I found Quentin’s successful outcome in this story very hopeful. I don’t have schizophrenia, antipsychotics did not turn out to be useful for me, but it’s great to hear how they do work for many people with schizophrenia and how the outcomes can now be so different in comparison to the times before invention of antipsychotics. My psychosis has also mostly subsided since the treatment of encephalitis with intravenous steroids, prednisone, and intravenous immunoglobulin. I do have issues remaining with depression, but definitely the psychosis is maybe at the 5% level of what is used to be, and many times of the day no psychosis is currently present at all for me. Sometimes I even have thoughts – hey, maybe it wasn’t that bad, was I really that psychotic? Maybe I am exaggerating my story? But then I look back and yes, it was terrible, it was hell.
If you listen to Quentin’s story, I had actually very similar symptoms as he describes – I had persistent thoughts that my boyfriend and my parents were in danger and that only I had to protect them with my thoughts. Then also came the idea that me being anxious about their safety is increasing the danger, so they would be safer if I didn’t exist, because it was my thoughts that were putting them in danger. And these ideas were not occasional, they were persisting every second of the day. It’s easy to realize that it’s not possible to function or have any desire to live that way, especially if you are convinced that by being alive you are putting very close people to you in danger. I don’t really want to imagine what would happen to me if I didn’t figure out that I had encephalitis and wouldn’t get the immunosuppressant treatment, or what would happen to young people like Quentin before the invention of antipsychotics. I’m glad that his treatment story is a very positive one and that currently he is doing really well, studying for his engineering degree, doing an internship at a lab, and finding interest in life.