While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks



100 in stock


By Annemarie Bojko

ISBN: 978-1-84747-4698
Published: 2008
Pages: 275
Key Themes: manic depression, bi-polar disorder, sectioning, mental health services, breakdown


A book where the author leads the reader by the hand through their worst nightmare.

An accurate but enjoyable account of life in a late twentieth century psychiatric hospital.


While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks is based upon the authors own real life experience of mental breakdown, hospitalisation and subsequent detention under Section 5.2 and Section 2 of the Mental Health Act 1983, beginning in the Spring of 1989 and lasting for the duration of seven months.

The story is presented as a fictionalised account. The author assumes the role of Alex, the female patient in the 1980s at Blackwood Psychiatric Hospital, housed within the precincts of an Old Victorian asylum.

While Shepherds Watched their Flocks has been written over a period of years and, while the basic story remains unaltered, its presentation has changed to reflect the authors growing awareness of the events that surrounded her breakdown. Knowledge gained whilst concurrently studying psychology at the University of London has greatly assisted in enabling the author to make thorough appraisal of her own illness. The book comes to a positive climax as Alex leaves the unit to re-enter life in the community.

This is a touching, though-provoking, human interest story which has at its heart the basic human struggle for survival against insurmountable odds. It is in turn a love story, a tragedy and a real life drama as well as being interspersed with a measure of black comedy and feeling of suspense that keeps the reader with a real sense of what happen next? ‘While Shepherds Watched their Flocks is a book that should appeal to a wide audience.

About The Author

Born on 14th May 1966 and privately educated in a convent school until the age of sixteen, I rebelled and left against my parents wishes. In 1989 I had my first psychiatric hospital admission. During follow up I was diagnosed with manic depression. My happiest and most productive years followed until, like the Sword of Damocles, manic depression struck again in 2002, this time with much greater severity.

I would currently describe myself as in the latter stages of recovery. Leading a quiet life in my West London home Id say my passion for animals together with buying and selling on eBay is helping to keep me sane!

1 review for While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

  1. John Harley (verified owner)

    A brilliant book based on the difficulities surrounding bi-polar

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