The mind can play so many tricks on you, and so seriously, that you
can land up in hospital. I suffered from voices and hallucinations
until they were coming out of my ears. That was a long time ago,
and since then I’ve learned to play tricks on my mind to keep it
sane, healthy and happy.
The question is: who is in control? Not the brain. The brain is an
instrument that can let you down. Call it self, call it soul, call
it what you will, but you are, or should be, in control. You make
the decisions and your brain follows suit.
I used to suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder. It meant I
went round and round in my mind on a particular topic. This is
where the soul comes in. I learned to cut across my thought and
give up my obsession because I was distinct from my brain. You are
captain of your ship, and you can see the course ahead.
My waking dreams were so real that my eardrums were vibrating with
the sound. They could not have been literally vibrating. But when
this experience was converted into a successful play, the audience
were able to hear what I heard and get under my skin. I believe
spiritual influences were at work. And it was fun.
The actor’s skills are the perfect tricks to play on the mind. A
pretence that you’re happy when you’re blue lifts you right out of
the doldrums and soon becomes reality. It is the work of the soul
on the mind, and shows who is boss.
Many of our best influences are internal rather than external.
There is no need to reach for the bottle or the cigarette when the
brain is obeying the soul. It is much cheaper, too. Seek your
inspiration from whatever source you like and convert it to food
for yourself, not for the brain.
Your personal happiness is paramount, and you can achieve this only
if you are charting a steady course through the seas of life.
Reading is a wonderful stabiliser and source of inspiration. You
are in touch with, and on top of, other people’s minds. This can
dispel insanity; I believe it can cure depression.
Then there are the drugs, which can help enormously. I take
Priadel, which has no nasty side effects and is a mood stabiliser
and realism inducer. Without it I would go woozy and wild. My soul
knows this and I take it willingly. Experimenting with the wrong
drugs is torture, and has caused me to lack confidence in drugs
altogether. But the right drugs are perfect to play on the
I don’t feel I’m using crutches. I am a man in my own right, even
though I may be an amalgam of different chemicals. I’ve been sane
for 40 years or more, with a happy and varied life. In the old
days, I let myself go with obsessions that cost me my freedom and
my career. Now the sun shines again. Not only because of
self-control, but also because of control of the brain by
Richard Jameson uses mental health services and is