It's nothing, it's rubbish, it's not good enough

David Miller
I am writing with testimony for you to use in your enquiry and share with others as a part of the work that you are doing. I am diagnosed with schizophrenia and before that with psychotic disorder. I hate the expressions as they disempower us more than just a little. I feel it is insulting and disempowering to be called these things. We have lives to live without being given a label which seems to do little but attract prejudice and false compassion. I am a Voice Hearer, and that is how I would like to be called, or it said I have a special mind. I am a voice hearer in touch with spirits, yes I am and I love them and they love me back. The labels psychosis and schizophrenia have left me with broken relationships and friendships and almost everyone I know makes assumptions about me, politely in the main, but not always. The term estranges and scares people who you actually NEED to have around you, meaning that even if they decide to offer you their company that you are demeaned to and even patronised and more often than not, avoided. People assume because of these labels that they understand you better than you understand yourself and in my case that certainly is very far from being the actual truth... I am a university graduate and I'm just as intelligent today as I was before the voices began. My values have beliefs have changed but not my mind's capacity to learn, know and understand. I feel that society and the whole mental health system wants to drug us, discharge us and forget us. And I will always feel that way informed by what's happened to me so far in my life with schizophrenia. The drugs don't work, (I live without) and the care is half hearted aimed at labelling you and pushing you away again as soon as they possibly can. The label and the system itself isolate us. It's not fair, it's not good and it's not working to help us. Most of us have to work by ourselves if we really want to get better, by researching our diagnosis and stepping out ourselves to make our own recoveries. It is hard and lonely work, and the labels don't help at all in the process. The problem is that people see you as a diagnosis, rather than SOMEONE WITH A STORY TO TELL, a story that could help others too, not just us, to hear be told; and many of us have very special stories to tell which never are told because we are left alone to make our recoveries largely without support and slapped with a label and a mouthful of stupid drugs that don't even work. The counselling we need cost a lot of money and the company we gain comes with prejudice and assumptions. So how are we supposed to be listened to and feel like the special people we are when all we get amounts to a patronising labelling process followed by rejection, left alone to recover unsupported? It's nothing, it's rubbish, and it's not good enough.