Mental health stories wanted for book
An Auckland woman, who suffers from bipolar disorder, hopes her story will inspire and inform the public about mental illness.
Mt Eden resident CharlotteRose Ruddell and her colleague Liv Young are collaborating to produce Mental.
It is a book of real stories from people who have experienced the realities of mental health issues.
The book, which will be published by the end of the year, intends to challenge attitudes and perceptions about mental illness in New Zealand.
Ruddell, 30, an early childhood teacher, was diagnosed with bipolar in 2015.
Her condition resulted in her struggling to manage her workload, she said.
‘‘I could run with an abundance of energy for weeks on end and find it hard to eat, sleep, focus or relax.
‘‘I might feel compelled to do odd things for no particular reason.
‘‘Then I’ll swing to times where bed is the only place I want to be and making eye contact with other people seems like the hardest thing in the world,’’ Ruddell said.
‘‘Pepper those moods with some anxiety and that pretty much sums it up,’’ Ruddell said.
She said an assumption that medication was the only way to treat bipolar hurt her feelings.
‘‘Medication is merely one method of helping to stabilise a person’s mood.
‘‘I’ve learnt to deal with my mental illness by knowing myself well and reading the warning signs for when I’m too far up, or too far down.
‘‘There are so many other things to consider like nutrition, exercise, connecting with other people, continuing to learn new things, taking notice or being mindful each day.
Mental will have a range of perspectives to interest, inspire and inform the public. Ruddell and Young hope it encourages more dialogue around mental heath.
‘‘If it encourages an individual to share their experiences, reach out for help, or perhaps, listen to someone going through a tough time, then great,’’ Ruddell said.
She hopes to document up to 50 people’s mental health stories in the book.
The public can contribute to the book with their experiences with mental health to firstname.lastname@example.org
Olivia Young, left, and Charlotte-Rose Rudell of Mt Eden are putting together a publication on mental health.