I had my first episode of schizophrenia at 22 years old when my grandmother died. At first I did not know what my illness was. It was a very good doctor who sat me down and told me to act like a diabetic and take injections for the rest of my life. I was heartbroken. I still have to accept that I have this illness as I find it is a horrible word and I am still facing stigma, side effects and confidence issues.
My parents supported me and wanted me to get better and lead my independent life again but my siblings never visited me in hospital and I missed their support.
My parents are the only people who know the details of my condition
My parents are the only people who know the details of my condition. I let them know when I have had my injection and how I feel with the side effects. I have good friends and colleagues around me but I never discuss my illness as I feel the stigma is still out there and I have lost childhood friends and lost confidence about making friends at home. This is something I have to get over and hope that opening up online will help my confidence. I also feel that I want to be known for my offerings and not for an illness.
My little sister is now aware of my illness. She was able to support her colleague's mother who had an episode while she was abroad. My sister was able to talk to her colleague and help her deal with the situation.
I hope I gain the support of friends
I am at a turning point at the start of 2013 and look forward to this year I hope all goes well and I gain the support of friends at home which I feel I need. I hope that the burden of the side effects lifts this year so I can carry on with life instead of writing off a couple of days every month.