Living with schizophrenia, and the road to recovery

Bill MacPhee is a mental health recovery expert who has lived with schizophrenia since he was in his twenty's.

He is here in Great Falls to speak about his road to recovery at the Montana state conference on mental illness, hoping to teach people about life outside their disorder.

In his younger years he was hospitalized 6 times, lived in group homes 3 times and even attempted suicide, and now he teaches people how to recover from mental illnesses.

Bill had a childhood passion for swimming which led him to a career as a commercial deep sea diver. Having such a promising career ahead of him, everything seemed wonderful, but then everything came crashing down for Bill when his symptoms of schizophrenia started to set in.

He suffered from hallucinations, paranoia and hearing voices in his head. From the adventures of diving the deep sea to finding himself constrained to his parent's couch in fear for five years. He says after years of extensive therapy and medication, he found a life after mental illness.

“My definition of recovery and it's not just for mental illness but it’s for everybody. Recovery is when you would not want to be anyone than who you are today,” says Bill MacPhee.

MacPhee’s schizophrenia also had a detrimental effect on his social life, he couldn't deal with crowds. He felt like there was no place for him in this world, but now after his recovery, he tells his story to the masses and coaches people onto their road to recovery.

MacPhee has written a book telling his whole life story and how to help cope with mental illness. He will be speaking tomorrow at the Best Western Plus Heritage Inn at 10 am.

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