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The Naked Bird Watcher Paperback – 1 Aug 2004

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The Naked Bird Watcher + To Walk on Eggshells: ...is to Care for a Mental Illness + An Unquiet Mind: Picador Classic
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Product details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: The Cairn; Updated 2nd ed edition (1 Aug. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0954809203
  • ISBN-13: 978-0954809201
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.4 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 675,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Jean Johnston's reassuring words provide comfort and guidance to all carers and will be an indispensable ally. -- Doug Huskey, care giver, California, USA

Priceless and refreshingly sensible. Easy to read, clearly sincere it is an uncontrived and altogether memorable acount. -- Professor Angus Mackay, OBE, FRCPsych, Director of Mental Health, Lomond and Argyll.

Refreshingly, her emphasis on the hope, 'the light' that she aspires to rather than the self-destruction caused by her illness. -- The List August 2003

Refreshingly, her emphasis on the hope, 'the light' that she inspires to rather than the self-destruction caused by her illness. -- The List

The book is worth its weight in gold -- Muriel Gray, Writer and Broadcaster, Well Magazine, Spring 2004

The book is worth its weight in gold. -- Muriel Gray, Writer and Broadcaster, Well Magazine, Spring 2004

From the Publisher

Two Women - One Journey of Recovery - Two Perspectives.

With 'The Naked Bird Watcher' by Suzy Johnston along with her mother's account in 'To Walk on Eggshells' by Jean Johnston (ISBN 0954809211), there is now an unusual and rare insight into mental illness - insight from both the patient and her carer.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "mcgavigan_of_leadhills" on 5 Aug. 2003
Format: Paperback
The Naked Birdwatcher takes you on the journey of a highly gifted young Woman from her schooldays to approaching her thirtieth birthday. A journey travelled though often on her own, never alone. It is a journey of a young woman’s awakening to the realisation of how her own mind which along with her athletic ability had worked with her to achieve the fabulous goals of her youth, begins to fight against her as she approaches adulthood and betrays her in her University years. A fight, we are unsure whether she will win or ultimately lose. We journey with her through her ordinary life (its ordinariness making the book ever more poignant) the battles, the triumphs and the defeats. The battles with her mind along with the battles she has to fight with some of those closest to her too blinkered to realise that nobody would make manic depression a life choice. The Naked Bird Watcher gives hope to those travelling with Manic Depression and those they take along with them. It also highlights the importance of having a support network to help you on your journey. Suzy it would seem has an exceptional support network, this will hopefully inspire those who could help a friend or family member with manic depression to try that bit harder to be there when needed. I have taken from this book that manic depression is a companion anyone could discover they have on their life’s journey; sometimes asleep, sometimes dozing, sometimes with them in their every waking minute. The aim and hope it would seem, is to find a way to get it to sleep and keep it sleeping. Everyone should read this book, it is an inspiration to all to see what can be achieved and how battles can be won if you believe in yourself enough and others believe in you.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Jan. 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good psychiatric care within the NHS must be a first. And well done to Suzy Johnston for telling us about it. She lucidly explains what depression is like and the unusual symptons of which many of us are unaware. But how good to hear of the excellent care she received. A lesson for us all. There is constructive criticism and God does she make you think. Best service-user story I have read to date - and as a professional, I've read most of them.
J Miller, Oxford, England
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Sept. 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this a very easy book to read. It is an excellent account of how mental illness must be and I found it enthralling.
You are willing the writer to get better and really feel for her. The balance of lighter moments as she tells of the funny moments in her life sit very well with the serious. Her story really is inspirational - an exceptional book
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Reviews from the UK on 4 Mar. 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Suzy literally takes you along in the terrifying descent into the dark, murky world of mental illness in which she found herself, unaware and quite unprepared for what was happening to her. You are there as she suffers the apathy and dullness her life is becoming, too paralyzed to care.
She writes of experiences with doctors unsure or unable to give a diagnosis. You experience her initial fear of hospital admission yet you also experience the first steps to her recovery. Overall, the care she received was excellent and established the fundamental steps for her on-going recovery - providing her with tools to cope and manage the symptoms of her condition. She learned to recognise the signs that she needs help and how to get it. There is a model for success here which many can learn from, yet there is valuable contructive suggestions which come from her experience.
This is an easy read and one you will not forget. It will give you a new degree of compassion, respect and undertanding for the brave souls who deal with mental illness. Her honest and moving account of her struggles and progress serves as an inspiration to us all.
Suzy Johnston writes in an easy style with good humour and an incredible ability to both convey her innermost feelings in these experiences and an impartial view of what happened to her - it is that unique ability that sets her and her writing apart.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. P. Mudie on 21 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback
I am a BP person, so naturally reach for pretty much anything that is of the subject area. Suzy provides an excellent description of what it is like to suffer from mind and life crippling depression, without wallowing in OTT lurid'woe is me' details. There is more than enough to paint the picture, to other sufferes and their folks.. Nor does she describe florid periods of wonderful mania 9It is awful and destroys jobs lives relationshps, and your bamk balance!), where she got 5 degrees, a leading research job, a huge salary, speaking engagements, and when she fell back to earth, someone rescued her. Ring any bells? Instead, she gently decribes how the illness can mess up even the simple things, and showed great bravery and a good example of perseverance with help academically. She seems to have accepted her illness, and treats it like a friend who must not be abused. She has learned to recognise it will always be there, but looks after it, in order that it doesn't become offended and let itself be known in a vociferous and unavoidable way.
The value of a caring family and friends is well documented, and there's a smiley anecdote on a regular basis to avoid becoming bogged down in wretchedness. She notably doesn't name any of her drugs,perhaps in order that anyone else will not be influenced by her experience, but be given the chance to be helped by the right people with the right meds.
She comes across as the kind of lady you'd love to have a coffee with, and count as a friend. Well done Suzy and good luck with your future.
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