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Member Stories – Jamie

Hi, my name is Jamie and I found I had symptoms of schizophrenia when I was 15 years old. At first I thought it was “growing pains.” My first stay in the hospital was very strange. I heard voices, had delusions and I felt very depressed. The depressions could last from one week to six months. Working was hard for me because of the voices and fear, so I jumped from job to job, holding about two dozen different jobs in just seven years.

I had many hospital stays, including three separate stays in each of two hospitals. I tried several different medicines, including Stelazine and Haldol (which stopped the voices but left me still depressed and filled with irrational fears) and finally I tried the new medicine. I now take a maintenance dose of the atypical medication and my doctor tells me I have no negative symptoms. My future looks bright and hope-filled.

Having worked at part-time jobs and volunteered at the local community mental health center, I was asked to be on the Woodlands Recipient Rights Advisory Committee. I served this group for six years. In 1998 I started on the Woodland Consumer Advisory Committee. I am active as an SA Group Leader Liaison, coordinating group development in Michigan. SA has enriched my life with friends and a satisfying job. Thanks, Schizophrenics Anonymous!