I had the pleasure of meeting this awesome, inspiring and gorgeous human at Healthevoices. Here is her story.
Rachel Star Withers
Schizophrenic, 33 and adorable
When did you realize you had a problem?
I’ve always had schizo but officially diagnosed at 20.
When did you first start noticing symptoms?
I’ve been seeing monsters since I was a kid.
When did you start noticing your relationship with food and your body changing?
I’ve always obsessed about looks – my schizo plays on how I see myself so it can be hard. I avoid mirrors a lot and I am weird about the way clothing feels on me.
Why did you become an advocate?
I’ve been making videos documenting my schizo for 14 years now. I just make videos for me and others like me.
What lifts you up when you are down?
My devil dog- Toto
What advice would you give others going through something similar?
Be brave and get help.
When did you realize you needed help?
Ha, many many times throughout my life I have crashed.
How did your family and friends handle it?
It took my family a bit to fully understand.
What advice would you give to family and friends of people struggling?
Research, have an open mind.
What are your triggers?
One of the biggest with me is getting enough sleep. The less I sleep the worse I get.
How has it affected your relationships?
Um… romantic? I don’t have those- eww gross.
What do people say that you wish they didn’t?
I’m actually pretty cool with people. Some say stupid or clueless things but I like that because it gives me a chance to bust some knowledge on their heads.
Do you think the health care system is doing enough?
Nooooooooo. Mental health services are expensive.
How can people find you?