Petra Mason

I was introduced to the Psychology in the Real World groups when I joined a Bipolar Explorer’s Group in 2011. This seven week course organised by Guy Holmes and Dylan Hartley included a wide array of group discussions and talks by outsiders such as Pharmacologist and a Psychologist specialising in Bipolar Disorder. Some group member’s partners also got involved to discuss how they are affected by the illness. Some of us stayed in touch meeting regularly and we organised a Bipolar Explorer’s Day in August 2012.

I have on the whole been quite adamant that I do not actually have Bipolar disorder despite my diagnosis 18 years ago. However my experiences over the last 17 years as a result of the medications I have been prescribed means that I have a good insight as to what it is like to live with Bipolar disorder. At present I am unsure how I feel about my diagnosis, but I do feel that it is less about the diagnosis and more about how I deal with life and illness.

It is seven years since I was last hospitalised. After seven admissions in total around the country (not Shrewsbury) I have a good perception of good and bad hospital care.

For the last 18 months I have taken part in the
Walk and Talk group and I helped out during the 2012 group walks. I also enjoy meeting with the Film Club at the Old Market Hall cinema.

I am a trained Scientist although I haven’t been employed as such since my son was born nine years ago. I recently worked voluntarily for Build IT International, a charity based in Shrewsbury. I have a keen interest in the natural world and the animals in it. I have dogs, rabbits, chickens, ferrets. I play piano, enjoy photography and enjoy swimming. I am a keen (though not particularly successful) vegetable gardener and enjoy cooking. I have a certificate in Ceramics. In August last year I re-opened a stall in Shrewsbury Market Hall ‘Pet’s Pots’ where I throw pots whenever I can.