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Hi There - Psychosis, Depression and Anxiety

A

arty88

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 27, 2020
Messages
126
Location
London
Hi Everyone,

About me - I'm a technical / IT person, though not currently working due to various reasons, mostly Covid-19 related (difficult to find a job at this time) and also some personal problems. I live in SW London and I'm 32.

Throughout my youth, up to around 19/20, I was an avid cannabis smoker, quite paranoid at times (especially while smoking cannabis) and dabbled with other drugs. I partied a lot i.e. going to lots of house parties, drinking out in pubs a lot and so on.

My first problems with mental health were having a lot of anxious feelings in my teens, being bullied, getting paranoid about others (fearing the worst - sometimes that people wanted to kill me) etc - I was quite a paranoid person.

At University (which I graduated with a good grade), I became very depressive and paranoid in the latter parts of my first and start of second years. I sought counselling and figured I was just depressed and a little paranoid / socially anxious.

I dabbled with a lot of hallucinogenic drugs at University - like 2CE, LSD, DMT etc - it was a sort of exploration for me and my friends, and I don't blame my use on my later problems, but it certainly didn't help.

In my last year of Uni I became very delusional, locking myself away in my room. I thought cameras were installed by my fellow housemates / room mates in the walls of my room. I thought people were using drones to monitor me. Strangely, this dissipated on it's own (these delusions). No hallucinations were involved, as far as I can remember. I do recall taking large doses of Fish Oils (Omega 3, 6, 9), running a lot and eating well and sleeping more. That seemed to 'do the trick' for the psychotic like experience i had there.

A few years after Uni and that experience, I had many problems with alcohol abuse and dabbled a little with cannabis. I was working on and off in various office roles, went to law school and there I abused smart drugs a lot to keep up with competitors - mostly modafinil and piracetam.

I became delusional again - thinking the lecturers were part of a spy organisation, and were monitoring me etc. I dropped out of law school, became unemployed and then abused the smart drugs a lot while I tried to 're-study' law on my own back.

My first major experience of psychosis started there. I was taking very high doses of modafinil and piracetam and not sleeping for days. At its extreme, I thought snipers were trying to kill me from my bedroom window. That everything was tapped, or monitored. That the TV was talking to me (e.g. Pres Obama at the time spoke to me directly on BBC news?). I tried to take my own life, thinking I'd started a third world war and took a large overdose, which fortunately had little effect.

I was sectioned under section 2 MHA, spent 2 weeks on an acute psych ward in SW London and was put on Risperidone. It worked - I became totally normal within a couple of weeks (well, as normal as I was) - groomed well, didn't believe in large part the conspiracies and delusions anymore and so on.

I was admitted to the Early Intervention Service and was monitored under them for 3 years. I took Risperidone initially, then came off it on my own accord (although I told the psychiatrist what I was doing and he supported me). I then had some problems at work - i.e. a showdown with me and them via email with a lot of unhinged emails from me, but no 'delusions' per say, just lots of angst and a bit of a meltdown emotionally. My doctor put me on Aripiprazole and later combined it with a low dose of Citalopram.

I've taken Aripiprazole from 5 - 17.5mg but now I remain on 10mg daily. I take it with 10mg Citalopram.

I've tried various treatments - Mirtazapine, Citalopram, Fluoxetine, Risperidone etc - and the above is the best treatment I think for me.

Recently, I tried to come off Aripiprazole. I did this abruptly - while giving up smoking (and taking Champix too) - and I just became very very anxious, a little paranoid and my head was flooded with thoughts. So I went back on it.

I'm 32 now, I started my journey as above properly at 23 with a full blown psychosis and hospital experience. So that's 9 years now.

I have to say to anyone reading this who has experienced similar things and is early on in their journey - it's not the end of the world. Psychosis or Mania is probably as bad as mental health problems sound, but they can be managed and treated very well.

The most important aspect is complying with treatment, embracing it and not building an 'me versus them' mentality with the team treating you. Work with them, get the most out of them, and always communicate when you need help. For example, I am fine I'd say 90% of the time with just my medication and my social circle / friends for support, but at that 10% point, i.e. if I start feeling suicidal / thinking very negatively, or start getting paranoid or thinking strange things, I reach out ASAP to the mental health team.

My diagnoses (if anyone is interested) are:

- Drug induced Psychosis (though my psychiatrist suspects I may have an underlying psychotic disorder e.g. Schizophrenia / Bipolar).

- Mild Depression

- Harmful alcohol use

On the last point - alcohol and substances, I hate to say, are a very common issue with people with psychosis. It's very common, myself included (very much so!).

I no longer abuse illegal street drugs, though I have dabbled A LOT in the past. I do drink alcohol and recently had a serious issue with alcohol abuse....and I got treatment again via my psychiatrist who prescribed Naltrexone, which I now take everytime I drink. It helps enormously! I can now have a drink or two without drinking 10 beers in a sitting. I can just have the one or two, as the medicine helps you control it greatly.

So to anyone out there. Hi - I just thought I'd join this forum and contribute my experience.

Feel free to let me know what you think. I'm always happy to answer questions about my journey, and I'm here to learn about yours too. I'd like to support everyone I can, and give advice (where appropriate).

Thanks!
 
GhostOfLenin

GhostOfLenin

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Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
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Location
Glasgow
Hi Everyone,

About me - I'm a technical / IT person, though not currently working due to various reasons, mostly Covid-19 related (difficult to find a job at this time) and also some personal problems. I live in SW London and I'm 32.

Throughout my youth, up to around 19/20, I was an avid cannabis smoker, quite paranoid at times (especially while smoking cannabis) and dabbled with other drugs. I partied a lot i.e. going to lots of house parties, drinking out in pubs a lot and so on.

My first problems with mental health were having a lot of anxious feelings in my teens, being bullied, getting paranoid about others (fearing the worst - sometimes that people wanted to kill me) etc - I was quite a paranoid person.

At University (which I graduated with a good grade), I became very depressive and paranoid in the latter parts of my first and start of second years. I sought counselling and figured I was just depressed and a little paranoid / socially anxious.

I dabbled with a lot of hallucinogenic drugs at University - like 2CE, LSD, DMT etc - it was a sort of exploration for me and my friends, and I don't blame my use on my later problems, but it certainly didn't help.

In my last year of Uni I became very delusional, locking myself away in my room. I thought cameras were installed by my fellow housemates / room mates in the walls of my room. I thought people were using drones to monitor me. Strangely, this dissipated on it's own (these delusions). No hallucinations were involved, as far as I can remember. I do recall taking large doses of Fish Oils (Omega 3, 6, 9), running a lot and eating well and sleeping more. That seemed to 'do the trick' for the psychotic like experience i had there.

A few years after Uni and that experience, I had many problems with alcohol abuse and dabbled a little with cannabis. I was working on and off in various office roles, went to law school and there I abused smart drugs a lot to keep up with competitors - mostly modafinil and piracetam.

I became delusional again - thinking the lecturers were part of a spy organisation, and were monitoring me etc. I dropped out of law school, became unemployed and then abused the smart drugs a lot while I tried to 're-study' law on my own back.

My first major experience of psychosis started there. I was taking very high doses of modafinil and piracetam and not sleeping for days. At its extreme, I thought snipers were trying to kill me from my bedroom window. That everything was tapped, or monitored. That the TV was talking to me (e.g. Pres Obama at the time spoke to me directly on BBC news?). I tried to hang myself, thinking I'd started a third world war and took a large overdose of painkillers, which fortunately had little effect.

I was sectioned under section 2 MHA, spent 2 weeks on an acute psych ward in SW London and was put on Risperidone. It worked - I became totally normal within a couple of weeks (well, as normal as I was) - groomed well, didn't believe in large part the conspiracies and delusions anymore and so on.

I was admitted to the Early Intervention Service and was monitored under them for 3 years. I took Risperidone initially, then came off it on my own accord (although I told the psychiatrist what I was doing and he supported me). I then had some problems at work - i.e. a showdown with me and them via email with a lot of unhinged emails from me, but no 'delusions' per say, just lots of angst and a bit of a meltdown emotionally. My doctor put me on Aripiprazole and later combined it with a low dose of Citalopram.

I've taken Aripiprazole from 5 - 17.5mg but now I remain on 10mg daily. I take it with 10mg Citalopram.

I've tried various treatments - Mirtazapine, Citalopram, Fluoxetine, Risperidone etc - and the above is the best treatment I think for me.

Recently, I tried to come off Aripiprazole. I did this abruptly - while giving up smoking (and taking Champix too) - and I just became very very anxious, a little paranoid and my head was flooded with thoughts. So I went back on it.

I'm 32 now, I started my journey as above properly at 23 with a full blown psychosis and hospital experience. So that's 9 years now.

I have to say to anyone reading this who has experienced similar things and is early on in their journey - it's not the end of the world. Psychosis or Mania is probably as bad as mental health problems sound, but they can be managed and treated very well.

The most important aspect is complying with treatment, embracing it and not building an 'me versus them' mentality with the team treating you. Work with them, get the most out of them, and always communicate when you need help. For example, I am fine I'd say 90% of the time with just my medication and my social circle / friends for support, but at that 10% point, i.e. if I start feeling suicidal / thinking very negatively, or start getting paranoid or thinking strange things, I reach out ASAP to the mental health team.

My diagnoses (if anyone is interested) are:

- Drug induced Psychosis (though my psychiatrist suspects I may have an underlying psychotic disorder e.g. Schizophrenia / Bipolar).

- Mild Depression

- Harmful alcohol use

On the last point - alcohol and substances, I hate to say, are a very common issue with people with psychosis. It's very common, myself included (very much so!).

I no longer abuse illegal street drugs, though I have dabbled A LOT in the past. I do drink alcohol and recently had a serious issue with alcohol abuse....and I got treatment again via my psychiatrist who prescribed Naltrexone, which I now take everytime I drink. It helps enormously! I can now have a drink or two without drinking 10 beers in a sitting. I can just have the one or two, as the medicine helps you control it greatly.

So to anyone out there. Hi - I just thought I'd join this forum and contribute my experience.

Feel free to let me know what you think. I'm always happy to answer questions about my journey, and I'm here to learn about yours too. I'd like to support everyone I can, and give advice (where appropriate).

Thanks!
Are you familiar with hebephrenic schizophrenia? My ex gf had a son with similar progression
 
A

arty88

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 27, 2020
Messages
126
Location
London
Are you familiar with hebephrenic schizophrenia? My ex gf had a son with similar progression
Hi GhostOfLenin,

Yes I am, but I don't think Psychiatrists tend to use that sort of diagnostic criteria anymore. I've actually been told that mine would be more likely to be a paranoid schizophrenia. I don't typically hear voices (on and off medicine) but have had a few experiences where I've gotten very very delusional, often thinking 'everyone is out to get me' themed delusions.

I also don't think it applies to me. While the patterns may have been similar (which parts out of interest? cannabis use early on etc?) with my experience and your ex gf's son, I'd be curious to know more about his experience.

Hebephrenic schizophrenic sufferers tend to be extremely disorganised. They often experience disorganised thinking (which doesn't really effect me - I'm a programmer by trade, which requires a lot of logical thinking!). For example, a hebephrenic might laugh to themselves or smile at funerals, feel disorganised emotions, use word salads etc.

Sorry a bit of a splurge there. I've got an A-Level in Psychology by the way, and a degree in History. Though I've spent a good 15 years on and off researching psychosis, hence my understanding
 
GhostOfLenin

GhostOfLenin

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Joined
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Messages
3,941
Location
Glasgow
Hi GhostOfLenin,

Yes I am, but I don't think Psychiatrists tend to use that sort of diagnostic criteria anymore. I've actually been told that mine would be more likely to be a paranoid schizophrenia. I don't typically hear voices (on and off medicine) but have had a few experiences where I've gotten very very delusional, often thinking 'everyone is out to get me' themed delusions.

I also don't think it applies to me. While the patterns may have been similar (which parts out of interest? cannabis use early on etc?) with my experience and your ex gf's son, I'd be curious to know more about his experience.

Hebephrenic schizophrenic sufferers tend to be extremely disorganised. They often experience disorganised thinking (which doesn't really effect me - I'm a programmer by trade, which requires a lot of logical thinking!). For example, a hebephrenic might laugh to themselves or smile at funerals, feel disorganised emotions, use word salads etc.

Sorry a bit of a splurge there. I've got an A-Level in Psychology by the way, and a degree in History. Though I've spent a good 15 years on and off researching psychosis, hence my understanding
Dont apologise for anything. We are all friends here. Your symptoms sound alot like me to be honest. Oh im schizophrenic by the way. Ive been through the smoking weed or resin, done mushrooms and acid, loved mdma for a good wee while . pretty much done it all. Your symptoms really sound like paranoina brought on through weed
 
GhostOfLenin

GhostOfLenin

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Messages
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Location
Glasgow
Dont apologise for anything. We are all friends here. Your symptoms sound alot like me to be honest. Oh im schizophrenic by the way. Ive been through the smoking weed or resin, done mushrooms and acid, loved mdma for a good wee while . pretty much done it all. Your symptoms really sound like paranoina brought on through weed
They sound like my schizophrenia but also drug induced.
 
GhostOfLenin

GhostOfLenin

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Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
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Location
Glasgow
Hi GhostOfLenin,

Yes I am, but I don't think Psychiatrists tend to use that sort of diagnostic criteria anymore. I've actually been told that mine would be more likely to be a paranoid schizophrenia. I don't typically hear voices (on and off medicine) but have had a few experiences where I've gotten very very delusional, often thinking 'everyone is out to get me' themed delusions.

I also don't think it applies to me. While the patterns may have been similar (which parts out of interest? cannabis use early on etc?) with my experience and your ex gf's son, I'd be curious to know more about his experience.

Hebephrenic schizophrenic sufferers tend to be extremely disorganised. They often experience disorganised thinking (which doesn't really effect me - I'm a programmer by trade, which requires a lot of logical thinking!). For example, a hebephrenic might laugh to themselves or smile at funerals, feel disorganised emotions, use word salads etc.

Sorry a bit of a splurge there. I've got an A-Level in Psychology by the way, and a degree in History. Though I've spent a good 15 years on and off researching psychosis, hence my understanding
How were you as a kid?
 
A

arty88

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Joined
Sep 27, 2020
Messages
126
Location
London
Hey mate, thanks for the support and encouragement!

I was pretty happy as a kid, a bit weird I guess at times. Small group of friends in primary, fairly popular in secondary but was bullied at times, alienated etc. Which I guess is where my paranoia started out - thinking mates were talking behind my back etc. Then when I smoked I'd think I was gonna get arrested or something or the doors would be bashed in everytime. I'd overanalyse everything, and after about 12 years of smoking weed quite a bit every now and then, I decided screw it no more. Overall I'd say I did not enjoy smoking 80% but that 20% kept bringing me back for more.

My question is for any schizophrenics like yourself, can you be schizophrenic if you don't hear voices / see things that aren't there?

I'm a paranoid android at times - especially when I'm not taking my medication. I can think co-workers are talking about me behind my back etc. Always think the worst.

I guess the difficulty for my doctor in diagnosing schizophrenia or just a couple of psychotic episodes (drug induced) is that I am on anti-psychotics since it started most of the time. Which has kept any of the more 'schiz' like symptoms at bay, I guess.

So can you be a schizophrenic without hearing voices? Just experiencing delusions at times?
 
GhostOfLenin

GhostOfLenin

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Hey mate, thanks for the support and encouragement!

I was pretty happy as a kid, a bit weird I guess at times. Small group of friends in primary, fairly popular in secondary but was bullied at times, alienated etc. Which I guess is where my paranoia started out - thinking mates were talking behind my back etc. Then when I smoked I'd think I was gonna get arrested or something or the doors would be bashed in everytime. I'd overanalyse everything, and after about 12 years of smoking weed quite a bit every now and then, I decided screw it no more. Overall I'd say I did not enjoy smoking 80% but that 20% kept bringing me back for more.

My question is for any schizophrenics like yourself, can you be schizophrenic if you don't hear voices / see things that aren't there?

I'm a paranoid android at times - especially when I'm not taking my medication. I can think co-workers are talking about me behind my back etc. Always think the worst.

I guess the difficulty for my doctor in diagnosing schizophrenia or just a couple of psychotic episodes (drug induced) is that I am on anti-psychotics since it started most of the time. Which has kept any of the more 'schiz' like symptoms at bay, I guess.

So can you be a schizophrenic without hearing voices? Just experiencing delusions at times?
Yes you dont need to hear voices to be diagnosed as schizophrenic. I feel for you man. I was smoking weed at 11 and drinking and taking drugs from 12 onwards. Thats a childhood missed. Cool at the time but a childhood missed
 
A

arty88

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Messages
126
Location
London
Yes you dont need to hear voices to be diagnosed as schizophrenic. I feel for you man. I was smoking weed at 11 and drinking and taking drugs from 12 onwards. Thats a childhood missed. Cool at the time but a childhood missed
Fair enough mate. That sounds like you had a similar exp!

I guess I 'could' have schizophrenia. But there is such a thing as 'drug induced psychosis' and its not always clear cut that it's schizophrenia, or whether it was just the drugs that caused that behaviour.

So I don't have a black and white diagnosis per say of schizophrenia or a psychotic disorder like that ATM.

However, I guess I will find out if I reduce / stop taking my medicine. I'll do that with the doc though (I tried recently and just got Very very stressed).

Are you still doing drugs / drinking a lot?

I've had alcohol problem (binge drinking) a lot since I was about 18.

I've recently found the VERY best solution to this in the form of a prescribed medicine for drinking (in Scotland its called Nalmefene) - maybe try and give that a whirl with your doctor / see if they will prescribe or help you with that if you drink still?
 
GhostOfLenin

GhostOfLenin

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Fair enough mate. That sounds like you had a similar exp!

I guess I 'could' have schizophrenia. But there is such a thing as 'drug induced psychosis' and its not always clear cut that it's schizophrenia, or whether it was just the drugs that caused that behaviour.

So I don't have a black and white diagnosis per say of schizophrenia or a psychotic disorder like that ATM.

However, I guess I will find out if I reduce / stop taking my medicine. I'll do that with the doc though (I tried recently and just got Very very stressed).

Are you still doing drugs / drinking a lot?

I've had alcohol problem (binge drinking) a lot since I was about 18.

I've recently found the VERY best solution to this in the form of a prescribed medicine for drinking (in Scotland its called Nalmefene) - maybe try and give that a whirl with your doctor / see if they will prescribe or help you with that if you drink still?
Very possible you have drug induced. You need a doc to help with that though. All our stabs in the dark are just that. And Aye i still have a substance abuse problem. Mad as a fecking hater with a drug prob aye i know
 
ht46

ht46

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I'm diagnosed with schizophrenia my understanding of it was if you suffer from multiple psychotic episodes which don't disappear after a time being medicated they diagnose you with schizophrenia, as in you can only treat it for life, I think being cured is rare but it happens that's just what I thought. You're lucky if you didn't experience anything really traumatic over that time that can also increase psychosis and lead to schizophrenia. I self medicate paranoia with alcohol it's not ideal because it leads to dependency.
 
A

arty88

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I'm diagnosed with schizophrenia my understanding of it was if you suffer from multiple psychotic episodes which don't disappear after a time being medicated they diagnose you with schizophrenia, as in you can only treat it for life, I think being cured is rare but it happens that's just what I thought. You're lucky if you didn't experience anything really traumatic over that time that can also increase psychosis and lead to schizophrenia. I self medicate paranoia with alcohol it's not ideal because it leads to dependency.
Hey mate,

Thanks for the insight.

I'd agree - I think this way too. Psychiatrists are probably likely to diagnose schizophrenia if you are psychotic frequently and it doesn't go away. I don't know the exact criteria they use, but it must be something along those lines.

My issue is I haven't had a sort of 'overt' delusional experience in probably 8 years since taking the anti-psychotics. I've had periods where I've gotten very anxious or quite depressed in that time, but nothing to the extent that I experienced pre-treatment.

I guess then the problem is - I am on drugs that mute psychosis so I appear normal most of the time. Do I have Schizophrenia? If we remove the anti psychotic and I start getting extremely delusional again and it happens alllll over again, then I assume I probably have a problem with schizophrenia.

It all seems rather 'black and white' - nothing is like that in the real world. We don't know enough about these problems to say 'Schizophrenic' or 'Neurotpical with drug induced issues'.

Life aint that simple eh?

What was your experience of getting diagnosed may I ask out of interest?
 
GhostOfLenin

GhostOfLenin

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I'm diagnosed with schizophrenia my understanding of it was if you suffer from multiple psychotic episodes which don't disappear after a time being medicated they diagnose you with schizophrenia, as in you can only treat it for life, I think being cured is rare but it happens that's just what I thought. You're lucky if you didn't experience anything really traumatic over that time that can also increase psychosis and lead to schizophrenia. I self medicate paranoia with alcohol it's not ideal because it leads to dependency.
Alcohol only makes it worse. Ive been know to have full conversations in an empty room while drunk. Even sining songs with people on my guitar when the room was empty 😞
 
A

arty88

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Alcohol only makes it worse. Ive been know to have full conversations in an empty room while drunk. Even sining songs with people on my guitar when the room was empty 😞
Hey mate,

That sounds really tough for you, but you're a fighter.

I've met lots of schizophrenics in and out of hospital (I could be one too as you know!) - drinking and drug use is really common place. But let me say, observing it from the outside - I see people smoking weed who hear voices, and it only makes them hear more voices!

I see people drinking in the streets, shouting at nothing.

So it's really easy for someone to say, well, cut out the booze or drink. You're doing it to cope and in a way it helps, but overall it makes everything much worse right?

I found the best start was to monitor how much I used of what and how often.

E.G I wrote down on a spreadsheet (you could do with paper) how many drinks I'd have a day. Keep a diary of sorts.

It's hard, but if you can reduce it yourself - then great.

If you can't, do what I did I'd say. Speak to your doc about medicine to reduce your alcohol consumption to safe levels. You can get Nalmefene in Scotland. I take a medicine very similar to it.

Everytime I drink now I just pop this little pill an hour before I drink. It makes it 100 times easier to say 'I'll just have the one or two'. Before that I'd have 10 or 12. Now I drink no more than 2 beers in a sitting. And I drink twice a week max. So that's 8 units of alcohol a week.

Seriously, push for the medicine if you can get it. There's 4 medicines available for cutting your booze down. Booze is so bad for psychosis, let me know if you want any more info about my exp with it.
 
GhostOfLenin

GhostOfLenin

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Hey mate,

That sounds really tough for you, but you're a fighter.

I've met lots of schizophrenics in and out of hospital (I could be one too as you know!) - drinking and drug use is really common place. But let me say, observing it from the outside - I see people smoking weed who hear voices, and it only makes them hear more voices!

I see people drinking in the streets, shouting at nothing.

So it's really easy for someone to say, well, cut out the booze or drink. You're doing it to cope and in a way it helps, but overall it makes everything much worse right?

I found the best start was to monitor how much I used of what and how often.

E.G I wrote down on a spreadsheet (you could do with paper) how many drinks I'd have a day. Keep a diary of sorts.

It's hard, but if you can reduce it yourself - then great.

If you can't, do what I did I'd say. Speak to your doc about medicine to reduce your alcohol consumption to safe levels. You can get Nalmefene in Scotland. I take a medicine very similar to it.

Everytime I drink now I just pop this little pill an hour before I drink. It makes it 100 times easier to say 'I'll just have the one or two'. Before that I'd have 10 or 12. Now I drink no more than 2 beers in a sitting. And I drink twice a week max. So that's 8 units of alcohol a week.

Seriously, push for the medicine if you can get it. There's 4 medicines available for cutting your booze down. Booze is so bad for psychosis, let me know if you want any more info about my exp with it.
Im well medicated fella but thatnks for the concern. Couldnt help but notice you mentioned scotland. Are you from scotland? Nice to know there is another child of gods country on here hahahah
 
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A Depression Introduce Yourself 1
N Anxiety/ Depression Introduce Yourself 1
M we must win depression Introduce Yourself 12
P Capital d depression Introduce Yourself 1
J My life with depression and anxiety Introduce Yourself 5

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