I'm buying into the stigma and feel bad about it.

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Anonymous #1
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Report Thread starter 4 years ago
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I've been getting help for a "mental problem" for a number of years now and I have had many diagnoses during that time. The problem is that I don't view all diagnoses as equal.

When I was diagnosed with depression, that was one thing, I mean it's pretty common.
But then it changed to psychotic depression; yeah that's a fair bit worse but it's still depression so whatever.
Then paranoid psychosis - this is getting worse quickly
....a few others.....

Today my psychiatrist diagnosed me with schizophrenia and I'm struggling to come to terms with it. Depression is bad but you can still tell friends/family and hopefully get support (I know that doesn't happen for everyone but this is just my view).

However, you say "schizophrenia" and the stigma will be there - everyone has a view on that diagnosis. I feel like if I tell anyone they'll think I'm going to go on a killing spree, and I don't even think that much differently myself. I've sort of lost control of myself in the mist of active psychosis before and today's event makes me wonder if I would ever lose control and live up to the stigma of schizophrenia. I scare myself.

It also scares me reading that people with schizophrenia often can't hold down jobs, relationships or other stuff. I know I'll never achieve my dream (I wanted to join the army), but now it feels like I won't be able to do anything with my life. I'm on medication and I've also read that for many people with schizophrenia meds are a lifelong thing and that's something I feel ****ty about (although tbf I know of one person who got off the meds and that's awesome). I hate the side effects and the cost and I'm aware of the problems they can cause in the body. I feel like people around me are embarrassed by me or feel obligated towards me. I'm married and I feel so bad for my spouse as they put up with me, but I will eventually pull them down too. I probably missed a load of stuff out but yeah...

I couldn't sleep. This is the end of my mental splurge. Sorry for the length.
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Tiger Rag
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If people think those things, I think it says far more about them than it does you. I used to know a man who has Schizophrenia. I sort of remembering him mentioning it. Or rather, I was aware he had a mental health problem. But he came across (I apologise for my use of words here) so normal. It wasn't obvious in the slightest that he was mentally ill.
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McNuggetsAhoy
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I was diagnosed with Schizophrenia in 2011. Yeah it sucks. Yeah people look down on you. Yeah people think of you differently. My advice? Get over it.

You can spend your life worrying about what other people think of you are you can spend your life doing what you want to do.

You say you are worried that people with Schizophrenia can't hold down a job or a relationship? Well prove the stats wrong. There is no reason YOU can't hold down a job or a relationship if you really want it. Stats are just that. Stats. They are completely impersonal and no reflection on you as a person.

But to ignore them completely is also a mistake. It is true that only something like 8% to 35% (source http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/191/1/30) of people with Schizophrenia have jobs so from that perspective it does look bad. But you could be one of those lucky few.

Also on a personal level I also suffer from agoraphobia so leaving the house is nigh on impossible so I try and use my term learning new things on the internet. I've taught myself to program in multiple programming languages. I've taught myself business law. I've taught myself basic business accounting. I've taught myself website development. I've taught myself Linux system administration. You could do the same. Schizophrenia doesn't mean you have to waste your life away. Do something positive and improve yourself in any way that you can.

Hopefully this comes across as a positive post as I meant it that way. It isn't a prison sentence. You still have the power to direct your life in the way that you want it to go with the small proviso that you take your medication everyday otherwise bad things happen (trust me I've been there and done that).
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Noodlzzz
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1) I have a diagnosis of schizophrenia. I completed a degree at UCL. I have a full time job. I have a long term relationship. I'm also medication free now (well as of Friday!) with no symptoms for 10 months or so. It can be done

2) You may want to check about the army. I know they're pretty strict on medical history and schizophrenia is a pretty serious diagnosis :/
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Lord of the Flies
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I can relate to this - cannot speak of schizophrenia, but another mental health condition with bad press. This Dr. Seuss quote is what I remind myself of when I feel the way you do:

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind"
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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I think a lot of people here have shown that schizophrenia need not be a life sentence, which is really encouraging to see and read

I just wanted to add something, to pass on something my first-ever CPN (community psychiatric nurse) told me. You said in your post:

"today's event makes me wonder if I would ever lose control and live up to the stigma of schizophrenia. I scare myself".

I said something not dissimilar to my nurse: that I was scared of inadvertently abusing any potential children, due to my mental health problems (I have schizoaffective disorder, depressive type). My nurse simply said, "if it's something you are able to identify and worry about, the chances are that you do not need to worry about it!"

What she meant by that was that if you are lucid enough and possess enough insight to foresee such problems, likeliness is that you will be lucid enough/have enough insight to fight any urges/loss of control that might come your way.

Have hope! Just to add my own story, since schizoaffective disorder is quite similar to schizophrenia: I have an Oxford degree, a Masters degree and am currently studying for my PhD at a UoL institute! I have some (albeit sporadic) paid work and do a lot of volunteering. I have lots of friends and most of them are supportive.

The future can be bright
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