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    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.




Founding Member
Apr 26, 2008
Newcastle Upon Tyne
I dont really know if this is the right place to put this post, but basically i have suffered some pretty bad mental health issues for a few years and I thought I would come on this site to try and get some advice.

This is quite a long story so i will try and keep it as brief as i can.

My earliest recollection of any "issues" with my mental health were at approximately the age of 8 or 9. I can clearly remember looking in the mirror in my bathroom and having this stange feeling like my soul or my being was somehow separate from my body.

It’s an extremely difficult feeling to describe, but basically I felt seperated from myself and i had this horrible feeling of panic as I struggled to understand what I was feeling.

At school I was badly bullied for most of my time at school and due to this I was very paranoid about getting beat up and depressed about not wanting to leave the house etc. I feel that this had a big effect on my mental health since the period in which I felt anxious about going to school was over approximately 5-6 years.

After leaving school at 16 I had a couple of years when I felt relatively “normal”. In the back of my mind I always thought something was not quite right but I could not put my finger on it.

When I was 17 I joined the army and the training really worked wonders for my confidence. On one occasion when I was back home on leave I went to a local nightclub with my friends. While in there, my friends were taking ecstasy, and suggested I try it. I did and really did not enjoy the intensity of the drug. The next day I noticed a shift in my mental health.

Over the next few months I became more insular and found it more and more difficult to face social situations. I became more and more anxious and depressed as a result. I began having extremely vivid disturbing dreams.

I began to struggle to maintain my concentration at work since I had so much going on in my thoughts. I was sent to Sierra Leone on detachment, and while there I contracted Malaria. I was sent back to the UK for treatment and almost died. I was in an ambulance and had what I can only describe as an outer body experience. I received treatment and recovered from the Malaria after about 4 days in hospital.

Over the next few weeks I started having panic attacks, which were at the time very scary. I was put onto Beta blockers which gave me chest pains and did not really help with the panic attacks. I received some CBT at my local surgery which helped me to understand the physiological side to the panic attacks and helped me to control them.

Since that time I feel detached from myself, I have extreme thoughts about my own being and feel paranoid and anxious all the time. I have dreams which seem to spill into my everyday life and my ability to tell what’s real with what’s not real is blurred. I am concerned that I am going crazy and basically would appreciate your opinion on what you think I should do?


Jun 9, 2008
Evans Head

I was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2001. I have experienced most, if not all of the symptoms you described plus others. i have been taking anti psychotic medication since the diagnosis and also been taking anti depressants for a while now too. I have been hospitalised in the psychiatric ward once and had a few suicide attempts as well. After years of treatment with meds and support I am alot better these days but its been a long hard battle. Still have trouble sorting dreams from reality. Still have high and low moods. I get weird undescribeable feelings like something isn't right and feel like something isnt connected properly between mind and body (Loose screws). But I'm quite happy because i feel so much better these days than what i have in the past. And i have excepted the fact that I'll never be "normal" and that I will have to take meds for the rest of my life. I guess i also knew from a young age something was not right.
I was also diagnosed with Eppstein Barr Virus a few years ago. I was told that it is a mosquito born virus. I first realised something wasn't right when i started having tired spells where, even in the middle of the day i would have to struggle to keep my eyes open. Even when i was driving i would have uncontrollable tiredness and even fell asleep driving too work one morning. It soon turned into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and i was sleeping around 18 hours a day. This went on for a couple of years and I was unable to work. This physical illness triggered my depression and psychosis and i was suicidal for what seemed like forever. So having Malaria obviously would take its toll mentally and not just physically. I have also experienced panic attacks but have not had one for a fair while now and i think one of the meds I'm on has stopped them. I also tried ecstasy at the age of 17 and them smoked some marijuana afterwards and this triggered my first bad psychotic episode and i started hearing voices and became very paranoid. I became very socially withdrawn and tried to avoid social situations. I also started thinking that people were out to get me and either hurt or even kill me. and these delusions seemed so real that i was not sure whether they were real or not. and me being the stupid kid that i was i kept taking drugs and drinking until the point that i couldnt take drugs without having a bad psychotic episode. and my friends wouldnt let me drink at their places because i would badly misbehave. so drugs and alcohol are a big no for me. I have had a few good runs amongst all the crap and have been going really well lately due to the wisdom of how to live with my mental health problems. I have also recovered from the chronic fatigue so that has made life easier. I have recently started working part time and have enrolled to study mental health work. so with medication, no drugs or alcohol and applying coping stratergies I have a fairly good quality of life. i would suggest you see a psychiatrist and get a reliable diagnosis. and if you start taking medication my advice is to stick with it because it wont happen overnight but they will help over time. After the darkest night always comes a brighter day. Good luck