by Mark in North Carolina
I've been suffering from paranoid schizophrenia approximately 11 years. When I first was diagnosed, it scared me. I had never heard of it before. I didn't know the symptoms to look for or anything. I rejected the help of healthcare professionals, family and friends.
I was a very good basketball player in high school. I played for two years. I had a very promising career in basketball ahead of me, so I thought. The coaches and many other people thought so as well. I had problems with peer pressure all the time. I started using drugs and alcohol my senior year.
I struggled at first with knowing that I had to take medicine the rest of my life. Today, I attend two different fellowships. Today, I know when I'm off my medications. I know that my symptoms can increase over a period of time. In times past when that has happened I ended up back in the hospital. I'm finally to the point of trying to accept this illness and go on with life and its responsibilities.