Introduction (written December 2004)
It's been a difficult (slight understatement) ten years for me. I developed paranoid schizophrenia in 1994 and have been sectioned some 10 times in 10 years. But I seem to have got on top of it. To find out more please have a look at the Postface to my book by clicking on the menu "Book Extracts" under "My Book". I had always stopped taking my medication hoping I would stay well as the side effects were so unpleasant. It was easy to see why people kept committing suicide around me. At times I did not know what the braver thing to do was: commit suicide or carry on. 2004 was the first year I did not get arrested in since 1998, a whole 12 months at the start of which I dis-availed myself of both the care on offer and everyone I knew with ultimate success. My CPN is nominating me for an award from Lilly, the manufacturer of Olanzapine, which I happen to be taking. The award is for beating schizophrenia and re-establishing myself* I really don't know why I got ill. Nobody in my large and wide family has ever had schizophrenia. One psychiatrist did tell me my smoking weed from the Pygmies at Mt Hoyo, Eastern Zaire on my birthday in 1984 could have caused it. Also my Dad is a coeliac and therefore, apparently, I may have inherited a stronger disposition to develop the condition.
*I won! I won the Lilly Moving Life Forward Award 2005
Me hard at work studying for my PhD late 1980s. Drank a lot of alcohol 9pm onwards over the years and liver can no longer can cope with similar quantities!