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Dolly Sen is a writer, director, artist, filmmaker, poet, performer, playwright, mental health consultant, music-maker and public speaker. She has 8 published books since 2002; has taken on performance roles at The Young Vic, the Royal Festival Hall, and around Europe; undertaken a poetry tour; won a poetry award from Poet Laureate Andrew Motion; directed two plays and several TV films; and performed spoken word at City Hall and Oxford University.

A short film about the voices I hear

29 July 2015


I don't know if I have the mind I was born with, but I know my mind got hurt along the way. I have had psychotic experiences for over 30 years now. I am more able to function than say 20 years ago, yet the ghosts of it continue to haunt me. When I first heard voices and saw visions, it was thought psychosis was a brain disease with a genetic basis. More recently that has become a very weak hypothesis. More and more studies acknowledge childhood trauma as a major influence in developing...

Comments: 6

Me and Comedy

27 July 2015


Ladybird Book of the Menopause Cover

I have recently given up my occupational therapy course. I wasn’t the right mind shape for the role. So I am at a bit of a loss as to what to do next. I asked the question to some facebook friends: what other career options I should consider? Stand-up comedian came up more than once. I would love to be one, but I am also a paranoid who will be wondering why people are laughing at me – you can see the dilemma I have. Not only that, anyone who read my first memoir ‘The World is...

Comments: 3


10 July 2015


Hysteria - the girlband

Yesterday I attended a creative meeting looking at creating art around the theme of hysteria, and the invitees were asked to talk a few minutes about their take on hysteria. This was my talk: I look at hysteria two ways. Firstly, I see hysteria as performance, applauded by psychiatry and society. Make your madness entertaining for sanity, make it a separate, strange phenomena for us. The body and mind might be at war with each other, but although we may sympathise, we will support that war and...

Comments: 1

7/7 on a psychiatric ward

7 July 2015


Light on a psych ward

I remember 7/7 very well. I was an inpatient on a psych ward at St Thomas Hospital, and out of nowhere there were convoys of ambulances streaming in the A&E dept of the hospital. There were no more red double decker buses going over the bridge. My mum texted me that there were a series of bombs on london transport. I went into a ward round and maintained the belief the world was too painful to live in. It was an inappropriate response apparently. They didn't show me humanity. That came...

Comments: 0