AN ENTHUSIASTIC crowd gathered at the Scottish Parliament last Thursday for the first showing of 'Experiences of Psychosis' - a film which is a collaborative effort by the Experiences of Psychosis Collective Advocacy Group and CAPS Independent Advocacy

The piece featured the brave, honest, and in many cases harrowing first-hand accounts of four people - Dianna, John, James and Peter- who have struggled with psychosis, as well as the barriers and issues they have faced and how they have managed to deal with it and move forward in their lives.

The film, part of Independent Advocacy Awareness Week, talked about the differing and harmful effects of psychosis. It began with Dianna, who described her struggles as like being "in a dreadful nightmare you can't wake up from". John talked about the physical effect of the illness, which left him neither eating or drinking properly, and James admitted to regularly hearing "hostile, antaganistic and critical" voices which led him to believe their was a hate campaign against him whilst teaching in Japan. Peter opened up about how his ideal life was shattered by a severe mental breakdown, in the end causing him to accuse his wife of plotting to have him assassinated.

“I used to ask 'Why?' at the world. Since my breakdown it's been 'why not?'
  •            John, who has experienced psychosis

Thankfully, all four of the film's participants are moving on with their lives, coping and in some cases flourishing. Dianna is writing a book about her struggle entitled Overcoming the Devil at the Bottom of the Bed, and Peter has changed jobs and feels that his psychosis has been calmed down by medication.

If your group or organisation would like to see the film and hear from the participants about their experiences, please contact Lili at CAPS Independent Advocacy on 0131 273 5116 or [email protected]