Iain shares his personal story of how Support in Mind Scotland and the Fife Hearing Voices Network have helped support him after a turbulent period in his life...

WHEN I was 16 years old I got involved in taking drugs and drinking alcohol and because of this I would be awake for days and get hardly any sleep. From the drugs I started to get hallucinations of beasties crawling up my arms so I phoned the council to get rid of them, but there was nothing there. This was around the time I started to hear voices.

The voices were saying things such as “kill yourself” and they were very severe. To be able to try and cope with the voices I took amphetamines which made me relaxed to begin with but when they wore off the voices were still there and it got worse.

I was probably about 17 years old when I recognised that I was hearing voices and hallucinating but I didn’t speak to anyone about it. I moved to England and started shoplifting and breaking into shops and because of this I ended up in prison a couple of times.

I recognised that I was hearing voices and hallucinating, but at first I didn’t speak to anyone about it

When I was 20 I was back living in Scotland and had a big drinking binge which put me in hospital and this is where I first had a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist diagnosed me as being a ‘paranoid psychotic’ but I was glad to get the help that I needed.

After this I still continued to drink and take drugs and it wasn’t until my mum died when I was 27 that I decided to move to the Isle of Skye. I thought this would be a good way to get away from everything at home but I ended up feeling really isolated and had a break down. I spent four months in a psychiatric hospital in Inverness.

When I got out of this hospital I went back home and had more support from a psychiatrist but I did not stop taking drugs until 2 years ago.

Since coming off the drugs my voices are still there but are not as bad. I usually hear whistling or laughing and I also see the devil a lot but I feel that I can cope with the voices better now. I use TV to distract the voices and my medication helps a lot.

Support in Mind has been a huge help to me and I have been involved with them for around one year now

Support in Mind has been a huge help to me and I have been involved with them for around one year now. I was referred to the Hearing Voices group by another mental health project. Going to the Hearing Voices group has been supportive for me as I have got to know people who are in the same position as me. When I hear people talk about their voices I often say to myself, “I’m like that too” which reminds me that I’m not alone.

 If I were to give advice to someone that was in a similar situation as me, I would say:

  • It’s not worth the trouble
  • You’ll end up in prison and it’s not a nice place to be in
  • You can fight back at the voices, don’t let them get you down, they’re not real
  • Take it one day at a time

For more information contact:

Fife Hearing Voices Network at Support in Mind Fife Services

Tel: 01592 649785 or 01592 268388

or email us at: [email protected]