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Alford couple pen book on living with schizophrenia

By Jonathan Clark

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AN ALFORD couple have penned a book on what living with schizophrenia is like.

Cameron and Tara Leiper have co-written Is This Real?, which touches on what their life and relationship has been like since Cameron was diagnosed with chronic paranoid schizophrenia in 1988.

The book, published by Cherish Editions, opens up the conversation surrounding schizophrenia, providing advice to those whose lives have been impacted by the disorder.

In the book, both Cameron and Tara, who is a music teacher originally from Elgin, express what life is like having mental illness at the centre of their relationship.

Cameron and Tara Leiper, who live in Alford.
Cameron and Tara Leiper, who live in Alford.

Drawing on her own experience, Tara explores the way in which the condition has affected her and her husband’s relationship, discussing both the low points as well as the high.

The advice she provides makes this a useful book for carers.

Tara said: "Talking about your situation and drawing on the experiences of others can be hugely beneficial for your mental health.

"It often helps carers find a way of coping with a life in which schizophrenia is a major part."

Tara and Cameron Leiper.
Tara and Cameron Leiper.

At some point in their lives, one in 100 people will suffer from an episode of schizophrenia and, each year, one in four people will experience a mental health problem, according to Mind UK.

At any one time, 220,000 people are being treated for schizophrenia in the UK by the NHS.

Proceeds from the book will raise vital funds for Shawmind, a charity which has previously campaigned to make mental health education compulsory in UK schools.

Is This Real? Our Story of Living With Schizophrenia will be published on March 4 and is available for pre-order on Amazon.

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