The Naked Bird Watcher

Suzy Johnston

Buy from   Buy from

From the Foreword

Accomplished athlete, recording artist, published author and manic depressive — Suzy Johnston isn’t ashamed of any of her labels. In this candid and honest description of one person’s experience of living a full and varied life at the same time as coping with a serious mental health, what continuously shines through is the author’s consistently positive outlook and her refusal to be ashamed of losing what she described as ‘the battle of percentages’ in developing manic depression. In an engaging, informative and often amusing biography the author details the early onset of depression as a teenager but concentrates primarily on her university days, spent in St Andrews and lived in typical ‘work hard — play harder’ student mode, interspersed with periods of disrupted study, relationship problems and psychiatric assessment.

Coping variously with paranoia, hallucinations, suicidal feelings, debilitating side-effects and the pressure of maintaining social contacts as her inner turmoil increased, she describes the experience of depression as ‘a dark thread winding itself tighter and tighter’. After seeing a psychiatrist for three years with no diagnosis, the need to know won over the fear of the psychiatric label and, after a few visits to the library, it started to seem likely that manic depression was the problem. Confused and scared she secretly turned to self-harming, describing the pain of that first cut as a revelation..smashing its ways through the thick wall of Perspex which had built up around her.’

Further Reading

You can read more about the book at The Cairn.

The Naked Bird Watcher


Permanent location: