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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.

I'm a 24-year-old male and I live in East Sandwich, MA. I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder on March 14th, 2019 by my psychiatrist.

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hx7918

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Joined
Jan 18, 2020
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East Sandwich, Massachusetts
My journey with mental illness begins in February 2017 when I first started feeling the brunt of depression. I was a junior in college at the time, at UMass Dartmouth, studying political science and history. I had the full burden of taking 6 classes in 1 semester on my back, which in hindsight, I now realize was a major mistake. I started to get bullied by my suitemates and even some of my classmates for reasons that were out of my control. I also began to feel depressed and by the very end of the spring 2017 semester, I was so depressed that I couldn't get out of bed.

Summer 2017 was when I was first prescribed an antidepressant, Fluoxetine, otherwise known as Prozac, by my pediatrician. I eventually stopped taking the medication because I didn't want it to change who I was, since I am and always had been comfortable in my own body. My father always tells me that I have a chemical imbalance in my brain, and I tend to believe that's all depression really is, to be honest, a chemical imbalance. Typically, I can shrug bullying off like it's nothing. I'm used to facing adversity.

So, this brings us to when I stopped taking Prozac after that summer, which was a horrible idea. This was a horrible idea because for the majority of spring 2018, I suffered from a bout of schizophrenia. (I think a reason for why I started hearing voices is because I didn't taper off my medication, like I should've. I stopped cold turkey.) I was hearing voices that weren't there, and I knew they weren't there. They sounded so real though, like faint voices of my neighbors (I live in a quiet neighborhood, or at least most of the time it's quiet). They were mocking me, telling me irritating and irrational things. And at one point, I believed my brother's friends were out to get me, as were the police! I was full-fledged delusional and I didn't even know it.

After my family had enough of me acting strangely, my dad involuntarily admitted me into a local psych ward. I was there for 9 days and I wanted to get out of there each and every single day. On the 5th day in the hospital, I decided to take a shower and clean myself up. A few of the nurses commented on my cleaning up and said that I looked well-kept and dapper, as I usually do.

When I was released from the ward, I still had, unbeknownst to me, depression. I wasn't doing anything that I usually did in my free time like writing and photography. (Writing is my passion.) As time went on, and I graduated from pediatrician to physician, my new doctor thought that it would've been beneficial for me to participate in a partial hospitalization program at a local clinic. That's where I was between December 26th, 2018 and January 9th, 2019, on weekdays (and non-holidays) from 9 AM-12 PM. Because I attended this clinic, I was assigned a psychiatrist and a therapist (to be honest, the therapy doesn't do anything for me, but the psychiatrist has been a huge help).

In those last parentheses, I said the psychiatrist has been a huge help because not only did he, on March 14th, diagnose me as being schizoaffective, but he also prescribed me Bupropion (otherwise known as Wellbutrin), an antidepressant. The medication has significantly improved my mental health since then. My psychiatrist also added Prozac back onto my medication list in April. As of January 18th, 2020, I'm on 3 medications: Paliperidone (Invega, [an antipsychotic to treat my schizophrenia]), Bupropion (Wellbutrin), and Fluoxetine (Prozac).

I have kept 2 different jobs at 2 different times since my schizophrenic episode and I haven't heard voices because of my Invega. Now, I'm back to writing full-length books and more recently, taking pictures! I have even started a college transfer student application to Roger Williams University in Rhode Island where I plan on studying history (to finish up my degree), applied math, creative writing, and mathematics. And I even have an interview for a management job at a local Dunkin' Donuts in the slew of things. Life is slowly but surely returning to normal.
 
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sadgirl

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Hi connornaples and welcome to the forum I'm glad that things are looking up for you good luck with the job interview
 
calypso

calypso

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:welcome: to the forum. I am pleased to hear that things are looking up for you. That is a scary experience to have survived and I take my hat off toyou that you have made so much of your life after this. I hope you find the forum supportive and open.
 

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