Are you suffereing from a mental illness or supporting someone who is?

I am suffering but am high functioning

What is your gender?

Male

What is the nature of your illness?

schizophrenia

What area of technology/security are you in?

Dev/Sec/Data Science

How has your illness/issue affected your work?

At times it does, as it leaves me to continuously question my own findings, and forces me to prove things further to be confident in results. It in part has lead me to move more towards fields of work that focus less on interpretable results (reversing/investigating/etc) to work that has more provable results.

Have any co-workers that were aware been generally supportive of you with this issue?

Yes

Have your friends been generally supportive of you with this issue?

Yes

Has your family been generally supportive of you with this issue?

Yes

How long have you had this issue?

Close to a decade now.

I was diagnosed in my early 20s which is common for the onset of schizophrenia. There were signs earlier on, but nothing quite to an extent that I realized was not normal.

Does your family have a history of being affected by this issue?

No.

Do you see a therapist?

Not currently.

If you don’t have professional help, how do you cope?

Before I was diagnosed, my life was falling apart as I fell into a deep web of a delusions and hallucinations which made my life a living hell. After most everything had burned down, I voluntarily commited myself when faced with the fork in the road of be homeless with no resources or start trying to fix things. It was roughly 2 years after the schizophrenia had positive symptoms.

What was the hardest thing about seeking help?

Recognizing that my mind was not something I could trust

Do you self medicate/use substances?

Not really, although sometimes I use benadryl to battle anxiety

What are you most afraid of?

The schizophrenia taking over and going back into the hell of thinking everything was trying to rip me apart.

What makes you hopeful?

I’ve been lucky enough that my illness has been reasonably managable. I’m not sure if that’s entirely because of my approach to it, or a combination with the lack of extreme severity of its persistence. As long as I avoid things that set me off, and recognize when I fail to avoid them, I feel I can live a life with almost no one knowing of my illness.

Are there any other questions we missed that you would want asked of you or that you would like to ask others dealing with mental health issues?

At times it does, as it leaves me to continuously question my own findings, and forces me to prove things further to be confident in results I minored in psych and found it helpful in coping. It might make sense to ask about what level of psych education folks have and how it has affected their approach to coping. I suspect that this will lead up to folks with more psych education having better coping mechanisms, and in general push that the laughable state of mental health care could be improved with general education having more of a focus on psycholigical issues.