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By Jonathan R Swart

ISBN: 978-1-84747-223-6
Published: 2007
Pages: 34
Key Themes: schizophrenia, mental health services, recovery, psychosis, schizo-affective disorder


Jonathan’s imaginatively written and beautifully worded autobiography about schizophrenia and psychosis is a worthy addition to the ‘mad memoirs’ genre. Jonathan has suffered a lot – during his ‘internment’ in a mental hospital and his efforts to reintegrate into society on his release – Jonathan writes about it all with panache and confidence.

About the Author

I was born in Zambia as the youngest of a trio of siblings in the year 1975. Subsequently I came to live in Zimbabwe and lived there until my mother died in 1984, thereafter I came to live in South Africa where my schooling was carried out. I married in 1993 and soon after in 1996 I returned to the United Kingdom. I found employment variously as a factory worker a toy salesman and also a chef, bartender and contract labourer.

I experienced a psychotic incident in the year 2000. I was interred at St. Annes hospital and ended up staying for seven months. After much discussion it was decided that I was suffering from schizophrenia. I was much put out by the idea and spoke my mind in this regard and it was finally decided that what I was suffering from was a schizo-affective disorder. I was much happier with this and was subsequently discharged. My internment was a revelation to my somewhat lacklustre wellbeing. I had not considered myself unwell and when I was told that my mind was unwell it was a real eye-opener. After having been diagnosed, I have found employment to be the hardest nut to crack, remaining to this day rather more self-employed than anything else.

Book Extract

No longer could I put off what had been purported as finished; the work, the pages covered the paradox illustrated, the patent penned. This now, the moment that oh! If only, some sneaky scrape could rend some legend of extraordinary imagination, the magic would be made, thus there I am; me taking central stage! The singular I had been surrounded and coerced. He had occluded with rates. His shallow saviour was ‘It’s all in your mind made smaller and chased without.’

A gull with his mind out squawked, and defecated where he had perched himself on a wireless wind. It soared and relieved me it seemed. The burden of torment they had induced me to fear. The awesome wave of capitulative dread that washed the remains of what was in my cerebellum drained me off my spirit. Their eyes saw the lie was laid to rest the blame was as is true at my feet. My soul had long since flown the cage of my heart. The darkness in the dream had formed and formulated my flight. Helpless as the helpful heart my tremulous feeling for captivity in torments of multidimensional comprehension, my violation of humane preconceptions, the dream negative or darkness, something bad. We layer over sentences not of our knowing. Living ever loving and ever giving. Proving beyond all knowing the certainty of clarity. In my period of knowing it is certain to have happened. A life as a vole, a cat, dog, squirrel or mole. A life lived, but as he was living. Taken into account the voice of the violator calling unto all and pointing towards the deserts, the questions begun to be answered the dreamy perceptive bliss. An ever-arising horizon, these days a solar noise filled ecstasy of sound. Cataclysmic stellar movements shock our slowly developing stock of know how with meteoric showers. Beautiful storms of swooping shooting stars. Less of me. More of you.


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