Schizophrenia: A Recovery – Jonathan Benjamin

Jonathan Benjamin describes his experience falling into mental illness, with depression,  hearing voices, thinking he was being visited by an angel then possessed by a devil, of self-harming, diagnosis, diagnoses, feeling numbed by medications; hopelessness; suicide – arrest, being sectioned and psychiatric discharge.

He talks of seeking help, running away from hospital; feeling let down when doctors said “there’s nothing we can do”; of  being scared of what was happening to him and being scared to talk about it.

As he sat on a bridge preparing to jump he was approached by someone who said “I’ve been there, I got better, now  I’m top of the world”.

earing the story from someone who’d been there and themself found a way to recover made all the difference  for Jonathan – even though moments later he was arrested and sectioned into a psychiatric ward.

Up till then, of all the people around him in hospitals, none were getting well  and now he began to think ” If he can do it, I can”.

He talks of how the medications were vital in helping him recover but equally vital was that sense of inner hope he found when he realised he could recover;  and the talk therapy, and for him the cognitive therapy that helped him  find a way out –  helped him learn how to  change the thoughts that ran around in his head.

And how he began to find some peace of mind when he realised he could resolve to accept himself and  accept that he might never find that peace he so desperately wanted but he was okay.

He also talks of the importance of the support he received from those around him and how supporting people in our lives who have mental illness is just as important as the support we give those who have any other serious illness.

At the end Jonathan talks about the importance of how we think of ourselves – and how we describe ourselves.

Instead of saying    “I am depressed”;            “I am schizophrenic”

say  instead          “I have depression“;   “I have schizophrenia

You would not say “I am cancer” .

You are not your mental illness.

Jonathan is a writer and poet and published a book of poems.

Pill after Pill

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6 Responses to Schizophrenia: A Recovery – Jonathan Benjamin

  1. ladyprecious says:

    Reblogged this on Lady Precious and commented:
    This guy’s story of recovery is amazing!


    • That Jonathan Benjamin tells his story so well is amazing.

      …maybe what’s really amazing is that in our society we do not expect that people can or will recover .


    • ladyprecious says:

      I think that’s a bit of a generalisation. The only reason some people don’t expect that people can recover is because we tend to hear only the bad stories rather than the good. It’s all about headlines and what sells papers.

      I’m a mental Health Ward visitor and have also just qualified to train mental health professionals in the Mental Health System here in the UK and have met many people who believe we can recover and, like myself, make it our business to make sure people know things can get better via our blogs, YouTube videos, choice of profession etc…

      Personally, I think that saying “Jonathon tells his story so well is amazing” is actually doing him and the many others who tell their story well a disservice. There are loads of us!


    • I think you make the same point that I did in your first para- the only reason “some people don’t expect to recover is because we tend to hear only the bad stories”
      – so unless folks come across someone like Jonathan – or you – then they don’t know the half of it, yet people are constantly bombarded with other messages,

      and so when we find a great one told well we help to share …

      and, if you’re on that tip isn’t “there are loads of us” a generalisation ?
      – even if there are loads in UK [and I know a few], there are stil many more “oh, woe is me ” blogs than stories of recovery and there certainly aren’t loads here -and even where you are can you say there are there enough?.
      …like I said, seems to me we’re saying the same thing

      …and congratulations on your new qualification and the work you do
      …and that you have chance to do it – schemes like that do not exist everywhere…certainly not here.



    • ladyprecious says:

      I so totally agree with the ‘oh woe me’ comment that you made – it’s a very important factor in the difference between people who can recover and those who cannot.

      Thank you for your good wishes on my accreditation. It is a very new concept here but we use materials from across the globe – hopefully it will also go global!

      I think in life we can often sound as though we’re generalising even when we aren’t simply because of the words we use that can, due to the nature of language, be interpreted differently to different people! What I should have said is this guy’s video is amazing – I run many blogs so am always doing things quickly!!

      Yes, we are on the same page saying the same thing! I think your blog is amazing!!


  2. Wow… He speaks for so many. I felt like hugging him….


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