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Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Check Mates

By Vrinda Pendred
Editor and Founder of Conditional Publications


Writers with nervous disorders find their voice at Conditional Publications

When I was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome at age 7, the doctor failed to notice I also had Autism, Bipolar Disorder, ADHD and OCD…despite the OCD symptoms being a huge part of why my parents brought me to the doctor in the first place. Then, even when I was finally diagnosed with OCD at almost 14, I had no comprehension of how complex and wide-ranging the disorder was, even in myself. Only as an adult did I start to understand just how deeply OCD affected me.

I know my story is not at all unique. In fact, if anything is rare about it, it’s that I was diagnosed as young as I was. I have since met so many people who only received a diagnosis mid-life. And I can’t help but think that all the suffering they’ve gone through, struggling through school, dealing with teachers and parents at a loss as to how to manage the unusual behaviour and destructive anxieties – or the frustration and heartache it’s caused those teachers and parents, because the children are too young to express just what is going on inside their heads – could be avoided, and even treated, if there were more education about the many facets that make up these neurological conditions.

Conditional Publications aims to help push forward this education.



Conditional Publications is the first and only publishing house dedicated to writers with neurological conditions, such as Tourette Syndrome, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Autism, Epilepsy, Schizophrenia, and so many more.

Usually when you read books on these conditions, they will be medical non-fiction or a parents’ guide to raising their afflicted child. Too rarely are the true experts – the sufferers themselves – given a chance to tell us what it’s really like to live with such disorders.

Conditional Publications is going to change all this. This brand new, much-needed niche company is run entirely by people with nervous disorders, so we understand the subjects and the frustrations experienced by so many sufferers on a daily basis.
Our company’s exciting entrance onto the publishing scene is marked with its first major release, ‘Check Mates: A Collection of Fiction, Poetry and Artwork about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, by People with OCD’, available for purchase on Amazon worldwide. Astoundingly, this is the first ever book of its kind…but it’s definitely not the last.

Divided between ‘Realism’ and the ‘Beyond’, this book drives the absurdity and horror of OCD straight home. It has been put together by writers and artists from around the world, and showcases a wide range of emotions, from love to hate, joy to rage, fear and sorrow to hope and optimism. There’s even a little bit of humour! We believe everyone will find something to relate to.

What it doesn’t do is shy away from the truth. Every angle is covered, no matter how painful, which makes for a startling and moving read.

Readers with OCD will find themselves in this book and realise they’re definitely not alone. Those who don’t have OCD…well, they’ll probably going to find a little of themselves anyway, because that’s what this book does: it forces us to look at our own neuroses. Hopefully it will help crack wide open a few stereotypes that have been flying around for far too long.

And as if that’s not enough, part of the proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to OCD charities.



On its release date, the book soared to No. 3 in Amazon.com’s ‘short story anthologies’ best-sellers list, No. 2 in Amazon.co.uk’s ‘compulsive behaviours’ best-sellers and No. 3 in Amazon.ca’s ‘anxiety disorders’ best-sellers. The book has been backed by OCD Tribe (where the writers and artists met), actress Nia Peeples, and Jeff Bell, author of 'Rewind, Replay, Repeat: A Memoir of OCD'.

Three days after the book’s release, the National Tourette’s Syndrome Association got in touch requesting a review copy to promote in their members’ magazine with a readership of 25,000. We hope other organisations, such as your own, will get involved and help us realise our dream of expanding global consciousness about neurological conditions.

Vrinda Pendred
Editor and Founder of Conditional Publications

You can read more information at www.conditionalpublications.com and view our social network at http://conditionalpublications.ning.com. We’re also on Twitter under NeuroBooks and have a Conditional Publications fan page on Facebook.
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