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Breaking Away From Breaking Down
By Steve Walter

ISBN: 978-1-84747-091-1
Published: 2007
Pages: 171
Key Themes: manic depression, bi-polar disorder, breakdown, support, recovery

Steve is a man who lives life vividly, creatively, courageously. Someone who uses every experience, inspiring, painful, loving and terrifying, to deepen his understanding and illuminate his spiritual journey. This is a deeply moving book, it is a revelation and a wake up call. Read and be inspired. – Liz Aram, MIND Trustee

I hope that FAST TRAIN APPROACHING will be a tool that can be used to help erode the stigma that continues to surround mental illness, for such illness is no respecter of persons. It can happen to any one of us and at any time. Jenny Bloomer, Psychotherapist


FAST TRAIN APPROACHING is a novella length autobiographical story of breakdown and survival. The text is interspersed with poems which represent a form of compressed experience and a thread of continuity throughout the book. FAST TRAIN APPROACHING is a frank and open account spanning the decade from Steves first breakdown in 1997, when he was diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder to the present day. This is a confessional book, in many places raw, honest, and in parts shocking. It traces the circumstances and thoughts that contributed towards Steves breakdown, through illness, losing touch with reality, to returning to whatever normality is. This book challenges common perceptions of mental illness and demonstrates how very real the experience of delusions can be.

Steve Walter has written this story, not only because it is therapeutic, but also because he knew that other people often like to read and to understand someone elses experience, to help make sense of their own, or of problems experienced by those close to them. He also thinks it is important to talk about the issues surrounding mental ill health, in the interests of crushing stigma. Too often the experience and effects of depression, mania, delusions are hushed up or result in unfair treatment and discrimination. Mental health problems are often treated as if there is been a death in the family. People avoid talking about them. In FAST TRAIN APPROACHING Steve offers people an insight into his thinking, his emotions and, with the detail of the actual medical reports, distancing himself through the third person, he takes them through the pain. He shows that it is possible to come out the other side and, with the support of his employer, to be rehabilitated and integrated back into work, into life.


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