John O'Donoghue - Hodder & Stoughton

John O'Donoghue



John O'Donoghue was born in North London in the late 1950s, to Irish parents. He first became mentally ill in the 1970s and suffered a series of breakdowns. In 1988, at the age of 30, with only three O Levels and an Elementary Swimming Cerificate, he got into the University of East Anglia, and met his wife. From 2000-2005 he was Chair of Survivors' Poetry, a national charity which publishes and promotes the work of survivors' of mental distress. He lectures in Creative Writing and lives in Brighton with his wife and four children.
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John Murray

Sectioned

John O'Donoghue
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John O'Donoghue

'When my father died, I stayed off school to look after my mother. I was fourteen and was as incapable of looking after her as she was at looking after me. She took to wandering the roads and was soon taken into hospital. The social worker asked me if I wanted to be fostered and I said yes. Two years later, in 1975, I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. That was the beginning of it all: medication, ECT, the locked ward. I've been sectioned five times, in and out of asylums, homeless hostels, squats and on the streets. I nearly hit the end of the road. But then, almost overnight, my life turned round. Sectioned is my story.' John O'Donoghue