Sectioned: A Life Interrupted

Sectioned: A Life Interrupted

by JohnO'Donoghue (Author)


'When my father died, I stayed off school to look after my mother. I was fourteen and was as incapable of looking after her as she was at looking after me. She took to wandering the roads and was soon taken into hospital. The social worker asked me if I wanted to be fostered and I said yes. Two years later, in 1975, I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. That was the beginning of it all: medication, ECT, the locked ward. I've been sectioned five times, in and out of asylums, homeless hostels, squats and on the streets. I nearly hit the end of the road. But then, almost overnight, my life turned round. Sectioned is my story.' John O'Donoghue


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More Information

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 304
Edition: First Edition
Publisher: John Murray
Published: 05 Feb 2009

ISBN 10: 1848540124
ISBN 13: 9781848540125

Media Reviews
'The humdrum reality of mental illness has rarely been so well conveyed ... A triumph ... and a vindication of O'Donoghue's faith: psychosis could easily have killed him ... but here he is, against the odds, speaking loud and plain' -- Blake Morrison, The Guardian 'O'Donoghue is a shrewd observer of people and places and there is much fascinating material here, especially for anyone interested in mental illness and its treatment ... His poet's fine eye for detail is a great advantage' -- Morning Star 'A beautifully drawn account ... punctuated with moments of vibrant humour and a great sense of irony' -- Sunday Times 20090222 'Here you will find an eloquent and compelling insight into one person's battles with mental illness ... it is his literary powers and keen observations that shine through the murk ... alongside the pain there is little self-pity and plenty of humour' -- Herald 20090222 'This is a rare insight into a hidden world' -- Greenock Telegraph 20090222 'Sectioned should be compulsory reading for anyone working in the mental health system: they'll laugh, they'll cry, they'll think twice before using ECT' -- Disability Now 20090222 'Vividly put together [and] full of indelible images' -- The Age (Australia) 20090222 'While the subject matter is undoubtedly harrowing, what is most memorable about Donoghue's vivid memoir is its inspirational quality' -- Good Book Guide 20090222
Author Bio
John O'Donoghue was born in North London in the late 1950s. He first became mentally ill in the 1970s and suffered a series of breakdowns. In 1988, at the age of 30, with only three O Levels and an Elementary Swimming Cerificate, he got into the University of East Anglia, and met his wife. From 2000-2005 he was Chair of Survivors' Poetry, a national charity which publishes and promotes the work of survivors' of mental distress. He lectures in Creative Writing and lives in Brighton with his wife and four children.