Sunday, 16 November 2014

So Long Schizophrenia! My Final Blog Post Here

I’ve come to a big decision regarding this blog. Over the last two and a half years, I have written many blog posts about schizophrenia, hospital stays and my battles with mental health problems in the past and I believe I’ve written all there is for me to write on these topics. So I’m closing this blog.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Am I Being Given Placebos?

This is bordering on conspiracy theory territory and it may at first sound like I’m delusional. But hear me out before coming to any conclusions!

Saturday, 11 October 2014

A New Video and Huffington Post

The last few days have been incredible. On Thursday, I was contacted by Huffington Post and asked if I would consent to them using one of my blog posts as part of their focus on schizophrenia for Mental Health Awareness Week. I told them they could use the 'A Day in the Life of a Paranoid Schizophrenic' blog post and it was published. The following day, it was on the front page and stayed there for over 36 hours! It's identical to the blog post on here but if you haven't read it, or just want to see it on Huff Post, the link is here.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Hello Depression, My Old Friend

You've come to torture me again...

Depression is something I have had an on-off relationship with since I was thirteen. And for the past six weeks or so, the relationship is back on. In simple terms, I'm depressed again.

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.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Has Antipsychotic Medication Made Me Worse?

The first time I took psychotropic medication was when I was 18. I had been suffering with depression for about two years and I was finally given help in the form of a prescription for fluoxetine (Prozac). I was put on 20 mg and I found that it did nothing to me. It had no benefits and fortunately, I had no side effects. After a few months on it, I decided to stop taking it as I felt like I was wasting NHS resources taking something that did nothing to me.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

My Story

My problems with my mental health started when I was 13. Not long after I started my third year of high school, I started suffering from depression. My problems worsened when I started being bullied, and this bullying lasted for three years. At 14, I started self-harming and just after this, I attempted suicide for the first time. Fortunately, the depression lifted after two years, but despite the improvement in my mental health, I couldn't cope with the bullying anymore. I decided to leave school after completing my GCSEs and instead of studying for A Levels, I opted to do an apprenticeship in computing.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Sorry for the Absence

You may or may not have noticed that I've been silent on the blog and Twitter front for a while. This has been for personal reasons but now I've decided to come back. A few people messaged me to ask me how I was during this time away and I'm really touched that some people noticed the absence and took the time to send me a message asking if I was OK. A huge thank you to those who did; it really meant a lot to me.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

When Intrusive Thoughts turn Problematic

*Trigger Warning* This blog post talks openly about suicidal thoughts and other matters that could be triggering so please don't read any further if you are likely to be affected.

Everybody gets intrusive thoughts. It's the content and intensity of them that can turn them into a symptom of mental illness. Intrusive thoughts are, like the name suggests, a thought that intrudes into a person's mind that wasn't initiated by them. For example, a person could be standing at the top of a flight of stairs about to descend, when the thought, "I'm going to trip and fall down the stairs!" pops into their head. This is a fairly typical intrusive thought and provided the thought doesn't persist to a point where the person is too afraid to walk down the stairs, this isn't a symptom of mental illness. It's just a fleeting thought that the person can dismiss easily.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Ten Things Not to Say to a Person with Schizophrenia

I've seen a few of these types of blog post around, for various mental health problems, so I thought I'd do one for schizophrenia. These are ten things I've heard from people that, although sometimes said to try and help, have been extremely unhelpful.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

An Interview on Radio 2

This afternoon, I did an interview on BBC Radio 2 about my experiences of being sectioned. The interview stemmed from a news story about how mental health patients sometimes have to travel hundreds of miles to receive care. That story can be read in full here. In January of this year, I had to travel 60 miles as that was where the nearest bed was. However, for this interview, they wanted my experiences of being sectioned, something that has happened to me three times.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Back on Meds...

Those who have read my blog or Twitter recently will know that I came off my medication a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, things headed south quite quickly and as a result, I am now taking risperidone. I'm still gutted by this; I don't like medication and absolutely hate the side effects but I also hate feeling the way I am now. Plus, I'm only on a low dose (2mg) of risperidone so hopefully I won't get side effects. It feels like a negative thing to be back on meds but I'm desperately trying to tell myself that a low dose is no big deal.

Monday, 21 April 2014

A Third Interview on BBC Radio 5 Live

On Friday, I did another interview on Radio 5 Live about the effects bullying had on me. It was quite last minute and I was again quite nervous about doing it but once I got on air, my nerves eased. This is the recording of the full story. I come in at 1:57 and then again briefly at 7:00.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

A Day of Improvements

Today has been a good day. This morning, I was finally able to drive for the first time in around three months and while I was a little bit rusty to start with, I soon started gaining confidence. I've probably done around sixty-odd miles today and I'm feeling confident enough to drive without my mum sat beside me like she did today.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

The Game That Never Should Have Been Invented

During my time in the first psychiatric hospital I was in, I noticed that the cleanliness of the ward left a lot to be desired. For one, I noticed a giant dust bunny beside my bed on the first night I was in that was still there when I was discharged, eight weeks later. A cleaner visited the ward everyday, but she generally just restocked the toilet roll and paper towels. About twice a week, she would mop some of the floors with disinfectant so strong that breathing became difficult and many eyes started watering.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Weight Gain and Medication

Two days before I was sectioned for the first time, I needed to buy some new trousers for work. The ones I was wearing were a UK size 10, but despite using a belt, they were far too big. The ones I found that I liked only properly fitted me in a UK size 6, but I decided not to buy them. I left the city centre, and made do with the trousers I had been wearing for work that night. It turned out that that night would be the last time I would work for a considerable length of time.

Friday, 21 February 2014

An Update

I realise I've neither blogged nor given a real update on how things are going with me for a while. Things have been a bit chaotic here but here's an update as to how I am.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Talking Therapies and Schizophrenia

A BBC News article has written about how talking therapies can be just as effective as medication for treating schizophrenia. This is exactly what I've been saying all along! The article, which can be found here, says that 4 in 10 patients find antipsychotic medication to be helpful, stating:

"The drugs do not work for the majority and they cause side-effects such as type 2 diabetes and weight gain."

In comparison, they state that talking therapies, "Worked in 46% of patients" but was only "available to less than 10% of patients in the UK with schizophrenia."

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Assisted Suicide Story in the Psych Ward

WARNING: This post talks openly about suicide so please do not read if you are triggered at all by this topic.

Also, SPOILER ALERT: this talks about the plot of *that* Coronation Street episode so if you haven't watched it yet, don't read this just yet.

In the psych ward I'm in, there are three rooms where patients can access a television. One is in the main day area, one in the female quiet lounge and the third in the general quiet lounge. Last night, I was sat in the female quiet lounge talking to another patient when the night nurse walked in and told us that she was putting Coronation Street on in both of the quiet lounges and that it wouldn't be on in the main day area. I looked a bit puzzled so the nurse told me that there was an assisted suicide story on that night.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Half a Day in A and E

To those not from the UK, A and E is Accident and Emergency, also known as the Emergency Room in other countries. Also, there is talk of hospital and psych wards throughout this piece so if you are triggered by these topics, please leave the page now.