Britains Most Interesting People with Psychologist Dr Becky Spelman
This is the first episode in our online series that interviews interesting people who have lead extraordinary lives delving deep in to their psychological worlds. It features stock market millionaire turned ecstasy dealer, Shaun Attwood, who is interviewed by Psychologist Dr Becky Spelman.
Cheshire born Shaun Attwood learned how to trade in the stock market at age fourteen, by age thirty he was a millionaire living in Arizona, USA. A lover of the UK rave scene he wanted to bring the rave scene over to America and as a result started distribution Ecstasy on a large scale. Shaun was arrested and told he would serve two hundred years in Prison. In the end he severed a total of six years in a High Security Prison amongst murders and gang members. Shaun tells Psychologist Dr Becky Spelman his story about drug use, anxiety and surviving prison life.
In the interview, Dr Becky Spelman asked ‘How did it all start for you?’
Attwood replied: ‘When the rave scene started in the UK, I saw it in the news, I was like what’s all this about young people breaking into Warehouses and stuff. I tried ecstasy and it melted a lot of anxiety away from me. Previously I wouldn’t dance, I was too self conscious. I wouldn’t talk to people, but on ecstasy I was just dancing and hugging people, making friends with strangers all night long. It had such a profound effect on me that I pledged in concert with my other goal to go America to make a million in the stock market and if I did that I would try and transfer that rave scene over to America. I did ten years later, I made a couple of million in the stock market, I was emotionally immature, money went to my head. I started to throw these rave parties, but the ecstasy was scarce so I had people reporting it from Holland so that’s where I went way beyond the law. America was good to me and I abused it and May 2002 swat team smashed my door down’
Dr Becky Spelman states: ‘It must have been terrifying for you…’
Attwood replies: ‘Going into a jail where it was run by the neo-nazi eurobolic prison gang. If you are a white person under their control. Not only where the gang members murdering the prisoners, but even the guards where murdering the prisoners. It was absolutely terrifying. But it did prove to be the educational lesson of a lifetime.
Dr Becky: ‘Six years in prison what happened in that time?’
Attwood replies: ‘Various stages of adaptation. So when you go in you have got to get used to get used to people’s heads being bashed against toilets. People’s bodies being thrown around, people being carried out on stretchers that look like their dead. You go into shock, if you ever held a little animal like a bird or a mouse and you can just feel it’s heart going ding-ding-ding, the first couple of nights my heart is going like that against the mattress all night long I can’t sleep and then the prisoners come up to you and say you have to get that look of shock of your face or your going to be the one that’s going to be getting your head bashed against the toilet next. Any expression of weakness is exploited. So six months later I have what you call dead eyes…’
Attwood admits upon his release that he was: “Anxious as [he got] closer to the gate, known as Gate fever, because your thinking how are you going to function in the outside world… I’ve got a criminal record, how am I going to get a girlfriend? Women aren’t going to want to date someone who’s been in prison, how am I going to get a job with a criminal record? I’ve got no money, how am I going to rebuild my life?”
If you suffer from anxiety, then you know what a horrible experience it is. The sweating palms, the shaking; even thoughts that you may die. But to all of you out there who suffer with this disorder - it is treatable and it will go away. It's one of the most easily treated disorders out there, but m.....
It’s perfectly normal to feel anxious from time to time. Most of us experience anxiety around important events, such as a job interview. So long as we only experience anxiety when we “should” it’s just one of those things we have to deal with......
When you’re faced with a traumatic event in your life, coming to terms and dealing with the long-lasting effects of trauma are often challenging. It’s an area that many people struggle with and the impact of a traumatic event varies widely from person to person. Even when you’ve dealt with the.....