The experience of schizotypal disorder from within: a user`s first person perspective.

Marie-Louise Henricson1; 1Holte, Denmark

I’m a service-user since 22 years. It has been, and still is, a long and troublesome journey. My journey has brought me through several diagnoses and treatments, and it took 18 years until I finally was diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder. My troubles started in childhood. I have always been in doubt about who I was; I have a thousand thoughts in my head, that drains my energy, I suffer from suspiciousness, all kinds of anxiety, so called attenuate psychotic symptoms, mood swings and depressions; I also have a tendency to isolation, depersonalization, low self-esteem, and much more. My worst nuisance is derealization. It's like I see the world two-dimensional, while others see it three-dimensional. I work in the financial business, but my illness wearies me so much that I can only work one day a week. Life is a daily struggle, but it is important for me to appear normal, so I’m keeping up appearances. My illness is partly due to a loss of first person perspective on the world, but in a way my journey has made me an expert on first person accounts of symptoms, treatment and psychiatry in broad. An experience I gladly share. During a live interview I will explain my symptoms and coping strategies from my 38 years living with schizotypal disorder. As I have received several different diagnoses in time, I believe that this can be extremely helpful for clinician as well as for other service-users.

Topic Area: Diagnosis and Phenomenology

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