By Jo Clutton

I’m Jo – artist, writer, traveller, Wild West nut, intrigued by science, and renaissance soul. I’ve recovered from 30 years of depression – a medication crisis was the catalyst. I’ve never felt this good – and I’m chronicling the rebuild of my polymath creative lifestyle on my blog, Creating My Odyssey.

I’m hoping to reach people with mental health issues, and creatives in general, to give encouragement, inspiration and hopefully some enjoyment.

I call my complete recovery a miracle! My husband, who was looking after me, was desperate for help when I became suicidal over the Christmas period three years ago due to the medication I’d been prescribed by my psychiatrist just before Christmas after my antidepressant had stopped working.

Medical services were at their minimum over the holiday, my psychiatrist was away on holiday, and my husband didn’t know who to turn to for help, so he called our lovely neighbours in (we live in a cul-de-sac). One used to work for a local mental health team. We contacted them and they told us to take me off the new medication immediately. Our doctor had given me an antipsychotic and that calmed me down. The team arranged to see us on New Year’s Day. We couldn’t believe it!

They put me on a medication combination known as ‘California Rocket Fuel’ (love it!) and a course of cognitive behavioural therapy. Three years later, I’m fine. I’ve never felt this good. I want to make up for lost time now that we’ve both retired, try and finish my novel, be the creative renaissance soul I always wanted to be, and spread my news to mental health sufferers that there is hope – depression is the most treatable of mental illnesses, it’s just a case of finding the right help, which can be very hard. Hence my blog, which is also a great vehicle for my own creativity. (my Wild West website)

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