"Feeling restrained by being prescribed medication and given a label"

About: Sligo/Leitrim Mental Health Services / Sligo Adult Community Mental Health Services University Hospital Galway

(as the patient),

I am writing to inform you about my concern with being diagnosed with schizophrennia and psychosis. I do not hear voices on a daily basis like a person with schizophrenia would and I don't hear voices like the voices I heard of a person with schizophrenia in the films online. I do not have characters in my head telling me bad things. I do not hear voices at all in my head telling me good or bad things.

There was a time when I was concerned because people around me were freeking out and talking about ibs and they pointed at me. I had a stomach problem at the time it happened and the setting was on the train. I told Mum about it at the time and she was very understanding but now she is referring to this as paranoia but it actually happened. I told the psychiatrist about this and I got diagnosed with schizophrenia. I do not think anyone is watching me or out to get me. Yet I was diagnosed with schizophrenia and placed on anti-psychotic medication.

As I don't hear voices in my head, am not worried that anyone is watching me or out to get but I do have some christian beliefs though. I feel out of place when it comes to discussion on services to do with psychosis and psychosis prevention. I don't feel like someone or don't believe that I am somone with schizophrenia or psychosis. I wish I never shared my christian beliefs such as the devil, with the psychiatrist because I feel I have been unconsciously labeled as crazy or insane and prescribed medication for it.

I wish to not be on this mental health program for too long and want to in time or soon wean myself off the medication but I do not know how and am not sure whether or not the psychiatric team will approve. I repeat, I do not hear voices and am not thinking or feeling that anyone is out to get me. Nobody is talking about me. People do gossip but I didn't think that would be labeled as a psychosis or schizophrenia.

How do I go about pulling out of the psychiatric care plan, system and the services all together so I can go back to having a normal life?

Thanks very much for your attention,

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Response from Edmond O'Mahony, Executive Clinical Director, Sligo Leitrim Mental Health Service 2 years ago
Edmond O'Mahony
Executive Clinical Director,
Sligo Leitrim Mental Health Service
Submitted on 11/05/2022 at 14:32
Published on Care Opinion at 14:35

picture of Edmond O'Mahony

Dear Sligo87patient,

Thank you very much for taking the time to post on Care Opinion. You have given a detailed description of your mental health concerns and I think I can understand why you are upset. I am struck by the fact that your explanation of things is very different to that of your treating team. You say you have been diagnosed with schizophrenia but that your reading of the symptoms of this diagnosis doesn't sound to you like the diagnosis is correct. You feel that you do not experience the common symptoms of schizophrenia, so therefore you doubt that the diagnosis is correct in your case. So the first thing I would recommend is that you contact your mental health team and arrange to have a discussion about your diagnosis. The members of the mental health team should always be prepared explain the reasons for the diagnosis, to review the diagnosis - and to change it, if necessary.

One other point I would make - to yourself and to others who may read this post - is that schizophrenia (or psychosis) can affect people in many different ways. You mention the symptoms of hearing voices and paranoia which can be experienced at times by people with this diagnosis. But some people do not have these symptoms and there are many other symptoms which people can also experience. One initiative that we have introduced in Sligo Leitrim Mental Health service in recent years is the introduction of an Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) team with the aim of early detection, support and treatment of these conditions. More information about this can be read at https://www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/cspd/ncps/mental-health/psychosis/

Finally, you ask about how to pull out of psychiatric services. I'm sorry to read that you are contemplating this. What I would suggest is that you speak about this also with your mental health team, when you are discussing your diagnosis. You talk about going back to a normal life - I would hope that the support of the mental health service should help you (rather than prevent you) to do this.

I wish you well in your recovery.

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