Andrew's story

My voices started quite suddenly whilst I was asleep. I heard two voices, a man and a woman, and at first I thought it was the neighbours. They appeared to comment on my behaviour and thoughts, and were almost always negative. As time went on I realised it wasn’t the neighbours.

I began to become more suspicious of those outside my home, and at one point when I saw a helicopter in the sky, I thought that it has been sent to spy on me.

I became more and more anxious as time went on and visited my GP who referred me to a mental health crisis unit. However, I didn’t have time to attend as I was a carer at the time.

I began to hear the voices more clearly and more frequently and they became more negative. As a result I became more and more anxious and finally tried to commit suicide by taking an overdose of tablets.

I was admitted to hospital where I started on drug therapy. I remained on the ward for a further 3 months whilst the doctors tried different tablets to stop my voices. Initially I was very suspicious of the staff and tried to end my life a further two times.

During my time on the ward I was taught techniques to handle my anxiety, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Yoga and Occupational Therapy and then quite suddenly 3 months after I had been admitted, I was started on medication and the voices stopped.

Over the course of the three months I was allowed home, at first escorted and then on my own. The Early Intervention Team helped me to find some voluntary work and I began to feel less anxious about being outside.

I have some side effects from the medication and need to have my blood monitored. I see the consultant every 3 months a worker from the Early Intervention Team once a month.

I am now studying for a masters degree and spend my free time doing Yoga, playing sport and walking.

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