Living with schizophrenia

2 min read
29 March 2021

Hi, my name is Shruti, I’m 23, and I have been living with schizophrenia for almost two years.

I started having symptoms shortly after being to CAMHS. I started hallucinating and being delusional.

I first told my mum and she didn’t understand what was happening so she took me to a doctor. He told me I had anxiety and prescribed me some meds, which caused me to sleep all day – it felt as though I couldn’t stay awake.

At first, I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). I was later diagnosed with ADHD as well as schizophrenia.

I was referred to a psychiatrist by my CAMHS counsellor. In July, I had to move from CAMHS to adult mental health services (AMHS). I haven’t really noticed much of a difference in the transition, but maybe that’s just my experience because my doctor is amazing.

I started hallucinating and being delusional.

Life with schizophrenia can be quite difficult. I have phases when I don't want to have a bath because I feel as though people can see me. The voices I hear follow me everywhere. They say horrible things, like that my dad will die. At times it feels as though they’re touching me and even trying to hurt me. Sometimes, I also see ants on my bed at night.

However, I am learning to manage and my life is almost on track now. I take my medication regularly (clozapinearipiprazolesertralinemethylphenidaterisperidone), which helps although I do get pretty bad side effects like weight gain, tiredness and feeling heavy. My doctor said I will have to take my medication for life but the doses can be reduced. I can't wait for that to happen.

Never be ashamed of yourself or your mental illness.

To any young person who has just been diagnosed with schizophrenia, I would like to say never be ashamed of yourself or your mental illness. Things can and will get better. But if you’re struggling, ask for help.

More information and advice

Where to get help

  • YoungMinds Textline

    Text YM to 85258.

    Provides free, 24/7 text support for young people across the UK experiencing a mental health crisis.

    All texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors.

    Texts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus.

    Texts can be anonymous, but if the volunteer believes you are at immediate risk of harm, they may share your details with people who can provide support.

    Opening times:
  • Samaritans

    Whatever you're going through, you can contact the Samaritans for support.

    Opening times:
  • The Mix

    Offers support to anyone under 25 about anything that’s troubling them.

    Email support available via their online contact form.

    Free 1-2-1 webchat service available.

    Free short-term counselling service available.

    Opening times:
    3pm - 12am, seven days a week

Thanks for sharing your story Shruti, 23

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