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Glenys Newton

No Wonder We’re All Mad

Glenys is a now a story teller but she started out life as a story listener. Glenys used to work as a social worker in mental health and it is this work that has inspired the book ‘No Wonder We’re All Mad.’ The support of mental health services can be a lifeline to many but Glenys became frustrated with seeing people’s stories being pathologised and medicalised in order to be able to receive that support. Glenys saw her work as being alongside people while they tried to make sense of their stories and to help them rewrite the script of their lives or of a particular event.

It is a human impulse to create order and meaning through imposing a story or narrative structure to our experiences in life. By sharing our stories we can know that we are not alone and that was certainly part of the reason why people would seek help through mental health services. The stories that people would bring were stories of life, unavoidable events that could happen to each and every one of us in this crazy world. Why, then, can it not be accepted that certain events are guaranteed to drive us mad and that this should not be pathologised but rather a person be offered the listening ear that they so very much deserve.

Going mad is a very human reaction to very human emotions and so many things can cause this to happen – grief, family, falling in love, violence, abuse, media, the world and the very story of madness itself. We have all been trained from birth to fear the madness that lies within us all and, no wonder, given the treatment that has historically been meted out to those deemed to be outside of the norm (whatever that is). The definitions of madness change throughout time and throughout different cultures. What is deemed acceptable in one culture or moment in time, would see us locked away at different times so it is no wonder that we are all mad. How could we possibly not be? By sharing our stories it can give us the courage to believe that we are not mad. Stories create order out of the chaos that our emotions, thoughts and experiences bring. Each person has a story to tell and each person should have the chance to tell it.

Described as warm, witty and wise, Glenys confronts the monster of madness and sheds a healing light into our lives. Strewn with compelling stories, it is essential reading for anyone living in today’s sometimes insane world.