Can you remember your 'old self'?

When recovering from mental illness, a lot of people say that they are feeling more like their ‘old self’ again.

This has made me realise that I don’t identify with my ‘old self’. Since 13 years old I have had symptoms of anxiety, depression, eating disorders and paranoia which got worse over the years. In a way, they took over my identity as I grew from a child to an adult- they were my identity.

The only ‘old self’ I remember is being a 12 year old little girl but now I am an adult, I cannot identify with her. So I am a young adult with not much identity.

I am recovering from my mental illnesses yet I do not know myself like I should. I know more about what the entities in my head like than what I like. They like self destruction. I don’t think I like that.


I am in the same boat my friend. Been mentally unwell since at least 11 and now at 21 I feel like a scared little girl who has all these responsibilities and is expected to ‘adult’ when nobody ever taught me.

I have no clue at this point what is a part of my personality and what is just part of my mental illness. The only time I wasn’t sick was when I was a child, and those memories are very vivid. Once I got sick it was all just a blur.

There is times where I really don’t know anything about myself. I don’t know my hobbies, my goals (short term or long term) my identity in general. It’s very fragile.

The thing I regret most in life is being young and trying to grow up fast. I remember people always saying stuff like that. ‘Don’t grow up too fast!’ ‘Enjoy being a kid while you can’ I wish I could have listened better. Now I feel like I’m still desperately clinging to my childhood.

I still trick or treat, I still only eat sandwiches if they’re cut in a triangle. I still watch cartoons everyday and cry at everything and like to play with toys.

I need my mum to help me with a lot of things. I can’t make phone calls and appointments, I’ve never paid taxes and I sure as hell cant responsibly spend or budget money. I’ve bought cute stickers and trinkets instead of the food and toilet paper I needed. (Not to mention maxed out a credit card and have many payments I never intend to make)

which is sad because my adolescence was robbed from me by my mental illness. Instead of enjoying the ages of 11-now I was very unwell and didn’t enjoy a thing. I wasn’t very childlike then. Maybe that’s why the way I am now.


I used to could not remember my old self, and as I recovered I could recollect more and more of it. At this point I can recollect my childhood back to my first memories very young. Surprisingly young. I can lay in bed at nights, and zoom through my memories of the lay out of the buildings, rooms, and land I had lived in and visited rapidly throttling through vast amounts of memories for each room, each year, each place, and even categorizing in a linear timeline fashion.

It’s amazing that my memories back then are so vivid and thorough when some years ago there was no chance of recalling because my scz would not allow it.

One thing about it is that if I just recollect my old self any time before becoming scz, and “I become him” when I was younger, it has a soothing effect making the scz “sluff off of my mind” like it shuts down for a little bit. It’s really nice.


I still remember my childhood. Still though you still(how can I put this)have a different life now than when you were a child. Your life is still significant now after your childhood. I can’t put into words what I am thinking. I think I understand why you act the way you do. Since you started having problems at 11 yrs old it’s hard to not do things that comfort and sooth you. I think you will eventually grow out of it.

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There shouldn’t be any entity in your head. I am sure if you know how to sell it, any psychiatrist in their right mind will give you antipsychotics and send you to do some therapy. Antidepressants alone will never rid you of voices…
My 2 cents.

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U are right Andrey …!!!

My mental health nurse said that antipsychotics won’t help me because what I have is schizotypal personality traits and not psychosis.

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My old self is long gone, was outgoing, always on the move, doing things, sleep little and busy all the time. Now I am more or less a hermit and have to force myself to do anything


I vaguely remember being brave, now I’m afraid all the time. Don’t know how to tap into that part of my old self but if I could I really would. And bravery would help immensely right now with everything I’m going through. I also used to be the kindest person in the world and would give anything to anyone, but these days I feel that I’m being taken advantage of so it makes me not want to give anymore. To me that’s sad.


I cant remember how I was before…I kind of lost my identity and old feelings when getting ill and when medicated even more got lost.

I can’t remember anything anymore. nor do I have an identity or self. I am void.

I am a late bloomer when it comes to MI, so I do remember my “old self”

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I can only echo what @Om_Sadasiva said

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Yeah barely, had a job didn’t hear ■■■■. See things etc…I miss her.


Can’t remember much before 2011. So no…

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I remember I was perfectly normal in my childhood until I was in the 9th grade. I was happy, had friends, had a life, no voices, no depression, no phobias, successful, prosperous. perfectly happy.

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I can relate to that, @Jesspresso. I’m 50 now. Everything that I am is intricately intertwined with all of the “disorders”… I think overcoming destructive behaviors, such as my Bulimia, is important, but I have no interest in “getting rid of” my hallucinations, etc. It’s my reaction and interaction with them that makes a difference in my life.
As long as I can function without abusing myself then everything else can stay and I can be who I am including those aspects that most people don’t want to incorporate…


I remember being happy before all the pills and tests. There was still some bad but I miss those times. The first time i tried to kill myself i was 9. I just want to be happy again I hate feeling like this.

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I was thinking back to my anxieties and fears developing in my teens and how I had been a fairly happy, social, friendly kid. Then I remembered my mom telling me I had night terrors when I was about 2 although I don’t remember them. Who knows maybe I always had been somewhat afraid and I’m seeing things thru rose colored glasses. One good thing is I’ve
had insight, knew some of my fears were excessive or irrational. Yeah I do get some paranoid delusions but recognize them through out or eventually. So my focus now isn’t on what was or could have been but what is and how do I work with it to help my recovery. I’m not responsible for getting ill but I am responsible in working toward my recovery. I’m doing this in different ways. 4 months ago I gave up alcohol. Today I put the patch on, am giving up cigs. I go to therapy, psychiatrist and take meds. If I’m having delusions I no longer feed them but do seek out reality testing and alternate explanations.I took a coping skills class and am using those skills more and more. I’ve changed my diet. I take supplements and vitamins.I’m doing the best I can with what I got.

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I kind of remember. I’ve been through so many changes since becoming mentally ill. Some good, some bad. I have always been mentally ill to some degree. Just not sza.