Monday, November 3, 2014

it is truly a wondrous experience to indulge in the fantastic world of creating new literature.

Notes from Kate Richards's talk at the Wheeler Centre a few weeks ago:
-In her own experience, professionals assumed that her high level of education (Kate completed her medicine degree before experiencing full blown mental illness symptoms) would provide insight or knowledge into her condition when in actual fact, she was too acutely unwell and did not possess (or could access) enough perspective at the time for self reflection
-Described her psychologist of 5 years as showing her professional compassion (not love but not pity)
-Stated that human connection and personal relationship just as important as medication
-Believes that medication can get you to a point where you can actively engage in therapy (Felicity's made similar comments to this before)
-Described how fellow in-patients become friends because they can connect without retribution or consequence and share a deep understanding on what you're going through together
-Identified key aspects to keeping well including prioritising quiet time to avoid disabling sorrow
-Spoke about being a spokesperson for mental health issues because of her position of currently being well with the possibility of future distress
-Key part of recovery was understanding herself as a whole person and including mental illness in her personal identity
-Suggestions for autobiographical writing in the future include: a focus on a discrete period of time (for Kate this was the time between 21-31 years of age) and understanding that a memoir needs to be interesting to those who don't know you (can't rely on the reader to fill in the blanks or assume prior knowledge)
-Felt that psychiatry needs a better understanding of spirituality and religion and the role they play in recovery (eg. finding solace in nature)