Testimonies

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

 

 

Wilful wrongful diagnosis and its aftermath

Christine MacVicar

My son had obvious problems since childhood and was placed in the local mental hospital at 16 for assessment. They could not diagnose him. At 29 he was privately diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and over the next 20 years had a large number of private investigations which reveal genetic detoxification problems and underlying metabolic and immune conditions. We believe he was given mercury in eye drops as an infant and child, but the case notes are missing.

Crime against humanity

Anonymous

It is a crime against humanity to give a profession of pseudoscientific neo-phrenologists the unlimited right to forcibly rape the brains of any human being in society they choose to label and smear, as with 'schizophrenia' label for the 'crime' of daring to experience extreme states of mind.

The stigma is powerful

Joanna

I am a 32-year-old Polish woman. I am a sociologist and work as a university lecturer. I began to experience psychotic symptoms in August, during a stay in Nigeria. I was hearing voices and also had some delusions. Soon after my return to Poland, I was forcibly put inside a psychiatric hospital at the request of my family. In September, I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. I stopped experiencing psychotic symptoms at the end of August.

Being labelled schizophrenic didn’t do me any favours

Brian

When I was given the label ‘schizophrenia’ everything was falling apart. I had just had a bereavement that I couldn’t see coming. I lost my dad and I was far far away from home with no relative and no one to talk to about it. I had financial problems at that time and I began to lose everything. I had to stop my studies at University, I went downhill quickly. It was too much for me to take. I ended up homeless and began to go in a new direction that I’d never been in before – drinking, selling drugs to get bits of money just to survive, even smoking marijuana myself.

Real knowledge, not another label

Matt

When first diagnosed and placed into the category of being a 'Paranoid Schizophrenic', I was glad that someone had finally shed some light on the distress / experiences I was having. Nobody else had been able to relate to what was happening to me or understand my thought processes before. Initially I took the Doctors’ words as gospel. I saw myself as 'Schizophrenic' and soon developed an identity in both the inner and outer worlds accordingly.

Can ‘schizophrenia’ diagnosis be divorced from social contexts?

Raza Griffiths, Service User Campaigner and Trainer

Some years ago, I was in a desperate situation and was rushed off to hospital after I collapsed, unannounced and without appointment, on my doctor's surgery floor. I told her the moon had been talking to me and directing me to do things that were placing my health and wellbeing at risk. This had been going on for some time and I found my feet were running me quickly to my doctor after a particularly frightening incident in which I had a narrow escape.

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