On 4 November 2005, Edgington stabbed her 60 year old mother, Marion, nine times in Forest Row, East Sussex for which she was convicted of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility (based on diagnoses of schizophrenia and emotionally unstable personality traits]) at Lewes Crown Court on 23 October 2006. She was detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act 1983 and, following treatment and psychiatric evaluation, was released conditionally in September 2009, moving into a Greenwich flat.

On September 2011, Edgington sent a message via Facebook to her brother saying she wasn’t getting the help she needed, missed her mother, and had had a miscarriage. She left her phone number and asked him not to tell their father, Harry, that she had made contact. Her brother replied that she killed their mother and he found the body, that the miscarriage was good news, and that she should kill herself by cutting her wrists.

Edgington sought help from the controversial Universal Church of the Kingdom of God prior to the attacks, as she had prior to the killing of her mother, which may have disturbed her further.

On 6, 7 and 9 October, Edgington contacted police several times by phone and once in person reporting that individuals were making death threats against her (naming one individual), and later that two cocaine users were refusing to leave her flat and may have stolen from her. Despite initially being graded as serious and requiring police attendance, no police were dispatched to investigate.

On the morning of 10 October 2011, Edgington pleaded numerous times with police and local mental health services to physically detain her under their legal powers as she felt she was having another psychotic breakdown, saying she had killed someone before and that the more scared she became the more dangerous she could be. Although taken to Queen Elizabeth hospital, she was left there by police prior to being securely admitted, and the psychiatric staff decided they were only going to admit her on a voluntary basis despite her risk profile and secure care plan being in her psychiatric file.

Later in the morning of 10 October 2011, while waiting for staff to change shift and admit her, Edgington left the hospital through a door that should have been locked, took two buses, and stabbed two strangers in the street in separate attacks in Bexleyheath. She bought a knife from Asda with which she tried to kill 22 year old Kerry Clark, who survived and took the knife off her. Edgington subsequently stole a knife from a butcher’s shop and stabbed 58 year old Sally Hodkin, who died of her injuries within minutes. Edgington was arrested later the same morning.

According to psychiatrists, Edgington was suffering from paranoid delusions and hallucinations, with a religious subtext. She believed a 100-eyed monster was guarding the throne of God against enemies, and saw shops looking like a nuclear holocaust had taken place; she believed Jesus had come back to save everyone’s souls except hers which she couldn’t understand as she loved God. She also felt she was in a computer simulation and had various bizarre beliefs relating to famous figures and films.

On 7 February 2013 at the Old Bailey, Edgington was convicted by jury of the attempted murder of Clark and of the murder of Hodkin. Judge Brian Barker jailed her for life on 4 March 2013, with a minimum tariff of 37 years. Barker wrote that despite Edgington’s firm long-standing diagnosis of schizophrenia and probable psychosis around the time of the attacks, he believed the over-riding factor was borderline personality disorder (in the UK usually referred to in ICD terms as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, Borderline Type) with rational ability. He referred to a recent medical report indicating no need for hospital treatment for Edgington. Despite Edgington having sought multiple times to have herself detained by the police or medical services prior to her actions, Barker stated that the killing was premeditated in a way that showed a “consistent and calculated course of criminal conduct”. Barker included the random and unprovoked nature of the attacks as aggravating factors indicating more guilt, while disregarding the mitigating factor of mental disability since the psychiatric authorities disagreed about it.

AU about Alfred F. Jones, gain a scholarship in a prestigious University; acknowledge his promising mind in mathematics. He met his roommate, Arthur Kirkland, a sharp-tongued literature student but a good friend nevertheless.

They’re inseparable. For months they help each other to get through exams and projects. Arthur is smart, and he’s always there whenever Alfred needs a second opinion, help him decide or give him advises whenever he’s stuck. They’re in complete sync, understands each other like Arthur is an extension of his well being - so fascinated to the extent Alfred was obsessed with him. He rarely talk to anyone but Arthur, rarely step out from his room since he spend his time with Arthur to muse on anything. Sharing ideas, daydreaming about their future.

There’s nothing wrong with having one friend.. But there is a tiny bit of a  problem.

Arthur Kirkland doesn’t exist and Alfred isn’t aware of it.

Once more, your friendly neighborhood Disability in Kidlit is seeking disabled volunteers savvy about disability representation.

For our upcoming “Autism on the Page” event:

  • autistic people of color able to write an article about autistic representation on a very tight deadline, ie. ASAP, before April. We’d particularly love an article about how autistic characters of color are often either ignored, or not seen from an intersectional approach; other topics are entirely possible too, however.
  • autistic people familiar with autism representation in middle grade and young adult literature able to write an article on the same tight deadline. We have a few very specific topics in mind.

For an upcoming mental illness-centric project:

  • a person of color with mental illness to talk about the demonization of mental illness in fiction from several angles, including the dangerous real-life effects of that kind of representation. We would particularly love to hear from a Black person on this matter. This can take the form of an article or a roundtable-style discussion with others. We’re looking at a deadline of mid-late April.

For reviews and help with our upcoming recommendation list for librarians, we’re seeking people with the following conditions: 

  • albinism
  • amputation (congenital or acquired, but esp. acquired)
  • acquired blindness
  • acquired paraplegia
  • schizophrenia

We would love to hear from people by April or May, but as this is not for a specific project, afterward is possible as well.

If you’re interested in participating in any of these projects, please email us at team@disabilityinkidlit.com for questions or details.

As always, we’re happy to see contributors with any kind of disability at any point down the line. We’re open to both reviews (we’ll attempt to provide the book) and articles (particularly articles exploring disability tropes). Don’t hesitate to contact us if you dig the site even if you don’t fit the above criteria. They’re simply what we’re currently in need of for these particular projects.

We always highly encourage people of color, queer people, trans people, and people with multiple disabilities to contribute.

Hello, my name is Evy and I’m 18 years old. Last spring I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. It most likely began in my childhood, which is why it has been diagnosed so early in my life, rather than in my twenties. Schizophrenia is a very hard disease to live with and mine requires both large doses of medications and therapy. Every so often I have to be hospitalized. I hallucinate all day, every day, which makes doing even basic tasks and self-care very difficult. As I am sitting here writing this, my mind is racing  at 1,000 miles an hour and voices are shouting at me, telling me that this plan isn’t going to work. I think it will work; so help me prove them wrong.

I live with my father, who has, many times, proven to me that he is unable to care for a schizophrenic daughter. He has thus far refused to educate himself on my mental illness, he yells at me for having symptoms, and humilates me in front of anyone he can. My father does not help me when I am having a hard time, but instead walks away to go do something more important than helping me when I need it. Living with my mother is not an option, seeing as she lives in Virginia. I used to live with her, and it caused a lot of problems in my family. I am not going to tear open those wounds again.
I would also like to mention that I am diabetic and require a strict and healthy diet full of lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains with low fats and no sugar. On top of proving that he is unable to care for a schizophrenic, he has also proved that he is unable to care for a diabetic.
We eat Kraft macaroni and cheese for dinner at least 3 times a week, with the other dinners consisting of white pastas and heavy sauces. His excuse is that it is too expensive to eat healthy and refuses to buy me the healthy foods that are necessary for me. Because of this combined with my medications, I have gained over 60 pounds in the past year and now weigh over 200 pounds, and have gained 4 pants sizes. This is not healthy for me for two reasons: I am diabetic and I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, in which case it is almost dangerous for me to be overweight. No I am not a healthy girl; I’m schizophrenic, diabetic, and have PCOS. All of which require a healthy diet and exercise.
Because of my weight gain I don’t have very many clothes that fit me, which is another thing that I am in need of. Spring and summer are coming and I have no one to provide me with adequate clothing for the warm weather. The only clothes that fit me are my winter clothes; a few sweaters and two pairs of jeans. I have a few dresses, but they are all heavy and not for spring and summer. I need things like shorts and light shirts. I also need sandals and a new sun hat. I am allergic to the sun and get very sick when in  direct sunlight. This being said, it is very important that I attain proper summer clothing that will keep me cool and protected.
I have no source of income, except for my father, who frankly doesn’t make enough money to provide me with the basics such as clothes and food. I am currently unable to get a job due to my schizophrenia. I can barely take care of myself, so I’m nowhere near ready to hold down a job for the long term. That is not to say that I haven’t applied for jobs, and that I am not trying. I have also applied for social security, but I will not be hearing back from them for about 6 months and there is no guarantee that I will be accepted.
This is my plea for help. I’ve told you my story, and it’s not a very good one; please help me improve my quality of life. Please help me to become both happy and healthy.
Thank you very much for your help,

If you would be so kind as to donate, you can do so HERE.

Not All Wounds re Visible #2
Bandages, lint, plasters, embroidery threads and fabric pen.

Second version of Not All Wounds Are Visible a piece expressing my feelings towards mental health illness, I’ve developed this idea, and this piece features the image of a brain, to link more to the subject of mental health.

How People with Schizophrenia Use the Internet

In 2010, a study into how schizophrenics use the internet was conducted by Beate Schrank and three other Austrian doctors. The resulting report was called “How Patients with Schizophrenia Use the Internet: A Qualitative Study.”

By interviewing people with different illness statuses and in different age groups, the researchers provided a window into what the internet looks like to a person suffering from delusions. To begin with, it annoys them.

"If there were lots of pop-up windows they would feel paranoid," Beate Schrank told me. They were also agitated by sites that prevent users from using a browser’s back button.


Schizophrenia in the Media

[Image shows a vintage movie poster titled “Schizophrenia… When the left hand doesn’t know who the right hand is killing!” depicting a frightened woman fleeing down a flight of stairs from a presumed killer with schizophrenia]

   Negative portrayals of schizophrenia are far from being a rarity in the entertainment industry. From the above titled “Schizo” to more commonly known movies such as “Face/Off”, it’s commonly being portrayed as violent, with exaggerated positive symptoms (i.e. delusions and hallucinations) and/or a link to high intelligence, despite the disabling cognitive effects of schizophrenia.

In a study assessing the prevalence of misinformation surrounding this disability, researchers reviewed 41 movies containing at least one main character with schizophrenia made between the years of 1990 and 2010.

79% of the characters were male and 95% were white. Only two characters, both black men, represented minority groups. A whopping 83% of the characters displayed dangerous or violent behavior towards others and nearly one third of violent characters were homicidal.

The reality is, however, a mere 8% of schizophrenic people without co-occurring substance abuse are violent. 5% of the general population is violent, deeming the 3% gap insignificant and schizophrenic people no more likely to be violent, a Swedish study concludes, mirroring similar studies done in the United States.

Yet when we review public opinions regarding schizophrenic people, 71% of people fear for their safety around a person not being treated for their schizophrenia and 21% if they’re being treated, despite the low risk of violence.

  This brings us to question just how influential the serial killer stereotypes in movies have been in contributing to this belief, along with scapegoating from the media to explain away male violence stemming from patriarchy. 

More criticism and public outrage is necessary to address the ongoing issues schizophrenic people are facing due to stigma.


"Sweetheart, come"

On February 7th of 1909, a 30-year-old mother of two by the name of Emma Hauck was admitted to the psychiatric hospital of the University of Heidelberg in Germany, having recently been diagnosed with dementia praecox (schizophrenia). The outlook improved briefly and a month later she was discharged, only to be readmitted within weeks as her condition deteriorated further. Sadly, the downturn continued and in August of that year, with her illness deemed “terminal” and rehabilitation no longer an option, Emma was transferred to Wiesloch asylum, the facility in which she would pass away eleven years later.

It was around this time that a heartbreaking collection of letters, some of which can be seen avobe, were discovered in the archives of the Heidelberg hospital; all written obsessively in Emma’s hand during her second stay at the clinic in 1909, at a time when reports indicate she was relentlessly speaking of her family. Each desperate letter is directed at her absent husband, Mark, and every page is thick with overlapping text. Some are so condensed as to be illegible; some read “Herzensschatzi komm” (“Sweetheart come”) over and over; others simply repeat the plea, “komm komm komm,” (“come come come”) thousands of times. (via)

None were sent.

Photos taken by me here.



Oxytocin May Enhance Social Function in Psychiatric Disorders

Researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, have shown inducing the release of brain oxytocin may be a viable therapeutic option for enhancing social function in psychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia. The study results are published today in the advance online edition of Neuropsychopharmacology.

The oxytocin system is well-known for creating a bond between a mother and her newborn baby, and oxytocin is a lead drug candidate for treating social deficits in autism. Getting synthetic oxytocin into the brain, however, is challenging because of a blood-brain barrier. In this new study, lead researchers Meera Modi, PhD, and Larry Young, PhD, demonstrated for the first time the potential of oxytocin-releasing drugs to activate the social brain, to create bonds and, they believe, to possibly treat social deficits in psychiatric disorders. Meera, who is now at Pfizer, was a graduate student at the Yerkes Research Center when she worked with Young on this research. Young is division chief of Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychiatric Disorders at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, William P. Timmie professor in the Emory School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, director of the Center for Translational Social Neuroscience at Emory and principal investigator and director of the NIH Silvio O. Conte Center at Emory.

The researchers used pair bonding in monogamous prairie voles as an index of prosocial effects. Normally mating in the voles is necessary for the release of brain oxytocin that leads to a monogamous bond. For the first time, however, the Yerkes researchers showed that a drug that activates melanocortin receptors stimulates release of oxytocin in the brain to affect social relationships. According to Young, a simple injection of the melanocortin drug quickly induced a pair bond in male and female prairie voles without mating, and that bond lasted long after the drug wore away. The researchers also showed the same drug activated oxytocin cells so the cells released oxytocin directly into the brain’s reward centers responsible for generating bonds.

Young believes this newfound ability to induce an enduring bond in voles means the drug can also enhance attention to and learning from social information in people who have social disorders.

“Our latest discovery opens a new avenue of research to harness the power of the brain’s oxytocin system to enhance the ability to process social information that could profoundly affect treatment of social disorders, particularly when combined with behavioral therapies used to treat children on the autism spectrum,” says Young.

The Yerkes Research Center, the National Institute of Mental Health and Autism Speaks funded this study, the publication of which comes less than two weeks after Young and co-author Catherine Barrett’s “Perspective” titled “Can Oxytocin Treat Autism” appeared in Science magazine. Barrett is a postdoctoral researcher at Yerkes.

Their perspective details the great potential and important limitations of current oxytocin therapeutic strategies. Young and Barrett are most optimistic the next generation approaches targeting oxytocin will excite the social brain by inducing brain cells to release oxytocin. Young says, “Imagine a drug that could induce the social attention and motivation a mother feels when nursing her infant or the bond between new lovers. This is exactly what we have shown in our latest oxytocin-related research and the chemical’s viability to be a therapeutic target for enhancing social function in psychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia.”

Antibodies to Brain Proteins May Trigger Psychosis

Antibodies defend the body against bacterial, viral, and other invaders. But sometimes the body makes antibodies that attack healthy cells. In these cases, autoimmune disorders develop.

Immune abnormalities in patients with psychosis have been recognized for over a century, but it has been only relatively recently that scientists have identified specific immune mechanisms that seem to directly produce symptoms of psychosis, including hallucinations and delusions.

This ‘immune hypothesis’ is supported by new work published by Pathmanandavel and colleagues in the current issue of Biological Psychiatry. They detected antibodies to the dopamine D2 receptor or the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptor in a subgroup of children experiencing their first episode of psychosis, but no such antibodies in healthy children. Both are key neural signaling proteins that have previously been implicated in psychosis.

“The antibodies we have detected in children having a first episode of acute psychosis suggest there is a distinct subgroup for whom autoimmunity plays a role in their illness,” said Dr. Fabienne Brilot, senior author on the article and Head of the Neuroimmunology Group at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney.

It almost seems like a dirty trick. For decades psychiatrists have administered drugs that stimulate dopamine D2 receptors or block NMDA receptors. These drugs may briefly produce side effects that resemble symptoms of psychotic disorders, including changes in perception, delusions, and disorganization of thought processes. The current findings suggest that people may develop antibodies that affect the brain in ways that are similar to these psychosis-producing drugs.  

“This study adds fuel to the growing discussions about the importance of antibodies targeting neural proteins and it raises many important questions for the field. Do these antibodies simply function like drugs in the brain or do they ‘attack’ and damage nerve cells in some ways?” questioned Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry. “Also, are these antibodies producing symptoms in everyone or do they function as a probe of an underlying, perhaps genetic, vulnerability for psychosis?”

Importantly, work is advancing rapidly in this area. Less than a decade ago, anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis was first identified, a disease characterized by inflammation of the brain that causes acute psychiatric symptoms including psychosis. It is commonly misdiagnosed as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, but is a form of treatable brain inflammation caused by antibodies that attack the brain’s NMDA receptors.

“The data from this study suggests that better interventions are possible, providing hope that major disability can be prevented for the subset of children experiencing acute psychosis with antibodies,” Brilot added. “These findings also contribute significantly to an emerging acceptance in the field of the involvement of autoimmune antibodies in neurological diseases. Combined, these investigations are providing a better understanding of the biology of psychiatric and neurological diseases, as well as pointing to novel treatment approaches for children with these debilitating illnesses.”

I really, really get pissed off when people pretend that they have schizophrenia or self diagnose schizophrenia. “Oh I talked to myself about what I wanted to order lol so schizophrenic.”

Please stop. The voices you hear aren’t cute or called upon. You consciously aren’t thinking or acknowledging you are talking to yourself.

They have gotten so bad in the event my medication stops working that I’ve tried to bore through my skull with a screwdriver to get them to stop. In fact, one episode I had was so bad that I had an entire conversation with someone that wasn’t there, and I wouldn’t have known they weren’t if my friend hadn’t come over. He spent two hours trying to keep me from shoving my hand into the garbage disposal and turning it on, and explaining that I was having an episode..

I don’t think people realize schizophrenia isn’t a fun thing to pretend you have. This is why self diagnosing bothers me. Because you endanger yourself and others by not going to a doctor if you DO have something like this.

I see a lot of posts on tumblr about how smoking weed is fine because it’s ‘harmless’, but seriously there has been new research done recently that proves there is strong evidence that cannabis may be the number one known cause of schizophrenia. You are literally poisoning your central nervous system okay? And once that damage is done, it cannot be reversed. If you want to dramatically increase your chances of developing one of the most debilitating and insidious mental illnesses known to man, smoking weed is the way to do it.