I believed the songs on the radio were specifically about me, and that my friends were plotting to set me up to look as if I'd committed robberies.I kept most of these worries to myself, and really only suffered a true breakdown two years later when I was between jobs and had more time to obsess over whether the police were coming to break down my doors.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).
For a start, there is the casual prejudice of terms such as 'psycho' and 'mental' being bandied around when cracking dating jokes with friends.
I'm not completely humourless about it, but it does confirm there still are, and probably always will be, ingrained prejudices about those, such as me, with mental health issues. Since my diagnosis, I've had two long-term relationships, one for three years, and one after that for nine months.
That definition has now been scrapped (psychiatric texts are constantly in review, as medical understanding of mental health grows) and officially I now suffer from paranoid schizophrenia.
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.
'I don't think anyone should have to shut themselves off from meaningful relationships outside of mental health, but it's great that there's such a sense of community out there,' she says.
'With many mental health online forums there is a fantastic solidarity among peers.
On the quest to finding our perfect match it seems we blindly let personality type tests and zodiac signs decide our fate to bring us closer to the one — and we’re not alone.
Every year, two million people take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a 93-question assessment exam that has been translated into 30 different languages to evaluate personalities for their career, education, management or leadership roles, relationships, counseling, parenting, team development, or to satisfy our natural curiosity.
As most people have fun, kooky usernames, I opt for Pea_Nutty. He looks very handsome and athletic - just my type.
He has bipolar disorder, which is a type of mental illness characterised by periods of extreme restlessness or mania, followed by depression.
I became completely withdrawn, never leaving my flat.