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Monday, August 26, 2013


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Excerpt from interview on Alison Bruce's blog:

Kenna, you are a fascinating woman. You are open about your schizophrenia and reach out to help other people dealing with this mental health issue. What impact has this had on your writing career and the stories you choose to tell?

It' s had very little impact other than I suspect the illness has given me a scope of living experience and glimpses of creativity and imagination that made me who I am today, and thus the writer I am. I think I'm more tolerant as a result and hate to see racism or bigotry in any form, as I've been the victim of it too often in the past, and others like me have also been victims of discrimination and ignorance.

You must realize, Alison, that I'm almost 69 years old and have been ill for almost 40 years, part of that unmedicated and misdiagnosed. I haven't always been as open about the schizophrenia nor as well as I am today. However, I've always had a great thirst for learning and new experiences, and this has served me well in carving out a path of recovery, often without a great deal of assistance. That being said, the proper medication is essential, and adhering to a medication schedule and developing a therapeutic relationship with an excellent psychiatrist. This has not always been the case, and only recently have medications and the medical community been more open to admitting the hope and growth that's possible with mental illness.

I've written my story with the assistance of a friend, Austin Mardon, PhD, CM (Order of Canada), who also has schizophrenia. It's a book called The Insanity Machine and is available on Amazon and select bookstores. The book includes the latest research at the time of writing (2012) and anecdotes from our lives including somewhat chilling renderings of manifestations of the illness, reactions from family, friends, and medical personnel, and advice to caregivers. Note I have never had a caregiver nor a great deal of support until now, after I committed in 2009 a criminal act and received help from the legal system to address the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, delusions, and obsessive ruminating.

Any comments, gentle readers? Those of you in another time zone, another country, another culture, what is your reaction to a senior Canadian author who has struggled with a mental illness for the better part of her adult life, and has to show for it a successful life? (Well, almost)...I'd love to hear your comments and any kudos or slams as a result of my honesty.

1 comment:

  1. Of course, you all may be very tired of my constant advocating. In that case, please reserve your comments for what you truly have passion for, because passion is so important.