Luisa Castagnaro – Long Bio

Luisa Castagnaro, MA, is a former teacher of ESL and psychiatric survivor since 1978. After an argument and estrangement with a friend in the year 2000, for the first time in her life she began hearing noisome voices which lasted for approximately 13 years. Driven to pits of despair, she found that the best way to expunge the voices was through journal-writing and poetry. Author of Bittersweet Journeys, a poetic anthology, and second prize winner in the 2010 Eber and Wein National Amateur Poetry Competition for her poem The Sound of Madness, Luisa is working on a memoir about her harrowing experiences prior to and following an insomnia-driven nervous breakdown in 1978. Luisa experienced years of over-drugging, electroshock and three suicide attempts which she attributed to antidepressants. During this period she unsuccessfully tried to get off medication. She has now resigned herself to a minimum dosage of drugs, which helps her to get to sleep. She is aware of how her thought process has been compromised by the drugs, but due to a paradigm shift that occurred in 1986 when she started a spiritual practice, she is able to access higher realities while staying grounded in this world. Luisa’s personal blog can be found at https://psychiatricpassages.wordpress.com.