From psychosis to: Imogen's story

21/02/2022


Imogen, 27, lives in London and started experiencing psychosis as a teenager. She struggled to get an initial diagnosis. She eventually got the support she needed and is now doing well, studying part-time at Birbeck University
. Here she shares her story and why she is so passionate about the campaign.

From my early teenage years, I was hearing voices on occasions, which I now realise was an early symptom of psychosis. I was really frightened because I didn't know what was happening. I didn't know the language around hearing voices or psychosis, or what that meant. I just knew that the things that they were saying to me were scary because it was often about harming myself. But I just did not feel like I had the vocabulary to say to someone in my life that ‘this is what's happening’. Looking back, it may have been stress-induced due to my undiagnosed autism.

When I was 15, I had a major breakdown and was hospitalised for several months. But I don’t think it was taken seriously at the time; my family were told I was badly behaved. But then another breakdown followed when I was 16. A psychiatrist asked me questions for a couple of hours during my breakdown and he told my mum that I was having a psychotic episode.

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and autism as well. I am bipolar type 1, which means I get psychotic episodes, as well as the depression and the mania that people with a diagnosis of bipolar can experience. I was put on anti-psychotic medication, alongside therapy and seeing a social worker. I also spent a lot of time reading up on it, and understanding it, so that I could talk about things, and learn the triggers. It was this combination of things that worked for me.

We care about your privacy
This website uses cookies to give you the best experience.
Read our updated privacy policy and cookies policy