Brave schizophre­nia suf­fer­ers tell of their hell liv­ing with men­tal dis­or­der

Irish Sunday Mirror - - NEWS - BY SYLVIA POWNALL

Ni­cola Wall on RTE doc­u­men­tary mouth shut than be put back in hos­pi­tal again be­cause I hate hos­pi­tals so much.

“You are stuck in a bed and all they do is feed you med­i­ca­tion and if you do not take it you are there longer.”

Pro­fes­sor of psy­chi­a­try Gary Donoghue re­vealed that some peo­ple suf­fer just one or two psy­chotic episodes, while oth­ers “re­ally strug­gle chron­i­cally to live out­side a highly-sup­ported en­vi­ron­ment”.

Ni­cola Wall, 28, from Water­ford, said she re­alised she was dif­fer­ent from ev­ery­one else at 12 when “not ev­ery­one could hear what I hear”.

She was di­ag­nosed with schizophre­nia and bipo­lar dis­or­der at the age of 22 and now gets an aver­age of just two hours’ sleep a night.

Ni­cola mar­ried hus­band Kieran dur­ing the mak­ing of the doc­u­men­tary and man­aged to get off med­i­ca­tion, but suf­fered a re­lapse weeks later.

She said: “I thought my life was over be­cause you can’t cure schizophre­nia. When I was first di­ag­nosed I was told to keep it a se­cret – I don’t think it should be that way. “Your per­son­al­ity is more im­por­tant than any ill­ness and if you let the ill­ness take over, your per­son­al­ity dis­ap­pears.

“You can spend years go­ing, ‘I can’t ask for help be­cause peo­ple will judge me’, but that is self-stigma.

“It will work out but you do need to seek help. It is never go­ing away. I know that for sure.”

Schizophre­nia: The Voices In My Head is on RTE Two on Tues­day at 10pm.


Hear­ing voices to kill your­self. Imag­ine be­ing told to do that BRIAN SCALLON WEXFORD


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