Thursday, 18 September 2014

A Day in the Life of a Paranoid Schizophrenic

It's 9:45 am when my mum comes into my room to wake me up. This is early for me. Despite my medication being quite sedating, I'm rarely asleep before 1 am. And because of the sedation, I need at least 10 hours sleep to be able to function properly all day. So I'm quite tired this morning. But I need to be up 'early' today, it's the day I go to the drop-in. I switch on my phone to check my emails. Nothing of interest. I manage to drag myself out of bed and go for a shower.

Whilst I'm in the shower, Dorothy starts talking to me. Dorothy is the voice I currently hear. Thankfully, she's also the only voice I hear at the moment. I've only been hearing her for a few months but she's very similar to other voices I've heard in the past - nasty. Dorothy tells me that satellites are watching me whilst I shower. It's not a pleasant thought, being watched in the shower, but I try and rationalise what she says by telling myself that even if satellites were watching me, they wouldn't be able to see me through the blind over the window.

I dress and eat breakfast before grabbing a drink and my car keys. I'm ready early for a change. In the car, I put my favourite song of the moment on repeat - Silver Moonlight by Within Temptation, my favourite band. I turn the volume up, probably a little too loud, but Dorothy's murmuring away quietly. The music drowns her out.

I'm grateful that I still have my driving licence. It's a medical licence that lasts three years, and it's due for renewal in January. I'm really nervous about renewing it, given the fact I had that relapse last year. I'm worried the DVLA (our equivalent of the DMV) will decide not to renew my licence. Not being able to drive would take away so much of my independence, given how the public transport around where I live is terrible. I had to surrender my licence a few years ago and didn't have it for well over a year. Not being able to drive was awful so I'm hoping it doesn't happen again. But I try not to think of that, driving to the drop-in with my music blaring.

The car park near the drop-in is always busy. Sometimes I'm driving around for 20 minutes with no luck before I decide to be cheeky and park right outside the building where the drop-in takes place. But today I find a space after about five minutes. After buying a ticket and walking to the building, I check my watch. I'm two minutes late.

Today's drop-in is going to be a challenge for me. Up until now, I've always attended with one of my support workers. But today I'm on my own. Walking into the room is pretty nerve-wracking, but I quickly sit down and try to calm my nerves. I've been attending the drop-in for nearly three months now. It's not too busy, usually there's less than 20 people each week, and at last, I'm not the newest person. At 26, I'm one of the youngest, but there are a few people not too much older than me. The last community group I went to was awful in that regard, I was the youngest, literally by 50 years!

One of the volunteers tells me what today's activity is. Sometimes the activity is craft, sometimes a talk but today it's Taekwondo. I rarely join in with the activities and immediately I feel that that's not going to change today. Dorothy starts talking again and tells me that if I take part, I'll do it completely wrong and make an idiot out of myself. My gut reaction is to concur with her. I probably would do it wrong and if I did, I'd feel embarrassed. Then Dorothy tells me that if I take part, the satellites would film me doing it. I look over at the windows. They're that type of glass that lets light in but you can't see through them. The satellites wouldn't be able to see me through that glass but wait, two of the windows are open. Could the satellites see me through them? I'm not sure. I try to rationalise things again but Dorothy's doing a really good job of putting me off taking part. When the Taekwondo starts, a few people try to persuade me to take part but I refuse. They try again to get me to join in but I shake my head. Dorothy tells me I'm a good girl.

Despite not joining in with the Taekwondo, I still manage to have a natter with others. But Dorothy's still there and now she's changed her mind. I'm no longer a good girl, I'm a wimp, a coward, for not joining in. I tell her (silently, communicating with her via my thoughts so that no one else knows I'm talking to her) that I managed to attend by myself today, instead of with a support worker, but she scoffs at that. Other people attend by themselves from day one and aren't wimps like me, according to her. Despite her criticism, I know it's a big, positive step that I've attended by myself today. The support workers and my CPN are all trying to get me to praise myself once in a while, but it's something I really struggle to do. I try and tell myself that I've done well today but Dorothy laughs and puts me down, just like she always does if I try and praise myself.

The drop-in ends and I face the daunting task of trying to remember where I parked in the car park. My short-term memory has never been that good, but since I started taking antipsychotics, it's gone from bad to terrible. But I'm sure I parked on the left-hand side of the car park, and before too long I spy the car.

Dorothy's louder than she was when I was driving to the drop-in so the music goes even louder. Until I realise pedestrians are turning around and looking at me. I turn it down a bit but now I can hear Dorothy. I grit my teeth until I get out of town and onto the country roads. Nobody would hear my music now so up it goes again.

I arrive home and let my mum know I'm home. She tells me we're going out to pick up something she bought off eBay. The town's a 45 minute drive away but I don't mind. Dorothy's shut up now so I can enjoy the drive. It's nearly 4 pm when we arrive and neither my mum or I have had lunch. So it's a drive-thru at McDonalds on the way home. I'm not keen on eating in the restaurant, I much prefer eating in the car. The voices I've heard over the years have made me a bit self-conscious about eating in public but I can sometimes get past this.

Dorothy's back again. Now I'm a fat cow because of what I'm eating. I've always perceived myself as fat, even when I wasn't. When I was a UK size 6, all I could see in the mirror was non-existent fat, all over my body. Now that the antipsychotics have made me a UK size 16, I feel that Dorothy has a valid point.

Back at home, I start thinking of an idea for a blog post. I want to find something I wrote when I was sectioned last year but I'm not sure where it is. In my search, I find a suicide note I wrote during that section last year. A wave of emotions run over me - guilt, shame, a bit of embarrassment but also some relief that I failed. That's a good sign, feeling relieved. It means I'm not suicidal now.

The alarm goes off on my phone as it always does at 8 pm to remind me to take my meds. I switch off the alarm and have one last look through my desk for what I'm looking for but no joy. I ask my mum if she knows where it is and she finds it almost straight away. I type up the document I wrote last year onto my laptop and looking back, realise what a good job it was that I was sectioned. Had I been in the community, something awful would probably have happened.

I get fed up of writing very quickly so I pick up my sewing. It's a fairly new hobby, although I do have a large tapestry that I've been working on for three years. But I struggle with it as it's so big. I've been doing mini kits lately, and find it quite therapeutic, sewing away. I finish the mini kit I started yesterday, a fat, fluffy robin, and watch a little bit of television before bed.

It's nearly midnight before I go up to bed, but there's no point going any earlier. If I go to bed too early, my mind starts thinking of things, my thoughts start racing and it takes a very long time to get to sleep. I end up getting to sleep later if I go to bed earlier, so going to bed between 11:30 pm and midnight is usually the best time for me. I have a quick drink (lemonade, not alcohol!) before going up and suddenly realise I've not taken my meds. Rats. I look at the clock. I'm four hours late taking it. Now I'm going to be up until 2:30 am writing a blog post!

So that's what a day in the life of a paranoid schizophrenic is like. I'm actually pretty boring in my day to day life. I'm not planning ways to murder people or carrying an axe around with me, I'm just going about life in my own little way. If you met me in person, you probably wouldn't even realise I had schizophrenia, unless I told you.

Did some things in my story surprise you? Being able to drive, the things Dorothy said or the fact that I'm pretty ordinary? Let me know in the comments below!

48 comments:

  1. Nothing in your story surprised me, but just like to say that it is a great blog post. Thank you for sharing! X

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  2. Aren't you aware that Dorothy is You? She is putting into words your complexes and your fears, as well as your pride. You are afraid of making a fool of yourself...You should learn how to lough off some of it. Making a fool of yourself is not the end of the world.

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    1. I am aware of this, yes. But making a fool of yourself may be laughable to you, who has self confidence, but without self confidence, making a fool out of yourself is terrifying. You should be more thoughtful to people who don't have the level of self confidence that you have.

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    2. Very rude of whoever wrote that. Not sure why you are reading blogs on this topic when you obviously don't suffer as Katie does. keep your judgmental opinion to yourself. Katy's issue is nothing to do with confidence u prick. I'm confident. I still have anti psychotic medication. you cant stop it. and it's horrible. so she doesn't need some small minded tosser giving advice that if it were that simple- surely you would think that at least one very educated doctor would have thought of that!! nobody likes "I told you so" people. Must be so easy for you to "LOUGH" at yourself

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  3. Thank you for the blog post, I am trying to write a book with a schizophrenic main character, but since I'm not schizophrenic it's hard. Your blog post was very enlightening. I hope you feel better soon. :) Have a good day.

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  4. This is exactly what I believe would be true, I'm so pleased you're working through this and living with it. I studied schizophrenia at college and alot of documentaries I had to watch were extreme cases and I wanted to know there were various levels which you have greatly shown.
    I just have a question, I know most characters can be various levels of negative attitudes but I wondered if there are nice characters that talk to you as well and if so in what way are they nice?

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    1. Hi,

      I have had varying degrees of illness, the times I have ended up in hospital, I was a lot more unwell than I am now for example. To end up in hospital, I would be actively psychotic, hallucinating a lot, very delusional and a danger to myself. Obviously I am not a danger to myself anymore, else I'd still be in!

      I've never had a nice voice talk to me, all I've had are negative voices, voices who talk but are incoherent or voices that were really just noise. I've never had a nice character! The closest I've had to a nice character was a delusion I had during my first psychotic episode where I believed that I had a daughter. The full story of my daughter can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bt_aV9pDkRk

      Hope this helps!

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  5. hi katy,

    i read a lot of things on the net but i am not a one who usually post a comment, i came across your post on msn and i felt like wanted to say something. i used to live in london for 10 years and for the last one of those years i shared a flat with a 20 year old schizophreniac girl. she was alone in london during that year she suffered 2 bad episods and was sectioned. i had to take care of her because she had no one with her. it was bad but an eye opening experience for me. i hope you have nice friends and family around you who understands these conditions.

    just wanted to say that you are doing a great job by getting along with your life and good job with the blog too, i only read one post i dont know how many posts you have on your blog, just keep doing what you are doing. btw uk size 16 is not fat :)

    take care katy, be good. dorathy will one day vanish from your life

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    1. Hi,

      Thanks for your comment! I do have a very supportive family, good support workers, a good CPN and a good GP all who take very good care of me! It's sad that your friend had nobody, sadly it's a too-common story that people with schizophrenia are neglected, abandoned and alone. But I imagine she was grateful to you for looking after her.

      And as for size 16, it's tough being bigger than I used to be but I'm getting past my hatred of my size. Hopefully when I come off my medication I'll be able to lose weight again (but don't worry, I'm not coming off it just yet!). And I live in hope that one day Dorothy will either be nicer to me or leave me altogether. Fingers crossed!

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    2. thanks for your reply katy. you are not only brave; you also sonds like a vary nice person and its good to see you are getting lots of supportive comments here. but there are also some ignorant idiots saying stupid things, just ignore them. its also very nice to know you have suporting people around you

      as with my friend, i hope she was greatful but the problem with her was she wont remember of anything after few weeks, and she had other problems such as drugs and alcohol so it was very difficult.and one day she just left the country and i dont know where or how she is now

      keep doing the good work katy, you are enlighting a lot of people, great work. TC

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    3. I'm very appreciative for all the supportive comments like yours, it's a blessing to receive each and every one of them. I strongly think your friend would have been extremely grateful for your help, even if she didn't say it. The kindness of others, even if the other is a complete stranger, is always gratefully received. I hope one day you will find out about her and find that she is doing well. Thanks for your comments :)

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  6. what a beautiful story in the sense of how much you achieved that day. Well done.
    I do hope each day gets a little better for you. What you are doing; sharing your story is great and gives hope to many people.

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    1. Thank you Chris, I hope that my story will give hope to others and also show to people who know little about the illness that there's nothing to fear about it. It's just an illness, we're not bad people for being unwell!

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  7. Hi Katy
    I have the same diagnosis as you. I too go to a day centre. I was really ill in my teens and twentys but now I am in my forties I seem to be well. I still hear the voices but they are not as powerful over me. I can ignore them or choose to switch them off now. I know there are no guarantees but if you can stick things out I hope you can get as well as me. What saved me was the role change with my mother from cared for to carer. I had to stay focused or both of us were in trouble. I hope you receive some happiness in your life. Regards Michael

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    1. Hi Michael,

      It's good to hear you're doing well and in control of your voices. I live in hope that one day I'll be in control of Dorothy and be able to switch her off when I want. I do find happiness in life, especially seeing my beautiful little niece, so I know that life is worth living, even if the going is tough. And I hope you are in a similar place!

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  8. My brother has schizophrenia, he is my younger brother and i miss him.

    Some time ago,when he was doing well, he bought a motorbike. I selfishly worried about him and thought he shouldn't be on it as i thought it was dangerous for him. He eventually relapsed and became rather ill again and had to stop riding after being sectioned again, which really upset him. He was in and out of hospital a few times and is now much better than he was, after moving into housing where he has people keeping an eye on him. Every so often they left him self medicate, which is when things go to pot (i hope now they may of sussed out now that this isn't such a good idea as he doesn't take his meds properly on his own).

    I'd now love to see him well enough for him to ride, as i realise now how therapeutic it probably was for him, that independence.

    I've read your blog before and it has helped me understand my brother that little bit more, so thank you for doing it.

    Mark

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    1. Hi Mark,

      Sorry to hear about your brother, but glad he is on the road to recovery. It can be very upsetting to lose a car/bike licence, I was upset losing my driving licence, but it doesn't mean that it's going to be lost forever. I only lost mine for about 18 months and have had it back ever since. So there's a good chance your brother will get his back in time and he'll be able to go back out on his bike.

      Best wishes, and thank you for your comment!
      Katy

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  9. Hi Katy. Thank you for your post. I'm not really surprised by any of it--I always assumed that that is what it must be like when it's under control. I find it interesting that your voices sound a lot like the voice in my head, but the voice in my head is completely my own (or really my mother's, but that's another issue entirely). I think we all have that voice in one form or another. The way you describe it, it sounds like your voices appear to be coming from outside of yourself though. My mother is paranoid schizophrenic, but she never talks about what it is like. She's ashamed. I only ever hear about the voices when she relapses. Thank you for the insight. I really hope more people read this--they need to know. You are very brave and I wish you the best of luck and much happiness.

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    1. Hi Kat,

      I think I know how your mother feels, there are other things I hear that I didn't include in this blog post, things I hear that make me too feel ashamed. As for the voice coming from outside myself, I was told that the things I hear probably stemmed from bullying in high school, and a lot of the things I hear are very similar to taunts and threats from that time. So it's possible what I'm hearing is just a repeat of high school. But I guess I'll probably never know for definite.

      Thank you for your comment, and best wishes to you and your mother.

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  10. This post is brilliant. Thanks for writing and sharing it with the world. You sound remarkably comfortable (not sure if that's the right word?) with your voices, medication etc,, I'm sure it's taken a lot of hard work to get to this point. Good luck for the future, I hope things improve for you.

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    1. Hi,

      I'm not sure comfortable is the right word! I think I've kind of gotten used to it, as Dorothy is similar to the first voice I heard, who I heard for over four years. It's not easy putting up with her, but I'm so determined to get myself better and back into work that I'm forcing myself not to get down about what she says. When she talks, I either rationalise what she says or refuse to take to heart the horrible things she calls me. It's not easy, but in a way I feel like I have no choice but to do this. But hopefully in time things will improve! So thank you!

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  11. It's very interesting to read your blog, I had a very minor period (about nine months)of schizophrenia during uni. I never went to get help and had some suicidal thoughts which is when I spoke to some close friends. I like what you said about having to rationalise things knowing what isn't real or possible can be very hard. I used to lie in bed thinking unable to stop, fortunately I had learnt meditation i on as a child and used this to begin to quieten my head. I'm in my mid thirties now with two young kids and a wife. But when ever mental health is raised it reminds me of how hard that time was. Well dine Katy for keeping this blog and showing the world that for the most part you are a normal human being

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    1. Hi,

      It was very fortunate that you were able to help yourself and didn't require medication or other treatments. And I'm glad that you were able to get through it and are now doing well and with a family! It isn't always easy to rationalise things that Dorothy says, especially regarding the things she says about satellites, as that is a real worry at the moment. But my support workers and CPN all tell me that I'm not being watched and that I need to rationalise it myself if I want to get past these fears. So that's what I do. Good to hear from you, all the best!

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  12. I felt compelled to reply to this but don't know exactly what to say. I'm not schizophrenic but I do have some (much less serious, I think) issues of my own.

    Just wanted to thank you for writing the article and writing so openly and honestly. I feel it's important that we all try to get rid of the stigma attached to mental illness as I firmly believe that the stigma is part of what makes mental illness so dangerous for some people. My family have lost more than one person over the years to mental illness and every time, the extent of the problem only becomes apparent when they're gone. Maybe it's male ego or maybe we're just terrible at helping them.

    Anyway, I just wanted to voice my appreciation.

    Also, a size 16 isn't fat...and thanks for introducing me to Within Temptation!

    Bobby x

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    1. Hi Bobby,

      Fighting stigma is the reason I chose this post to publish for Huffington Post. I thought using the phrase 'paranoid schizophrenic' would have the shock factor, get people to read and then realise that paranoid schizophrenia doesn't mean axes and murder, it just means an illness. I'm sorry that you've lost so many family members, every loss is a real tragedy and just shows that mental illness needs so much more attention and people need to be less afraid and indeed, less ashamed of receiving help. I'm glad you liked my blog post and I'm glad I've introduced another person to Within Temptation, they're awesome!

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  13. Hi Katy,

    As everyone else around me I had little knowledge about the condition you are dealing with (and in a very brave way, if I may add:) ), but your post - found on Huffington's site, has made me both clench my teeth learning about the things you deal with everyday, and admire you for the courage you have. I am not going to make any wise comments, just needed to let you know that I have strong hope that one day it will be easier for you, and I do honestly believe that most people without your condition aren't even half as brave and strong as you are.
    I'm rooting for you :)
    Hugs!!

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    1. Hi Cristiana,

      Thank you for your kind comment! I too hope that one day things will be easier. I'm glad that you read this and know a little bit more about schizophrenia from it. Reducing stigma and educating people about this illness are the main reasons I keep this blog. I live in hope that one day, the stigma will go and people will learn that this is just an illness and sufferers tend to live quiet lives, harming nobody (except maybe themselves) and are on the whole, good people. That's why I share my story.

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  14. I just want to give you a big hug and tell you that you're awesome. I suffer from MH issues and admire you for sharing your life with others.

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    1. Thank you January, you're awesome too! :)

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  15. Thanks for sharing your story Katy - what came through loud and clear to me was how strong you really are (no matter what Dorothy says) but I understand that the chipping away of confidence that Dorothy causes must make it difficult to see yourself this way, and I am full of admiration for you. I am a lecturer in mental health, and if its ok would like to share your blog with students as I think you are inspirational in overcoming the difficulties must cause - and people absolutely need to hear stories like yours so as to help diminish stigma and discrimination by promoting understanding. Take care - and keep up the good work!!

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    1. Hi,

      I'd be flattered if you wanted to share my blog with your students! By all means, share away! Reducing stigma and discrimination is the number one reason I write this blog, and I hope that one day, the stigma will be gone. Dorothy does try her best to make me lose confidence in myself but so many wonderful blog comments, including yours, have made me feel a bit better in myself today. So thank you for your kind comment and I hope my blog will help you show your students that schizophrenia is nothing to fear!

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  16. Hi Katy

    Thanks for sharing this. Your writing is rich and descriptive and the picture you painted did surprise me a little actually. Mainly because of the way you describe Dorothy... The stuff she says sounds like severe, distressing, non-stop versions of the stuff we all hear from time to time. I was not expecting to recognise a bit of myself in her...but I did. It made me realise that if I heard stuff like that more frequently (and more intensely) I would feel very trapped and somewhat powerless- is that how you feel at all? (That's not to suggest I have the slightest clue how difficult life is for you or what you're going through... I'm just trying to relate as best I can). I think sharing experiences like this are so important to help society understand there really is no"normal" and"abnormal" apart from that defined by those with a lack of understanding. May i ask. .. Do you think of Dorothy as your worst enemy. .. as only being out to get you.. or are there times when u think she's trying to protect you (even if the way she goes about it is nasty, debilitating and way OTT)? It sounds like she wants to keep you locked away from the world and that she can be incredibly persuasive so thank you for sharing what you did.

    Rich

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    1. Hi Rich,

      I do feel quite powerless when it comes to Dorothy, as I'm not able to make her go away when she says these things. But over time, I have learnt that voices aren't real. The first voice I heard I truly believed was the devil and I thought that everything he said was the truth. When I first started hearing Dorothy, the same thing happened, but gradually, I came to realise that she's not real. It's not easy hearing someone criticise your insecurities over and over again but I think that the key to getting her to go is to rationalise what she says and not get down about it. I think I see Dorothy as the enemy but at the same time, I haven't really thought of her that way. I think I just try to see her as a voice, nothing more. Dorothy is very similar to my first voice, the devil voice, but she's not as controlling as he was. The devil voice would never have let me write anything like this and share it with the world so I feel fortunate that Dorothy allowed me to write this. And I will continue to write in the hope that I can educate others and reduce the stigma, as a world without stigma would be amazing!

      Thanks for your comment!

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  17. Hi Katy
    I just wanted to thank you for your post. I don't know much about shizophrenia, I used to be scared of it... Thanks to you I understand a little better now. I think you're awesome and I admire your strength. You literally fight a battle every day. And it looks like you're winning :) Keep it up! :)
    And really -size 16 is not fat :)
    Take care :)
    Eve

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    1. Thank you Eve, I'm glad you're no longer scared of schizophrenia. There's nothing to fear about it, when people are acutely unwell with it, they may do some things that seem strange to others, but it's extremely rare that someone with the illness will hurt other people. I hope I am winning the battle, and one day will win the war! Thanks for your comment :)

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  18. Hi Katie,
    You are so unique and am really proud of you, you are brave and you writing is excellent. Stay blessed and strive you own way!!

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    1. Thank you Manal, that is lovely to hear! I am blessed, with a wonderful family and I take time to appreciate them every day. And I am blessed with many supportive people on this blog, including you, so thank you!

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  19. Katie,
    I was very impressed with your frank and honest blog. My daughter has also experienced hearing voices and it was a very difficult period in my life (my wife also). We found the things that helped her most were activities that involved both physical and mental concentration (for her this was indoor climbing and dance). Lots of affirmation from friends and family seems to be working for her and us.
    Blogging and needlecraft I truly hope have the same effect for you.
    You are not alone and there are plenty of people who admire you and support you in coping with this, and it sounds very much like you have a family network to help you, please remember your family are almost as invested in your situation as yourself, so please share totally with them so they can understand and be of more help. - Paul

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    1. Hi Paul,

      I too have found that keeping busy is the best thing to help me through hearing voices and other symptoms. And it's always good to know that I'm not alone with what I go through, on one hand it's not nice that others have to suffer like this but on the other, it makes me feel better to know that I'm not some sort of freak.

      I do have a very good family network, I think it's no stretch to say that I wouldn't be here without them. But I do sometimes struggle to tell them everything that goes on. It can be hard telling someone you love who loves you that you're suffering so much, because you fear that you're upsetting them. I find it much easier talking to someone who I'm not emotionally connected to, like my CPN and support workers. But I try to tell my family as much as I can.

      I hope your daughter is now doing well and no longer plagued by the voices. But it sounds like she has loving, caring parents who are doing an amazing job helping her and I think she will be so grateful to you for helping her. I know I'm grateful to my parents!

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  20. Hi Katie,
    Thank you for enlightening me as to how my son must feel. He was diagnosed nearly 10 years ago but will not talk about his voices other than to say that he does hear them. He has been sectioned twice and is in hospital again having stopped taking his medication. It is so difficult to know what to say to help him through the more challenging times and to encourage him to take meds which will make him drowsy and gain weight. Fortunately he has started to take Clozapine again as this seems to help him. Trying to explain his illness to others is very difficult as I don't understand it but your article was enlightening and I will direct other family members to your blog. You are very brave and determined! Please keep up the good work and help to make mental health a subject that everyone can discuss freely!

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    1. Hi Frances,

      I often struggle to talk about my voices too. I know how your son feels. The sort of things that Dorothy said to me that day were pretty tame compared to the stuff she often says. The worst things she says I struggle to talk about, especially to my parents. I'm sorry that your son is in hospital again but it is encouraging that he's taking medication again. I hope he will find it useful and be able to keep taking it. It's a struggle taking medication that makes you drowsy and gain weight, that's the exact same things my meds do. But for some people, there comes a point where you no longer care about these side effects and don't mind taking the meds, and I hope your son can get to this point too.

      I'm glad you like my blog! And I'm flattered that you're going to share it with your family! I hope that it can help you understand what your son is going through and give you and your family hope. And I also hope that I can play a part in wiping out stigma and making mental health a subject that people are no longer ashamed to talk about!

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  21. You write so beautifully.

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  22. Well done Katy for sharing , my friend's son has paranoid schizophrenia he is 38 was diagnosed at the age on 20. Life has been a struggle for him a battle with meds but he is pretty stable now. You have achieved lots especially being so focussed with driving and being in control of situations - especially being brave enough to go to support groups on your own. Laurence will not do any of these things he has no self esteem. He is getting better day by day. I want to thank you for the enlightenment and to Praise you on your progess you might not think you are doing much but you certainly are. Ignore any negative posts you recieve there are always going to be people that just don't understand the struggle .I look forward to reading more of your blog and accomplishments take care. Janet

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    1. Hi Janet,

      It wasn't easy going to the drop in that day on my own. I'd been attending for around three months before the first solo attendance. And you're right, I don't think that I'm doing much, but my CPN is like you, trying to convince me that I am doing a lot. But it doesn't feel like I am. I so badly want to be back in paid employment, or going to uni and every day that passes feels like a waste, a waste of time that I could have gone to work instead of doing little, just distracting all day. One day I'll be back to work though, I'm determined!

      Thank you for your encouragement, I'll try and praise myself for my accomplishments for once!

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    2. Hi katy
      I came across your blog when I was browsing some news items. I think you are an amazing person .If I had A Dorothy saying hurtful things to me I don't think I would be able to get on with my life at all. Its great the way you can see your true self and your abilities and not be dragged down.
      I happy you have a supportive family to help you and I hope you continue to develop your self confidence and achieve your goals. You may not always believe it but you are a strong and inspiring person best of luck to you.

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    3. Hi,

      I think it's easier for me to cope with Dorothy due to hearing similar voices in the past and developing thick skin as a result. I'm very grateful to my family for being so supportive and my support workers who help me boost my self confidence being out in public. I don't know about being inspiring and strong though!

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