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Fighting the demons, and winning.
On Christmas Day of 2006, I was homeless, alone and delusional, suffering from untreated schizophrenia. Today, in recovery, I celebrate Christmas with my family at home.
When I was finally picked up by police for trespassing on my former university campus, I was confused, thinking it was all a mistake. I needed treatment, not jail time.
I found it hard to disclose my hallucinations to anyone, including family, doctors, and other members of my treatment team.
Prior to the onset of schizophrenia, the prodrome is a period of time where a person’s personality can change.
My dream was to study biochemistry at my university, until I developed schizophrenia. Thinking irrationally, I believed I would broker peace in the Middle East.
I am happy with the new life I live everyday in treatment. Schizophrenia feels like something of my past.
Schizophrenia is not always associated with childhood trauma. I had a happy, normal childhood and still developed it.
I hope someday no one in America will have to sleep outside in the cold rain, like I did.
Mental health courts are special courts that serve people who have committed crimes they may never have committed if they had not been mentally ill.
Because of untreated schizophrenia, I spent four years as a homeless person, sleeping in libraries and outdoors. Today, with treatment, I enjoy a normal life.
For years, I denied I was homeless and hearing voices. Medication enabled me to face reality and move beyond my homeless life.
Hearing voices is not like normal thoughts that one might choose to follow or reject. My voices influenced my behavior.
Though commonly referred to as mental illness, schizophrenia belongs in the same classification as brain diseases along with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, and stroke.
I spent four Christmases homeless, delusional, disabled and alone. However, this Christmas, I will spend the holiday with close friends and family.
Thanks to newer medications and treatments, even the most severely ill individuals with schizophrenia may achieve full recovery today.
People with schizophrenia often become social isolated. Social reintegration into the community is key in recovery, but stigma makes it difficult.
The name “schizophrenia” comes from Greek roots meaning “split mind.” Today, the medical community recognizes that as scientifically incorrect.
Each of my hospitalizations played a unique role in guiding me on my journey towards a fully recovered life.
Trying new antipsychotic medications can be discouraging, as medications may have side effects. But they can enable you to have a better life.
When I was homeless, I had opportunities to stay with families, but paranoia drove me to sleep outside.
Delusions once held me back, but medication restored my sanity.
When I was hearing voices and homeless, most doctors would have easily diagnosed me with schizophrenia. Nonetheless, I spent a year without a diagnosis, living outside.
When I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, I did not know what it was, but I knew myself. I thought people with my personality could never develop it.
For many years, I felt proud to say I never used drugs, as though this fact made me a better person. Today, I no longer see it that way.
When schizophrenia left me disabled, I needed proof that others had reclaimed their lives, and I could, too.
Schizophrenia is one of the most misunderstood diseases on earth. This article focuses on five common myths.
Recovery from schizophrenia once seemed impossible. Today, I am a college graduate.
Bethany Yeiser is the author of Mind Estranged: My Journey from Schizophrenia and Homelessness to Recovery.