‘I’ve had a lot of diagnoses,’ blogger Erica Crompton tells us on this week’s episode of Mentally Yours, metro.co.uk’s weekly podcast on mental health.
‘I’ve had bipolar type 2, based on the fact that I’d booked some flights to Milan with only £50 in my bank account, then paranoid psychosis.
‘I was told that I might not have been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia because it’s a scary word, so they’d give me a diagnosis more like paranoid psychosis.’
It took Erica years before she was finally given the diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.
During that period, she experienced hallucinations, delusions, and intense paranoia.
‘I quit my job, I started cancelling trips, I couldn’t leave my room,’ says Erica.
‘I started researching on Facebook and online, looking at unsolved crimes. I was convinced that I was the perpetrators of these crimes.
‘I’d see a helicopter outside and I’d be convinced that it was looking in on me.
‘I thought that there was a conspiracy to send me to Moscow. I thought everyone knew that I’d committed these crimes, and they all wanted me to leave to the coldest place in the world to die of cancer because I smoked.’
Erica wasn’t talking to anyone about what was going on, so no one was there to explain that her thoughts weren’t reality.
When she eventually called an ambulance, it wasn’t to remedy her paranoia – it was because she thought a hospital might be able to help her as a ‘criminal’.
Erica talks about that experience, as well as her experiences with tactile hallucinations (that made buildings feel soft), stigma at work, and eating Farley’s rusks for two weeks as an attempt to be ‘reborn’, on this week’s episode of Mentally Yours.
You can listen to all of that, as well as Ellen (that’s me) ranting about BBC Panorama’s recent show about the link between antidepressants and murder, and Yvette sharing her experiences with suicidal thoughts, by clicking play on the Soundcloud link at the top of the post, or by subscribing to Mentally Yours through iTunes.
Oh, and you can check back next Monday for another episode. See you next week!