I was diagnosed with Paraniod Schizophrenia when I was 24. I am 26 now and I have been living off meds for the last 2 years and independent. I maintain a full time job, i provide for my fiancee, pay the bills and work on my goal to becoming a professional artist so i can move out of the software development field.
I have had psychosis symptoms most of my life, however having an undiagnosed delusional mother and no support system growing up, I was in denial about my problems until I had a break in my adult life. I tell you that to tell you this… the medications I have been put on i strongly feel did damage to my brain and body, I have not felt the same since. I am scared to death to get back on any sort of medication because I don’t want it to cause health issues, or further damage my brain. I am not sure if there is scientific proof that anti-psychotics can be harmful to some individuals but my symptoms have been getting a little out of control lately and I am considering getting back on meds despite my strong feelings against it.
I am also in contact with people who are helping me find a good shrink here locally.