A vivid memoir of one young woman’s psychiatric treatment in the Sixties which raises questions, that are still relevant today.
Teenage life in the swinging sixties, hanging out in coffee bars talking fashion and pop music, who could wish for more? But in August 1968, growing pains started to kick hard for 18-year-old office worker Jean Davison and adolescent idealism quickly turns to angst and emptiness.
With her home life in chaos, Jean turns to a psychiatrist hoping for a sensible adult to talk to. That’s where her problems really begin: a week’s voluntary psychiatric rest is the start of one long nightmare of drugs, electric shock treatment and abuse which turn her into a zombie.
Losing five years of her young life to the mental health system, Jean finally finds the courage to say “no” to drugs and turns her life around, finds love and returns to the mental health service as a worker.
Balancing quotes from case number 10826, her actual case notes which reveal a diagnosis of chronic schizophrenia, with her own account of interviews with doctors, this memoir raises disturbing questions on the treatment of psychiatric patients, which are still relevant today
Jean Davison, was born in 1950 into a working class family in Yorkshire She left school at 15 to work in a factory. After leaving the psychiatric system she returned to education to study for GCEs. She has worked as a secretary for the NSPCC and within the health service. In 1979 she met Ian who she later married. She later graduated from university with a first-class degree in literature and psychology. Still living in Yorkshire with Ian, she now works in mental health. The Dark Threads is her first book.