By (author) Emma Goude
A moving memoir following the author's own experience of psychosis
What if psychosis is really a wake up call? Emma Goude is a twenty-something who works at the BBC. She likes to party and take drugs... until she decides to give them up... and that's when the insomnia starts. After five nights without sleep she ends up in A&E. Three questions determine whether she is sane or not. Three questions stand between her and the psychiatric ward. She gets them wrong.
Emma is an atheist, a skeptical cynic who chose dope over God, so when she has some spiritual experiences she is not entirely sure if she is delusional. The psychiatric system has forgotten that 'psyche' means soul. All they know about is medication and they have ways of making her take it. It becomes a game she has to play in order to get out. It is also a perception of herself she must do battle with in order to stand strong in her belief that her psychosis is some kind of awakening.
Ms. Goude gives an intimate account of her most personal saga, dealing with psychosis, the medical system, imposed conformity, and her ultimate reckoning with her place in the world. In turns funny and profound, the book is like a friend telling you about what happened...
Bravo to this brave book. If only all psychiatrists and psychologists would read this.
This book is an important book to change our ideas about mental health and spirituality. It feels like a breath of fresh air for us to return to our roots and instead of boxing in those who have minds different to ours to allow them to expand and to benefit all of us.
Instead of labeling people right now and giving them drugs to dampen their skills, it is so important that we are able to nourish everyone in society to become the whole of what they are. Shamans need this. We need shamans. We need to reconnect to what we have cut ourselves off from and not medicate our society into spiritual death.
This book is a rare jewel: warm, witty and wise. Sparkling with humour and insight, this book is funny, touching and profoundly insightful. It is a page turner with real depth. I couldn’t put it down and found myself thinking about it for a long time afterwards. The author’s writing is elegant, searingly honest, poignant and, at times, laugh out loud. It will also make you question everything you’d ever thought about mental health. It will make you cry, chuckle, get angry and ultimately fill you with wonder and hope. I really can't recommend it highly enough.
Emma Goude takes us through the gut-wrenchingly disturbing psychotic episodes she experiences. Episodes that end in her being regularly hospitalised and even “sectioned” under mental health legislation. In the book, Emma describes with warmth the help given to her by her family, friends and health professionals as well as the despair and frustration felt by those close to her on what she describes as her “spiritual journies”.
I couldn’t put the book down. It’s a page-turner. It is sensitively written, lucid, mercifully jargon-free and insightful. Emma Goude makes a very powerful and compelling case for change in the way that main stream medical professionals In the West perceive and treat psychosis. As questions of funding and treatment of mental health issues move rapidly up the political agenda, this is a book for our time.