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Madness: A Memoir

Madness: a Memoir is an insightful look into the fogginess of what it is to be mentally ill, whilst also telling that it doesn’t hold you back and given the right circumstances and support, you can be
incredibly successful.

The author and protagonist, Kate Richards, is a trained doctor. However, due to her illness and wish to never harm anyone, she decided to stick vocationally within the field of medical research. For fifteen years Kate hid her illness, not telling anyone about her friends who were always with her, but that no one else could see. Self-medicating with alcohol, and taking herself off her medication, staying well became a rollercoaster of finding the right balance between psychiatry and medication and what worked.

Kate’s explanation of her illness was that as a teenager , she suddenly woke up one day and the voices were there. Despite this she made it into medical school and managed to graduate, some days not being able to concentrate, and other days studying up to ten hours a day. During this time there were stints in hospital, being unwell, and suicide or self-harm attempts, from within her routine of study and working life. Despite this, Kate has travelled overseas and is a home-owner, as well as being a published author. She is an accomplished woman, as dealing with mental health and admitting that you need help is quite a feat in itself, and ‘Madness: a Memoir’ is a beautifully written tome. There is said to be a link between disorder and genius, and I posit that Kate is towards the latter.