I was getting terrible menstrual problems that would see me laid out on the couch for many weeks with PMS. The chiropractor said he couldn’t help me with this problem.
I then bounced around different health practitioners- a few homeopaths, a naturopath, a Chinese doctor. Nobody really managed to help me much with the menstrual problems. I spent lots of time and money on therapists and supplements and it all got a bit crazy. In hindsight, I was taking too many things and seeing too many people- that is what happens when you don’t find answers- you just keep looking and trying.
In May of 2014 I came out in hives. It was incredible. I thought that the Zyprexa was causing the hives so I went off it completely and went on to a regime of lots of juices, a low histamine diet and topical concoctions to lessen the hive outbreaks. They would come and go and sometimes I was literally covered in them. Gradually the hives cleared up and after that I stayed off the drug and was not troubled by the voices for nearly 2 years.
It was late in 2015 that I realized the voices were coming back. It happened every time I left my gym. I was also experiencing water retention and sore feet. I felt like I was getting weaker in my body. I didn’t tell anyone that I was hearing voices because they would go away as quickly as they came and I kind of just forgot about them until the next time.
In March 2016 they came back with full force. One day when I left the gym, I was sitting in my car and I got the feeling that what felt like a Divine force field dived into my body through the top of my head. It was very scary.
From then on the voices were really loud in my head. They sounded so real and I thought they were real. It was like I was having real conversations. My behaviour completely changed because these voices were so real.
I decided I wanted to be completely independent from Mum who had looked after me for many years. I had been seeing my GP and my disability support worker for some help to try and achieve this independence. This whole time I didn’t think I was sick at all but everyone else could see that I had completely changed and that I wasn’t well mentally. In the morning of June 24th the CAT team and the ambulance came to the front door and said I needed to go with them to the mental health ward. I freaked out and ran away from home through the park. The police were called to try and find me. I went to the community centre to try and get a lawyer to tell them to not take me to hospital. They called the CAT team who came and took me to hospital.
I was in hospital for 6 weeks. They put me on a different drugs and I spoke to lots of psychiatrists. I saw one every second day. I still heard the voices and still thought they were real. I was discharged after 6 weeks and went back home. I was still hearing voices and I am not sure why I got discharged. I think the hospital just thought they couldn’t do any more for me.
Even after 6 weeks in hospital I still didn’t think I was sick. One day I went to a dancing class- there were all sorts of things going on in my head and I felt sick in my stomach and it was only then that I realised that I was actually unwell- physically and mentally.
By this stage, not only was I hearing voices I was also experiencing what I called “characters”. The characters were like beings who were inside me. I liked most of these characters- they were like my friends. I got the feeling that what I needed to do was treat my illness like a cold- I felt I needed to get all the voices and characters out of me and then I would be better.
Most of the time I was completely out of reality. There were so many voices in my head and also my own characters. The voices were telling me heaps of different things and everything was a jumble of what I thought was and wasn’t reality. I felt so sick that I really couldn’t do anything.
Luckily by this stage I had been assigned a DHS worker. Dan. I was so sick when I saw him. This guy really knew how to help me- I felt like he was the only person who treated me normally. He was able to get on to my level and go with my energy. He let me take the lead and Dan was just there to support me.
With schizophrenia your head and your body aren’t connected. I was having conversations with myself and I couldn’t focus on anything. My attention was so bad I couldn’t even watch TV. I felt that it was not just my mind getting sick but also my body. In the worst phase of hearing voices and having characters I needed to verbalise what I was hearing in my head and I had to get everything out, so I was of course talking to myself. I felt like my spirit had left me.
I was very angry to the point of being violent at times. In December 2016 I was readmitted to hospital after an outburst. Looking back it is really hard to believe what happened. In hospital I was put on to Haloperidol which is an older style of anti-psychotic. I was working through a lot of emotional, mental and spiritual type of things while I was in hospital. I started to rebuild the relationship with my Mum over the phone.
When I was discharged on January 16th , the drug had been put into my arm, I was also taking an oral dose of the drug. I didn’t feel too good, but the voices and characters had reduced considerably.
As I write this only 3 and a half months later I am well on my way to recovery. I am back to fitness, dancing and art and in my next blog I will tell you how it all happened.