Dawn Heffernan’s WRAP Story

1997, I remember it well. My beautiful identical twins were 7 and I had just returned home after having been sectioned for the 4th time in 7 years. My temporary spill into madness had been halted as usual by my being knocked out and as usual, when I knew I was better, I “checked” the drugs and with my husband’s support I got out the unit.

My sectioning had been the most traumatic yet and I thought I cannot keep doing this, my husband can’t take it, it’s not fair on my children, but what I was being offered by the mental health “experts” made no sense. Not only had I years when I functioned well but each time I got ill I recovered after I’d been knocked out and slept, as if my brain got the rest it needed. This apparently is not supposed to happen?!

During those 7 years I’d been offered mood stabilizers and anti-psychotics and told I had a very serious condition, that meant I was very sick and it was called Manic Depression. Only it didn’t make sense.

For example..
I saw people when I was in units on mood stabilizers one of whom committed suicide in the unit, (not so stable then) and I saw drugs being handed out that seemed to knock people out for good, all conducted under a climate of coercion and fear. All I ever needed was a brain rest and, hey, I was me again. I was repeatedly told that wasn’t possible!?

In 1997 I found Mary Ellen’s Depression and Manic Depression work book. WRAP developed out of it. I read it, I inhaled it, she had gone to the source – the people who live with health challenges – and said what do you do to help yourself? Her work was born out of her desperation to get answers the health professionals didn’t have. They had their “medical model” their arrogant intellects, oh and a giant pharmaceutical industry to work with.

I am not anti drugs, I love my anti psychotics, my sleeping pills, my anti anxiety drugs, but I get to take them when I need them, which is not that often. I also have a vast range of non-drug wellness tools I can use.
I AM MY OWN EXPERT. I always have been.

Mary Ellen’s workbook became my Health Bible and I credit her with the fact that since 1997 I have never been sectioned again.
Dawn Heffernan

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