It's been over fifteen years since this book was published, and much has changed in my life and happened since then!
Even though I presented with 'schizophrenia' when I was young my long-term diagnosis has changed, and I deny the myth of 'schizophrenia', nowadays, as well as the cult of psychiatry.
However, as a book which explores non-ordinary reality, neglect, abuse, sexuality, drug use and young life, it still stands alone.
But it still serves as a book that I think gives valuable insight for sufferers of 'schizophrenia', even though the latest research suggests it is a collection of symptoms and the word should be dismissed as a label, and that the concept of schizophrenia is coming to an end.
It helps carers alike, and as such, is a good resource for those affected by mental illness, or experience non-ordinary reality. I am so grateful that people still email me from around the world thanking me for writing it.
A compelling visual and verbal journey exploring the author's experience of schizophrenia: the first signs, reactions from friends and family, how he sought help, the challenges of recovery.
Edinburgh, 1994 I am crouching in an alleyway. They can t see me here, so for the moment I am safe. There must be hundreds of loudspeakers projecting secret messages at me, and umpteen video cameras tracking every move I make...They will tie me up, soak my feet in water and have goats lick my feet down to the bone...
Melbourne, 2003 'Nowadays I say that I am recovered, not cured. I have a job, I have my band, I have my friends and my family. I pay my taxes and do the dishes; I'm independent. A couple of pills a day keep me slightly lethargic yet sane . I can live with that.'
Mental illness is common, and often devastating. In this day and age it is a treatable condition, yet many are left untreated, misunderstood. Richard McLean is one of the lucky ones. His words and pictures give us a unique and poignant insight into a hidden, internal world.
'This is a powerful, quirky and important book. Powerful because it goes straight to the heart of battling a psychotic illness. Quirky because of the author s abundant creativity and the delight of his illustrations. Important because it outstrips anything else I have read about schizophrenia for its insight into the nature of psychotic thinking and behaviour. McLean writes with a bold simplicity and deftly avoids melodrama and bathos'. Anne Deveson