Stradbroke woman’s determined recovery from psychotic episode to feature on TV

Rachel Edwards during the filming of The Not So Secret Life of the Manic Depressive: 10 Years On.

Rachel Edwards during the filming of The Not So Secret Life of the Manic Depressive: 10 Years On. - Credit: Archant

When Rachel Edwards jumped from a 50ft balcony wearing her finest outfit, she believed she would fly.

Sadly for Rachel, then aged just 19, she was in the middle of a psychotic episode, and although she survived the fall her injuries meant she relies on a wheelchair every day. She was told she would never walk again, but six years on the 25-year-old is continuing to defy the odds.

Miss Edwards, from Stradbroke in Suffolk, has completed the 5km Race for Life by using leg splints, secured a job with the region's mental health trust, and the story of her determined recovery will be shown on national TV.

It was during a trip to London with her parents that her psychotic episode began.

'We went to bed, but I got up, got dressed, put on my make-up and can remember going on to the ledge and jumping in the air,' Miss Edwards said.

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'Although I'd had depression for years, I had no idea that I had bipolar or what a psychotic episode was.

'It was only after I had my accident that I was given a diagnosis.'

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The incident led to a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and treatment with Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

Miss Edwards will feature in a BBC programme called The Not So Secret Life Of The Manic Depressive: 10 Years On, a follow-up to the Secret Life of a Manic Depressive, which told the story of Stephen Fry.

The documentary will highlight the way attitudes and treatment for bipolar disorder have changed since Mr Fry was diagnosed with the illness in 2006.

It will air on BBC One on Monday at 9pm.

Miss Edwards has blogged about her recovery, which can be read at

Have you got a mental health story? Email our health correspondent at

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