My thoughts

I like the word psychotic spectrum disorder. I’ve always been able to articulate myself to a good degree, I’ve never lost touch with reality. I’ve just had hallucinations and delusions. Mostly ■■■■■■■ paranoia and anxiety that has stopped me from doing so many things. And I’m only 18.

I don’t really know how I’m going to turn out.

This ■■■■ really sucks.

Oh to be 18 again!

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You have the benefit of insight at such a young age. You can do more than someone, like me, who fumbled through decades.
You have a fight on your hands but you can do it. Don’t give up on yourself or your future. You may need to adjust what you aspire to, but try things and find out.
My biggest regrets are what I didn’t try to do. I can’t go back now, but you’re there, at the beginning, and you should try everything you want to try. Just don’t ever pretend sz isn’t an issue, because it will be, but when filed in the right category it doesn’t have to ruin everything. :heart:


That is good advice, thank you.

I think I was 21 when I was diagnosed but I’d had full-blown delusions and hallucinations as far back as 12. Because I’ve known what my condition was and was as young as I was, I had some advantages. I got some sheltered employment jobs and then some competitive jobs. I owned my own business and bought my own home at 25. The property I live on now is completely paid for, though not completely finished. I’m happily married and I got a master’s degree last year that I intend to do something with. Things were slow because I was sick. I took a huge step backward because I thought I could go back to pot and alcohol at 27 and ended up crashing and burning but all in all, under the circumstances, I think I’ve done alright.

And I think that with perseverance, that can happen. But Hedgehog knows, you cannot ignore this disease or pretend it’s not going to surface. I think my better choices has revolved around trying to plan around this illness. What could I do for work even on a bad day? For me, real limitations came up when I asked myself that question but I tried to move in that direction, anyway, not wanting to waste years of schooling and who knows how many dollars. It wasn’t the life I hoped for but it might be a life. And that’s more than I expected when I was diagnosed.


We’re similar in the respect that I got diagnosed when I was 19 too. I’m 56 now. I never was much of a talker except in certain situations but when I do talk, I make perfect sense and I can think logically and clearly. People have commented in the past that no one could tell from the way I talk that anything is wrong with me. I went to AA for years for a crack problem and many times I got up in a roomful of 10, 15, or 30 addicts and alcoholics and shared my story (my drug story). Once in my thirties i gave a 15 minute talk in front ,of a 100 cocaine and crack addicts. But yeah, even at my worst, in the hospitals, there was always part of me that knew what was happening and I came across as perfectly sane and normal.

Maybe it will encourage you that I have survived 35 years of paranoid schizophrenia. But my life hasn’t been merely surviving. I have worked for over thirty years. Until a year and a half ago, I lived independently for twenty years. I’ve driven and had cars since 1995. I only need three more classes for my college degree.

That was me in 1980 at age 19. My case of schizophrenia was severe. I was psychotic and on the edge of insanity for the first 2 1/2 years of my disease. I had no relief from scary, uncomfortable, severe symptoms, for those years. I suffered every minute of every day for those first years. I saw no future or hope. I had nothing going for me, personally or materially. Anyone looking at me back then would have never guessed I would get better. I spent most of the eighties in hospitals, group homes, or other mental health housing. I hope you understand why I am posting this. I’m not bragging or showing off, I’m using myself as an example of what is possible for someone with schizophrenia.

It is possible you may do the same things I have done. Who knows? In most of my school days in high school, I was virtually invisible. I had two close friends in four years. I had two other friends through part of high school. I was nothing in school, I probably said no more than two words to girls all through high school and maybe two or three girls said a few words to me. And then I got out of high school and two years later schizophrenia hit. So I wernt from being nothing in life as a kid, to having nothing as a teenager except a bad case of schizophrenia and a bad haircut, lol.

But I have had a lot of fun over the years since then. I already mentioned i had cars. Well, I’ve driven to all kinds of places in my illness. I used to drive by myself 35 miles up to San Francisco to just visit and look around. I’ve driven many times 190 miles to Sacramento to visit my dad when he was alive. Then a 190 miles back, even at night sometimes. I’ve had friends, some of them had schizophrenia like me, others were non-schizophrenics. I’ve been to comedy clubs, rock concerts, birthday parties, too many restaurants to count. I have to remind you, I’ve done all this and I was the shy kid pre-schizophrenia who’s friends picked on him.

This is the 19-21 year old hopeless schizophrenic who wandered around aimlessly, and I was the naive 20 year old locked up in the hospital for 8 months with a hundred other mentally ill people who were all out of our minds. My story is not often pretty or easy but I have a ton of good memories in life, and I am not giving up now. I have a great car, I have my online class, II have a friend to hang out with who introduces me to his friends. I don’t want to sound stuck-up but even after being mentally ill for 35 years lots of people like me and my family still likes to be around me. This is very important to me. It is important to me to be a good person. I try to be nice as I can to people and they return the favor.

I am hitting a rough patch now but despite that I am looking forward to the future. And even though it is a rough patch I still enjoy things in life. That’s how life works.You will find many schizophrenics who will say that as they age their symptoms get better in the sense that they are not as severe or intrusive in their daily lives. It is certainly true for me. In my forties some of my delusions went away, some others became more manageable. I found that I can relax now. I have many moments of peace of mind and quiet and serenity. I never thought these things would ever be possible but it is a reality.

I write this to give you hope, to show you that life with schizophrenia is not all bad, in fact it gets pretty darn good sometimes. Oh well, I have to go now, it’s time to do some homework and relax. I am not discounting your pain and suffering. It is real and unfair. I’m sorry this insidious disease hit you so young. I’ve been there. But its worth sticking around. I am not the only one with a positive story. Anyways, I wish you good luck. Take care of yourself and be careful.


Thank you very much for your replies.

Your accomplishments inspire me, thank you for taking the time to share your story.

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I think what I don’t like about my diagnosis is that it discounts everything I’ve experienced. Get labeled as psychotic and suddenly you’re not allowed to have spiritual experiences anymore, it’s all just the illness. I definitely acknowledge now I have an illness and that many of my experiences were products of it, but I also really feel that some of what I experienced was genuine.

You’re welcome @Lexicon. I’m glad I could help.

@Anna, you study neuroscience, right?

There’s this standard-reply to people who are troubled by delusional ideation, and other psychotic symptoms, to say it is ‘just a chemical imbalance in the brain’, in order to discard these experiences. I’m sure such comments are made with the best intentions, and if they work to help someone who’s in distress, all the better. But you would know, that this is to cite a cause of these experiences. As can be done with any experience: I’m not sure about the details, but pretty sure feeling in love is also the product of some tornado of neurotransmitters having a go at you. Yet we do not say this to someone who’s in love. Except perhaps when it gets troublesome. And when someone has having less extreme experiences, these too, ofcourse, are caused by delicate changes in neural activity. And again, we do not respond to ‘Yumm, I like this icecream!’ by saying: ‘very well, but that’s just a chemical (im)balance in the brain’. I think were someone to respond in such a manner, while being right in a sense, he’s also being rude, and takes away the pleasure of the icecream, or the joy of being in love.

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Keep a diary. It will help guide you psychiatrist in treating you. As for experiencing the fusion of what seems like the unreal with the real … welcome to the world of schizophrenia where you can’t tell the difference.

You’ve got a lot of life ahead of you. Stay on your med’s and work towards recovery and things will improve for you.