Laura Sherlock used to be a professional musician, playing the sackbut, a form of early trombone, in ensembles around the world. She is clever, talented, has a great sense of humour and takes antipsychotic drugs to silence the voice of an evil god in her head.
Meeting her, talking to her about everyday things, nobody would have any idea that Sherlock has a mental-health problem. She defies the tabloid image of schizophrenia as a disturbing and dangerous condition. Schizophrenia is, says Mark Winstanley, acting chief executive of Rethink Mental Illness, “one of the most stigmatised and misunderstood conditions in the UK”. It is relatively common, affecting one in 100 people, and those who live with it are no more likely to become violent than the general population.
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