Welcome to my page created for people with a diagnosis of Schizophrenia - or any chronic mental illness - where a community is developed and encouraged to speak authentically, without judgement or stigma and transparency about their personal journey with this illness with a view of recovery and treatment, whilst providing resources for others wanting to access information that is accurate, useful and informative.
I was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia in 2017 at the age of 38 after a psychotic episode that left me isolated, homeless and hospitalized. Like so many people with this diagnosis, I felt embarrassment and shame, mainly around the stigma attached to this illness and the lack of useful information and facts around recovery.
I don’t want another human being to ever experience what I went through as I made my way down into decent, hitting rock bottom, unsuccessful suicide attempts to quieten my racing thoughts, relentless self-criticizing internal dialogue, narrowly avoiding criminal repercussions of some of the ideas I contemplated with a disorganized reality and persecutory delusions about the people and the world around me. I was one of the ‘lucky’ ones. Whilst I will never be the same person I was before I was diagnosed, each and every day, I see a new, but original version of myself begin to slowly reemerge.
Schizophrenia is treatable. Schizophrenia is NOT a split personality. Recovery is achievable. Having a meaningful and fulfilling life is absolutely possible. Let’s keep talking, informing and educating ourselves and the people around us about what this illness is for people as individuals and how stigma around the misinformation through mainstream media and the negative narrative that has been created regarding this illness being a life filled with multiple psychiatric hospital admissions; one filled with sadness, shame and despair as inaccurate, but If Not Now Then When. When you start to recover. When you start your journey living your best life. When you don’t feel the humiliation of saying the diagnosis out loud. I promise you - It is not IF, it’s WHEN.
I can speak with you; discuss some symptoms you may be experiencing around your diagnosis; I can refer you to other resources and information that may be useful to you. Just ask me and we will see what we can do. Remember: I was once where you are so please feel free to talk to me about ways you think I may be able to help.
Firstly, if you are experiencing any thoughts or have plans to harm yourself or others, please call 000 (Australia) emergency services. Otherwise, the best way forward if you’re feeling particularly bad, speak to a trusted relative or friend, go over your Crisis Plan (Yes! There is a template coming for this!); call your treating health professional.
Some other useful numbers are:
Lifeline - 13 11 14
SANE Helpline - 1800 187 263
Kids Helpline - 1800 551 800
Local Hospital Crisis and Assessment Team