Outlook Interview

BBC Outlook Pic.pngMy interview with Emily at BBC World Service’s Outlook programme aired last week.

On the BBC. World Service.


Gwad, it’s weird to hear your own voice coming out of the radio.

I am so glad to have been interviewed by the BBC and hope this will really help raise awareness of PPP and – ahem – sell some books too. (Rattled just in case you’ve missed it.)

They cut quite a lot, but I understand that as we did talk for quite a while. They cut me talking about Action on Postpartum Psychosis and their campaign to get Mother and Baby Units in Wales and Northern Ireland, where currently there are none.

Or how I used my scientific background and logical thinking to stave of paranoia when I was very deluded.

But I get it, they have to make it a story that will interest the widest group possible, not a fact-filled-information-providing-session.

There was one little fly in the ointment. I was a bit disconcerted by the editing in of one or two questions which were similar to, but not the actual ones used. Like when the presenter asks me about my and my sister’s ‘breakdowns.’ I don’t remember her saying this to me. When people say breakdown referring to a ‘getting ill situation’ rather than an ‘AA situation’, I say, as kindly as I can, that isn’t a word I use to describe my or my sister’s illnesses.  Sometimes it isn’t the right time, and I don’t always say it. You can’t fight all the battles, all the time.

It is a little thing, but words are powerful. They are our thoughts made external, made visual, made aural. The language around illnesses or disability impacts on the people with lived experience of that illness or disability. Like cancer survivors often not liking the battleground language used around their illness.

Or people who use wheelchairs rejecting ‘wheelchair bound.’

Breakdown? Nope.

I’m not a car, an object, a passive recipient of fixing at the hands of a mechanic.

I wasn’t broken.

I was very ill and I needed medical care, love, support, time, and my own determination – not to mention some heavy-duty psychotropic drugs – to heal.

Thems are different things people.

If you are in doubt as to how important words are, watch this.


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