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.
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.
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.
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
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