We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

‘I’d been in Claybury for four months before I was given ECT. I was sixteen. The day I went down for it I was wearing a striped hospital dressing gown and yellow pyjamas. I’d been given the Last Rites.’

John O’Donoghue was first admitted to Claybury asylum with manic depression aged sixteen, just after his mother had been institutionalised. He spent over a decade in asylums, halfway houses, therapeutic communities, hostels for homeless men, squats, and on the streets. Sectioned is an honest and moving account of his experiences. It is also ultimately the story of his survival against the odds, and of his coming of age in a Britain that was changing forever.

Reviews

'"Sectioned: A Life Interrupted" should be required reading for mental health professionals...it is as thought-provoking as it is compelling. O'Donoghue's unsentimental honesty...avoids the melodramatic, while holding unflinchingly to what is harrowing'
The Herald, Ron Ferguson
'Here you will find an eloquent and compelling insight into one person's battles with mental illness ... it is his literary powers and keen observations that shine through the murk ... alongside the pain there is little self-pity and plenty of humour'
Herald
This is a rare insight intoa hidden world
Greenock Telegraph
'Sectioned should be compulsory reading for anyone working in the mental health system: they'll laugh, they'll cry, they'll think twice before using ECT'
Disability Now
'Vividly put together [and] full of indelible images'
The Age (Australia)
'While the subject matter is undoubtedly harrowing, what is most memorable about Donoghue's vivid memoir is its inspirational quality'
Good Book Guide