The Correct Diagnosis Can Make a World of Difference
Hi. I have just been diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of thirty-nine, which is a long time to be ill and not know it.
It all began at the age of fifteen. I was in foster care with my grandma and grandad after living with a horrid stepfather who, looking back, probably had mental health issues. I thought there were cameras everywhere and my every move was being watched. I struggled through college and was unable to work because of my paranoia. I eventually had a baby, which seemed to really set things off.
I decided to go to law school but only completed the first year, as life had become quite difficult. I thought the house was bugged, the television was speaking to me and sending me messages, and I was being followed by the government. I also thought that I was psychic and had special powers.
The head teacher at my child’s school was very kind and would pick my son up to take him to school because I could not leave the house. Even though, being in a house that was bugged with cameras everywhere was not very pleasant either.
There seemed to be no escape. I was continually diagnosed with depression and went for cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) but it was not helpful at all, having been misdiagnosed. My mum kept ringing the doctors telling them I was ill, but to no avail. Eventually, she spoke to a really nice doctor who had the experience of working with a psychiatrist and knew all the right questions to ask.
The next thing you know she turned up at my house with two doctors in tow. They diagnosed me with schizophrenia and gave me details about the medications they could prescribe and their side effects. I again went for CBT, only this time it was tailored around my paranoia. Now I have the support of my friends and family and they are able to provide a friendly ear for when I have my paranoid moments. Thank you for listening. I hope my story will help others.