An inspirational bipolar Stradbroke woman who has battled back from being paralysed is set to feature in a BBC One documentary on Monday.
Rachel Edwards, 25, jumped 50ft from a fourth floor balcony in November 2009, believing she could fly, and suffered devastating injuries as a result. It was during her recovery in hospital she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, her accident happening while deep in the grip of a manic episode.
But ever since she has defied the odds; she completed the Race for Life in 2011 using leg splints, has started a job as a peer support worker with Norfolk and Waveney Wellbeing Service, and told the world of her story and recovery through a blog.
And it was the blog which caught the attention of the programme makers.
Miss Edwards will feature in ‘The Not So Secret Life Of The Manic Depressive: 10 Years On’ which will be broadcast at 9pm. It is the follow-up to the award-winning ‘Secret Life of a Manic Depressive’, which told the story of Stephen Fry.
Monday’s broadcast highlights the way attitudes and treatment for bipolar disorder have changed since the actor and writer was diagnosed with the illness in 2006.
It was quite strange being filmed, but I soon forgot the camera was there. I’m looking forward to watching itRachel Edwards
The well-known television personality attempted suicide in 2012.
Miss Edwards, who is receiving care from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), said: “The crew wanted to focus on recovery, and filmed me at the gym and pool, out with my friends and while I was on a training course. They also interviewed my mum, who along with my dad played such a big part in my recovery.
“It was quite strange being filmed, but I soon forgot the camera was there. I’m looking forward to watching it.”
As well as filming Rachel, her friends and family, the crew also shadowed Miss Edwards in her job, and followed NSFT mental health practitioner Peter Henson, who works closely with her, as he carried out a care plan review, which records and individual’s mental, spiritual and physical needs.
“Bipolar can be very serious and our role is to help make sure people stay on the middle path,” he said.
“We look for any signs of mania or triggers so that we can protect the individual from that elevated mood, as well as observing for low mood or suicidal thoughts.
“Our job is damage limitation.
“We try and prevent their problems from getting that severe while making sure they are on the best medication to help their individual circumstances.”
To read Rachel’s online blog, visit rachelholly90.wordpress.com