David Faith was at university when he started to experience upsetting delusions, and became fixed on the idea that he was being filmed by hidden cameras for a reality TV show aired all over the world.
However after a long journey to recovery, with the help of his family, friends and a supportive psychiatrist, David was able to come off medication, going on to become a lawyer, dad and recently a husband.
Now off medication and symptom free for four years David is highlighting the importance of supporting each other.
David first experienced delusions at the age of 19 which caused him to think he was the focus of a reality show that everyone was watching on TV.
Worried about his health David’s mum took him to see his GP and he was referred to the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. Slowly David began to get better and with the help of his mum was able to leave the hospital and go back to university.
Unfortunately he relapsed and his condition was worse second time around. David was convinced that the filming had never stopped and believed he had been watched in hospital. David then developed new symptoms and came to believe people could hear his thoughts.
At the same time he was hearing voices in his head which would comment on everything David was doing and thinking in a very critical and upsetting way.
David was reluctant to go to the doctor and for months he was convinced the TV show was real.
After finally deciding to get help, he was admitted back to hospital and slowly bean to get better. The voices went away first, but the delusions took longer and would come back if he was in a stressful social situation.
When in hospital the support from his family and friends made a huge difference.
“I remember when I was in hospital, some of my friends came to visit and we just took a Frisbee out into the hospital grounds and chucked it about. Such a simple thing, but it meant I knew my pals were on my side and they still cared about me even though I was having mental health problems. These kinds of little gestures can mean the world.”
Over the years his symptoms slowly reduced until it got to the point that he couldn’t remember the last time he had experienced delusions.
David spoke at length with his psychiatrist in Glasgow who agreed that he could slowly come off the medication.
David said: “If I hadn’t been lucky enough to meet the right psychiatrist I’m not sure that would ever have happened. I’d still be suffering from the exhausting side effects to this day.
“I spoke to other care practitioners in that time who seemed quite shocked that someone with schizophrenia would even try and come off medication but it’s been a great success and I’ve now been off the meds for four years with no symptoms.”
In the last few years David studied to become a solicitor, getting a job at a law firm before moving on to work as a living wage accreditation officer at the Poverty Alliance.
This year he married his wife Kate and the support of a loving family has helped David in the final stage of his recovery.
He said: “Feeling accepted for who I am and loved despite my flaws has had such a positive effect on my mental health and definitely helped get me to a stage where I felt ready to come off medication.
“Becoming a father has also been really good for my mental health, having a son has changed the way I feel about myself. I feel more accepting of the person I’ve become. That definitely helps to keep me sane – even at the moment when we’re trying potty-training.”Back to stories