On the inside,
Anthony lives with psychosis
Psychosis can lead to severely disturbing thoughts - making you hear and see things that aren’t there, and even lose touch with reality. Schizophrenia includes psychosis as well as other symptoms such as a lack of motivation or less interest in socialising.
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Schizophrenia does not cause a split personality. But it does lead to a distorted – and often distressing – view of the world.
You can begin to experience schizophrenia at any time, but it’s most common between the ages of 15 and 35. Around one in every hundred people will be affected in their lifetime.
Pick as many as you think
In reality, someone with the condition is more likely to be a victim of violence. They are also at greater risk of self-harm too and as many as 10% of people with schizophrenia will take their own life within ten years of their diagnosis.
People develop psychosis for all sorts of reasons. It can stem from another mental illness, such as bipolar disorder, or it can be caused by drug use, brain injury or extreme stress. Having a family history of psychosis can also increase the risk of developing it.
Often the reason is unclear, or there could be a combination of causes.
Over the course of a year, a number of events took their toll on my mental health. I became overwhelmed and I began to behave differently.
Schizophrenia and psychosis can be life-long conditions, but you can manage your symptoms with a range of treatments, including anti-psychotic drugs and cognitive behavioural therapy. The support of family and friends makes a big difference too. Eventually, some people even find that their symptoms disappear completely.
I still live with my illness, but I’m in a much better place than I was. And remaining close to my family has really helped.