Joker’s Jailhouse


SKU ebook Category

175 in stock


By Rickie Chew

ISBN: 978-1-84991-189-4
Published: 2013
Pages: 62
Key Themes: Mental Health, Schizophrenia, Mental Illness, Personal Experience


The book depicts an insight of the initial development of schizophrenia and then learning to triumph over the illness towards leading a normal life. I hope the book points out the some of the complications that arise when experiencing psychosis and the treatment that then follows. I have put together some of my own personal experiences as well as looking at cognitive behavioural therapy. I feel this book would be of benefit to both service users and carers alike. It might make you cheer or it may make you cry but most of all I hope there’s a few tears of laughter.

About the Author

Rickie was born in 1978 as the son of a Grenadier Guard moving around a bit before settling in Nottingham. He is now living in neighbouring Derby and currently works as a support worker for adults with learning disabilities. He likes to spend his time helping out with The Time to Change campaign as a champion and has five years experience as a volunteer befriender for adults with mental health issues. Rickie has been living with schizophrenia since he was twenty but is fortunate to have it controlled to the point that it plays a minor role in his day to day life. When not trying to write the worlds next bestseller he can be found meandering his days away with his wife and young son.

Book Extract

What follows are a few of my own personal experiences of living with schizophrenia and a few of the professional bodies involved with doing so. What is written I have put together with the benefit of hindsight as I have never kept a journal or a diary, so I’m working from memory. The downside to such a process may mean times and dates are not completely accurate while the facts are left to a little poet licence. I have tried to portray the events in a manner that resembles the truth to the best of my ability. This process has been hindered as the last fifteen years have been skewed due to delusions of grandeur, audio hallucinations and anti-psychotic medication ( plus other substances) to list just a few of the hurdles. Although I have kept an account of the events by constantly and cathartically putting together poems that represent an insight into a few of the issues I’ve tried to conquer. Many of these poems I’ve found myself writing in the early hours of the morning while the rest of the world is fast asleep, this is painfully obvious when reread after a few hours sleep and what lies before me is the scribbles belonging to a man who’s consumed too many measures of Jamie’s. Occasionally I wake to find that during the night my little world has been put to rights, laid to rest and the issues of yesterday are exactly that as I’m greeted with a fresh start. I have tried to piece together these poems with the intent of finding a silver lining to an ordeal which possess very few positives.

My friends and family were the first to notice that something was amiss as I was repeatedly drinking excessively with my behaviour erratic; my moods were unstable while a lot of what came out of mouth lacked clarity or logical sense. Around this time I was sacked from my bar job and struggling to find another, I was becoming increasingly isolated partly due to apathy as I avoided social situations and engaging with friends which was totally out of character. Looking back it’s easy to see the early signs of the onset of a mental health condition but at the time the paranoia, delusions and sleep deprivation were manifesting in my head as being very, very real feelings of persecution. The situation came to a head after an evening experiencing (what I now know to be) audio hallucinations I left my family home in the early hours of the morning whilst helping myself to a bottle of my mothers Jack Daniels. I walked around the Derbyshire countryside in a state of confusion before being picked up a day and a half later by the police naked and sunburnt. The only explanation I had for such behaviour I had plagiarised from John Milton’s Paradise Lost which made very little sense to me so easy to see why no-one else understood. After a couple of hours in police custody I was released back into the care of my parents who in my absence had listed me as a missing person. I’m also very thankfully to members of the public who handed in all my belongings which I had left strewn in the middle of the road all accept my favourite pair of Adidas which I haven’t seen since.

Once home I was saved a barrage of questions knowing that my parents were happy to have me back in one piece but the next step was to seek help and a home appointment was booked in with my local G.P. Arrangements were then made as I was booked in for a psychiatric assessment at the Q.M.C.’s mental health’s department. Knowing that I had an appointment with a psychotherapist I did not want to be perceived at mad so I took the time to look up the symptoms and traits of the mentally unhinged which I accessed in an A-level psychology book. Having read half a chapter I had concluded that the insane are innately defensive possessing closed off body language with crossed arms, crossed legs and giving very short answers when questioned. Once armed with this incite full knowledge I felt prepared for my first psychiatric appointment. It was a beautiful summer’s afternoon and I was in good spirits as the voices were confirming the delusions of grandeur with positive reinforcements. Every question I was presented with during the assessment I took in my stride trying to be as open and honest as possible while at the same time never crossing any limbs, this resulted with my posture being slightly rigid but I was happy it went well. The Doctor was very pleasant prescribing some medication and making an appointment to see me again at a later date.

It was a few months later when it dawned on me that a little bit of knowledge can be a very dangerous thing. I was attending my fourth or fifth appointment with the same consultant when he put forward a slightly personal question in the presence of two student doctors. Without thinking I defensively crossed my arms, which is a perfectly natural reaction in such a situation, it was then that I witnessed the consultant eyebrows raise slightly as his eyes glinted for a split second just before he turned his head to write upon my medical records…………..


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