From psychiatric in-patient to best-selling author
- Credit: Archant
How writing novels has helped this Norfolk mum deal with her mental illness.
A Norfolk mum has told how writing novels has helped her to deal with mental illness.
Downham Market author Jane Rowe has become a published Amazon author following years of living with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder that led to her attempting to take her own life.
After 20 years of suffering from the conditions, the 48-year-old from Short Close, has turned herself into a successful novelist, selling around 5,000 books a year and becoming a best-selling author in Egypt.
Mrs Rowe grew up in Cambridge and moved to Downham Market in 2003.
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"The symptoms started when I was around 14 when I started to hear voices," she said. "I was 21 and at university when it became more intense and I had a massive breakdown and ended up in a mental hospital.
"It spiralled out of control and I gave up the will to live, attempting to take my life on many occasions."
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Mrs Rowe also turned to self-harm in 2010 after coming off medication for the birth of her daughter.
"Looking back now it's like that was a different person, I was very ill," she said. "I had a wake-up call when another patient in the hospital who also harmed himself said: 'Perhaps it isn't our time yet.
"That started my journey of recovery. I wanted to get better for my daughter."
She turned her life around after receiving psychiatric treatment from the Fermoy unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Mrs Rowe started writing in 2015 and has had eight books published by Amazon.
"Writing stories has enabled me to come off my benefits and become an Amazon published author," she said.
"It's like having dysfunctional children, the books have provided me escapism and put me in charge of my own fantasies."
The Downham mum wants to rewrite her history through her books by touching on themes of pain, desperation and survival.
Mrs Rowe said: "I'm in control of who I am when I'm writing. I want to inspire and let people suffering with the same illnesses know they can make something of themselves, like I did.
"Writing has made me proud of myself and in being a mother."
Mrs Rowe has also inspired her daughter Lucy to write. The 10-year-old has written a book called The Magic Cat's which has also been published on Amazon.
Anyone struggling with feelings of desperation or isolation can contact the Samaritans on 116123.