'Recovery is a journey'

Richard Shrubb talks about living with paranoid schizophrenia.

I had a massive breakdown in 1996, but didn’t get to see a psychiatrist until 1999. To my family my breakdown appeared so gradual they didn’t realise I had finally lost the plot. To them I was just a weird alcoholic angry waste of space. 

Although I began experiencing symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia from 1996, I had been going downhill for a good five years before. 

Getting to grips with my diagnosis was the hard part. Admitting to yourself that you need help is the tough first step to recovery – if you don’t, suicide is a real risk. 

Take all the support you can and listen to care staff. Listen to fellow patients too. Recovery is a journey and there will be ups and downs, but hold on to the idea that you can beat it and you will. 

Recovery took me five years before I did an MA in broadcast journalism and went freelance. I will never stop fighting, but will always take a positive attitude to it. I am disabled, but am a fighter.

This article reflects the experience of the individual. It is not health information from the Men's Health Forum under the terms of the NHS England Information Standard.


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