A life with Paranoid Schizophrenia and Bipolar 1 disorder


This is not something I usually write, and I’m struggling to write this right now because of some memory problems. I’ve been off on Facebook because I’m trying to take better care of myself, same goes for writing. I’ve been working on Adventures of Rayemue, now Guardian of Time off and on. I’ve been working on it all year and I’m currently at 30k words with hopes of getting it edited and published eventually.

Before I got accepted into the magazine, I just had autism, depression, and anxiety. My life was great, though kind of hard sometimes. I’m not going to go in full detail because I’m not comfortable putting personal information out in the world, but to let you in on my past, I was constantly bullied to the point I hated myself. I also had a history of cutting and having suicidal thoughts, some of which caused me to cut myself so much there were pools of blood on the ground. This was when I was 18 and I still have three large scars on my leg from that incident.

I had a big conversation with my therapist about it, in which she suggested that I might have psychosis because she noticed that I was developing what’s called negative symptoms of schizophrenia, because I was withdrawn and found basic self-care hard. I hated socializing, preferring my own company. Though, this didn’t used to be this way. I was still introverted.

I’d often spend my days at school, instead of talking to people. I drew things from my work in progress Starchild Rising, now Starborn Rising, and from books I read. I remember being so super obsessed with The Lunar Chronicles that I honestly thought I had the ability, or to one day develop the ability to create illusions with my mind. Same goes for The Young Elites, the main character had a similar ability. I also had a super high opinion of my writing that I thought I was destined to become famous, which honestly, I go back and read my writing, I laugh at how bad my writing was back then because I was still an amateur. All I cared back then was about these things both in my writing and the books I read. My whole world revolved around writing and became even worse. I stopped showering. I didn’t brush my hair. I didn’t brush my teeth, I smelled, and I didn’t care to clean my room. I even started to not care about people in my family. I only cared about myself and my writing.

Over the summer, I continued to go down this rabbit hole and this was after I graduated high school. I remember traveling to Denver with my family and while we stopped at restaurants, I thought that the waiters spat in my food, because my food tasted like spit. I had this spit thing all summer and didn’t know anything was wrong with it, till later.

In August was when I noticed something was wrong with me. I started thinking people were spying on me, people from the school I go to. I live across a college.

Eventually the “people were after me” thing got worse. I remember eating at the school cafeteria and hearing a bunch of people say something about poisoning me. Now these were other students at the school. And no, they didn’t poison me, but at that moment I panicked, thinking I was going to die.

After that, I began to think that all the food that I came across had poison in it, which I stopped eating. I stopped drinking things, including water because I thought it was poisoned. I thought the water supply was poisoned. I lost well over 30 pounds and was admitted to a mental hospital which they increased my Geodon, which was already prescribed to me. Geodon didn’t work and I got off of it and put-on Seroquel from what I remember.

This medication kind of worked. I had a delusion, but it was replaced with another delusion that wasn’t as complex as the previous one.

I started eating again, well I already did eat, but less frequently because I thought it was a life-or-death situation.

I was also diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

Later, even though the less complex delusion went away. I developed mood swings. I didn’t notice how it went up and down constantly until the February of the next year. I turned 20. And the mood swings got bad. This was when the hallucinations started to show themselves. I mostly saw shadows out of the corner of my eyes, and sometimes in my direct vision that would last for a second before it shifted to my left or right. I had nothing severe. So, I was admitted from the hospital from several depressive and manic episodes that each lasted a day. I also found myself crying for no reason, other than the fact that I felt like crap, which the nurses noticed, and I had to be constantly calmed down.

I was released from the mental hospital and was prescribed Lamictal and was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 disorder as well as Schizophrenia. I remember being on another medication, but I forgot its name.

And now, I’m on Lamictal and Rexulti, which kind of help but I don’t think any medication is going to truly fix anything. My mental illnesses have gotten so bad that I’m developing memory issues; going to college and studying is becoming increasingly difficult. I often find myself crying over doing the most mundane things like reading because I keep getting frustrated at myself for forgetting entire passages or other things a lot. I also end up crying when I study. It’s hard and some classes I gave up on because of dealing with mental illnesses. Also, my thoughts about myself fluctuate when I’m in a manic or depressed state. And I can’t tell which thoughts are real. I also don’t know about my memory. Is it really bad or is it another delusion?

I’m also starting to see things in my eye and think I’m going blind; I think I’m going bald. That I feel my internal organs trying to escape and spill on the ground in a bloody mess. These are things that are happening to me. Even though I’m dealing with these things, I’m trying my best that I can right now with college and my writing even though I might do mediocre in both areas. All I care about is graduating one day and publishing a somewhat decent book. I’ve actually been held back a year because of some of the issues I’m experiencing. And I hope one day, I am able to live with these disorders without help of a therapy team or a crisis line or mental hospitals.

Whoever is reading this, who is in a similar situation, just remember there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. And as my best friend and only true friend I had for well over 4 years told me ‘This too shall pass.’

I now have autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and anxiety and I’m a fighter!


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KE Blackham

Hello, my name is KE Blackham. I grew up with Utah after a diagnosis of Autism. I really struggled in my first year of school, often being taken out of my class to work with multiple para’s and teachers, who all very much adored me. But, everything else was hard. Kids got into fights with me, sometimes making fun of me. I had no friends and the only thing I had was my made up worlds. When I got my hands on Sarah J. Maas’s books I got inspired to write at the young age of 17. I decided that my drawings needed to have their own story. I put pen to paper and started to write. I started on my first draft of “Starchild Rising,” and instantly fell in love with Aeoliah, one of my main characters and continued her journey on paper. So far she has blossomed into this character I love. Now let's see exactly how far my writing journey will take me!
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