'I'd been in Claybury for four months before I was given ECT. I was sixteen. The day I went down for it I was wearing a striped hospital dressing gown and yellow pyjamas. I'd been given the Last Rites.'
John O'Donoghue was first admitted to Claybury asylum with manic depression aged sixteen, just after his mother had been institutionalised. He spent over a decade in asylums, halfway houses, therapeutic communities, dosshouses, squats, and on the streets. Sectioned is an honest and moving account of his experiences. It is also ultimately the story of his survival against the odds, and of his coming of age in a Britain that was changing forever.
John O'Donoghue was born in North London, of Irish parents, in the late 1950s. 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.