July 19, 2013

EmmaI first experienced psychosis when I was 16 and still at school. I remember the exact moment when I heard “my friends” talk to me through my speakers. They were saying great stuff about how awesome I was.

With thinking that I had my friends in my head I did begin to panic, I thought this isn’t right I don’t want people hearing my thoughts and taking away my whole privacy.

After I first heard those voices they began to manifest as voices of my friends and passers-by. The voices began to dislike me and everything I said was wrong and that I was a bitch and an evil person.

I began to feel lost and alone wherever I was and if I didn’t catch something one of my friends would say I would hear them insulting me instead. I started to think that everyone secretly hated me and just wouldn’t tell me to my face so I decided to act the same way back. This resulted in me losing all my friends.

I tried to cope the best I could with hearing these voices

After school ended I tried to cope the best I could with hearing these voices and losing my friends. I drank to cope with the hurt. My family did notice something was seriously wrong and took me to see a young peoples’ psychologist. Where I met a woman who seemed to have only dealt with bullying but was at the local psychiatric hospital. I tried so hard to tell her what I was experiencing but couldn’t with the fear of having people judging me, as that was what I was lead to believe would happen if I spoke out.

The young people’s councillor told me that I was drinking too much and this could be a reason as to why I had felt people were talking about me and asked me to write a drink diary. I thought this was my chance to show her what I was going through and I wrote down my drinking intake into my diary, where I had also written about everything that I had gone through with hearing these voices in the past year.

My parents had tried to seek help for me

After I gave it to her, I had to wait until the next session to find out her thoughts on it all and I was so nervous. Finally the days passed and I got to see what she thought and she clearly didn’t read any of it as she said to me “look your drinking is really bad but you’re a pretty girl I don’t see why you have any problems”. That was it! This sent me into a spiral of depression.

My parents had tried to seek help for me but the only answers we got were that I was becoming an alcoholic that I was a spoilt daughter. I eventually turned to my mum for help after giving myself third degree burns whilst trying to make pasta drunk one night. She took me straight to the doctor.

I told the doctor about hearing voices

I told the doctor about hearing voices and was given an appointment straight away with a psychiatric doctor. He told me I had an illness known as psychosis, with a chemical imbalance in my brain making me experience hallucinations.

I have never been so relieved in all my life to know that there was something wrong and that people didn’t actually hate me. I didn’t care that I was now labelled with this illness just the feeling of relief that it wasn’t all real was so great. I did wish I was diagnosed when I first met the young people’s psychologist because that set me back a few years and did endanger my life. We did put a complaint in about that woman but that didn’t change how I felt. The next few weeks I still heard the voices but I was so happy not to be scared anymore.

I stopped keeping it all to myself and told my family

I became a changed person after my diagnosis, I stopped keeping it all to myself and told my family all what I had been experiencing. I got my life back and learned ways to cope and adapt to the voices which is basically to tell them how they’re wrong and that they are just trying to bring me down.

I am now doing really well after a lot of self-analysing and taking medication, I am now being able to go to work part time. I sometimes try to look back at how I felt when I was 16 but I do find it difficult because I have blocked a lot of horrific memories but I am so happy within myself and how I am now leading a normal life.

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