​The following blog posts are written by people with personal experience of psychosis. By talking openly, our bloggers hope to increase understanding around mental health, break down stereotypes and take the taboo out of something that – like physical health – affects us all.

Find out more about the symptoms, causes and treatments of psychosis from MindRethink Mental Illness and the NHS.

I lived in fear of saying schizophrenia out loud

What it took for me to recover from schizophrenia was having people who believed in me and who did not give up on me. Their belief and love for me encouraged me to believe in myself, so I could have the patience to heal slowly over several years, with the help of steady, continued medical treatment. Their love and confidence in me gave me a reason and the strength to try and endure the emotional pain and social stigma of having schizophrenia.

Living with Bipolar

Many people believe having bipolar means simply dealing with alternating very high and very low moods, but there is so much more to it. During a manic phase, the person can experience delusional hallucinations, which can be terrifying. During a depressive phase, the person may become very forgetful or indecisive. It isn’t as simple as “today I’m happy, tomorrow I’m sad”. It can be life-threatening. So please, the next time you crack a “bipolar joke” – bear this in mind.

Employers found it difficult to see past my mental health problems

I have had serious mental health problems most of my life but despite this I work and live independently.

Feeling part of society has had the single most positive impact on the state of my mental health. Unfortunately, it is the very thing that stigma and prejudice has the most negative impact on.

My experience on a psychiatric ward was not what people expected

‘You’re being admitted to a mental health unit’ were words I struggled to comprehend. How can I be so high functioning in the legal profession and simultaneously require admission? One minute I was at work and the next minute I found myself at the local Accident and Emergency. I felt vulnerable as the ambulance took me to the unit, and then terrified as I stepped inside the unit and the doors locked behind me. The fear of the unknown consumed me. I felt like the tiniest fish in the biggest ocean.

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