I was in college at the time and slowly it started with burning leg pains, depression, anxiety, fatigue and occasional paranoid thoughts which led to a diagnosis of a thyroid condition. But when the depression and fatigue lingered, my parents asked our doctor who suggested a psychologist for me to see. After a while the depression still lingered. It would go away for about a week or two and then return stronger and worse than before. As this was happening, the paranoid thoughts got worse.
During this time, every month I was seeing a psychiatrist who had put me on several different medications to help with my mood and other medications to help with my agitation and restlessness. Eventually I was put on a medication to help me sleep. My parents started to ask the psychiatrist at what point is this Bi-Polar? They also pointed out to the psychiatrist the suspicious thoughts I was having towards my parents which seemed odd. But my parents weren’t getting any straight answers. I switched psychiatrists, and he later confirmed that I had schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder (schizoaffective disorder). All I remember is there were a defining moment that confirmed my Schizophrenia diagnosis.
It started by me having thoughts that someone had illegally snuck into the country and infected me with AIDS or the ebola virus. Then I thought that I had cancer and nobody was telling me I had it. I went for blood work on Halloween - one of the worst days of my life. I started freaking out as soon as I got into the chair to have blood work taken. I don’t remember exactly why I had to get a scan done, but I had one done after making my way into emergency for leg pain. The horrible thing that happened was on my way to emergency, hospital workers were walking by with a bed full of fake body parts caked in fake blood. Then a group of hospital workers walked by wearing masks, growling at me and one of them said they were going to cut off my arm. Jokingly, of course, but it disturbed me as I was already freaked out having had these delusions.
Now I am on Tintralex for my depression and Ability to help with my delusions as well as the voices. But I struggle with chronic fatigue on a regular basis and still struggle with a milder depression on a regular basis too. Right now, my psychiatrist is trying to get me to do activities that bring me joy and do a little bit of exercise to try to help with the fatigue and depression. I don’t feel much better, but my parents as well as family members see little improvements. I hope that by sharing my story I can help others who are struggling just like me see that they are not alone. Thank you for allowing me to share my story.