I found Duane through Rossa Forbes' blog - she had posted a comment about how psychiatric patients, or former ones, can now consider themselves free. This is something I kind of worked out already, by writing this blog over the last eighteen months or so - psychiatry is a load of tosh, so I and all other former patients are free from these labels already, if we let ourselves be.
I have an active and happy life. I don't think most people these days see me as having any particular problems. Maybe even a psychiatrist might say one day soon to me, 'Oh, you have been off medication for ten years and you have a family and you are well? And now you have written a book. OK, so it must have been a mistake. You don't have schizophrenia'.
On the one hand, that would be great. A psychiatrist actually told me after the birth of my second daughter that he was going to review my diagnosis - and for the two weeks until he came back and said that actually the diagnosis must stand (he had spoken to the rest of the 'Team', whoever they were, in the meantime and I suppose read through my notes) I felt really good. Like a proper person.
But I have kind of moved on. I'm not sure I would accept a re-diagnosis now as happily as I would have done a few years ago. Because that then leaves all the other people, who haven't recovered, who 'do' still have it. And I don't feel that is fair - if you get better against all the odds, you didn't have the illness after all. If you never get better - 'Well, ha ha, we were right'.
Now my attitude is changing. I am aware that I suffer from stress, but who doesn't? I am going to stop thinking of myself as inherently weak. And certainly not going to consider myself as having a mental illness any more.