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I have just registered on here, and looking for some help on where to get some advice please.
Sorry to unload, but here is a timeline of my events.
Basically 7 years ago around the summer of 2008, I was on holiday with my family in Canada. I had just withdrawn from a course at university, which in itself was a very stressful process, as I felt like I was letting everyone down including myself. I had not been enjoying the course since the start, and had been feeling very very low (in hindsight, it was the beginnings of depression) for about 9 months.
I was prescribed Prozac and then when on holiday, I became very emotional and went off my food, had trouble sleeping, and was generally very tired.
I started having strange thoughts about suicide/guilt/anxiety/paranoia, and was admitted to a hospital in Canada - 'voluntarily'. This was because I was having strong thoughts of suicide and I was very tearful/emotional, and I also had a strong sense that maybe I deserved everything, and maybe, that even at that moment I might even be being followed or about to be arrested for something, which understandably made me feel even worse.(This was completely untrue, but I was a mess and seemingly delusional at that point).
I stayed in hospital for a short period, 4-6 days I think, and was discharged with instructions to seek further medical/mental health treatment as a precaution when I went back to the UK. Which I did.
Since then, I have had no reoccurence of this 'episode', and whilst in the Canadian hospital, I realised how low I was, and vowed to make sure I never found myself in that situation again.
I have been on prescription medication since then, with a working diagnosis that has changed overtime, under different doctors/psychiatrists.
However, since Canada, I have not felt depressed or suicidal or paranoid, as I know that the feelings were irrational and that I was in fact going through hard life events.
I managed to get a job, go back to university, complete a degree, and I am almost a qualified accountant with a good job and a nice girlfriend who I love and would do anything for. I have healthy relationships with my parents and family, with a good support network and plenty of friends.
I know I am very lucky to have received help at the time, and I am very grateful in some respects that I am in the position I am in. I really don't mean to sound like "oh, look at me I recovered so well!" etc. It's my current situation which is perplexing!
I am now wondering why I still need medication, 7 years after an 'episode'. My diagnosis was initially 'psychotic episode' by the doctors in canada, which seems a bit dramatic. Nevertheless, the doctors and support staff I saw in the months after returning to the UK have used this 'working' diagnosis, and I seem to be stuck with it.
I have had counselling and saw 4 different psychiatrists, some good some bad. I have seen so many as I moved away for university, back again, and feel like I have been lost in the care system somewhere. I saw a private psychiatrist 2 years ago, as i lost faith in the NHS CMHT psychiatrist who was very unhelpful and didn't seem to care, and actually gave me the silent treatment after I asked at an appointment why I was still on medication. He said that the NHS was under-funded (which it seems to be) and basically told me that was why it had taken 7 months to get an appoinment. All-round frustrations boiled over and I saught private treatment.
The private psychiatrist (A very highly rated Doctor in the UK) said straight away that from my record, it seemed like schizophrenia! And that I should just keep taking the medication if I don't experience any symptoms.
I have always found this logic for taking the medication very unsettling, as I do not fully understand how the medication works or the long term side effects that may be caused. There are many I things I wish to do (donate blood, donate bone marrow... etc) that i cannot do, because of this.
I feel worried that i will be on them forever with no chance of a thorough review, because if i ask the question, can I come off my meds, the answer always seems to be no, just because of a 50/50 diagnosis 7 years ago.
I don't know where to turn now. My parents don't really seem to mind as I am doing really well.
Are there other people in a similar situtation to me? Can they be found on this forum?
Sorry again for the long essay, and I hope that I do not sound too ungrateful for the help I received in the early stages.
I have no plans on suddenly stopping my daily medication (even though I frequently miss a dose by accident and seemingly have no side effects.) I understand that there could be severe withdrawel symptons. I am prepared for it to take months, years, longer, to come off. I just want to know where I can get a plan of action for how to deal with this really.
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