Heard the one about the theatre director, the playwright, the poet and the psychiatrist?
It sounds a little like the opening line in a convoluted joke.
On the contrary, however, the subject matter could not be more serious.
It centres on psychosis, a condition that, as all who have experienced it can attest, is nothing to laugh about.
Cracked is a word that, in mental health terms, can have certain connotations.
In this context, there is no negative nuance.
You see, Cracked is the title of an innovative piece of theatre, a play based upon the findings of a research project conducted at the University of Warwick’s Medical School.
It’s about psychosis and how people from different cultural and ethnic groups react to the condition’s early signs.
Most interestingly, perhaps, the play has been scripted using the precise words of real patients and their families, who were interviewed during the project’s research stages.
Led by Professor Swaran Singh, Cracked tells of the ‘bewilderment and struggle’ that families so often encounter as a child starts to experience psychosis and of a problem so common, that of not knowing what to do or where to turn.
Unlike most scientific research, which can be rather dry, Cracked strives to reflect something real and authentic, amplifying experiences that can often get lost in academic analysis.
This is where it stands out in that it uses people’s voices to bring lived experience to the fore in an attempt to tackle the stigma and taboos that, as we know all too well, can prove so oppressive.
‘Psychosis is a condition which is often misunderstood and [which is] shrouded in myth . . .’
This is a line taken from a new documentary which tells the story of Cracked and its creation. It’s available to watch online below.
For anyone keen to learn more about psychosis and how best to deal with some of the issues most often encountered, we can’t recommend it enough.
Here at CPUK, we understand the worries and the anxieties that stem from psychosis (we’ve seen them often enough, after all). Parents whose children begin to experience such difficulties face so many emotions that it’s no surprise that they’re often lost and confused, the struggle so bewildering.
There is a taboo. There is stigma. The public does struggle with psychosis.
That there is a need to break down such barriers to understanding is obvious.
In discussing the real issues, in having an open and honest debate that hits at the heart of this most difficult of subjects, we can start to tackle this once and for all.
In putting these problems onto the stage, the team behind Cracked have started the conversation. It’s up to us all to keep it going.
Do YOU have concerns about psychosis and how best to cope? Please feel free to drop us a line. We’re here to help.