This is the 23 story of the Mental Illness Recovery Series. Kris is a strong young woman who has learned from the experiences of her mental disorders. This is her story:
Kris is from East Coast of the U.S. and she enjoys all types of music. She said, “I like to think music is a part of me, and a way to escape reality when I need it.” Her hobbies include drawing (doodling), writing, and roleplaying, which is strictly just writing. Her goal is to attend James Madison College as a social psychology major. Kris also wants to move out of her parents’ apartment, and live with her boyfriend in a townhouse.
Kris was diagnosed by a psychiatrist at a mental hospital with schizophrenic depression, meaning when one acts up, the other acts up. Not only that, but she also has sleeping issues, OCD symptoms, social anxiety, and permanent paranoia. She believes that her mental illnesses may have been caused by not consciously realizing she is transgendered while growing up. Another factor may have been the fights and financial problems her parents had. Her psychiatrist prescribed her various medicines and combined it with group therapy, in-hospital therapy, and out-hospital therapy.
Kris had to deal with difficult symptoms. When it came to the depression she felt anxiety, her sleeping cycle changed, leaving her constantly exhausted and Kris also felt helpless and isolated. The schizophrenia makes her feel paranoid with delusions and hallucinations. Not only that, but Kris also suffered with cognitive impairment, lack of motivation, social withdrawalness, and sometimes felt emotionless.
This has affected her daily life in many ways, her schizophrenia makes it hard for Kris to socialize. She said, “I am paranoid of other people.” She also has a hard time processing information. When her depression acts up, she gets sad, not wanting to get out of bed or even talk or breathe. Sadly Kris has attempted suicide twice and has self-harmed. She has also had thoughts of hurting others, but she never attempted anything. Her mental disorders has affected her relationship with others. Kris lost many friends and an ex-boyfriend. Her current boyfriend has a hard time understanding her, she said, “The boyfriend who I have now has difficulty with my depression sometimes, but he has depression as well, so it helps. He hasn’t experienced my schizophrenia full on, meaning hallucinations, but he’s seen me get more paranoid recently. He says he’s worried for me.”
The turning point for Kris to control her mental disorders was getting out of high school, she graduated with the GED program 2 years earlier. After starting college and flunking out the first semester due to depression, she took time for herself and got help from her 2 friends and boyfriend. They helped her get back on her feet. Kris said, “They gave me time when I needed, respected my negative thoughts, and stayed with me unlike everyone else. They would stay on the phone with me if I was having a panic attack, my boyfriend would let me come over just to sit down next to him, and they made me remember what it felt like to smile without a mask again.” The strategies Kris used to maintain control was listening to music, writing poetry and swimming.
This experience changed her outlook in life, she said, “I matured much faster than a lot of people in my grade or ‘generation’, and it has given me a lot of life experiences. There’s still a lot I have to go since I’m only 18, but I have been through more than the average young adult I believe.” This is Kris advice for others struggling through similar situations:
“No matter where you are in life, there is always a different perspective.”
Kris is strong and determined to overcome every obstacle her mental disorders may throw at her. With that determination she will be able to go to college and become a successful professional. Help me make a difference by sharing your story.