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Photograph of a sign saying 'PAY HERE' in the middle of an empty desert

So what's it like having a psychotic experience, I have been asked many a-time. Well, the painful part of Schizophrenia is that you are on a never-ending ghost train ride, but you see monsters and ghouls nobody else sees. They are seeing a pretty funfair and winning prizes. You want to get off this scary ride but you can’t, you never see the light of day, or so you assume. It’s your own private horror show, and private it so vehemently is, and you scream when everyone else laughs.

After the 1000th ride of this burning mental carnival, you start to see something else. You see, as the train rides upward, you get closer to the stars than everyone else. You hear music that no-one else hears, your soul makes its own symphonies when everyone else has to buy their song. You see psychosis can be magic at times, but it is a precocious and precarious magic. You have to be careful, you have to make sure you can put yourself back together when you saw yourself in half. Houdini did on the physical plane what mad people do mentally every single day – to very little applause. Some people see weakness, I see immense strength in those who are still standing. My engagement in the arts really is a way of standing with others and showing others what goes on in my mind. So now you see...

Posted by ben paley, 1 January 2008

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 21 June 2009


Image of the book cover for The World is Full of Laughter

Thanks to a grant I was given, I am able to give away my first memoir 'THE WORLD IS FULL OF LAUGHTER' to anyone who wants it. Basically it is a book that started out as a possible suicide note and ended up a celebration of life. It has had cool reviews such as "Raw, harrowing and compelling. This is a worthy addition to the new genre of mad memoirs."- Robert Dellar , Mad Pride

“The frankness and ironic humour kept me turning the pages. This is the book I’ll give to people who want to know what madness is really like.”– Liz Main , Mental Health Today

If you would like a copy, drop me an email at, and I will pop one in the post for you.

Posted by , 1 January 2008

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 23 June 2009


Photograph of an elderly woman sitting on a box holding up a sign saying: 'Please give today. Madness is for life, not just for Christmas'

I keep getting into trouble, by writing things like this:

Being mad means being poor. Being mad means being rejected by society and sometimes your family. It can be lonely. So why not adopt a nutter? The benefits are many: whenever you have company you want to get rid off, introduce them to the nutter in your family. They will magically disappear.

Maybe you have a business rival…just introduce a nutter as your rival’s relative..they will all come running to you for your products…

• £1.50 will buy a coffee to counteract the sedating medication
• £5 will buy cleaning fluids so the nutter can clean the eggs thrown on their front doors by normals
• £10 will pay for telephone bill costs of the nutter trying to contact a professional to help them when they need support but find themselves having their phone calls not returned.
• £15 will pay for the junk food that nutters eat because the medication makes them crave sugars and fat
• £17 pounds will pay for a nutter walker - they will take your nutter out for a run, so they don’t lie in bed all day and they can scare off your neighbours …
• £20 will buy new shoes. The old shoes being worn thin from the largactyl shuffle
• £30 will pay for sex toys. Nobody wants to go out with a nutter, bless them and anyway the medication makes the poor dears impotent (it’s a blessing really)
• £50 will pay for Eurostar ticket out of UK after hospital escape.
• £10000 will pay for the nutter to stay out of the UK so they can’t scrounge off the benefits.

Please give today. Madness is for life not just for Christmas.

Posted by , 1 January 2008

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 21 June 2009