I was officially diagnosed with schizophrenia when I was 17, although previously (throughout high school) I had been to see mental health services for adolescents. Different psychology techniques were used to try and help deal with my mood and my early warning signs: auditory and visual hallucinations, lack of sleep, depression, suicidal thoughts and self-harm.
I was more of the person who would hide myself away
People seemed to be unsure about what it was that I was suffering with and my guess as to why that was the case is because people react to some things in different ways, some lash out and some isolate themselves. I was more of the person who would hide myself away and I suffered heavily with thought blocking so I struggled to get my words out properly to explain what was going on inside my head.
Thought blocking is very frustrating - for example, imagine trying to say a word and then, for some unknown reason, it comes out as another word you were going to use in the sentence you were about to say. Sounds complicated I know but it’s true. Also, voices don’t help in situations when you need to concentrate sometimes it’s like trying to hold 5 conversations at once (not including the one with the actual person you’re talking trying to talk to).
I was bullied by people calling me "crazy"
I didn’t do very well academically at school due to many factors, one of them being that I was psychologically bullied by people calling me “crazy” and telling me “you should be locked away”. People used to whisper or scream into my ear when they were behind me and when I’d turn around to look at them they’d say “it wasn’t me it was the voices in your messed up head!”
Voices began to get stronger and stronger and towards the end of school it became uncontrollable. By the time of my GCSEs I was pulled out of an exam and made to sit in isolation as I became aggravated. The voices distracted me from being able to write anything down and I was noticed to be sitting there holding my head and slurring words to myself.
Schizophrenia is just an illness - I'm still only human
An overall feeling of schizophrenia is that I felt very sequestered from the outside/real world; it’s like being locked away from people and society. A true representation of this is when I was diagnosed with schizophrenia - a wall of voices came on disabling me from being able to listen to the psychiatrist “you’re worthless!” “Why do you bother?” “You’re are so stupid!” “They’re out to get you, they’ll betray us don’t speak!” these are just a few examples.
When you are told something enough times whether it be by voices in your head (which sound very real) or by actual people you start to believe it, “You’re a schizo!” or “You’re a drip!” you give up because it seems like the only option. Getting dismissed from jobs for an illness such as diabetes would seem unheard of, but I got dismissed from a job when I was found to have schizophrenia; it throws you off when you feel like you’re getting you’re life on track. There is a stigma attached to schizophrenia and when all is said and done it’s just an illness. I’m still only human.