After seven years, Erica Crompton has learned to live with psychosis. But the fear her illness inspires in other people is much harder to get used to.
The onset was fast. It was December 2003 and the midnight screech of police sirens, usually no more than irritating, suddenly seemed deafening and unbearable. Sleepless and paranoid, I would wander the house at 3am seeking spy equipment. In the daytime, flickering TVs and "wrong number" callers to my mobile, things others would hardly register, seemed to signal imminent danger. And hovering helicopters zoomed in on my every move with sophisticated zoom-lens technology.