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How did I get here

It just seems so strange that I managed to accomplish anything at all. I have been really questioning myself lately though. I’ve been seeing this guy and I don’t know if I should let him know about my past. I also feel like experimenting with him by telling him about me having schizophrenia to see if he’s gonna ditch me. I studied in Europe before transferring to the Caribbean to get my medical degree and now I feel like I should have gotten more experience with guys so that I wouldn’t always see taking a big step as an experiment. Now I am preparing to take more exams to get my license to practice in the US. I sort of have been on my own all this time because I was just diagnosed last year and I stopped taking medication because the side effects are really bad and now I want to get alternative treatment but it’s just too damn expensive. I know I need a lot of treatment but I don’t know how to deal with that, knowing I can’t afford it. My pride won’t let me ask my mom for money because I feel she should offer me instead. Sometimes I feel like failing the exam just so everyone can be worried about me but maybe that’s just a psychotic idea. I really don’t want to fail though so I’m just trying my best to study when ever my symptoms let me.

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Hey @Rosey

Depending on how long you have been seeing this guy for you should be completely honest with him about your past when you two are at a comfortable place in your relationship. It is a big step to talk about it and the fear of him ditching you will continue to repeat in your head until something is done.

Your guy friend should know what is going on in your head a little bit regarding this and might know a way he can help. Remember friend that both of you are in this relationship together for support and compassion even while you are taking your exams. Consider taking a semester off from school so that you can have the time to seek the appropriate treatment.

Talk to your mom as well about what is going on, she should have some wisdom and knowledge to share.

Keep going friend

EF

I graduated last year (from the Caribbean) but I still have to take exams to get my license (for the US). I am a bit uncomfortable about telling my guy friend about my diagnosis because I had another friend who claimed he loved me when I was still on medication with the side effects. He would check in with me once in a while and we would go out together. At first he was like a blessing in disguise but later he moved to another state for work and he just stopped checking up on me. That hurt a lot and I hated it. I was the one reaching out to him and making sure he was alright and things were not the same. I heard he had a new girlfriend but for some reason he was keeping that away from me. I just cut him off because the situation got too toxic for me and my mind couldn’t handle it. My mom was also supportive at first but after a while she just stopped caring. I don’t really act crazy or react a lot so they all just treat me like a normal person and expect much from me like I was magically cured. I had to stop contacting her too because it was making me sick. Now I’m just getting by each day trying to study whenever I get to.

Hey Rosey,

First off: congratulations for your studies. It’s awesome to see that you are determined to reach your goals and not let schizophrenia stop you doing this. Really. I don’t know if your family or friends are aware of the efforts you’re dedicating to this, but I can say that it’s awesome. I almost know nothing about schizophrenia, but I can easily imagine how it affects you and your capacity to study or focus on what you are learning. Again, I hope you are proud of your efforts.

My mom was also supportive at first but after a while she just stopped caring. I don’t really act crazy or react a lot so they all just treat me like a normal person and expect much from me like I was magically cured.

That’s really tough. I felt that way with my parents… almost constantly. The first time I told them I was diagnosed for clinical depression, my dad responded very kindly, my mom didn’t say anything, and then everything was back to the same again. Since then, it’s like I didn’t say anything. Which has been both frustrating and heartbreaking. I had to explain several times when and why I wasn’t “functioning” as I wanted to, but they didn’t seem to understand and were acting like this huge part of my life that mostly remains between me and me wasn’t real at all.

It’s hard to feel this gap between the knowledge you have of yourself and how your loved ones perceive you. It requires a lot of honest communication, about how you feel, how’s your life - but always in the limits of the boundaries that you set. If you need and want your mom to understand, and maybe support you financially, it might require some discussion with her. But if you don’t want to, or if you’re not ready yet, that’s okay too. This is your life, your choices, and you are the only one to know what you’re really comfortable with. Though it is still possible that your mom doesn’t know how to talk about it so she avoids the subject. Or maybe she just doesn’t understand how it is to live with schizophrenia - and what it implies to live without any medication at the moment. She might need you to understand, if you are willing to let her understand. Just because 1/mental health in itself often needs a lot of communication to be truly understood, 2/your own experience is unique, and you are the most equipped to talk about it with the people you’d like to share it with. With your mom, it might be worth the try, or maybe it wouldn’t lead to anything special. I guess it also depends on your current relationship with her. If you feel like there is genuine love and care between you, but maybe you’re both struggling to find the right way to communicate, then maybe it would be worth trying? Otherwise, regarding your treatment options, as a student you might have the possibility to receive some help on this matter. With your school, public services… depending on where you live and how it’s organized there. Maybe you could ask other students about their health insurances and which services they could refer you to? Just a few thoughts.

In any case, you deserve to receive the care you need. I want to believe that this might be an opportunity for both your mom and you to connect differently and create more understanding between you two. But I also hear your disappointment, as you expected her to offer you to pay for the treatment, which is totally understandable. Through any decision you’ll make, know that we are here to support you as well. What you are going through, but also your strength, are not invisible nor ignored.

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