The label took away our voice

A mother

This is my personal experience of having my son labelled. This is what it means to us.

Of all the labels to be given, ‘schizophrenia’ is the most debilitating. Our son has a label of Paranoid Schizophrenia! It is the label used by the media to create fear in the public. It has disempowered our son, taken away his confidence, independence and self-esteem. Thanks NHS!

Our son was given the label within a couple of weeks of being sectioned under the Mental Health Act due to a psychotic episode. How can you make that judgement for a start! In a state of fear already, he was threatened to be forcibly injected with anti-psychotic drugs if he didn't comply. He was in a mixed sex mental health unit which was noisy, busy, with no creative activities going. He repeatedly escaped (being a climber) as he couldn't stand to be confined and then he was shipped off to a secure ward 70 miles away when they couldn't keep him safe. (Each time he had escaped, the eight miles that he walked to get home grounded him and took him out of his psychotic state. Does this tell us something about helpful treatments like physical exercise?!)

At the secure unit, this young man who loves the outdoors wasn't even allowed outdoors because they were afraid he would escape. The windows were frosted so you couldn't even see a tree. So, who has paranoia?

My son lives with my husband and I and manages on £90 a week. He feels he has no hope and still hears voices despite taking medication. He has no money as he pays to see a psychotherapist and a Reiki healer each week. He has no confidence in himself, very low self-esteem and a generally low mood.

I know another young person with a diagnosis of schizophrenia who is given a disability payment (he has had no time in hospital, attending as a voluntary patient). I do not understand this! This other person lives in the same county but he has been able to afford to go on holidays and buy himself little luxuries which has had a positive effect on him. Our son is totally dependent on us. So where's the fairness in this bizarre system?

There are people out there who offer alternative treatments and have a positive outlook on health but the NHS seems to operate in a system of fear, paranoia and medication. We have no voice! What else can I say!