Sarah Martin is a Riverview local who has released a book called Dear Psychosis, a confronting, dramatic and no-holds-barred account of a family’s experience following their daughter’s first-ever psychotic episode in Istanbul and her later diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
ITC asked Sarah Martin about her book.
What is Dear Psychosis About?
What would you do if you received a message from a stranger telling you that your daughter, who is travelling alone in Turkey, is having some mental health episode?
Dear Psychosis is about our family’s journey after that message changed our family’s life.
To some, it may be a warning; to others, a story of hope.
Most of all, it shows how the love and care given by strangers and family alike paved the way for our daughter’s recovery and inspired our family to break the silence around mental illness.
The book is written with Alice and Jesse (her brother) contributing their views and experiences. Alice about psychosis and mental ill health. Jess through the eyes of a brother and medical student at the time.
How Long Did it Take to Write Dear Psychosis?
I started writing in 2016 and thought I would write an article.
In 2021 I realised I had too much for an article but not enough for a book, so I’d say the seeds were planted in 2016 but not fully understood until 2021 and Dear Psychosis was born in February 2023.
How is your Daughter Going Now?
Alice is going well. She is currently studying Psychology and is in her honours year. She’s also working as an academic advisor at a college in Sydney, where she has an additional role on the wellness team for students.
Managing work/study/life balance is tricky, but she is managing it well. She remains conscientious of how much sleep she is getting, which is just part and parcel of living with bipolar.
What Feedback Have You Had on the Book?
I have had many happy tears since Dear Psychosis was published.
“… a hair-raising but uplifting account of when a loved one moves from day-to-day sanity to being psychotic, the rare kindness of strangers, strategies for moving through the crisis, and how resilience generally requires exposure to a flame.”
Professor Gordon Parker AO – Founder of the Black Dog Institute
“Dear Psychosis, is a raw and startingly honest account of mental ill health and the dramatic circumstances under which a family discovers it. At its core this story is about two heroines, a mother driven by her fierce love, and a daughter courageously finding a new path. Any family that has suffered a major setback and have had to grieve the life they envisaged they would have, will be able to relate. It reinforces that you can’t make assumptions about what is going on in someone else’s life. Hopefully this book will provide more people with the courage to #talk”
Annie Gately @annie_gately
Where Can Locals Meet You?
Every Saturday morning, my sister and I take our parents to Two Brothers in the plaza at Lane Cove. You can find us there, and please come and say ‘hi’ they are beyond proud of what we have achieved and are helping us break the silence of mental illness.
How Long Have You Lived in the Lane Cove Area?
We first moved to Lane Cove in 1995 and lived in Cullen St for two years before spending two years in Melbourne. We moved back in 1999 and have lived in Riverview ever since.
What’s your Favourite Thing to Do in Lane Cove?
We love the new Canopy and the hub that has been created there.
The family atmosphere and community are next level.
We love the outdoor concerts, and I think we have eaten in EVERY restaurant in Lane cove!
What is your Favourite Coffee Shop in Lane Cove?
I drink tea, and the best would have to be Two Brothers because they treat us like family. The lovely Mi and Lee always greet us with smiles and a special pillow to put behind JUJU’s (my 89 yr old mum) back.
How to Purchase Dear Psychosis
The eBook is available from 19th February, and the softcover will be available from 1st March through the stores or any book shop – they’ll just need to order it from Ingramspark
It will also be available from Amazon and Booktopia.
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