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TW: Living with Delusional Disorder - Schizophrenia.

Community Member

I am 26 years of age. I was diagnosed with Delusional Disorder - Schizophrenia at age 22.5. Mentally, I am on the decline. I have noticed that I am not longer as intelligent and as capable of the things that I previously was capable of doing, such as assignments for adult school. It has always been a dream of mine to get my certificate of education, but that dream is slowly slipping out of my hands. I was bullied relentlessly in mainstream high school over my physical appearance, and it got to the point where I had no choice but to quit mainstream school altogether. The teachers and leadership did completely and utterly nothing about the bullying that I copped from Year 8 to Year 12. I was an A and B student who used to be very studious. I was the 'perfect student,' as so a few teachers had labelled me as. I couldn't do it all anymore - I felt too much pressure to be perfect all the time, and being hard on myself never helped either. I slowly became a D, E and NA student. Going back to adult school, I started off pretty well. I went back up to being an A student again. Then, I met a completely and utterly awful individual who led me on romantically. He had an ex-wife on the side who dictated who he could and couldn't date, let alone speak to. Quite frankly, I believe this man was in a DV relationship with this woman, and I felt that he was too scared to expose her. He told me bluntly that, 'whatever medication that I had been taking clearly wasn't working,' 'I had more issues than previously thought,' 'you're not very clever,' and he then curled his hands into fists and screamed the word, 'RETARD' in my face. I could be wrong, but I feel that he was being coached into saying these things. I wanted to cry, because I used to be very attracted to the man. Well, not anymore. Someone else has come along and I am not even going to bother with this man because I will reject him if he dare comes up to me and asks me out on a date. Why should a delusional, nutcase, schizophrenic with no future ahead of her go out on a date with a good looking man with a good career? Exactly. Going back to my health, I am now having problems with my breathing. I have done some research on this, and COPD is a symptom of Schizophrenia. I cannot breathe at full capacity anymore. I also always feel dizzy and sleepy. The Centrelink worker wants me to test my eligibility for the Disability Support Pension, as I am mentally unfit to work. Why can't I be normal? And don't tell me that there is no such thing as normal, because there is. 

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Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi goldilocks


I feel for you so much as you struggle with so many overwhelming challenges. While people can face obvious challenges that are truly outstanding, there can also be challenges mixed in that can be far from obvious. So, we can be managing far more than we realise while being so incredibly hard on ourselves. And when it comes to 'normal', I think being able to say 'How I'm feeling or what I'm experiencing is normal, under the circumstances' can make some difference. I've found it becomes a matter of figuring out exactly what those circumstances are. Not easy to do at times. Can take a lot of time and investigation.


To offer an example, while someone with COPD could say 'I feel so dysfunctional' while feeling so tired and struggling to function, what if they've also developed sleep apnea without realising? It can be completely normal to begin struggling twice as much with breathing, fatigue, memory, cognitive issues etc. They can be so hard on themself while not knowing the sleep apnea problem exists. And while I wouldn't class a bully's behaviour as 'normal', as it's far from healthy behaviour, it can sadly be normal for the person being abused to become anxious and depressed. In regard to the guy you were seeing, his behaviour is also far from normal. What kind of person sees no harm or no problem with such heartbreaking and soul destroying behaviour? What he said to you was brutal and so incredibly cruel.


I think sometimes there's no choice but to redefine what's normal. As a 53yo gal who's managed depressions since my late teens, I've come to realise it's perfectly normal for me to feel what's depressing because I'm a 'feeler', someone who's sensitive to everything they feel. It's also normal that if I'm going to develop my ability to feel so much, I'm going to feel more (which includes feeling more triggers). Learning how to manage my ability to feel becomes the key. I was actually surprised on a particular occasion to find what is normal for some people seeking support. When I found the 'Hearing Voices Network' (for people who hear voices/dialogue in a variety of ways), it was a relief to know such a group existed in support of each other. It's a place where some people can go to feel normal, under the circumstances, and fully accepted and respected (something that doesn't happen in mainstream society). I've discovered over the years that it's more beneficial to find people who can relate to my kind of normal because it can just be so hard to live with those who simply can't relate. They can be incredibly judgy and even depressing on occasion.