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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2010

Elizabeth Wakely and Jerome Carson

This article provides a cameo of Winston Churchill, said by many to have been the greatest Englishman who ever lived, largely due to his leadership during the Second World…

Abstract

This article provides a cameo of Winston Churchill, said by many to have been the greatest Englishman who ever lived, largely due to his leadership during the Second World War. Since his death in 1965, much more has become known about his lifelong battle with depression, his ‘Black Dog’, however it now seems more likely that he suffered with bipolar disorder. This article argues that his mental illness may in fact have led to him being a better leader. Championed in 2006 in a statue by Rethink and most recently by the Time to Change campaign, he is a true recovery hero.

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Mental Health and Social Inclusion, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-8308

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Article
Publication date: 13 May 2010

Margaret Muir, Hannah Cordle and Jerome Carson

Margaret's story concludes our short series on recovery heroes. This series started with Dolly Sen, followed by Peter Chadwick, Gordon McManus and Matt Ward. Four of the…

Abstract

Margaret's story concludes our short series on recovery heroes. This series started with Dolly Sen, followed by Peter Chadwick, Gordon McManus and Matt Ward. Four of the five people featured were from our local service at South London and Maudsley NHS Trust. We have defined recovery heroes as individuals whose journeys of recovery can inspire both service users and professionals alike. Margaret once commented that, ‘all service users are recovery heroes’. It is fitting that the series should end with her own story.

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Mental Health and Social Inclusion, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-8308

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2009

Peter Chadwick, Sarah Morgan and Jerome Carson

In the first paper in this short series (Sen et al, 2009), we talked about the importance of having ‘recovery heroes’. There is a grave danger to the whole recovery

Abstract

In the first paper in this short series (Sen et al, 2009), we talked about the importance of having ‘recovery heroes’. There is a grave danger to the whole recovery movement if it is colonised by mental health professionals and not owned by service users themselves (O'Hagan, 2008). This danger can be seen in attempts to conduct randomised controlled trials of ‘recovery interventions’, designed by professionals, who want to bring recovery practice into evidence‐based medicine. If it means anything, recovery is fundamentally an individual process. The recent Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health report (Shepherd et al, 2008), quotes Bill Anthony:‘Recovery … is a deeply personal, unique process of changing one's attitudes … involves the development of new meaning and purpose in one's life …’ (Anthony, 1993)Patricia Deegan also emphasises the person‐centred focus of recovery, ‘… recovery is an attitude, a stance, a way of approaching the day's challenges …’ (Deegan, 1996, p96). The most important evidence, to our minds, is that of individuals who are on the journey of recovery. Recovery heroes are courageous individuals who have made considerable progress along the path that few staff ever have to travel. We would like to introduce you to another one: Peter Chadwick.

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A Life in the Day, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-6282

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Article
Publication date: 25 February 2010

Matthew Ward, Hannah Cordle, Jane Fradgley and Jerome Carson

While the concept of recovery is one of the main drivers in contemporary mental health services (Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, 2009), it is not uncontentious (Mind…

Abstract

While the concept of recovery is one of the main drivers in contemporary mental health services (Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, 2009), it is not uncontentious (Mind, 2008). One of the earliest critics of recent developments was the psychiatrist Dr David Whitwell. He suggested that few service users could be said to have recovered and that survival might be a better term (Whitwell, 1999). Roberts and Wolfson (2004) asked if recovery is open to all. The concept of recovery hero will be equally contentious to some, and indeed the subject of this feature, Matt Ward, does not see himself as a recovery hero.

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Mental Health and Social Inclusion, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-8308

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Article
Publication date: 30 June 2009

Dolly Sen, Sarah Morgan and Jerome Carson

The development of the recovery approach must mean a fundamental change in how mental health services see service users, for as the Social Perspectives Network paper…

Abstract

The development of the recovery approach must mean a fundamental change in how mental health services see service users, for as the Social Perspectives Network paper rhetorically asks, ‘Whose Recovery is it?’, it is, of course, the service users' (Social Perspectives Network, 2007). The recent influential Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health report, suggests that professionals need to move from a position of ‘being on top, to being on tap’ (Shepherd et al, 2008). Service users need to take a more central role in the whole recovery debate. One of the ways that this aim can be realised is by looking at ‘recovery heroes’. These are individuals whose journey of recovery can inspire both other service users and professionals alike.

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A Life in the Day, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-6282

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Article
Publication date: 29 October 2009

Gordon McManus, Sarah Morgan, Jane Fradgley and Jerome Carson

The influential Sainsbury Centre report, Making Recovery a Reality (Shepherd et al, 2008), talks about clinical and social aspects of recovery. The issue of psychological…

Abstract

The influential Sainsbury Centre report, Making Recovery a Reality (Shepherd et al, 2008), talks about clinical and social aspects of recovery. The issue of psychological recovery is not discussed at length, although other workers have put forward a psychological model of recovery (Andresen et al, 2003). While there are numerous definitions of recovery, the one developed by Gordon, the focus of this profile, is unlikely to be matched for its parsimony. Gordon describes recovery as ‘coping with your illness and trying to have a meaningful life’ (McManus, 2008). In this paper, he outlines his background. He is then interviewed by Sarah Morgan about his life, illness and recovery. Finally, Jerome gives an appreciation of his contribution to our developing understanding of recovery.

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A Life in the Day, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-6282

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Article
Publication date: 14 February 2011

Elizabeth Wakely and Jerome Carson

Florence Nightingale was one of the most influential women of the 19th century. She is most closely associated with the Crimean War and the subsequent development of the…

Abstract

Florence Nightingale was one of the most influential women of the 19th century. She is most closely associated with the Crimean War and the subsequent development of the nursing profession. Before shewent to the Crimea, she had experienced episodes of depression. While in the Crimea she contracted brucellosis and although she returned to England a national heroine, she lived the life of an invalid for several decades. Despite her physical and mental health problems, she produced over 200 reports, pamphlets and books, not just on nursing, but on a wide variety of other topics. This phenomenal productivity has led some authors to suggest that she may have had bipolar disorder.

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Mental Health and Social Inclusion, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-8308

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2011

Elizabeth Wakely and Jerome Carson

Isaac Newton has been described as the father of modern science. What is less well known is that he had mental health problems. Here, the authors aim to review the…

Abstract

Purpose

Isaac Newton has been described as the father of modern science. What is less well known is that he had mental health problems. Here, the authors aim to review the literature on his problems and life to see if he was a mental health recovery hero.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviewed all the published papers on Newton's mental health problems, as well as many of the biographies written on him.

Findings

Scholars of Newton have focussed most of their attention on Newton's breakdown of 1693. This has been attributed to mercurialism or paranoid psychosis. The more likely explanation is depression or bipolar disorder. Personality factors are also critical in understanding Newton; he had a troubled upbringing and problems in relating to others. The latter enabled him to focus exclusively on his research and experiments and may have contributed to his greatness.

Originality/value

The authors have brought to bear their insights as a professional historian and as a clinical psychologist, giving this paper a unique perspective from previous uni‐disciplinary reviews.

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Mental Health and Social Inclusion, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-8308

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Article
Publication date: 2 February 2021

Robert Hurst and Jerome Carson

The purpose of this paper is to review the 20 remarkable lives of student accounts published in this journal. These recovery narratives (RNs) are examined first in terms…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the 20 remarkable lives of student accounts published in this journal. These recovery narratives (RNs) are examined first in terms of whether they meet the five elements of the connectedness, hope, identity, meaning and empowerment (CHIME) model of recovery and then in terms of what makes each account remarkable.

Design/methodology/approach

Two Excel spreadsheets were created. One had each author’s name and the five elements of the CHIME model, the other the features of a remarkable life.

Findings

All 20 accounts fulfilled the criteria for the CHIME model, independently validating this model of recovery. Hence, each account showed evidence of connectedness, hope, identity, meaning and empowerment. A number of additional characteristics stood out from the accounts such as the importance of motherhood and of education.

Research limitations/implications

All 20 accounts were only reviewed by the two authors, who may be subject to bias. To reduce this, the first author did the bulk of the ratings. This paper shows the importance of education for recovery.

Practical implications

Some 15/20 accounts reported problems with mental health services, mainly around waiting lists. Must mental health always remain a Cinderella service?

Originality/value

This is the first attempt to synthesise this particular set of recovery narratives, entitled remarkable lives. These accounts show the richness of the recovery journeys embarked on by many sufferers and these are just drawn from one University. Like the authors of these stories, we too as recovery specialists have much to learn from their inspiring accounts.

Details

Mental Health and Social Inclusion, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-8308

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Article
Publication date: 23 May 2011

Elizabeth Wakely and Jerome Carson

The paper reviews Darwin's health problems and suggests they may have been a “creative malady”.

Abstract

Purpose

The paper reviews Darwin's health problems and suggests they may have been a “creative malady”.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors look at Darwin's upbringing, his career and achievements, evidence for mental illness and his status as a historical recovery hero.

Findings

In addition to the published literature, Darwin himself acknowledged that his health problems enabled him to dedicate his life to his scientific research.

Originality/value

The authors combine their perspectives as a historian and psychologist to interpret the literature on Darwin's illness.

Details

Mental Health and Social Inclusion, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-8308

Keywords

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