In my last post, I opened up about the three conditions that I suffer from: (i) mild schizophrenia with some bipolar; (ii) depression; and (iii) type 2 diabetes. In this post, I’d like to share a bit more of my journey which may give some hope to other sufferers of these conditions and their families.
By comparison with other conditions such as cancer, mental illness has a lot of stigma attached to it. Being diagnosed with schizophrenia caused me to lose my dignity and really affected my self esteem. Being hand-cuffed by the police when I went wandering around the neighbourhood during a psychotic episode was very humiliating. I began to really hate myself, especially after I was hospitalised after this particularly bad psychotic episode. Eventually, I realised that I can no longer carry so much shame for something which isn’t my fault. This was the key to setting me free. I’ve learnt to look back and laugh about some of my experiences, even though they weren’t even remotely funny at the time. My experiences have brought me down a notch or two. Some humility isn’t necessarily such a bad thing.
Like many people who suffer from schizophrenia, I am single. Relationships are difficult enough without bringing mental illness into it. The key point is that instead of looking for someone to love me and accept my condition, I need to learn how to love myself inspite of my condition. Managing my condition is all-consuming so I came to the conclusion that I'm better off alone.