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Member Stories – Nora

After 10 months of hearing voices that took many forms of disjointed reality, thinking people could read my mind, thinking the radio and TV were talking about me, hearing voices through the walls at work and at home hallucinations, I had major paranoia thinking that the KGB, FBI, CIA, and Mafia were after me. I also experienced feelings of apathy (the lack of caring about myself and others) and extreme confusion and disorganized behavior. In 1985 my boss persuaded me to seek professional help. I was immediately transferred to a local hospital where I was diagnosed as “Chronic Paranoid Schizophrenic.” My stay was 10 days.

In May 1987 my father’s sister died of a brain tumor and in July 1987 my father also died of a brain tumor. My symptoms worsened to the point that I thought that radiation was coming out of the computer and I had major paranoia and delusions. In October of 1987, I was admitted to another hospital where I stayed 3 weeks. After getting home, my sister-in-law saw Joanne Verbanic, founder of Schizophrenics Anonymous, on a cable TV program and persuaded me to attend the SA Meetings. I am thankful that she told me to go to the meetings.

In May of 1988 I was fired from my job due to major symptoms. I wasn’t showering, not eating right, wasn’t sleeping, and wasn’t cleaning the apartment. Along with psychosis, I suffered from depression, and in March of 1989, I admitted myself into another hospital where I stayed 2 months. After several hospitalizations, the stays were basically the same and the recovery was gradual. In February 1995 I moved into a semi-independent living apartment where I am now.

I’ve been a Schizophrenics Anonymous Group Leader since 1987, and in 1999 I received the “Above and Beyond Award” from SA. I travel around the state speaking and helping with conference exhibits. I have been asked by many places to speak.

With the help of SA, friends, family, church, clubhouse and the right medication I’m on the road to recovery. My nieces and nephews send me letters and cards through the year. Thank you Baylerians! I have learned that I am not alone in this illness.