John Hankins’s Story

I am an aspiring writer and poet and have just released my first publication, ‘The Psychotic Voice Hearer’, an insight into psychosis from the perspective of someone who has suffered from the condition. It also includes some of my poetry, of which I am very proud. During the five years it has taken to get my work out there, I have struggled through two major episodes of psychosis, held down employment whilst in recovery and combatted the notoriously detrimental side-effects of anti-psychotic medication. I have also recovered from a serious addiction to cannabis, which gave me psychosis and affected my ability to be productive.

I have now been in recovery for over two years and have found the catalyst for recovery to be to ‘find a focus’. In my case this has meant learning new culinary techniques and broadening my repertoire of dishes. I also started volunteering to engage the brain, keeping it alert and helping to reduce psychotic symptoms and aiding my personal journey of recovery. I would advocate that service users try to negotiate medication decreases or a change to a slightly weaker medication rather than halting medication completely, when they feel ready to do so.

Although some psychiatrists may say this is risky, my personal experience has been that the resulting improvement in areas of life such as fitness, hobbies and work will have a positive impact and that symptoms are likely to decrease in severity as a result.

If anyone would like to order a copy of ‘The Psychotic Voice Hearer’, my email address is


The world’s good people rolling cigarettes around my mind,
And it hurts that the reciprocal respect flows out with the toothpaste
Educational gratification migrates slowly down the drain
Along with my will, and this fourth melancholic line is all I will allow.
As I have a pen and paper, a heart and a mind
Nurturing over indulgence in my early life has been a battle of epic
rows of glasses.
Fluid smoke ingested through twelve dimensions and space.
All the distressing, sombre losses along our pavements
Have our connections on earth strengthened like ionic attractions?
And as the rose is unveiled to his love, the words he says connect

John Hankins