My new novel “Conditions” (available on Amazon for pre-order) contains a character with mental health issues. Although this is a prominent part of the story I’ve kept it deliberately vague in the book for several reasons:
I didn’t want the story to be about one specific illness or condition and thereby reduce the character to a stereotype.
I am also not a health care professional or bonafide expert on the subject. The condition is part of the story and serves a wider purpose and message. I didn’t want to enter a lengthy discussion about medication, care facilities etc., lecture you or write a guide book. I mean to entertain and hope maybe to stimulate a thought process in my readers.
However, the character is based on several people with one and the same condition. Although I did some further research to make him consistent and believable I regard this aspect as almost secondary to the novel as a whole.
There are more issues being discussed in the book and my main character Charles is difficult for many reasons. His story is meant as a reminder to us all to embrace all aspects of a person and try to adapt so that we can live with what is challenging to us, whether it is part of a medical problem or not.
It’s okay to be different. I embrace the weird, the eccentric. I love oddball characters and have done so all of my life. It hasn’t always made my life and my friendships easy but it has kept things interesting and diverse.
As a quote from the book goes:
“Each and every one of us has their own weirdness, it’s just that it’s more obvious with some people than others.”
“Madness is a completely undervalued quality and I don’t understand why people should hide it to conform to some boring version of themselves.”