Jake’s Story: Living with schizophrenia
I’m Jake and I’m 27. I suffer from schizophrenia and depression. It all started from quite a young age – I used to go from feeling really good then straight to feeling angry and depressed. This caused me a lot of issues with my family and friends, with some not understanding or knowing what to do to help.
I was always putting on a false front to my friends and family that I was okay, because I didn’t want anyone else to walk away or be affected, but due to me not being able to cope, I had constant hospital admissions.
Focusing on the positives
I started finding it hard to hold my feelings in and this triggered my anxiety. I didn’t want to go out because I thought that people could see that I was putting on a front, which caused paranoia and a whole range of problems for me. A positive note is that when I got married, my life got a lot better – it helped me focus on the more positive things in life, even though it’s still a daily battle.
I have had to distance myself from the things that bring me down, but it’s hard when it’s the people/friends you have been with for most of your life. This is helping me open up to more people to help them understand me better, which does help. The main thing I would say, is if you can and you feel you able to open up a little, then you should try – I am starting to make steps to share my story, and the positive responses I have had have been so motivating for me.
Looking to the future
I suffered in silence for years and had many ups and downs, but I am trying to work through it all and rebuild my bridges.
I write lyrics about my experiences and always feel good when I play it back and know that I have achieved something positive, rather than being anxious everyday that I cannot do something. Day to day, I’m starting to prove to myself, actually Jake, you can.
I have a baby boy on the way and this has given me the biggest boost of all, more than medication ever has. My main focus is to keep well for him and to be able to maintain family life and try living with this mental illness rather hiding and fighting it.
My little man isn’t even born yet but he has changed my life already is definitely one of my main priorities, along with my family and my mental health.