Early Assessment and Support Alliance

Debbie’s Story

I had always been a very active, social person. I had a lot of friends, and I was into soccer and music. About halfway through my senior year in high school I started to notice things that were weird. I would hear voices talking about me when nobody else was around. It was hard to focus on my work.

I started to think there were Nazis everywhere, and that there was a conspiracy. I thought my mom was trying to poison me. I was so scared I just tried to avoid everybody. My friends kept telling me there was something wrong, that I needed some help. My mom and them introduced me to a counselor from EAST. It was hard to trust anybody, but I knew there was something wrong. I decided to try medicine, and it helped. The voices stopped and I could hardly believe I had thought people were trying to hurt me. Sometimes when things are stressful or if I get sick I still have a relapse. I have to watch my early warning signs, like sleep problems and noticing that colors are getting more intense. I just call the doctor if those things happen, and we keep things under control. I’m in college now, and I’m going into business. I’ve got lots of friends again, and I’m doing well in classes. Last summer I went to Europe on my own. So I guess I’d tell people, don’t try to manage this on your own. You can do it, but you need help. And listen to the people you trust.