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A journey taken with Schizophrenia

" I received my schizophrenia dx at the age of 18 in 1975 during my first hospital admission. Things were fine for the first week until they said I was being sent to make doll's houses. I freaked out at this as I am not good at constructional stuff and was stopped from walking in front of a hospital bus. The pdoc I saw was not sympathetic and didn't try to find out why I'd reacted as I did . He called me an awkward and troublesome teenager . I was very upset and a suicide attempt followed. I was moved to a medium stay ward. Another suicide attempt and I was on a closed ward. During my stay they gave me nothing for side effects and I had a very bad case of akathisia. Relationships with the psychiatric professionals has soured and for years I didn't say much to them beyond the very basics.

By 1981 I was being labelled a chronic schizophrenic and was heading at best for a group home and at worst a long stay ward. Luckily the next year I met my future wife in hospital and we left hospital together. The mental health people disapproved as she was older than me and gave us no help and support.

Then I summoned up the courage in the early 2000s to ask for more help and support but didn't get it. My psych notes for the time described me as 'awkward, demanding and troublesome' .

When my wife died I suddenly got more support, but by that time found it difficult to say how I was feeling for fear of further character assassination.

It is only at my last appointment that I have seen a glimmer of light with the acceptance there may be more going on  than just mental illness. Something that should have been uncovered as the result of my first crisis in hospital in 1975!

My belief is psychiatric professionals are often quick to rush to judgement and very reluctant to actually listen to their patients/service users. " - poster not disclosed