that followed me everywhere.

Which sounds like schizophrenia. With paranoid delusions.

In this state she lived for seven or eight months before being hospitalised, after people began to notice she was harming herself. But hospital wasn't doing her any good so, somehow, this Australian woman who had gone to London to find herself, checked out and began the long road to recovery. A social worker helped her to stabilise.

We wish her well.

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