on 22 December 2012
Dandelions and Bad Hair Days is an anthology that explores the complex and sensitive issues relating to mental health. Compiled by individuals who struggle with depression, OCD and other mental health issues in their everyday life and by those who care for them, this is a unique compilation of candid and powerful personal testimonies.
The collection comprises prose, poetry, interviews, memories and art all edited by writer Suzie Grogan whose blog on mental health was the first platform for many of these voices. The honesty and bravery of the contributors is inspiring and thought-provoking. As well as raising funds for SANE, OCD Action and other mental health charities, Dandelions and Bad Hair Days lifts the lid on this hidden and often taboo subject and invites us all to join the writers in their daily struggles and the support they share with others to help face the challenges of these debilitating and unpredictable conditions. A must-read for everyone.
on 9 March 2013
Dandelions and Bad Hair Days is a dip-into book about the experience of living with long-term depression. We all have our bad days, weeks, sometimes longer, but some seem to suffer from prolonged bouts of depression which can ruin their lives. I saw patterns in some of the contributor's accounts. Similar experiences, reasons why they had come to be at the mercy of their mental health. But that is not really the main crux of this collection. This is a book about not being alone with depression. It's about stories of hope and discovery, about coping and living with the fact that the black dog was here yet again.
I bought this book partly to support the charity it has been produced to raise funds for, and partly to understand long-term depression. It is easy to read and skips along between digestible experiences and poetry. It is about ordinary people who are talented, intelligent and to all intents and purposes living their lives like everyone else.
Dandelions and Bad Hair Days gives the voice of experience without the clinical terms or psycho-babble. An excellent read.
on 11 February 2013
I was drawn to this book by its wonderful title, the eye catching front page and because I am always interested in reading new authors. I was engaged from the start, reading Suzie Grogan's moving opening piece. I found beautiful imagery and heartfelt, personal, life writing. Difficult experiences are discussed, but the lasting impression is of strength and positivity. There is much of interest here for readers who may have shared similar experiences and the chance for those who haven't to gain a profoundly deeper understanding.
on 16 July 2013
I know people who lost their jobs because they had some mental health issues. The reasons for redundancy would not, of course, mention mental health; but the determination to get rid of them was nevertheless overwhelming. Mental health issues are therefore things not to talk about, not to admit, in case employers and acquaintances look askance and expect the worst. From time to time, crises come and hiding becomes impossible. Others get to know, maybe need to know. Friends need to know what to do. Medical decisions have to be made. - medication? talking therapy? hypnotherapy? In this book, people with mental health issues `come out', tell the world and describe their experiences and journeys. Sometimes it is depression, sometimes panic attacks, sometimes obsessive compulsive disorder, sometimes eating disorders. The book has been compiled in the belief that others could benefit from other people's journeys. Some find support in the right medication, but point out the downside of wrong medication. Others avoid medication all together. Some value talking therapies such as CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy), others not, at least unless there is particular rapport with the therapist. There are different approaches to asking where the symptoms come from, but understanding this may not help: more importantly people need to know how to tackle the symptoms. We find feelings of self worthlessness, anxiety based on `can't do' feelings, feelings even of guilt over things imagined to have been done, sins that need to be forgiven (`religious scrupulosity' is a new one on me).
There is a message also for so-called `normal' folk. You need to get your minds around how to respond if a friend, family member, pupil or neighbour shows symptoms that make you uncomfortable. Your discomfort is not their problem but yours. Of course if you express your discomfort in negative and confrontational ways, those outbursts become their problem in that, as well as coping with their very difficult lives, they have to cope with you too. A cheap ebook with profits going to charity. I wholeheartedly recommend it for everyone to read and so be able to make a difference to someone's life.
on 15 April 2013
I couldn't put this book down - and will be re-reading much of it in the future as it's the sort of book that you remember bits from and want to go back and look at again. The writing is thoughtful, sometimes challenging, always engaging and often moving - by a number of authors with different, honest and insightful things to say. This is a book that everyone should read - you will come into contact with people who have mental heath issues even if you haven't done so yet - a colleague, friend, family member, or yourself, and you will remember something from this book which will help you to understand a bit better.
on 29 June 2013
This anthology is a collection of wise, honest and hopeful accounts on the difficult subject of mental health. Written by those whose lives have been affected, directly or indirectly, by depression and anxiety, Dandelions and Bad Hair Days reflects a variety of perspectives. Overall, it is a positive book, with a format that allows the reader to dip in and out. With a foreword by Marjorie Wallace the Chief Executive of SANE, this is an essential book for all seek to understand this often hidden side of the human condition.
on 1 July 2013
This edited anthology of poetry and prose, written by those who cope with anxiety and depression and those who care for them, is of interest to everyone, as one in four of us will experience mental ill health at some point. The pieces are interesting, inspiring, and enlightening, and all proceeds go to SANE and other mental health charities. Recommended.