A Mental Journey


SKU e-book Category

175 in stock


By Paul M.F. Smith

ISBN: 978-1-84991-060-6
Published: 2010
Pages: 88
Key Themes: depression, anxiety, OCD, stigma


This is a story of four individuals battling anxiety, depression, agoraphobia and obssessive-compulsions. It covers their beginnings, how they came to where they are at the start of the story, and how they end up where they are at the end of the story, and the rocky road they travel inbetween, supporting and being there for each other as they come together to inform the wider public how it feels to suffer a mental illness and the stigmas that they carry. All the while they are fighting against their inner demons. This is a mixture of fact and fiction, though unsure of where one ends and another begins. It tries to cover the different elements of the characters troubles, and finishes on a positive note, still afflicted by mental illness, but all the better for the support of one another and teaching the general public on what it is like to live with a mental illness.

About the Author

Paul Smith was born and raised in South Yorkshire, now living in south-west Scotland, and he has suffered with cronic depression on and off for the past ten years, along with a mild form of ocd, and a couple of phobias for good measure. These have affected his life in many ways, from socialising and making friends, to struggling to do a job and even using a telephone.

It has also affected his sleep to varing degrees and impeded his self esteem for many years. Paul feels this is a genetic affliction, as both his Mother and her Father, along with Paul’s sister have suffered with depression. He has also had varied experiences and problems with medication, and three separate occasions of counselling sessions.

Book Extract

Mark Gibbs sat at his computer, looking for autographs to buy on Ebay.
Mark was an obsessive collector of autographs. He got a tremendous buzz every time he found one that he was looking for and an even bigger buzz when he won one of them. Mark enjoyed the anticipation of waiting for them to arrive in the post, unpacking them and placing them lovingly into one of his jam-packed autograph albums. Then he would move onto the next one. The buzz was gone as far as his last purchase was concerned. He had to wait for the next ‘fix’, the next ‘big find’, then it would begin again.

He did love his autograph collection, but it was just a distraction, an attempt to distract him from the impending darkness that was looming in the near future.
Mark could feel it – the feeling was all around him, in the air, following him everywhere he went. No amount of praying and obsessive repetitions would stop what was coming. It was something that was out of his hands, and that terrified Mark. For what was coming would change his life forever.

Mark’s mother had been ill, on and off, for the past three and a half years – in and out of hospital, treatments, check up’s, worrying and waiting for important phone-calls. For the majority of that time she had kept in good spirits and kept positive despite the set-backs, but a bad reaction to some of her treatment had left her bedridden in hospital. She rallied despite all of this. But the knocks kept on coming, relentlessly, like rain hammering against the window. And now it had built up to this.

His mother was at home, which he and the rest of the family had dearly wanted, as had she. Though Mrs. Gibbs wasn’t the woman that Mark had grown up with anymore – a lady he loved and cherished, and who had been Mark’s best friend, not just his Mum, for always. She was quieter and more humble, as though there was very little fight left in her. She had fought and fought, trying and trying to regain her health, and now she was like a wounded soldier, trudging through the battlefield, trying to find her way back to base. She had wanted to come home.

The local nurses came and did what they could, but it was mainly window dressing with everyone seemingly waiting for the inevitable end. Even Mrs Gibbs seemed resigned to this. Mark couldn’t stand to see his strong, fearless and funny Mum reduced to a humble shell of her former self. It tore him up inside. He could feel himself aching such was his sadness, feeling his own will and strength buckling under the strain of the torment, under the strain of feeling utterly helpless.


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