Around the age of 45, after a bad episode I decided that although I was ill, things weren't so bad when I got a place at Redhall Walled Garden in Edinburgh. I hadn't really been very creative for a number of years, but it was there that I began to meet creative people. A holistic approach to health is encouraged at Redhall and I became more able to look positively at my circumstances and soon began to experiment with poetry.
Spending time in the peaceful and stimulating atmosphere of the garden and attending the Alma project creative writing group, has helped me to find ways to cope with a condition I have had all of my adult life, formally diagnosed as schizo-affective psychosis.
On the spectrum of schizophrenia, schizo-affective psychosis means that there is a lot of mood disturbance, either depression or bi-polar type symptoms. As well as this, there can be a tenuous relationship with reality - sometimes experiencing bizarre delusions and being completely out of touch with it.
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