I got diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1980 at age 19. My first year with it was spent in a group home with no medication and no psychiatrist or therapist. After that I spent 8 months locked up in a psychiatric hospital.
But even at the beginning I tried to get better. I read up a little on schizophrenia (pre-internet) and I tried to work on myself. In the hospital I did what I was asked. I went to the groups and classes and I didn’t cause any trouble. I moved from there into a nice, heavily structured Residential Treatment Home. They were very proactive in my treatment and I got a job while I was there and became fairly stable. I was doing everything I was told to do.
A couple of years went by. No one ever told me that I couldn’t do anything. No one told me I couldn’t work or go to school or socialize. So I matter-of-factly did those things. I can’t remember ANY doctor EVER giving me a prognosis. Neither good nor bad. I should have mentioned that my illness was very severe in the beginning and I suffered greatly in my first two years with the disease.
But one day in my early twenties I was walking down the street and the realization literally hit me while I was walking. My schizophrenia would never be cured and I would never completely recover and I would probably have schizophrenia for life. Those three ideas never dawned on me before.
Maybe this sounds stupid to you. Maybe who’s ever reading this will think, “How could he not know this by then”? My answer to that is, “I don’t know why”. I guess there was always in the back of my mind, even in the hospitals, that if I did everything I was told and if I took my medication, that I would recover completely from schizophrenia. I guess I always thought that it was like some other disease or conditions or illnesses that were curable and that someday I would get better. Walking down that street was a sobering moment that I remember vividly.
This idea is very scary for me. I mean, with all the technology they have to find a way, right? They will make a better med. They will do something. This has to go away. It feels so unfair. Idk. I really don’t want to die like this.
Sorry if it scares you, but it’s not hopeless. Even in my lifetime I have seen the advances made. The new generation of AP’s came out a mere 6 years after I got sick. CBT is an advancement that came out in my lifetime. I’m sure there will be others. You’re young, they are always working on producing new drugs that will work better and have fewer side-effects. It could happen in five years, it could happen in four years, it could happen in a year and a half. By the way, if I could survive, than anybody can. I’ve worked most of my life but in some ways I have less going for me than anyone else on these forums. Take heart and enjoy your Sunday.
Thank you @77nick77. I really hope the new drug everyone is talking about ITI-007 and sarcosine are both successful. I guess in some ways, I’m lucky I am young and that when I first experienced symptoms, there was more available to help me. I am definitely much stabler from them.
It is just scary to consider that I may not have the future I and others I know thought I would’ve had. I guess we just have to survive.
Enjoy your Sunday also. It’s still Sat, and it is raining buckets outside. A good thing it is too!
Most of my schizophrenia was strong religous delusions.
I thought I figured it out and had to be cleared of the religous poeple who I had delusions of.
I accept it as a medical condition that should be constantly pursued by people to treat and cure.
I still feel like this. And me not having psychosis in six years proves that to me. I still think I have bipolar but of course I’ll leave to the pros
I remember when I was sure it would all go away… I remember thinking once that it did go away and I went back to my drugs and drinking as a way to celebrate… (not the smartest back then I know)
Even in my short life… there have been a lot of changes in attitude and therapy and meds…
So It won’t go away… but as long I can get through my day… it’s just how it is.
Have you ever tried writing more about your feelings about being schizophrenic?
You must be 56 by now.
You must have had a lot of experiences about this subject. I think you could help people and society in general.
Sometimes I think doctors/experts do not realize what it is about.
Having it for life may not be a problem. I have it.
Don’t you ever think that normal society is dysfunctional?
Please keep commentating.
Hi @sometimes. When you mention “writing”, I assume you mean a book or something? A few other people have suggested that to me over the years. It’s an interesting idea. I would consider it. If I ever wrote down my story in a book form I would sure hope that it would have a happy ending, lol.!!1!.
I will turn 55 in about a week.
Yes, I would imagine that it would help some people in some way.
I think no one on this planet fully understands schizophrenia. Not the doctors, not the experts, or not even the people who have it.
Yes, society is dysfunctional in many ways. I think a lot of people in a lot of levels of society would agree with that.
Anyway, there’s hope for us. I was pretty sick at first with my disease. Everybody experiences there disease in different ways but in the beginning of my disease I felt like a lot of people on here did. I felt hopeless, suicidal, I saw no end in sight to my suffering, I had no clue or sign that I would ever get better. But things turned around and I got better and I will modestly say that I have accomplished a lot in my life. This is exactly why I always tell people not to give up. It’s a roll of the dice or a crap shoot as to who will get better but there’s always that chance. I’ve seen people with really bad cases make a turn around and go back to school or work or live on their own.
Anyway, I hope you have a nice day. Bye.
The first six years I did not accept the diagnosis. I thought I would be cured and go back to being ‘normal’ one day. I finally figured out that wouldn’t happen and I have gotten a little better in the process
Even with the illness there is still hope. Hopefully we will see more advances in medicine.
Please keep writing. I am not an expert.
I write and do make errors.
But — “Everybody experiences there disease…”
Should be “their” and maybe “diseases”.
Anyway I think there should be more "advances " in human understanding about the condition.
I do not see it as a disease. I see it as a different way of perceiving things.
Best of luck
It never occurred to me to question whether I would get better and recover. Like you Nick, I went dociley along with the doctors, the medication, the hospitals, the family…I’m 74 now. I am still suffering from paranoia and asociality, but mainly, it’s self stigmatization.
I honestly never wanted the voices to go away… When they first appeared I asked him if he’d always be there…and he has… Non-stop for going on 7 years… Sometimes I wish it were different but others I don’t hear him enough…
I might have a problem…
@77nick77 I would certainly read any book you write. I too have hopes someday there will be a miracle pill or something to get rid of sza or sz even the other psychotic illness.
I used to think I’d be cured. But after 5 years I’m beginning to think it seems to want to stick around in one form or another.
My goal is just getting through each day one step at a time.
This post by me is not the answer to your problems. But it is true.
I became a schizophrenic 13 years ago. I’m 51 now.
By luck, chance, fortune or destiny (if you believe in such things- I do not have any leanings/biases towards any of them) I was living alone in a very rural place.
I did crazy things. But nobody noticed.
Eventually I manged to control it. But I was not “cured”. I saw no doctors. I took no medicine. Whatever happened to my brain is still happening now.
I just grabbed hold of a part of “myself” that was sensible.
And I still hold onto it now. I still hear voices and see pictures in my head. Everyday.
Yet I teach English and paint and write. I live in a foreign country.
I don’t think there is a miracle pill. Maybe sometime in the future. Who knows?
I don’t care because I have a life , a job and a beautiful girlfriend.
No one helped me do this. I just asked the voices in my head for a sensible choice.
I demanded answers.
They capitulated in the end.