Curing Madness


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The Selected Works of a Manic Depressive
By Jason Pegler


ISBN: 978-1-904697-87-9
Published: 2005
Pages: 252
Key Themes: bi-polar disorder, manic depression, empowerment, recovery, film script


Curing Madness is an inspirational selection of works by manic depressive and mental health activist Jason Pegler which details the thought processes he used to help himself survive. It includes a couple of excellent scripts about his experiences of manic depression, rap lyrics, an essay that examines madness in Greek Mythology and a personal account of what happened to him after he published his seminal book ‘A Can of Madness’.

Jason has become one of the UK’s foremost experts on mental health. He now dedicates his life to helping others afflicted by mental illness. This is all a far cry from the young man who spent most of his formative years in and out of hospitals and teetering on the edge of addiction. Curing Madness is in essence a collection of works from different genres. he was so exhausted after writing A Can of Madness that something had to come next and this was Curing Madness. This is an important book for anybody who experiences some sort of mental distress.

About the Author

Jason Pegler was born in 1975 and lives in London. Jason was diagnosed with manic depression in 1993 and wrote ‘A Can of Madness’ to stop other seventeen year olds going through what he went through. Graduating from Manchester University in 1998 he founded Chipmunkapublishing the mental health publisher which aims to help mental health sufferers. Pegler is a mental health activist, journalist, rapper and public speaker. In 2005 Pegler won the New Statesman’s Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He is a key figure in the mental health movement.

Book Extract

I am now becoming free from the psychiatric drugs that poisoned my mind, body and soul from the ages of 17 to 29. I was fortunate that I had the willpower not to commit suicide whilst being on them and again fortunate to rebuild my life so I could come off them and never look back. I am not advocating that if you are on medication that you should stop immediately. Read this book first and then re-evaluate your life, find out what your values are and work out your diet, physical exercise and emotional intelligence. Take appropriate advice and then there is no reason why you can’t get off them and lead a fantastic life using the pain you once had to help other people in the world.

This book has some real challenges ahead. If I slip into utopian mode please bare with me, such is the nature of a former manic depressive. The mission of this book is to focus on saving the world from itself, most notably to stop the humiliation and stigma of the “mentally ill” and to expose the drug industry and psychiatry for what it really is and will be replaced by.

Curing madness is the follow up to my autobiography on living with manic depression, A Can of Madness. A Can of Madness is a rollercoaster ride about coming to terms with living with manic depression. It has helped thousands of people realise that they are not the only person in the world, that they go through such amazing highs and lows and enables loved ones to finally see and understand what their partners, friends and family are going through. However, this is still not enough.

By writing Curing Madness I am making my personal testimony as a social entrepreneur, consultant, publisher, speaker, Chief Executive and Chairman to prove that I was able to live with myself by taking consistent positives steps, and taking massive action. By believing I could get better I actually did. It is my view that anyone who has ever been diagnosed with a mental illness can do the same thing and my duty as a human being to create a system and work with other like minded people who share this vision and are capable of doing something about it.

For me writing Curing Madness is the next step. It is a quantum leap from my previous book. A Can of Madness was said to make Prozac Nation look like a walk in the park. I hope from the deepest part of my soul that Curing Madness will demonstrate that anything in life is possible no matter what your previous psychiatric history.

There are two hurdles to overcome. Firstly, pill popping is now so prevalent in our culture that it is already an epidemic. This action must be replaced by looking for alternative therapies, most notably people must be given the best tools such as practising NLP, hypnosis and being encouraged to raise their self esteem and expectations of their own lives. The great work of practitioners like Anthony Robbins and Paul Mckenna must be brought inside systems such as schools and the NHS. We must go a stage further than Robbins and Mckenna and make these services free across society so that these systems are intertwined into our culture. I believe passionately that the work that I am doing is central in achieving this purpose. History will tell us the answer.

Secondly, there has been 2000 years of psychological and now psychiatric oppression in most places on the planet and people who are different or have mental health issues have never had a voice. By using my own personal testimony I make myself an example of how the world is changing in this regard and how people have moved from their own disempowered self to thinking and empowering others.

My mission is a utopian one and can best be understood by studying the two diagrams on the next page.

Let’s start with the humanitarian cycle. In the middle is this utopian vision. Somewhere near the bottom is a dot which is called Chipmunkapublishing – (see the Mental Health Publisher which I set up with a colleague, Andrew Latchford, to promote my own autobiography and give other people with mental illness the opportunity to become published author’s and have their voices heard, and go through the empowering process that I went through during and after the publishing process.

Going through both graphs are arrows pointing upwards; the bottom signalling the beginning and the top signifying the realisation of the world’s first mental health brand. Once the arrow crosses the middle it is like Cupid’s arrow reducing the pain of the world. A romantic Roman ideology and with the most sincere intention.

At the bottom of the planet, in the economic cycle, we have the world’s largest mental health charity and at the top we have a mental well being company Chipmunka. The charity model is at the bottom because even the world’s largest charities have very low income streams compared to the giant corporates. The Guide Dogs for the Blind may have millions of pounds in reserve but let’s face it; they do not have the corporate weight of a Microsoft. The bottom of the cycle describes mental health, suffering as it is literally seen. The 1 million suicides a year worldwide, the fact that by 2020 mental health will be the second most common form of death, second only to heart disease, costing the UK 89 billion pounds a year, yet only 1.1 million is spent by the government on the most severe problem – NIMHE’s anti stigma campaign. American Stats and Japanese stats –

Right at the bottom of the cycle are an invisible group protected by force field. The people who suffer the most of all. People in the third world, who are starving and amidst civil wars. Especially children who are born into an environment like that and know nothing different. These people in the third world do not even have the right to have the right to have a mental health problem. Some of the latest places I have travelled to include India, Kenya and Sri Lanka. I have seen dire poverty with my own eyes and am inspired by Bob Geldof’s famous words at Live Aid. Something can be done and I take it upon myself to dedicate my whole life to this goal. Reduce the suffering of as many people as possible.

Also Available

‘A Can of Madness’ by Jason Pegler
Paperback / e-Book

4 reviews for Curing Madness

  1. Dolly Sen (verified owner)

    Curing Madness is a selection of works by Jason Pegler and the thought processes he used to cure himself of manic depression. It includes a couple of excellent scripts about his experiences of manic depression, rap lyrics, a personal account of what happened to him after he published his seminal ‘A Can of Madness’ through Chipmunka Publishing, the social enterprise he set up. His previous book ‘A Can of Madness’ is a strong, unsettling book that shook the mental health world, and sold tens of thousands of copies. He writes about the impact of book publication, and not all of it was positive. Someone reported to the DSS that he had written a book, but Jason used the opportunity to be more self-determined and lived only on what Chipmunka earned him. And his life and Chipmunka’s has gone from strength to strength. He has come off medication and now dedicates his life to making this world a better place to live in for all.
    There is a wonderful section in the book that examines madness in Greek Mythology. What is interesting is that perception of madness has not changed much for hundreds of centuries. In ancient Greece madness was a punishment from the gods for any act of hubris. But instead in modern times if you have a psychiatric diagnosis your hubris is punished with forced injections, ECT, strip searches, and a stigma that turns your skin into broken glass so no one wants to touch you. You are too dangerous to hug. With anger for this injustice, he responds with one of my favourite parts of the book, where he tells a lot of people to go fuck themselves – it is really beautiful to read!

    Jason took the difficult step of coming off his medication. He suggests that madness needn’t be breakdown but breakthrough. When you are said to have an illness, that’s it, you are broken and cannot be fixed. Personally, I am sure with the right support and focus on developing personal power, the experience of madness can give you an amazing opportunity to change you and what is hurting your psyche for the better and the enhancement of those suffering in the world. The mental distress would not last as long as it does in the experience of the modern psychiatric patient. Pharmaceutical companies have a vested interest that you stay ill. Look at how much pharmaceutical companies would lose if you were given techniques and support to bring you out of your distress. This book details the techniques that have helped him to do just this.

    He’s got guts, he’s got heart, he’s got vision. That’s why people like him – and his new book – are essential for the mental health movement. He invites us to be like Gandhi and Mandela, people call him delusional and arrogant for saying so. But the mad movement has to be a civil rights issue if anything is going to change for the better.

    His book is inspirational , a rousing call, not to medication but to action. He asks us not to accept society’s or the medical profession’s concept of madness, but to accept you are you and are special and have immense personal power to change your and others lives. You may not agree with the way he does it but you can’t deny the passion of the man that wants to turn the pain of the mad into gold.

  2. Paul Brandwood (verified owner)

    Jason Pegler has written a work of huge importance to all of Society. He provides a unique insight into the sometimes calamitous world of those with mental health challenges and into the delightful and beneficial creativity of these minds. In doing so he provides those of us with a tenuous grasp on ‘sanity’ the much needed opportunity to develop understanding, compassion and a new way to look at the world and ourselves. Above all he postulates that the perception of mental illness exists as much in the minds of the observer as it does in those said to be suffering.

  3. Tobias Smith (verified owner)

    Curing Madness is Jason Pegler’s second book. It is extremely enlightening as it shows how you can overcome adversity and be successful. It is a combination of Jason’s personal experiences, screenplays, rap lyrics and academic writing on the subject of madness. He frankly shares his experiences of how he cured himself from manic depression with you. You get a real insight into his life and how it is possible to get through the difficult situation of dealing with a mental health issue. It’s a worthy follow up to A Can of Madness.

  4. Jason Pegler (verified owner)

    In “Curing Madness” I share with the general public and other people who have suffered from mental health issues how I managed to cure myself. I wrote “Curing Madness” with the knowledge that i could reach out to more people by making myself an example of a fully recovered manic depressive. “Curing Madness” is the follow up to my autobiography “A Can of Madness”. By the end of “A Can of Madness” I had not fully recovered. The publishing of “Curing Madness” documents how i transformed myself. “Curing Madness” contains a mixture of prose, academic work, film scripts, philosophy and raps to recovery. The theme is one of self help and self belief. I aim to transform the term “mental illness” into mental well being so that there is no humiliation for people who experience mental distress.

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