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Using the outcomes of stage 1, the research in stage 2 aims to further develop and potentially test a GIS based digital dynamic scenario model focused on regeneration, going beyond rehabilitation. The core difference being that regeneration results in an ongoing, continuously evolving system that regenerates its environment, people, and place.

This regenerative-adaptive scenario model will be unique and provide the possibility to test and visually represent different scenarios of future outcomes based on different decisions made for rehabilitation and development. We use cookies to improve your experience. You consent to the use of our cookies if you proceed.

The Scar Of Shame (1927)

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Animal ethics Biosafety and biosecurity Human ethics Radiation safety. Job vacancies How to apply Why work at Deakin? It is up to the sane to explain insanity. It is as if the only authoritative travel books were those written by people who have never actually been in the terrain in question. People who have actually experienced illnesses such as profound depression are by definition hard to credit: they have been there but they are not all there.

In terms of intellectual expertise, mental illness is like death as envisaged by Hamlet: the undiscovered country from which no traveller ever really returns. If you were deranged at the time you were there, how can you map the territory for the rest of us? This is, of course, one way the stigmatisation of mental illness works. It robs the sufferers of full possession of their own experience. They can tell us about it in raw narrative form.

But they cannot be trusted to interpret it through research and scholarship and all the disciplines that require a cool and methodical objectivity. And this of course is deeply wrong.

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For many, many travellers do indeed return from the country of the deranged mind. If, like the Irish-American writer and academic Mary Cregan, they are scholars and thinkers, they return to those very disciplines. Yet how are they to write? Subjectively within the frame of memoir — this is what happened to me?

Or objectively within the frame of academic expertise — this is what my experience means when seen through the lens of history, literature and culture?

Mission and aims

I originally read The Scar in manuscript last year full disclosure: I am mentioned in the acknowledgements and my initial feeling was to want it to be all memoir. The scar that gives Cregan her title is literal as well as mental. She begins with a visit to a physiotherapist who notices the diagonal scar on the left side of her neck and asks her how she got it.

The scar is from a suicide attempt. If the social pressure is for silence, the internal pressure is for forgetting. Cregan makes it clear that she has no desire to remember what happened to her when she was 27, happily married and having her first child. In a sense, The Scar begins as an anti-memoir, a struggle against memory. Three months after my daughter died, I was so depressed that I had to be hospitalised. On my second morning in a locked ward, I stepped into the shower with a glass of moisturiser and dropped it on the floor.

Then I felt the left side of my neck for the strong pulse of the artery and pulled a large piece of broken glass firmly across it.

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But this is to fall into the trap of prejudice by reinforcing the idea that the person who has suffered in this way has nothing to offer except a subjective account of how it felt. It is not that Cregan ever loses sight of her own story of illness and recovery — rather that she sees it and allows us to see it alternately from the inside and the outside, as both an extremely intimate and a broadly human truth.

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Part of what she sees from outside herself is the genetic element of the illness, which in her case is Irish. Her parents told the doctor that each of their fathers had obvious bouts of depression, but neither had sought help. Her own father then revealed that he himself was still on medication after an episode two years earlier. He had never told her. But Cregan turns this painful irony around. She has that history but it does not have her. She has written herself both into and out of it.

And the telling of her smaller, more intimate story in such well-shaped words is a stage of healing too.