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Building Trust

Trusting others is a hard thing to do in general, but it is especially difficult living with an illness such as schizophrenia, that makes you paranoid and suspicious of even your closest friends and relatives. This was especially difficult for me to deal with in the early stages of the illness, when I was oblivous, as well as family and friends were, to the fact that I even had a mental illness. The illness made me think my mother could read my mind along with members of the community, the illness also made me believe my aunt and cafeteria staff were trying to poison me or to harm me, and everyone was against me (even if they were a complete stranger). My illness made me think my family was against me or were replacements, this freaked me out! Because I did not know who was who so I asked each member various questions only they would know to distinguish the fake from the real.

After spending some time away from my family in the hospital and in independent living and being stabalized on medication, I began to rebuild a trusting relationship with family. We talked everyday since we lived in different states, my mother and sister in Atlanta, and me in San Diego. They were very concerned about my overall treatment- in independent living and with my doctor.

Building trust with someone is very important because they may help you make a very difficult decision such as moving, like my familly did with me. They offer a unique form of support that nobody else can fulfill. My advocates are my mother, sister, and my stepfather. We discuss my symptoms, daily rituals, and spend time together.

I encourage everyone to find someone they could trust, it does not have to be a family member, it could be someone on your treatment team, your significant other, or a good friend, anyone who you feel comfortable with and who has your best interest. Taking your medication is one of the most important things you could do to help yourself so that you can think rationally and can build trust with someone again.

To learn more about schizophrenia and to get support visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness or Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada).


I can really relate to this post even though I don't have schizophrenia. When I had a psychotic episode a couple of years ago I was extremely paranoid and believed that everyone I knew hated me and were in on some kind of conspiracy against me. Sadly this even included my husband. I literally felt that I couldn't trust anyone. It scared me so much that I seriously contemplated suicide and probably would have followed through with it had I not been put on Risperdal. Trust is so vitally important for anyone with a mental illness.
As Lovers Go said…
do you live in NS? you are doing so well for being there if you are. We have had nothing but bad experiences with the mental health care system.
Anonymous said…
Trusting someone and having their trust is important. My support is my wife Margaret. She doesn't have any mental illness, so at times she doesn't know what to say or do, but she's always there for me...always.
Anonymous said…
I thought everyone was against me too. Even therapist and doctors. I have learned to trust the doctors (most of them) and the therapists better. They really do have my best interest in mind, though I didn't use to think that.
Valash said…
Anonymous Drifter,
I am glad you are well now. I agree with you that people with mental illness need someone to trust, that also applies to people without mental illness.

As Lovers Go,
I live in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. I hope things turn around for you.

That is good you have Margaret who is there for you.

I am glad you trust your doctors, that is very important to form a good relationship with them so they can better help you.

Thanks for commenting!

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