I take medication every day to control my condition, and to all intents you would never know unless I told you. I am a freelance writer, having worked since school in newspapers.
It's a bit like diabetes: if I keep taking the tablets, I'm fine. I have friends who know about my diagnosis, and some colleagues who presumably don't (although these days if you Google my name, you find the articles I have written about my mental health).
But being schizophrenic has complicated my romantic life.
For a start, there is the casual prejudice of terms such as 'psycho' and 'mental' being bandied around when cracking dating jokes with friends.
That alone is almost assuredly a relationship killer. Although there have been periods of uncertainty and minor episodes, there has never been the stereotypical hundreds of phone calls in a single night threatening to kill myself that most people would associate with a crazy lover.
I’ll be the first to admit that at times my impulse control has been a little out of whack, but never to that degree.
I’ve been on dates, sure, but none of the potential relationships lasted past the second date.
I’ve heard that I’m picky, that I’m not vulnerable enough or that I’m just plain afraid of being in a relationship. Either because of a poor fit or because I’ve been too nervous, pushy or paranoid, it’s never clicked.
You know you’re superficially compatible, but what about the important things—values, life goals, political beliefs?
They persuaded me to stop taking my tablets and, of course, I quickly became unwell. I started to suffer symptoms of psychosis - paranoid thoughts, and obsessions - in 2001.
You spend the earlier parts of your relationship trying to “read” the other person; trying to make sure you’re both on the same page.
Let’s say you care about this person enough to consider spending the rest of your life with them.
Then, there are the practical questions to consider, like are you willing to move for said person, or what is said person’s health history? What do you do when the person you’re falling for is struggling with a condition that’s too complex for even your partner to understand?