What we're you like before your DX'd

I ran my own business in natural therapies and worked in a clinic and a five star hotel. I worked seven days a week and did a lot of travel.

I’ve always been a bit weird.

I developed sz when I was in my early 20’s (I’m 36) but I was surrounded by new age types and they sort of encouraged my hallucinations and delusions as being true as though I had some sort of power.

I was very social, that’s one thing that has changed. I also don’t think I have the nous to run a business anymore, nor the energy.

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And you do not have these things anymore?

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No @Qwerty1, upon diagnosis a few years ago my husband left me, taking our son who was 16 at the time with him. My son is now 21 years old and I have not seen nor heard from him or his father since. Losing my son is my greatest loss.

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@Sarah very few things have an impact on me… very few… your story did. I cannot even begin to imagine what that would have felt like losing a family and health.

I hope in some way you have or you will find peace and one day you will be reconciled with both your family and your health

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Thank you @Qwerty1, thank you so much. I am having a little cry now as it is always painful thinking about my son. I am hoping that when he matures he will come to understand what it is to be diagnosed with schizophrenia and that it doesn’t make us evil people. I do live in hope.

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@Sarah

“There are none so blind as those who will not see”

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Do you mean before I became mentally ill? The psychosis I’ve always had so can’t speak for that but before my first depressive episode socialization was very easy for me and came naturally. That first episode somehow crashed my social skills center for a while, or at least the communication side of social skills, I just couldn’t seem to find anything to say or talk about anymore. Over the years I got better but it still requires effort and it didn’t previously. I was also far more arrogant, maybe even narcissistic and lacked empathy to the point of being nearly sociopathic. Depression made me a better person I think.

Before ptsd I was a very chill person, incredibly difficult to make me angry, I was quite patient, very laid back and not easily stressed either. After my moods just became completely chaotic and extreme and changed constantly and rapidly. It made my depression far worse. Anxiety over everything constantly. Previously I had no issues regarding sexual things and was open to them and curious. I had relationships. I enjoyed physical contact and was actually fairly physically affectionate. It really twisted me. I felt like I lost control over my internal everything.

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I was perfectly normal and happy. I had a life(friends, went to school, played soccer)…up until I was 15 yrs old. No social phobia, no depression

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I was always struggling from probably 14 and puberty. I was always social…that helped me survive in the world but I was a great worker in low skilled work. I learned to work with my hands and everyone thought I was on drugs because I had abnormal energy at work and I’d push myself all the time.

I had a depressive break at 23. Time off work due to stress but found a great shrink who was just sorta starting out and had a good reputation. Socially good but you always justify stuff. I had good friends but couldn’t maintain intimate relationships…I justified that I was shy…I wasn’t good looking…I was this or that but really it was paranoia and obsessive thinking. Dropped the prozac and started smoking pot. It worked great to slow my mind down!

At 29. Working well but smoking pot was getting weird…anxiety attacks and weirding out too much. Still smoked everyday but it was a double edged sword. No longer helped my thinking…slowly slid into psychosis! Was working at a warehouse amongst 300 or so people driving forklifts. I could drive anything and was an exceptional worker. Socially I was starting to do strange things…

I was smoking less. Eating better and dealing with a lot of stuff. Thought I was doing well. Funny that. Medications slowed down my brain and those racing and obsessive thoughts. These days I tend to think…ahh…that is how normal people think within most cases. That is a great thing!

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I was a shy teenager into science and astronomy and art, but even so, my mental illness began when I was 14 so I can’t say how i was. I’ve always known mental illness.

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A full blown psychotic person who needed help. Consider the timing on your question.

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Introverted, shy,physically and socially awkward, no friends, bullied,

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Hell, my life didn’t begin until I had schizophrenia for ten years. When I was young I did a lot of typical kid stuff like riding bikes, going fishing, playing baseball or football after school or on weekends. I was incredibly shy and withdrawn though. I usually just talked to friends and family only. I guess I was weird. Sure looked weird.

I had 4-6 good friends, they usually turned on me but when we were getting along life was great and I had a lot of fun. But I doubt anybody I went to school with would remember me. Except maybe two ex-classmates talking in their condo with three kids and they would probably say, “Say, do you remember that weird guy in Math class in high school who never lifted his head or said a word to anyone? What was his name, Rick or Arnold or Jay or something?”

But yeah I graduated in 1978 and for the next two years until I got diagnosed I hung out with a few friends and partied and worked a bunch of minimum wage jobs. I had my little adventures. Used to be the driver for a friend and his friend and we would go out late at night and they would break into cars and rip out the tape deck or speakers or take anything worth value that the owner left in his car. Than they would trade whatever they stole for PCP but I didn’t touch the stuff so for driving I once got a $300.00 tape deck/ radio, for my car and speakers. It was a weird time for me.

But yeah, I got sick in 1980, and got addicted to drugs in 1986. But I quit drugs in 1990, after that I turned into a responsible person and I was living in a board & care but I was going to college and working and socializing a lot. I had a friend in the board & care and he came to AA meetings with me, we used to go the local music store and buy tapes or video cassettes, and we just did a lot of fun stuff riding the bus all over the place on a regular basis.

And I was also doing a lot with my family and hanging out with their spouses and friends.

I was very quiet and hardly ever talked. And my voice was quiet. People always told me to speak up. I was very, very isolated and alone a lot. Like today. I was very bulimic in my prodromal state. And I always skipped my high school classes. The only reason I graduated from high school is because I turned in all my homework and assigned papers in on the last day of school and passed that way. I had zero friends in both high school and college. I didn’t make my first friend until I was 36 years old and on meds.

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