Ad Gridley

I was told that “one good joint” would have the same hypervigilant effect that a lifetime practising martial arts would have. So, on a gap year to Canada, I tried it. With an English accent, I was invited to lots of parties with abundant cannabis. I returned to the UK with my personality in tatters. After three years, and seven suicide attempts, I wound up on an open ward. While the prescriptions increased, my cannabis habit remained. Then, I realised that I had the power to stop. I’ve since written and lectured extensively about this journey. I curate two podcasts.

Cannabis and schizoaffective disorder: A case study

I discuss in my slides my early life, my struggle, and my recovery. I start with a happy image of a woman holding balloons because the bulk of the talk is vividly nightmarish, the balloons a reminder that the ending is positive. I include my diagnosis of Schizo Affective Disorder and a slide that asks why I’m dressed up. I’m challenging the typical image of a service user. I have a slide that includes my ambitions to be a musician and film director. Then, tragically, peer pressure made me uncomfortable not wanting to play football. I take the watcher through a gap year to Canada, then suicide attempts and a rampage through central London culminating in my arrest. I then detail several delusions in which I firmly believed. I move on then to what I currently avoid and what I embrace. I mention my hobbies (daily walking with ankle weights and weekly t’ai chi) and the great number of universities at which I’ve been asked to talk. My Mental Health book was published in 2018 and, since then, I recorded it and it’s available for free on many platforms. My general Mental Health has remained stable now since March 9th, 2010.