Hatty shares her experience of living with schizophrenia and the value of personalised support – the kind of flexible and individualised support that iDirect provide – but which is still too unusual.
My name is Hatty and I have paranoid schizophrenia. I am 33 years old. The first quarter of my life was fairly normal, but in the second quarter I started to be unwell. Nobody knew what was wrong with me and I began cutting myself and starving myself because I didn’t know how to cope with the voices and the Albino Man. I spent the whole of the third quarter of my life locked in Secure Units in an attempt to keep me safe.
I made some good friends, but my quality of life was very poor and I could see no way out.
The fourth quarter of my life so far has been spent happily in my own flat. I have a great team of support workers who are with me 24/7. I am living in the town where I grew up and have reconnected with old friends.
At the end of last year, I was asked whether I would make a film about my experiences. I was a bit nervous, but I really enjoyed the process. I think that it is a great way of saying thank you to all those people who believed that I could move safely into the community and make a good life for myself!
In the film you will see me with my mum and my boyfriend Adam. It gives a brief view of what my life is like. The voices and the Albino Man are still really frightening, but I am helped by having the right medication and the support of my family and friends.
Recently, there have been some brilliant conversations about mental health and I hope that my film will help everyone’s understanding of what it is like to have schizophrenia.