Breakthroughs on a lifelong journey of recovery | Illawarra Mercury

Sat Mar 1, 2014

Michael Heald has had a lifelong struggle with schizophrenia and depression but is now not only on the path to recovery, but helping others in the same situation. GEMMA KHAICY reports.

He lived in a world of hallucinations, unable to distinguish reality.

Warilla's Michael Heald was gripped by a mental illness that refused to let go.

When the 55-year-old tells his story his eyes are bright and his gaze steady, but his fidgety hands belie the nerves.

He was an intelligent, hardworking high school student when he began his slide into depression.

At 21, he first attempted suicide.

"Then things started to really go downhill when I started to hear voices," he says.

Diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder - a combination of schizophrenia and a mood disorder - he spent many months in and out of hospitals in Sydney and Goulburn.

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