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by Anna Ballard
ISBN:978 1 84747 008 9
This insightful book takes you on a journey through the feelings of mental health sufferers and the road to recovery. She provides an emotive understanding of depression and seeks to eliminate the stigma related to it.
About the Author
Anna Ballard has compiled a wide range of creative poems to give you insight into her depression. She suffered severely for at least ten years and some improvement in her condition, set off a creative spark in her.
I was born and brought up in the Vale of Evesham, in the heart of England. As the youngest of four children (I have three older brothers) I was some what spoiled particularly by my father. However, as the youngest I spent my childhood striving to keep up with my siblings and this nurtured a very competitive spirit within me.
In consequence at school this spirit drove me forward and I became a high achiever gaining straight A grades at both O and A level. I was also very fortunate in that I was athletic. To begin with I was a fine swimmer and tennis player reaching county standard in both but when the swimming started to wane I transferred my efforts into canoeing. The village in which I lived had its own canoe club and the opportunities were there for the taking. My canoeing career spanned almost 20 years and I represented my country at four World Championships with my best result being 12 th place. Sadly I don't canoe anymore, except recreationally, but in order to satisfy my competitiveness I still play tennis two or three times a week.
During all these years in competitive sport I continued with my academic studies. I attended the University of Birmingham reading Biochemistry and was awarded a 1 st Class honours degree followed by my PhD. I also gained two scholarships and received the RT Jones Prize which is awarded to a first year undergraduate who is outstanding in scholarship, personality and contribution to the life of the University as a whole. After University I spent the next 12 years doing medical research mainly looking at mutant strains of Hepatitis B. Again I was very successful as demonstrated by the 15 papers published during that time.
Since 1980 I have been supported my husband who is himself a canoeing Olympian and who now joins me on the tennis courts. We have two children aged 13 and 10 and we live in a rural area just outside Lichfield to the north of Birmingham.