PROFILE: Lucy Nichol | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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“Hello, world – my name’s Lucy and I have anxiety.”

North East writer Lucy Nichol has been writing about anxiety and other mental health issues since April 2016. For Lucy, writing so openly and honestly about her own journey has been a therapeutic process. Writing helps her to rationalise things and as a result, feel much calmer. However, she’s also heard from so many people, publicly and through private messages, that reading about her experience has helped them.

Having worked in PR and marketing for over 15 years, Lucy Nichol can look back on a time when the theatre company she worked for back in 2003 received a complaint about the use of the word ‘psycho’ in some show copy. She couldn’t really understand it at the time; much has changed since then. Lucy admits, “I think we were all guilty of ignorance and stigma to some degree back then. Things have moved on considerably – thankfully. But there’s still more to do – tune into Good Morning Britain and I’m sure you’ll see what I mean.”

In her new book, A Series of Unfortunate Stereotypes, Lucy seeks to challenge common misconceptions. What if in reality the narcissist is a self-loather? What if the party addict is actually a lost, anxious soul? She self-identifies strongly with all those out there who struggle with mental health issues, urging, “We have to give ourselves a break. There’s enough people in the world giving us a kicking without us doing it ourselves. Self-stigma is a bitch.”

Lucy hopes that people will read her candid, forthright and often humorous book (“I’m naturally an over-sharer” she admits) and realise there’s nothing to be ashamed of in having a mental health problem. “I’m not shaming people, I’m shaming stigma,” she explains, “And I myself have been guilty of voicing stigma in the past. It’s just about seeing it for what it is and moving on.”

Going forward, Lucy would love to see the media platforms taking responsibility for their content and recognising why stigma around mental health can be so very dangerous. Wouldn’t we all.

Lucy Nichol’s A Series of Unfortunate Stereotypes is published on 5th March by Trigger Press. The book gets an official launch at Waterstone’s, Newcastle on Tuesday 6th March.

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