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My battle with schizophrenia and depression

Tuesday, 17 September 2013 Misty

Misty blogs about her experiences of schizophrenia and depression

Following intense bullying in school, I developed depression at the age of 13. Despite leaving school as soon as I could, I was unable to escape the darkness of depression and following additional bullying while I was in further education, I developed schizophrenia at the age of 18.

My main symptoms of schizophrenia were depression, hearing voices and having delusions, and I fought a hard battle against the illness and the doctors who were treating me. I read an article recently that estimated around 30% of schizophrenics do not respond to current medications. I was definitely one of them. I have never found anti-psychotic medication useful and on the contrary, I have found them to have had painful and distressing side effects.

Yet despite my body’s resistance to the medications, I am in remission from my worst symptoms. I put this down to the talking therapy I finally received after more than two years of waiting. I would recommend that talking therapies are offered to everyone with a mental health problem and I really believe that the government needs to at least quadruple the number of NHS therapists in the country!

Although I am in remission from my worst symptoms, I still experience depression and sometimes have some pretty bad days. However, no matter how bad I feel, I can now manage my worst days until I get to a better place mentally. When I have a good day, I do my best to make it last as long as possible and always stay aware of things that could trigger a bad day. When the bad days occur, I know that the quickest way out is to do whatever I feel like doing. As long as it isn’t harmful to myself or others that is! If I feel like crying, I will cry. If I feel like not talking to anyone, I’ll not say a word.

After a while of doing this, I will put on what I call my ‘happy face’ which is where I pretend to be happy around everyone so that they think I am really feeling that way. I do this because I prefer bringing myself out of a bad day and turn it into a good day. I don’t like relying on others to do this for me, because I don’t ever want to become dependent on help and risk harming myself if I’m ever alone.

As an ex self-harmer, I know what it’s like to take a bad mood out on myself, but I’m so desperate to make it to two years without self-harming that it’s really kept me focused on staying safe. When the two year mark passes, I will look ahead to the three year mark and so on. Each day can be a battle to get through but I keep fighting as I believe that one day the struggle will be worth it.

To anyone who is currently struggling and on the brink of giving up, I have this message:

There is always a notable day in a person’s recovery when they can say that they began to get better. Keep going just one more day because you never know, your starting day of recovery may be tomorrow.

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