When I was a young boy, pop star Adam Ant was one of my heroes. My dad delights in recalling how I used to jump off our sofa, emulating the highwayman’s leap onto a horse in the video for Stand and Deliver, which I loved watching on Top of the Pops.
In the space of a week in February 2007 my life changed forever. I was halfway through my second year of university when I started having panic attacks out of nowhere. I couldn't concentrate on anything, or go to my lectures or seminars. Eventually I had to go back home to my parents' house in London, where I have been ever since.
I have been meaning to write a blog about the Time To Change roadshow in Exeter for a while. Now I’ve come to do it I actually feel that the times has given me better reflections than if I’d done it earlier on.
In February 2009, I was sectioned, tranquilised and detained in a secure psychiatric hospital. Fortunately, my stay was short; after seven days, I was given a week’s leave at home, following which I was discharged.
It’s now 100 years since the term “schizophrenia” was first used, but with so many people affected by the condition still getting a raw deal in almost every area of their lives and still suffering from stigma and discrimination, sadly it’s not much of a happy anniversary.