It took me almost a decade to get my schizophrenia diagnosed – here’s why it was such a challenge

It took me almost a decade to get my schizophrenia diagnosed – here’s why it was such a challenge

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My diagnosis took ages because of the stigma against mental health in my family combined with me not being aware I even had psychosis-I thought what I experienced was very real and didn’t want to be locked up and force fed meds because other people thought I was crazy.

I think the biggest issue with mental illness you need to overcome if you want to improve is becoming aware you are ill and have a problem to begin with

I was first diagnosed in my late teens. However, I never accepted what I was experiencing wasn’t real until I was 30. I thought the world was out to get me and was forcing me on medication to stop me from being immortal (I thought they were assassinating me with medication). I refused to look up schizophrenia or find out the details of what it meant until then. I regret it everyday that I didn’t simply look up what it was so I could find out what was happening to me because I wouldn’t listen to my doctor or ask any questions. I pretended like everything I was experiencing wasn’t happening. I am still just coming to terms with my diagnosis. In fact I haven’t even asked what my specific diagnosis is, I just know I was diagnosed with SZ. My doctor thinks I’m doing great, so does my family, yet I hear voices and tell no one. I don’t ever ask anything about SZ, I just look it up on the internet. I guess I’m an introvert. I plan on trying CBT and opening up. I just never open up because the first and only time I did it with my pdoc I ended up being sent to the hospital. They switched me from risperidone to clozapine which I hated the most out of any drug I’ve been on. Could have been the potential side effects and the blood checks monthly but I sure did hate it. Tried to stop meds multiple times because of it.

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When I finally decided to tell someone what I was seeing and hearing, etc., against Seraton’s threats that I “better not!”, I did not receive a diagnosis of sz. I was treated for symptoms with CBT, which was very effective but not giving me real answers. When I sought a proper diagnosis for whatever was obviously more than Social Anxiety Disorder, the interviewing nurse told me to research Schizophrenia, and then added, “but you don’t want a diagnosis of sz!” When I pushed for an appointment to the psychiatric clinic, telling her that I need help, that’s where I very quietly got diagnosed. And then I immediately got a list of “routine questions” that included “do you own any guns?”, and “are you interested in guns?”… Then, I was told to watch what I say because I might need to be hospitalized. Really? I stopped going there because of that!
Stigma is the core issue. We haven’t committed Schizophrenia. It’s not a crime.

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