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Living with schizophrenia

Shruti, 23, shares how schizophrenia affects her and how she got help for the condition.

Hi, my name is Shruti, I’m 23, and I have been living with schizophrenia for almost two years.

I started having symptoms shortly after being to CAMHS. I started hallucinating and being delusional.

I first told my mum and she didn’t understand what was happening so she took me to a doctor. He told me I had anxiety and prescribed me some meds, which caused me to sleep all day – it felt as though I couldn’t stay awake.

At first, I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). I was later diagnosed with ADHD as well as schizophrenia.

I was referred to a psychiatrist by my CAMHS counsellor. In July, I had to move from CAMHS to adult mental health services (AMHS). I haven’t really noticed much of a difference in the transition, but maybe that’s just my experience because my doctor is amazing.

I started hallucinating and being delusional.

Life with schizophrenia can be quite difficult. I have phases when I don't want to have a bath because I feel as though people can see me. The voices I hear follow me everywhere. They say horrible things, like that my dad will die. At times it feels as though they’re touching me and even trying to hurt me. Sometimes, I also see ants on my bed at night.

However, I am learning to manage and my life is almost on track now. I take my medication regularly (clozapine, aripiprazole, sertraline, methylphenidate, risperidone), which helps although I do get pretty bad side effects like weight gain, tiredness and feeling heavy. My doctor said I will have to take my medication for life but the doses can be reduced. I can't wait for that to happen.

Never be ashamed of yourself or your mental illness.

To any young person who has just been diagnosed with schizophrenia, I would like to say never be ashamed of yourself or your mental illness. Things can and will get better. But if you’re struggling, ask for help.

 

Author: Shruti, 23

Where to get help

If you are struggling with your mental health, you're not alone. For tips, advice and information on where you can get support with whatever you're going through, have a look at our find help pages.

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