Testimonies

Peoples' experiences and views on ‘schizophrenia’ or similar labels such as ‘psychosis’.

 

Tell us your story If you have been diagnosed with ‘schizophrenia’ tell us your story

 

Our lives, our selves: beyond categories

A survivor

I had my first emotional and mental crisis (my preferred term) in the late 1960s. According to an insider, it took the psychiatrist two or three days to decide whether to give me a diagnosis of ‘schizophrenia’ or ‘manic depression’, settling on manic depression as I appeared to be ‘more responsive’ than I might otherwise be. The psychiatrist told me later he thought he had a ‘case of catatonic schizophrenia’ as I remained completely rigid (like a plank) when asked to bend my knees. (I recall quite clearly deciding not to co-operate!).

The label does not help

Carer of a young man

I am a carer of a young man diagnosed with psychosis who then went on to being diagnosed with schizophrenia. It has been an 'interesting' experience to say the least. One day you have a normal child with a whole future ahead of him the next you have a child that has been labeled as schizophrenic and being written off by many people including the medical profession.

A mother and son’s journey

Rossa Forbes

This is my submission on the devastating impact of the schizophrenia label. My son was first given his label at CAMH.

I am a mother of a son who was given a diagnosis of schizophrenia in December 2003, a son who is doing well today perhaps due to my refusing to buy into the medical model of the so-called ‘illness.’ I wasted a couple of precious years at first because I bought, albeit without much enthusiasm, the costly medical model. I spent the years until now struggling against this model.

Finding our own language

Myra Kovary

I was incarcerated in psychiatric institutions in the USA twice in the late 1970s and diagnosed with an 'acute psychotic disorder'. My experiences were technically voluntary admissions, but I was held against my will and forcibly medicated both times. In the mid 1980s, I was incarcerated again and received a diagnosis of 'Bipolar Disorder I'.

Like smoke, it fills the room

Alexandra Crawford

Schizophrenia is a complex word structure used by historical figures of psychiatry and fearfully used by people who either, from one extreme, know little or, from the other extreme, are certainly confused by the external symptoms of a person who is using words and word pictures that are too abstract and ambiguous to sense rapport and 'normal' and predictable function.

Psychiatric drugs causing brain dysfunction

A family member

I would like to point out my observation of my son Alex’s medication history over one year which I think is important to understand what happened with Alex. And which has been ignored by all doctors.

First, Alex used ‘Adderall’. As you know, that drug is a brand name of amphetamine salts-based medication used for attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy.

Relationship lost due to ignorance

Anonymous

An ex-boyfriend of mine who is Irish left Ireland and came to live near me in Liverpool. We were both in our early 20s. Before coming to England, he had been a member of the Irish Guards and had been posted to Lebanon for peace work. While there, he witnessed several very distressing incidents, which were not addressed by authorities at the time, or when he returned to Ireland.

Schizophrenia has much to teach us

Anonymous

In 1997 I encountered a man from Italy who had a profound impact on my life and whom I thought was connected telepathically with me. I was 32 at the time. By 1999 I was diagnosed schizophrenic as the voices in my head were taking up much of my waking life and preventing me from functioning productively or parentally (my eldest was taking A levels!).

Media prejudice is reason for changing 'schizophrenia' name

Anonymous

I hope it's not just a lull, but the media onslaught using the term 'schizophrenia' in a prejudicial way, has abated over the last two years. Good! I have not been aware of a sensational headline or Radio 4 news item in that time, neither have I had a Retink media alert for the period. Maybe it's the Time To Change campaign having an effect. But stories using 'schizophrenia' as a code for: 'Next up it's a random stranger killing' have ceased for a while.

A personal viewpoint from India

Sumit Bhattacharya

I am not schizophrenic; I suffer from Borderline Personality disorder. Unfortunately this disease is not recognised very much in India. I was given some mood stabiliser used in Bipolar Disorder, fortunately the mood stabiliser of bipolar are effective on Borderline as well.

This disorder doesn't feel like a disorder initially, you feel that due to bad childhood experiences you are feeling sad & if you talk about it or punish the person you will become better, but talking is never easy, you have to break the ego which is not easy.

Pages