I’m a 22 year old female that “suffers” from Paranoid Schizophrenia, Social Anxiety, Manic Depressive Disorder, and ADHD. My story all began when I was 6 and started seeing people that weren’t really there, but I thought they where. My family and I didn’t think too much of it when I was a kid. I was one of those children than couldn’t sleep alone, and I mean I didn’t sleep without my mom until about 12. It wasn’t that I was scared of the dark, I was scared of who was in the dark, the only time I would see people would be night time once I got a little older.
I always had anxiety, puking and making myself sick in elementary so I didn’t have to go to school, attend sports, etc. I wasn’t aware of it being anxiety, I was always “over reacting”. I would loose hair very easily at a young age and the doctors would always tell my parents it was “stress related”. My parents would always say “what does she have to be stressed about? She has a good home life, she’s a child!”
I kinda learned just to suck it up, I was a cheerleader, basketball player, had tons of friends, but it ended up with me turning to drugs and alcohol in highschool. The marijuana wasn’t bad, actually helped me a lot, but the more I got into harder drugs, everything came hitting back, hard.
The visuals came back, my voices began, the depression was unbearable, and I couldn’t handle life. I did drugs and got drunk to deal with it, but I’ll be honest, only worked while I was “messed up”. The next morning was always the worst, especially for my depression and voices.
I turned to suicide, after having black outs and homicidal thoughts, it was my only option I felt like. The voices agreed, it was for the best. I attempted suicide the first time in 10th grade, ended up spending a month in a mental hospital and got worse. This hospital wasn’t the best, over drugged their patients instead of helping them heal and understand their “problems”.
The worse I got in the hospital, I just stopped talking about it, let the voices take over and eventually was released from the hospital and back in my home. My mom, my friends, everyone around me noticed something different. I stopped playing sports, stopped hanging out with the same people, and really stayed to myself a lot. My new friends became the older and graduated kids and just not good people for me to be around in that time of my life.
It felt like it was worse than when I attempted suicide. The first time I attempted, I thought of my family, my friends, my life. But this time it was different, I wasn’t thinking, at all. It was all listening, listening to the rude and sly remarks of my voices. Listening to how worthless I was, the thoughts became too much and there I was back with suicide being my only help.
My mom found me this time, and drove me to the hospital fast. I remember the nurses coming out to the car to get me while I kicked and screamed to leave me the fuck alone. I was in the hospital on suicide watch for two days before a different mental hospital got a bed open for me.
This mental hospital looked so different, looked so much more professional. The staff seemed like they really cared, the other patients weren’t drugged out of their mind and actually attending group therapies and art classes.
I owe my life to this mental hospital and the people in it. I spent 2 almost 3 months in this hospital, I made friends, I learned to love myself for who I am. I attended classes everyday to learn how to cope with my depression and voices, I was put on medication and watched for 2 weeks to see if it helped. They tried multiple meds and finally found the ones that worked. It wasn’t just the meds, it was the staff actually helping and trying to understand, it was the therapy classes and the other patients that I could relate to.
I returned home, to a different school, never seen my old friends again, and became a new me. I slowed down with the drugs and alcohol big time, I took my medications daily, and I did something I felt was impossible a few years back, I graduated from high school!
I am now 22 years old, engaged to my beautiful fiancé Nichole, living on my own for 4 years now, and couldn’t be better. I haven’t touched the drugs I was doing in over 4 years. Finding Nikki really helped, she became my rock that I needed.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have all of my “disorders”. I just deal better with them now, I feel I am a stronger person than I was when I first attempted. They will never “go away”, but they don’t define who I am anymore!
If you know someone who “suffers” with any mental health “issue” please just be there for them. Don’t let them spiral out of control, because most of the time their really good at seeming “okay”. Let’s stick together, we’re not alone!