I had psychosis when I was 20.
Early treatment saved my life.
I got treatment for psychosis when I spoke to my mom and said there were all sorts of things going wrong. I heard voices from people saying hateful words, harassing me and bullying me. I heard people say sexual comments repeatedly, and threaten me with violence. I would see people spitting on me and see flashes of blue light briefly in my eyes.
I was at work one day and I went to the manager and said I am not feeling good and I had to go home. I went home and that night I had an anxiety attack where I felt like I was dying. I felt intense stress and I passed out with a white haze in my vision. Then I went to the emergency room with my mom and we spoke to the nurses and doctors, and I even heard them saying sexual comments. I told them everything and they came back with medication. I took it and I started to feel more relaxed, and the intense anxiety feeling was gone. I also had no voices or hallucinations.
I went home and continued taking the it daily. I went to my doctor and they referred me to a psychiatrist/psychologist and I was diagnosed with schizophreniform. Over the years I had more issues and I went back to the doctor and I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder when I was 31. Before I visited my doctor I was having visual hallucinations and hearing voices. After I was prescribed paliperidone (Invega) I had a dramatic loss of hallucinations and voices. To the point where I had no hallucinations, or only rarely like every couple months or so one blip, but not a dozen a day.
“I take very good care of my physical health and eat well.”
I still struggle with disjointed thoughts and I do hear voices but it is much better and I am coping very well with paliperidone. I have always been able to hold down a job, although I did have trouble for a couple of years. I was able to keep working and I now am working in the career I love, Information Technology. I sometimes hear voices, and I still have disjointed thoughts, but I don’t drink alcohol or smoke cannabis, and I take very good care of my physical health and eat well. I am able to be a functional member of society and work in IT, which I enjoy that very much.
“Don’t be afraid to speak to your doctor or loved ones if you are suffering.”
Just remember to speak to your family and your doctor about anything if you are suffering from voices, hallucinations, disjointed thoughts, and suicidal thoughts. Voices told me to do bad stuff when I first had a psychosis at age 20, but I refused to do anything bad and I was able to get treatment before it worsened. I know it sucks having to take pills and it can suck when people don’t believe what you say sometimes, but there are good people still who genuinely care. The people you trust in your life can help you get treatment. They can also be there for you to make you feel good again. Once you get treatment, take very good care of yourself, and don’t be afraid to speak to your doctor or loved ones if you are suffering.
“We need help from the community. Please help us end the stigma.”
We also need help from people in the community to understand we are not “serial killers.” We aren’t going to “go postal.” We aren’t going to hurt your family or children. We are still nice people who may even have deeper emotions in terms of empathy or compassion. Sometimes our mental disorder can even drive us to want to be a better person. We are still valid human beings.
Please help us end the stigma about schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and psychosis. There are genuinely good people who suffer mental disease. They want to be good people, and are not a threat to the community or going to hurt anyone. All those who read this: please help us.
Huge thanks to the author for this anonymous submission. Your story is an inspiration. 💪If you’re interested in sharing your story of strength, you can submit yours here (anonymous or attributed to you), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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