Meet The Author: We’re All Mad Here by Claire Eastham
Digital team's blog
Meet The Author is a project run by Rethink Mental Illness and Hackney and City CAMHS every other month. Author, Holly Bourne, is our host and each club we invite a new author to answer questions and discuss their book!
At the last book club we discussed We're All Mad Here by Claire Eastham!
Below member, Barry - who can be found at Sketches by Baz - tells us about his experience of the evening. If you would like to know more about anxiety, you can download our anxiety disorders factsheet here.
The third Meet The Author club, run by Rethink Mental Illness and CAMHS saw a move to a non-fiction book, ‘We’re All Mad Here’ by Claire Eastham, and the topic of social anxiety.
Fortunately this is something that I do not experience in itself, but the processes of the illness and those of how to manage it are very much applicable to any other form of anxiety disorder, and a broader range of mental health issues. It was helpful to attend such a discussion – the more you pick apart the experiences of different types of problem, the more you realise that the same core issues exist. This helps me, certainly, not only feel less alone, but recognise that the key to tackling our mental health issues is something we can share between us, and not have to deal with our individual horrible thoughts.
There was a very mixed group attending, all with something to learn and all with something to offer, I felt. Very young people who use the CAMHS, social service practitioners, and some regular book club attendees.
What I feel everyone there agreed and appreciated was the accessibility of Claire’s book. While the content is from her own perspective of course, and some of the information her own take on things, ‘We’re All Mad Here’ is very much an informally written manual – based upon genuine therapeutic techniques.
It take’s Claire’s experiences and lays out in real life examples how to deal with and manage them. Not from the technical perspective of a doctor or researcher, but from that of someone living it, making it that much more relatable and usable by readers who can benefit.
As was the case in the first of the book clubs, which focused on host Holly Bourne’s ‘Am I Normal Yet?’, an engaging discussion of the subject was not the only benefit of this club meeting. Equally interesting and helpful was discussing with Claire on her writing process.
The book has arisen from a blog that she writes. I have found blog writing a positive part of my recovery from mental illness, and both the published success and help to others that has resulted from Claire’s work was, I think, very inspirational and encouraging – particularly to the young people attending.
Claire also told the club of her website, an internet mental health resource (www.allmadhere.co.uk) which has since launched. This is more than a club to discuss a book with the author – this is a springboard, and enabler, for those attending to help themselves and help others, through the passion for reading and writing.
Watch our highlights here!
You can read more from Barry on his blog and twitter!