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My experience of Psychosis

Lucy* is 24, has experienced psychosis, has a learning disability and is diabetic.   She has been supported by the aspire Early Intervention in Psychosis team since November 2015. Lucy has written this blog with her Care Coordinator Sally about her experience of psychosis and the aspire service.

“When the psychosis began, it got very confusing at work and I had to go off sick because of stress. I was acting ‘weird’ at work, talking to myself a lot and thinking the staff were talking about me which made me feel really uncomfortable.

I had a job which was on a zero-hours contract. In August 2015 I applied for a permanent contract but unfortunately didn’t get it. I think the stress of not getting the job, uncertainty around work and still being on a zero-hours contract caused the psychosis.

My psychosis caused me to experience many unusual things: I was convinced there were paedophiles living in the basement of our house; I thought my mum was an imposter called Rosie; I thought that my step-dad was fake and that my younger brother and sister were my children; I saw hallucinations such as a tiger in my bedroom and I danced with the witch from Wicked the musical.

During the time I was unwell I played the drums a lot, one of my hobbies. Playing the drums helped me cope as it was a release and seemed to drown out the symptoms.

I was actually quite vulnerable to risk because I didn’t think I was diabetic but I’m insulin dependent.

I’ve attended a lot of aspire activities such as ‘action afternoon’, the ‘women’s group’, the ‘hearing voices group’ and the ‘walking group’.  I’ve also attended the Dramatherapy group programme twice, as well as some individual sessions. I enjoyed ‘action afternoon’ the most as we did lots of interesting things and I often helped plan activities.  The 1-1 Dramatherapy really helped with anxiety.

The aspire groups have helped me get out and about which has increased my self-confidence and lessened my anxiety. I’ve felt really supported and enjoyed the team aspect of the service.

I have regular medication reviews with the aspire team Psychiatrist and take antipsychotic medication which is now gradually being reduced.

I like to be kept busy and have a very active life. I volunteer at two different places, go to the gym, walk, watch TV and spend time with friends and family. In the future, I’d like to see myself in a decent job, ideally with a boyfriend and not taking any medication.  I’d like to carry on with my hobbies and not get too stressed about anything.”

* the name of the service user name has been changed

If you would like more information about our aspire Early Intervention in Psychosis service click here