Whilst I really appreciated the chance to challenge popular stereotypes about people diagnosed with ‘schizophrenia’ in The Sun, I felt a little disappointed that I did not have the opportunity to show that the difficulties labelled at ‘psychotic’ make sense in the context of someone’s life experiences. So, when Jeremy Vine’s producer contacted me through this site to ask if I would appear on his lunchtime show – I jumped at the chance.
That week, newspapers were heavy with the tragic story of a young man who killed someone who was attacking his mum (who also later died of her injuries). The attacker had been acting strangely prior to this, and it was reported that they had ‘suspected schizophrenia’. Jeremy Vine, to his credit, wanted to explore the way that the media focuses only on these very rare and tragic events and all but ignores the vast majority of people who are just living their lives.
Whilst the idea of talking on live radio was a little daunting, I relished the chance to show a more human side to voices, visions and overwhelming beliefs. To his credit, Jeremy was happy for me to take the interview in my own direction and asked some very sensitive questions. During the break, he commented to me that if he had gone through similar childhood experiences that perhaps he too would hear voices. That he was able to make that leap in such a short time is a good sign. That he later repeated it on air, before we did the ‘phone in’, was even better.
If you’re interested, you can listen a clip from the show here: