Flirting with Madness


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175 in stock


By Louise Ellison

ISBN: 978-1-84991-245-7
Published: 2010
Pages: 76
Key Themes: borderline personality disorder, OCD, depression, identity



‘Flirting with Madness,’ focuses upon the mental illnesses, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Depression.

‘Flirting with Madness’ is written under the pen name of Louise Ellison. This is due to the confidentiality of her occupation and to protect the identities of those she is close to. This book is a raw and honest account of her experiences as a sufferer of mental illness, told in a sensitive and wry manner. It focuses upon the relationship between counsellor Maggie and Louise. It was Maggie’s use of Dialectical Behavioural Therapy that provided Louise with the skills to deal with the possibility of living with BPD in conjunction with OCD and Depression.

Alongside the details of therapy sessions, ‘Flirting with Madness,’ contains unedited diary entries that provide the reader with honest and accurate thoughts of a mental health sufferer.

‘Flirting with Madness’ is the words of a young woman struggling to find her identity in the world and make sense of what is ‘normal’ whilst trying to stay on the correct side of the borderline.

I hope you enjoy this honest account.

About the Author

Louise Ellison is a pen name chosen to protect the identities of those she loves and the confidentiality of her profession. She is a sufferer of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Depression and undergone treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder. Born in 1985, in Northern England, Louise has suffered with mental illness since she was an infant and has been through the adolescent and adult mental health services.

Louise Ellison graduated from The University of Teesside with a 2:1 hons in Criminology with Law and has worked in the Criminal Justice System for over 8 years within the Prison Service and Youth Offending Service.

Heavily influenced by the new wave music and literature movement, Louise is liberal in her political views. Louise is also a keen musician who plays bass and sings a band from the north of England.

Book Extract


Diary entry: May 2009

It’s a hard question for me to answer. How do you feel? I don’t actually know for certain. I can experience a number of feelings in a short space of time – anger, happiness, euphoria, suicidal, but mostly I feel helpless and bored.

At this exact moment I feel like absolute shit. I feel angry, sad, tired and helpless. I want to punch the walls until the pain in my hands becomes so severe that I pass out. The day started normally enough and I was okay for most of it. I got out of bed around 9am (Bank Holiday sleep in) feeling a bit blue, but I am blaming that on the amount of brandy I drank last night just for the sake of it. By 9:15am I was dressed in my running gear and leaving the front door for a run. I so need to exercise. I am getting so fat. I can’t believe I never realised how fat I really am. I always thought my weight was fine, but now I notice that it isn’t. I keep telling myself I am being self-critical as I am ‘ill,’ but that does not work. I have tried to eat less the last couple of days and go hungry as long as I can. It doesn’t work; I eat when I am bored and my appetite fluctuates the rest of the time. My run went okay but due to my crap fitness levels I actually walked most of the route. I came home, showered and finished reading ‘Little Girl Lost,’ by Lovisa Pahlson-Moller, a sufferer of Borderline Personality Disorder.

My friend Sarah picked me up from my house at about 1pm. We went to Northallerton for a coffee and a talk. I discussed with her how I am feeling; constantly masculine, angry, confused, fat, bored and desperate. I’m fed up of being bored and feeling like this. I am bored of being bored. I am struggling to keep fighting. Even when I have good days I am upset, as I know I am not well enough for them to last.

I have not seen Maggie, my therapist, in over a week and I really need to see her, despite hating my dependency on therapy. Sarah and I discussed the fear of being ‘found out.’ People who I know are soon going to figure out that I am a fucking nutter or that I am really stupid and good for nothing. I feel so close to madness right now it’s unbelievable. It’s like I am waiting for the ‘voices’ to appear in my head and for the men in white coats to cart me off to some loony bin. Deep down wish I were crazy. I would not know that I am different and I could be locked up and stop hurting all my loved ones, in particular my boyfriend, Greg, and my parents.

I would love to stay in a psychiatric ward for a month or so, just enough time to have a rest, but keep my grip on reality. Imagine, no responsibility and no guilt. But that is not a possibility, as I will lose my job. Equal opportunities my arse. Break my arms and I receive flowers from the office. Yet an episode of feeling desperate and declared incompetent and I receive a P45. Never mind the fact that I understand emotional pain, the same emotional pain that drives so many to crime and anti-social behaviour. I use this experience every day as a Youth Probation Officer.

Sometimes I question whether I even want to get better, to conform to ‘boring’ ‘conventional’ society. I am guessing that may be my wee borderline trait talking. I confessed to Sarah that sometimes I ‘think’ I see things that are not there. For example, an injured person on the street, even though I am quite confident there is nothing there. This is very hard to hide when with friends. I think I see something and then reason with myself that it was just a mistake. Then some little internal voice puts doubt in my mind, I fight the voice and get upset because I shouldn’t be thinking like that. I then go into my head and it looks to others as if I am daydreaming, when really I just want to scream. I have to concentrate to ‘stay with it’ and then get pissed off when others interrupt my train of thought.

Greg arrived at my home at 7pm. I was tired and in no mood to be happy. I have been drinking again over the Bank Holiday weekend and it is having depressive side affects. Greg told me he is working a week on Saturday. I got upset as he has worked the past two Bank Holidays and with our work commitments we only really get Saturdays together. I felt as though he would rather be at work than with me. I felt unimportant. I recognise that I am being unreasonable but I still had to be miserable with him and I spent the night guilt tripping him. I HATE IT WHEN I DO THIS BUT I CAN’T SEEM TO STOP, manipulation is like second nature. I really don’t deserve him. He should leave me and find a real woman, one who doesn’t need therapy to emotionally mature. I am so damaged, why the hell does he love me?

2 reviews for Flirting with Madness

  1. Understanding OCD (verified owner)

    From the moment I downloaded this e-book I was unable to move away from it. Drawn in by the prologue and the various areas of mental illness that the work covered (i.e. BPD, OCD and depression), I expected a very raw, yet honest portrayal of what living with these illnesses was like, and it certainly did not disappoint. The book was very well written, at times emotionally hard to read but remained alluring. Clearly this young woman has endured a lot over the years, and the fact that she has come through whatever challenge has been presented to her is of great credit to her spirit, and the courage and endurance that she clearly encompasses. I would like to wish ‘Louise’ all the very best for the future, she undoubtedly has a very successful life ahead of her.

  2. Sarah Paterson (verified owner)

    This book was passed to me by a work collegue who thought it to be a compelling read. I have to agree. This is an excellent, well written portrayl of a young woman battling with mental illness and the stigma surrounding it. The book is captivating and keeps the reader interested throughout. As a fellow mental health sufferer I was able to relate to the book and it helped me reading it. I strongly recommend this book. The author is an inspiration and this book is a credit to her.

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