I have Schizophrenia and understand what it feels like and what it is to live like someone with the disease, but I do not any have academic training in psychology or experience treating the disease.
I am mentally ill. I have had Schizophrenia for over 25 years. What I write is based on my own personal experiences and those of others I know.
One thing I can say is that I have never gone off my medicine. Secondly, I was only committed once, when I was first diagnosed. Furthermore, that was voluntary and only for 11 days.
However, I am not trained in any kind of medicine or psychology and hold no degrees in any related areas.
I was first diagnosed by the admitting psychiatrist of my local behavioral health ward around the year 2000, but I likely had my first psychosis beginning in Army Basic Training in 1996. I now am and have been for over 20 years a disabled veteran with a service connected disability for Schizophrenia. I am very high functioning and I do not suffer from disorganized thought. But I do suffer from both paranoia and voices to the point that I cannot hold down a job.
Often I use the words mental illness and Schizophrenia interchangeably although I know there are other major mental illnesses and know other people with them. The reason for this is that Schizophrenia is hard to spell correctly and a lot of people who encounter this disease often likely have trouble spelling it as well. I do not know much about other mental illnesses as most my experience with mental illness is from my own diagnosis.