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[P]
Journal of a Schizophrenic

By fsh in Culture
Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 09:48:43 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Schizophrenia is one of the most widely spread psychological disorders around, and its sufferers show a wide assortment of symptoms, sometimes easily coped with, sometimes not. Studies have shown that in any given hospital as many as 1 in 5 patients suffer from some form of schizophrenia.

Nationwide, approximately 1% of the US population is schizophrenic.


Here's a breakdown of the main symptoms. Most people will suffer from a few of these, while the bad cases involve many.

1) Social Dysfunction - lack of interest in social groups, friendships
2) Sexual Dysfunction - lack of interest in sexual relationships
3) Emotional Dysfunction - lack of expression, monotone voice
4) Hallucination - most commonly auditory, ie hearing voices (very rarely visual)
5) Inappropriate Responses - laughing at bad news, or crying at a joke
6) Delusions - of grandeur, or more commonly of persecution.

I first started hearing voices when I lived in Chapel Hill, NC, right beside the UNC campus (up the hill from the Dean Dome for any basketball afficianados). I lived in a great big house with 6 other people, and there was a pool table in the garage. No one else was around - I'd always liked being by myself a little - when I heard someone call my name. I looked around and didn't see anyone; I walked outside and couldn't find anyone. I chalked it up to overactive imagination and went back to the table.

Over the next several days I heard my name called out several more times. This isn't terribly unusual for me, as my name is very common. The unusual part is that it only happened when I knew I was alone, never when other people were around.

A week went by, and I was again practicing at the pool table, when I heard the voice.

It: I can help
Me: Who the fuck are you anyway?
It: We are the same, we are together
Me: I am me. I don't know what you are.
It: Trust is important
Me: Trust and respect are earned.
It: At least we have a chance. Perhaps we will talk again
Now I've read many science fiction and fantasy books where the lead character has a mental companion, a voice in his head, and I always thought that it would be so incredibly cool. The reality was terrifying. When this exchange was done, I was breathing like I had just run a marathon, and for the rest of the day, as my roommates began to come home, I couldn't help but think they were somehow the cause of it, maybe a speaker in the garage, a candid camera moment.

It: Can we talk?
Me: I'm a little busy right now.
It: Of course.
The house was old, and my closet wall showed the pencil marks where the original owners had marked the heights of their children, dating back to 1942. Two sets of marks went up to over three feet over ten years, but one set stopped early. I became convinced that the voice was a ghost of the house, and, coming to terms with that, I resolved to contact it again.

Me: Are you real?
Me: Are you even there?
I didn't hear the voice for almost a week, and had chalked it up to a bored mind, or an overactive imagination. Out in the garage one day, I heard my name again.

Me: Jesus H. Christ, I need to see a shrink.
It: That's not necessary. We could play some pool, and talk. Not out loud, please.
Me: .... Are you really there? Prove it - tell me something I don't know.
It: That's not how it works. We share the same physical body, we have the same hippocampus, the same brain; the same memories. We think differently, act differently.
Me: Then how can we play a game of pool?
It: It will be very difficult. Set up the table, take a shot, and then step back. I promise that I will step back after the game.
Me: No way. This is insane.
There is no way for me to describe the fear I felt when I heard the voice offer to play pool with me. Until that point, I was sure that it was just some subconscious part of my imagination toying with me, but when I heard that, I was *sure*, absolutely one hundred percent positive that I was talking to something outside of myself. I was mortified, and so I ignored it.

Over the next several weeks I heard the voice every once in a while, but always in the house, when I was by myself. I became used to it, looked forward to it on occasion. I started playing pool with it. We would play a regular game of eight ball, me with the right hand and the voice with the left. I had never shot with my left hand before, but the voice won as often as not. I thought the voice was a house ghost at one point, which explained why I never heard it outside the house. Listening to Harry Chapin (Cat's in the Cradle) one night, I was convinced the voice was Harry Chapin's ghost, and over the next few months worked out a theory of ghosts.

The Mechanism of Soul Tranfer
An Executive Summary

When you die, you detatch from your body, but bodies have strong pulls for ghosts. Many people are voyeurs, so they would be keen to watch other people making love. If there was a conception when that happened, the newly formed body would pull the ghost in. If you managed to avoid that pitfall, however, you could zoom wherever you wanted, all over the world, to the moon, through the universe. Limited only by your own conception of speed. This, then is the second pitfall; once you've checked out the black hole at the center of the galaxy, how could you possibly find your way back home? The third pitfall is, of course, evil ghosts intent on enslaving you or destroying you.

This is an excerpt from the spiral notebook, about halfway through. I had pages and pages of this, all my arguments hinged together and linked like a Faberge Egg, beautiful and soft and glowing. Except that it made no sense whatsoever. I also quit my job as store manager for a local retail computer store, convinced that the management hated me. I began working at a Waldenbooks, barely paying the bills, eating into my savings for alcohol and marijuana.

*crack*, tick tick tick
Me: Hey, it's your shot....
Me: Oh, well.
I never completely finished the Mechanism, but while I worked on it, I didn't hear the voice. Once I stopped working on it, though, I started to become more interested in the voice, trying to get it to come back. Finally, one day at the pool table, I decided to let the 'ghost' take control of my body. I closed my eyes, and took a step back from the pool table. The tension flowed out of my shoulders, and the pool stick switched from the right to the left hand.
Me: Are you left-handed?
It: We are mostly ambi-dextrous. But it will simplify matters, help us separate, if one shoots right handed and the other shoots left.
Me: But you know how to play? Did you play in a past life or something?
It: .... We share our memories. We play pool about the same.
Me: Prove it.
It: 1 ball off the 4, side pocket, left handed. *crack* tick, drop
I grew more and more interested in the voice, to the extent that I had almost no dealings with other people, rarely talking to my roommates or coworkers.
Me: Hey, are you there?
Me: Do you have a name?
Alcohol and other mind altering drugs tend to exacerbate mental problems, and schizophrenia is no exception. I was in my room playing video games one evening, smoking marijuana from a little glass bong.
It: Ahh, this is nice. This place, it's easier to talk.
Me: Hey, you're back! This place? You mean my room?
It: No, it's something else....
Me: Probably the reefer.
It: Ahh.... What are we doing?
Me: Playing GoldenEye. I've been trying to beat this level for days.
It: May I try?
Me: How do I know you won't take over my body?
It: Like you're doing?
Me: It's *my* body!
It: It's our body. And I can take over if I want to.
At this point my eyes closed, and I went slack. I tried to scream, but it echoed in the back of my head. I wanted to control my body, but the voice told me not to. My arms stayed straight out in front of me, holding the controller. The voice commanded me to let go of the controller, and I did. The noise of the plastic clattering on the hard wood floor broke the spell; I jumped out of the chair and ran out of the house, into the woods. I went straight into the university, down to Franklin Street, with people everywhere. I found a corner seat at the Groundhog Inn, crawled in, and drank and drank and drank.

I did everything I could over the next several days to keep people around me, and stay out of the house. Mostly drank at the Groundhog. I kept thinking about what happened, though, and finally resolved to try to talk to the voice again, see if we could work things out between us. I went back to the pool table.

Me: Are you there?
Me: I want to talk about what happened the other night. If people notice that there's two people inside my head, we could hit some trouble. Maybe we could figure out some way to work this, lay down some rules.
It: We could see a psychologist
Me: But if they diagnose us with something, they might lock us up. Or try to fix us. Who knows if the end result will be me, you, or something else. I'd prefer to fix this so you and I can live 'normal' lives.
It: Agreed. But why do we need rules?
Me: Because this terrifies me. I can't help but think someday you'll take over, or something else will move in and take over, and I'll never be heard from again.
It: How do you know that this isn't part of the normal human experience? Maybe you're growing, and the young you is dying, and the old you is moving in to take over.
Me: I don't believe that for a second. I think we're both mature, and stable in our own ways. This just scares the piss out of me.
It: Everything scares you
Me: I know.
Me: But why?
It: Lack of center. Lack of statistical normal, the center around which everything turns. We are so abnormal that there is no place to start from, no way to lead a normal life when you can't point a finger and say, 'Now that's normal'.
Soon after this exchange, I quit my job at the book store, just walked out. I moved out of Chapel Hill a week later, just up and left everything behind, my roommates, my coworkers. Running away from a voice in my head. I moved in with my brother and found a job at a restaurant, a bar and grill where I was paid enough to cover my bills, and got half price on food and liquor. I never heard the voice again, although I still hear my name called out from time to time.

I say I hear a voice calling my name, but that's not quite what it is. It's more like that spark of recognition in your head just after someone calls your name, the realization that someone is talking to you. It's like you're reading a book or playing a game, and someone calls your name two or three times before you realize. You heard them the first two times, but the spark of realization hits the third time. That's what I mean when I say I hear my name from time to time.

Looking back on my journal these days is quite frankly disturbing. I've managed to detect these thought patterns now, see when I'm starting to steer toward delusion, but it's just so easy sometimes. One year ago I was convinced that I was embroiled in a vicious turf war at work, how everything everyone said there was precisely calculated to incriminate someone else to greater or lesser degree. I even convinced myself that someone had broken into my bookbag, which has a tiny keylock on it, and read through my journal. They had discovered all my most private thoughts, even those I hadn't written down, so they could use them against me. And it all started because someone said something that sounded a little bit like something I had written the day before in my journal.

Sometimes, I confess, I do miss the voice. I suppose it's difficult to have a more meaningful metaphysical conversation than with someone in your own head. And true: I don't have very many friends; I spend very little time with my family; I've never had a girlfriend or a boyfriend. But the thing is, I wouldn't have it any other way. I live in my books, through my writing, and because of my ideas. While I am often alone, I am very rarely lonely.

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Journal of a Schizophrenic | 194 comments (178 topical, 16 editorial, 5 hidden)
I don't think you're schizophrenic (1.80 / 5) (#6)
by pyramid termite on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 04:52:46 PM EST

I think that "voice" in your head is a part of yourself you're not listening to. If you ever hear it again, you should ask it what it wants and why.

One year ago I was convinced that I was embroiled in a vicious turf war at work, how everything everyone said there was precisely calculated to incriminate someone else to greater or lesser degree.

Heh. And why do you consider this a paranoid delusion? You've just described my workplace and many others.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
True, but ... (none / 2) (#10)
by pyramid termite on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 05:27:10 PM EST

... he's managing to work for a living without medication. He knows that his ideas about voices and people against him may be delusions.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
lots (none / 0) (#31)
by yeux on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 09:52:14 PM EST

of schizophrenics do.

[ Parent ]
This is really interesting stuff. So... (none / 3) (#13)
by Russell Dovey on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 06:25:59 PM EST

...how did you realise that you had schizophrenia?

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan

A Beautiful Mind (2.75 / 3) (#17)
by fsh on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 06:54:18 PM EST

Everything I'm relating happened in '96-'97.  I saw A Beautiful Mind when it came out a few years later, and, more importantly, read the book of the same title by Sylvia Nassar, which is much closer to the truth.  They had to change a lot of John Nash's life to make it a fit for the movies.  One thing in the book is a discussion on schizophrenia, and I noticed a lot that sounded *very* familiar, enough that I did some further research.

I'm not saying that I'm definitely schizophrenic; I've never been to a pshrynk.  Based on what I've read it seems very likely, however.  *shrug*
-fsh
[ Parent ]

What the F--k are you talking about... crayfish. (none / 0) (#191)
by OldCoder on Sun Feb 22, 2004 at 09:07:30 AM EST

This puzzled, challenging, questioning attitude is described in the Bible, especially in Exodus, where the Jews ask Moses why they are leaving Egypt, just to die in the wilderness (and couldn't they die just as easily in Egypt?). There is also a bunch of rebellion (Korach, the Golden Calf, the reaction to the Spies) in the Bible as the Jews adjust to the new set of rules. I believe that it is Exodus that describes the Jews as a "Stiff-necked people".

I just realized that I'm responding to your signature and not your post. It was your mention of the crayfish that triggered the association.

--
By reading this signature, you have agreed.
Copyright © 2003 OldCoder
[ Parent ]

diary of a madman.. -nt- (none / 2) (#15)
by Suppafly on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 06:42:33 PM EST


---
Playstation Sucks.
We're confused (2.50 / 4) (#16)
by Bill Melater on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 06:43:02 PM EST

Are you talking out loud during these discussions? And is the other answering using your vocal cords? Or is the other's voice entirely in your head?

If it was entirely internal, did the other have any sort of accent that would differentiate it from the continuous stream of noise most of us have going on in our heads?

And what kind of drugs were you doing at the time?



Re: We're confused (2.75 / 4) (#19)
by fsh on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 07:01:11 PM EST

The voice was always in my head.  It always had the same voice I have in my head, which is to say, not so much a voice but a cadence.  At first, I answered the voice out loud, but I very quickly started to internalize, when we had actual conversations.

To this day, I'll respond out loud when I 'hear' my name being called.

I drank a good bit at the time, and I smoked marijuana a few times a week.  The first several times I heard the voice, however, I was completely sober.  I have never taken hallucinogens of any sort.  Today, I almost never smoke marijuana, and I don't drink regularly.
-fsh
[ Parent ]

Minor nit (none / 0) (#68)
by Gully Foyle on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:34:37 AM EST

Marijuana is a mild hallucinogen.

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

Another Minor Nit (none / 0) (#162)
by BoredByPolitics on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 04:23:26 PM EST

Marijuana is a mild hallucinogen.
But you have to smoke/ingest an awful lot of it to experience a hallucination.

--
"Every contract has a sanity clause", "Sanity clause! Sanity clause! You can't fool me, there's no such thing as Sanity Claus"
[ Parent ]

Let me explain to you what happened (1.07 / 26) (#18)
by psychologist on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 07:01:00 PM EST

You see, that "voice" in your head is you thinking. Yes, thinking is that thing that people with an IQ above 10 do. I'm glad you have joined us.

Actually, don't fool yourself and believe that you are mentally ill. You are simply imaginative, and have difficulty in letting "background processes" work in your mind.

Don't fool yourself, there is no voice, and you are certainly not special.

Not just Thinking, Imagination (none / 2) (#23)
by fsh on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 07:16:30 PM EST

It's very difficult to explain, but I always knew the difference between my thinking and the voice. When you think, you don't always vocalize your thoughts, you just flow from idea to idea, image to image. Sometimes you do vocalize as well, frame each word in your mind. The voice always vocalized, never thought.

It's the difference, I suppose, between being tickled and tickling yourself. I never knew what the voice was going to say. Obviously, it came from somewhere inside me, but there was a gap, a schism, between the voice and my conscious thought.

*shrug* Maybe I am normal. That'd be just fine by me. I spent months trying to convince myself that the voice was something I made up, that the journal I kept was just an active imagination. But whenever I came close to convincing myself, the destructive delusions began to creep back in, resulting in the loss of a few jobs and many friends. I have found that if I assume I am schizophrenic, and watch for delusional behavior, I can lead an almost normal life.


-fsh
[ Parent ]

Please pay no attention to that troll (none / 1) (#57)
by jayhawk88 on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 09:58:22 AM EST



Why, then, should we grant government the Orwellian capability to listen at will and in real time to our communications across the Web? -- John Ashcroft
[ Parent ]
bah (none / 0) (#98)
by coderlemming on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 05:22:38 PM EST

Don't listen to the idiots in this thread (me excluded ;)).  You probably don't need them debasing your beliefs along with the rest of your problems.  MPD is a well-documented disorder, so your account is quite believable.


--
Go be impersonally used as an organic semen collector!  (porkchop_d_clown)
[ Parent ]
Thinking, but not from yourself (none / 0) (#66)
by Trevasel on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:29:20 AM EST

So, 'psychologist', I fell for your little troll, but I still feel the need to respond.

One of the theories of schizophrenia is that the mind doesn't subconsciously recognize the thinking as coming from itself. Consciously, you realize that it's you but you are affected by it as if it were another person. It is your thinking, but you don't react to it that way.
-- That which does not kill you only makes you stranger - Trevor Goodchild
[ Parent ]

My mom told me everybody is special, (none / 2) (#84)
by Baldrson Neutralizer on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 02:53:41 PM EST

except psychologist.
.
.
.

So stop projecting.

Modern life, in EVERY ASPECT, is a cult of mediocrity.-trhurler
[ Parent ]

Interesting stuff... (2.83 / 6) (#21)
by jmzero on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 07:08:57 PM EST

It's always tempting when you read this kind of stuff to write it off as fiction because the delusion is "too well-spoken" or something.  

For you doubters (if any), think back to conversations you've had in dreams.  In my dreams, at least, I remember plenty of conversations where the other people behaved and acted in a way not-altogether-different from the voice described in this story.  I've certainly had moments in dreams when I lost control of my body (or lost my body altogether), and I've certainly heard things that surprised me from dream personalities.  

It's easy for me to imagine this happening while awake - although I'm hoping it doesn't.  I don't know whether this is an altogether honest story or not - but I see no particular reason to doubt it.
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife

Seed of Delusion (none / 1) (#28)
by fsh on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 07:52:26 PM EST

I don't know whether this is an altogether honest story or not - but I see no particular reason to doubt it.

I appreciate your honesty. The reason I posted this here is that I was looking for some input, looking for people who are or who know schizophrenics. I am quite lucky if I am schizophrenic, because I seem to be able to live with it. Many, many people cannot, and are institutionalized when diagnosed, or kill themselves before they are. So if someone is reading this with some firsthand experience, I certainly want to talk with them.

Unfortunately, I can't afford a pshrynk, and am not sure if I would be comfortable going to one. I am certainly not comfortable talking to family or friends about it. I've tried to ease into it once or twice with a few people, my brother, a few friends, but I never actually come out and say it.
-fsh
[ Parent ]

Cheap psychological help (none / 2) (#29)
by TheNewWazoo on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 08:07:38 PM EST


If you live in a city with a university, there's a good chance that said uni offers low-cost councelling in conjunction with their psychology program. In fact, I just went and signed up for FSU's program a few hours ago (I was recently diagnosed bipolar). Such programs tend to be pretty good, so don't be apprehensive about them. The fact is that schizophrenia is not something you should take lightly, and you should seek help; if not for your benefit, then for the benefit of those who love you.

Please look into it.

B

[ Parent ]

I will look into it. (none / 0) (#33)
by fsh on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 10:56:46 PM EST

I am currently trying to get back into college for the fall term.  If that works out, I will most definitely look into that.
-fsh
[ Parent ]
Do it anyway (none / 0) (#75)
by TheNewWazoo on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:46:24 AM EST

You needn't be a college student to take advantage of such programs - I'm not. :)

B

[ Parent ]

Confusion (none / 1) (#120)
by mumble on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 09:57:48 AM EST

Don't confuse a psychologist with a psychiatrist. You go to the first one if you have some kind of marriage or relationship problems. Things that can be solved by lots of talking and self examination/introspection. Though some mentally ill people see psychologists, they are not the front line of attack. They are a secondary approach.

Psychiatrists on the other hand treat you if you have a mental illness. eg. bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, etc. Based on their training and prior experience, they then try out various drugs on you, to see what does and does not work in helping you to be "cured". Though cured is not quite the right word. In most cases, mental illness is NOT cured, it is a life long condition, but it CAN be managed. And (un)fortunately, some manage better than others.

I also recommend you talk to your family, as they can be a great support network. I also STRONGLY recommend you see a psychiatrist. Why? Because, unless you are in the minority, the longer you leave it untreated, the worse it gets! At some point you pass a point of no return, after which no medication will get you back to your original self.

I (c|w)ould add a LOT to this discussion, but I don't want my personal history imortalized on the web.

-----
stats for a better tomorrow
bitcoin: 1GsfkeggHSqbcVGS3GSJnwaCu6FYwF73fR
"They must know I'm here. The half and half jug is missing" - MDC.
"I've grown weary of googling the solutions to my many problems" - MDC.
[ Parent ]

Personal Experience (none / 2) (#38)
by JayGarner on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 11:43:37 PM EST

You function better than the schizophrenic I know, but are similar in some ways. He has had paranoid delusions where he reads way too much into what people say or do, and for a while would not eat anything not bought at a certain grocery store because 'the neighbors won't let me'.

He has held down a job now at a library that has lasted longer than any job I've had, but lately seems to be slipping again. It is a cyclical thing, he will stop taking meds, gradually decline, often end up hospitalized, which is something you have managed to avoid fortunately.

[ Parent ]

Re: Personal Experience (none / 3) (#39)
by fsh on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 12:07:20 AM EST

You wrote:
He has had paranoid delusions where he reads way too much into what people say or do, and for a while would not eat anything not bought at a certain grocery store because 'the neighbors won't let me'.
The first one is always the most insidious, simply because sometimes people really do try to insinuate things very obliquely. But there's a long list of weird little things that I've done as well, similar to the second. For instance, the last place I lived I took down all the blinds except the ones in my bedroom, because I knew they were spying on me, and I figured if the blinds were down they wouldn't have to break in. I also identified their lookout spots: the house across the street, the big maple tree beside my house, a huge bush out the back yard, and the corner room of the church building across the street.

Until now, though, I've never told anyone about any of this. One of my earliest paranoid thoughts was to never let them know I was on to them, and that I couldn't be sure of anyone, friends or family alike.

In my more lucid periods, like now, all I can think is 'who the hell are they anyway?'


-fsh
[ Parent ]

Who the hell are "they"? (none / 0) (#89)
by anderkoo on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 04:03:23 PM EST

It's good to know that there are lucid moments. When my mom is not ranting, I always feel like she's struggling mightily to keep herself under control, not that she's "lucid" or that the sun has broken through the clouds.

In her case "they" is my father and the Chinese mafia. Actually, the mafia thing has slowly disappeared and now mostly it's just my father and "they" -- some kind of vast conspiracy that's somehow siphoning away her money (she thinks they get a percentage or something off all her purchases), wrecking her stuff (thus causing her to buy things), following her car, and using some kind of headset/wireless technology to tell people what to say. She kind of projects her schizophrenia on other people, so that they believe one thing but are forced by "they" to say something else to her face. Fundamentally she's a good person, so I think this is her trying to continue to believe that other people are also good but are being forced to behave otherwise.



[ Parent ]
They (none / 1) (#106)
by Your Biggest Fan on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:03:31 PM EST

...some kind of vast conspiracy that's somehow siphoning away her money (she thinks they get a percentage or something off all her purchases)

sounds more like the IRS than the chinese mafia.


Sincerely,
Your Biggest Fan
[ Parent ]

Shrinks. (none / 2) (#46)
by For Whom The Bells Troll on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 05:44:58 AM EST

None of us can ever afford shrinks :-), but surely, you should explore medical options if it bugs you. Many cities these days have an early psychosis prevention programme or something where you can sign up for free and they'll test if you have psychosis or not. Most university personal guidance and counselling centers for instance, have linkups with such networks.

I can't say I emphathise with your experience fully, but I was diagnosed once as having shown early signs of psychosis; I once saw a half-clawed lady trying to bite my leg off while I was lying on my bed. On another occassion, I saw a neighbouring building being burnt by a ravacious mob. When they were going to attack my building as well, I began to run away, but only after grabbing my laptop. Somehow, after seeing the flicker on the laptop screen, the crowds disappeared, and the building being burnt was back to its earlier condition.

The experiences were troublesome for me in two respects:- first, and this is perhaps a point we find common ground, they were *extremely* scary. Second, and more critical for me, they put my earlier legendary powers of concentration into tailspin; I've had some significant problems concentrating even for ten minutes at a stretch. Now that was a development that was troublesome, to say the least, and for sure, my academic results took a nosedive for the worst. In fact, I was placed on probation for an entire semester after I flunked a module and got straight C's in all other subjects. This from an earlier B+ average, so it was big, relatively speaking.

I've had some sessions with a psych; most were fun because it was one place I could speak freely without any consideration for semantic structure or rational organisation. Which, by then, was the more significant bit, really; most of my old circle of acquiantances and friends had learnt to give me and my ramblings a wide breath. In an effort to, well while not necessarily be popular, but generally, get back into my earlier extrovertial lifestyle, I began self-censoring myself, mostly by playing mind-games with the other person. This I did by "guessing" what the other person wanted to hear the most, and then talking *only* about that; which was a stupid move, 'coz by then, I stopped expressing myself. So, the shrink sessions were helpful in those terms.

But what really helped me was, methinks, meditation. I learnt to meditate on a regular basis at first for religious reasons; I turned 18 by then, and had my coming-of-age ceremony within my community, which meant I had "access" to all those ancient rites that my forefathers laid down as law some 5000 years ago. One of them was, of course, meditating and praying to the Goddess and to my ancestors thrice daily, a rite that, in a very post-modernist way, was deeply interesting for me. More to the point, I was at peace with myself, who I am, where I belong to, whom I speak, and indeed, what I see and hear. I now regard myself as being gifted, in that I have insight into many topics (such as culture and how it spreads) that others do not necessarily have.

Sadly though, I no longer include matters regarding the mind into that list, so do take all this how much ever salt and pepper you want.

---
The Big F Word.
[ Parent ]

Re: Shrinks (none / 2) (#52)
by fsh on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 09:07:36 AM EST

I have been seriously considering a psychiatrist for the past year. The current problem is that I have no car (haven't for three-four years), and I don't live anywhere near a bus service. I was walking to work, but now I live too far away for that, so I get rides from my roommate, sister, and coworkers. I am currently applying to college, though, so hopefully I'll get in and be able to use their resources on the matter.

The experiences were troublesome for me in two respects:- first, and this is perhaps a point we find common ground, they were *extremely* scary.

This point is hard to emphasize enough. It is simply terrifying to realize that you can't trust your own senses. Once when I was a child, I got lost in the woods behind our old house. There was a river back there, which took a sharp turn, resulting in about two acres of swampy woodland. I didn't find my way home until late late that night. That was a very scary experience for an eight year old. But even then, I could trust what I saw and heard. I could hear trucks on the highway, or notice I had passed the same tree twice, and eventually made it home. With the delusions and the voice, there's no logical way to proceed, no map to help. It's not that you feel you can't find your way home, but that you feel home has disappeared and you're in hostile territory.

Thanks for the response, and I hope everything is going well for you now.


-fsh
[ Parent ]

Another schitzophrenic (none / 3) (#50)
by kesuari on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 08:49:33 AM EST

Not me of course :) No, Michael Crawford posted a series of articles here called Living with schitzoaffective disorder, which is essentially schitzophrenia + bipolar disorder. You might find it interesting.

[ Parent ]
I am almost postitive I'm not schizo, (none / 2) (#54)
by tzanger on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 09:29:30 AM EST

But having said that when you wrote about the calling of your name I knew exactly what you were talking about.

I have, on occassion, heard a woman's voice call my name... usually when I'm lying in bed trying to fall asleep.  It's never more then my name, but it always takes me by surprise.  I've tried answering but never get a response, and it's perhaps once every four to six months that I hear it.

I just put it down as neurons starting to (mis) fire just before entering dreamland, but as I said, the way you described the voice calling was very familliar to me.

[ Parent ]

That used to happen to me all the time... (none / 2) (#82)
by fn0rd on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 01:27:35 PM EST

...when I was a little kid, 4 or 5 years old, except it would happen just as I was waking up. I thought it was an angel at the time. I believe there is a name for this, and it's not a mental illnes.

This fatwa brought to you by the Agnostic Jihad
[ Parent ]

Hypnagogic hallucinations (none / 2) (#104)
by dn on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 09:57:58 PM EST

I once woke up during a dream and for a short time the visuals continued, but only when my eyes were closed. I could switch back and forth between the dream vision and the real world by opening and closing my eyes.

    I ♥
TOXIC
WASTE

[ Parent ]

Guy (none / 2) (#138)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 12:27:23 AM EST

That happens to me too from time to time. Not recently though, but when I would lie down to go to sleep I would hear the voices of people I know saying all sorts of stuff. Just some sort of hallucination, I guess. There were never any conversations either with me or without me, just random words or sentences. This never disturbed me - it just seemed to be hallucinations because there was nothing to hear, so I turned on some music or radio.

The other weird thing is that I generally don't remember my dreams at night, but if I take a nap recently I have very realistic dreams that are easy to confuse with reality.

For example, one day I went to bed and took a nap. I began dreaming. In my dream the doorbell rang, I woke up, hopped out of bed, and opened the door for someone who turned out to be a friend of my suitemate. The guy went into my suitemate's room and I went back to bed immediately. Later on I woke up (for real) and walked into my suitemate's room to get introduced to his friend...

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

I know I have problems... (3.00 / 4) (#64)
by pemdasi on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:26:56 AM EST

I don't know if I'd be labeled schizo or not though.  I do tend to display some of the signs, though, extreme introversion, mild delusions... etc.

For example, I am constantly thinking people are making fun of me.  I was the target of a few jokes in highschool, but in the last four years that has never actualy happened to me again.  But I find myself thinking that people are making fun of me, picking out faults that I have.  I usualy think they are making fun of my manorisms, though.  It's kind of a vicious cycle, really.  The more I think about it, the more my nervous ticks start.  For instance, I can't walk by most people and not put my hand to my glasses, blocking my view of them.  I refuse to make eye contact with most people.  Actualy, I have a very strong aversion to people in general.  I can't go anywhere near a walmart or a mall, I have had several panic attacks in them.

I always think in words.  I can never remember a time when I didn't.  All of my thoughts are as if I were speaking or reading them.  And they never stop, there is always something running through my mind.  When I was younger, I sometimes held the beleif that if I thought about the outcome of a situation in the opposite manner than the way I wanted it to come out, it would.  To clear that up, say I thought my grandparents would wreck our car.  I'd constantly tell myself that it would happen, conviced that because I was thinking about it reversed that we wouldn't crash.  It was weird, and that behavior has vanished.

I tend to have very loose associations, which sometimes I chalk up to my creative abilities, but there you can only take that so far.

Oh, and I have a habit of thinking about things that I am doing as if I were an observer (typicly an unnamed observer, sometimes as someone I know).  Like, if I am going to the store, I'll think (Oh he's going to the store to buy his wife some milk....)  These thoughts have a pretty balanced distribution in regards to positive and negative.

I do know that these things are getting worse though, I didn't used to be this bad.
-- omg u r teh small gas!
[ Parent ]

Onset of Schizophrenia (none / 0) (#70)
by fsh on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:36:34 AM EST

From what I've read, it tends to develop in males after age 20, in females around 30.  I'm not going to bother telling you to seek professional help - I know I certainly don't want to, and from what I've read, most of us don't.  The only advice I can give is be careful with your friends.

-fsh
[ Parent ]
What I'm doing... (none / 0) (#74)
by pemdasi on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:44:37 AM EST

First, I probably will seek psychiatric help at some point.  Right now I can't afford it, nor can I afford any sort of medication they would proscribe.  I've been diagnosed clinicly depressed before, when I was 15.  They put me on paxil, which did absolutely nothing for me by the way.  I am twenty one now.

I've done research though.  I've been taking b12 complex combined with dmae, which tends to even out my moods (I have very extreme mood swings) and tends to clear my thought processes a bit.  

As for friends, the few I do have have done a great job trying to understand the problems I have, so I consider myself lucky.

-- omg u r teh small gas!
[ Parent ]

On professional help (none / 1) (#119)
by dipipanone on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 05:29:07 AM EST

Giving you the benefit of the doubt, fsh, and assuming what you say is true, you've been very fortunate. Your symptoms so far have been extremely mild, and you've been able to remain extremely functional. You clearly haven't been diagnosed as schizophrenic, and I think it highly unlikely that you would be.

As opposed to the experiences you describe, real schizophrenia, in my experience, is an extremely debilitating disorder that renders lives utterly wasted. Not only would you have difficulty keeping a job, you'd almost certainly have real problems staying housed/staying out of mental hospitals/jail or even staying alive.

Look up the mortality rates for untreated chronic schizophrenics some time and tell me if you still think he's better off not getting treatment.

For anyone who is interested in real information about this disease, as opposed to fsh's fanciful nonsense, I'd commend this brief overview:

http://www.psychlaws.org/GeneralResources/Fact5.htm

--
Suck my .sig
[ Parent ]

Fanciful Nonsense? (none / 2) (#136)
by fsh on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 11:18:08 PM EST

From the National Institute for Mental Health website:

Some people have only one such psychotic episode; others have many episodes during a lifetime, but lead relatively normal lives during the interim periods.

You wrote: Not only would you have difficulty keeping a job, you'd almost certainly have real problems staying housed/staying out of mental hospitals/jail or even staying alive.

I first dropped out of college, then I lost my job as store manager of a retail computer store, I lost my job at a restaurant, and I think I'm about to lose my job at the current restaurant. I've had to live with my brother, then got a little house, then lived with my sister, got a little house, was evicted, and am now living in another little house with a roommate. I've been to jail, my drivers license has been revoked for going on four years now, and I have wrecked and abandoned four cars, three of them when I didn't have a license. And I have struggled with suicide, mostly after I was evicted.

While I've only ever heard the voice for that one period of about eight months, I've had cycles of delusions for the past ten years, starting when I went to college. I have had very few serious problems with delusions lately (mostly just that the government is keeping me under survellience via listening posts around my former house, the one I was evicted from). As far as I can tell, I've been lucid for about eight months.

I wrote this up so that people might find it interesting. I left out a little bit that happened before, and a whole lot that happened after. I completely appreciate the fact that very many people have it far, far worse than I do. Just please do not dismiss my life as fanciful nonsense.
-fsh
[ Parent ]

Mate, go to a shrink. (none / 0) (#150)
by Russell Dovey on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 07:09:02 PM EST

Please go to a free clinic somewhere and ask them to point you in the direction of a mental health program. It will improve your life. Even going to a counsellor is better than nothing.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

Dont you think..... (none / 0) (#172)
by The Amazing Idiot on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 11:35:44 PM EST

That there's something he's afraid of happening to his personality? Whether he likes it or not, both of his conscinouses are HIM. To stop one of them would kill a part. Usually, that results in lower IQ or less artistic ability.

[ Parent ]
Please seek treatment (none / 1) (#111)
by baseball on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:31:53 PM EST

even if it's only one visit for a triage kind of exam.  

If I were you, I wouldn't worry too much about thinking in words (I think everyone does).  But the delusions, fear that people are making fun of you, and mood swings sound a lot like bipolar disorder which, if it gets severe enough, can result in thought disorder (i.e., like schizophrenia) unless treated.

Things like this can go very badly very quickly.  A close relative who is bipolar suddenly disappeared one day, only to be found 24 hours later a thousand miles away with severe delusions after suffering a complete psychotic break.  With the proper medication, she recovered fully (at least for so long as she takes the medication).  If she hadn't been found and treated, she would almost certainly have died given the location she ended up in (out of gas on the freeway scores of miles away from the nearest city).

If you won't or can't seek treatment, please (a) make sure you get plenty of regular sleep and (b) avoid websites, books, etc. that foster frightening conspiracy/apocholyptic theories.  Sometimes bipolar (and I believe schizophrenic) people get in manic stages where they can't sleep for days during which they think over and over about the delisions that are bothering them, leading in some cases to complete breakdowns. It is also very easy for someone who is bipolar or schizophrenic to read similar beliefs of others and to find reinforcement from those sources of their own paranoia and delusions.

Good luck.

* * *
Bush is a liar, Rumsfeld a war criminal.
[ Parent ]

Thinking that people are making fun of you. (none / 0) (#143)
by flaw on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 06:55:28 AM EST

You say you were the target of a few jokes in high school. How few?

You might think that people are making fun of you because you've been conditioned to, by years of systematic psychological abuse at the hands of your peers.

--
ピニス, ピニス, everyone loves ピニス!
[ Parent ]

Hmm... (none / 1) (#146)
by Chronos Tachyon on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 12:26:20 PM EST

Actually, your symptoms sound to me like they might be Aspergers plus Social Anxiety. Do you have a hard time reading body language? Do you start to freak a bit if there's too much stuff going on at once (e.g. waiting at the vet, there's two customers talking to receptionists, dogs barking, a telephone rings, everyone else seems fine, and you just want to find a nice quiet small room and cover your head)? Do you hate wearing clothes other than a certain type of fabric, because of the way it feels on your skin? If so, that could be a better match, and the magical-thinking, mind-reading type thoughts are more because as a child you figured it must be how normal people were communicating all that unsaid body language stuff. This is especially true if you're aware that it's your own internal monologue, like you're narrating your own story.

On the other hand, if those symptoms don't sound familiar, I'm much more at a loss. Either way, you should probably see a psychiatrist and/or psychologist, then figure out the appropriate course of action (CBT and maybe an antianxiety/antidepressant if my hunch is right, antipsychotic if it's really something schizoform, etc.). Either way, odds are you can get some effective help.



[ Parent ]
woah freaky i stopped reading because (1.25 / 3) (#22)
by noogie on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 07:11:55 PM EST

i thought i might turn schizo or something.

good luck to you both.


*** ANONYMIZED BY THE EVIL KUROFIVEHIN MILITARY JUNTA ***

Just to clear things up (none / 0) (#24)
by Psychopath on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 07:21:41 PM EST

Schizophrenia isn't what's called DID (disassociative identity disorder, formerly called multiple personality disorder). It isn't that you have two personalities and now and then "switch" between them.
Perhaps you - fsh - should should have put this into the article; sorry, just came to my mind that late.
--
The only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain. -- Karl Marx
[ Parent ]
There's a distinct possibility. (none / 1) (#27)
by STFUYHBT on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 07:26:45 PM EST



-
"Of all the myriad forms of life here, the 'troll-diagnostic' is surely the lowest, yes?" -medham
[ Parent ]
Come, come (none / 2) (#30)
by fae on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 08:23:52 PM EST

There comes a point in every man's life where he has to let go of his younger self. You can't run from it.

-- fae: but an atom in the great mass of humanity
You aren't schizo (1.33 / 9) (#32)
by Jonathan Walther on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 10:54:55 PM EST

Your brain has been inhabited by a demon.  You need an exorcism, but there are very few qualified to do such a thing.  Catholics and Orthodox are idolaters, their exorcisms are ineffective.  Muslims have never been effective at exorcism either.  Find a local Pentecostal or Born-Again Christian group and they'll shower you with love, and have those demons expelled in no time.

(Luke '22:36 '19:13) => ("Sell your coat and buy a gun." . "Occupy until I come.")


Yeah, and another thing, (2.14 / 7) (#35)
by fsh on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 11:12:40 PM EST

I have a permanent wound on my left palm, a small pinprick hole right in the middle, that bleeds on occasion.  Maybe the catholics can help me out with that, too.
-fsh
[ Parent ]
Stigmata != Possession (none / 0) (#72)
by Gully Foyle on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:42:12 AM EST

I wonder if Jesus played pool left-handed.

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

I know (none / 0) (#137)
by fsh on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 11:24:41 PM EST

Stigmata has nothing to do with any thing else.  It's just that I really do have a pinprick wound on my left palm that bleeds occasionally.  It was the only thing I could think of to say to that post.
-fsh
[ Parent ]
Sadly. . . (none / 2) (#135)
by Fantastic Lad on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 10:29:42 PM EST

Your brain has been inhabited by a demon. You need an exorcism

This guy might not be far off.

Religious help, however, is not the answer. There are very few energy practitioners who can truly help with spirit attachments, but there are some out there who know what they are doing. Such things are quite real despite what the zombie nation thinks.

It could also be an implant. In the sixties, experimenters had them working to the point where they could, over short range FM signal, dictate emotions and moods, physical distress, and yes, transmit voices.

I don't believe you even need an implant these days. The technology exists to transmit directly into the skull all manner of things if you don't know how to block them. (Tin foil doesn't do the trick. If only it were that easy!)

It's a very complicated issue, with many possible causes, and yes, even basic chemical imbalances are possible, though in the case of the poster, (if the condition was described accurately), it sounds to me as though the edges of the experience lacked certain aspects of paranoia and depression/euphoria to be the classical medical condition.

The best way to help oneself is to learn as much as one can and work from there. Getting off dope and booze, etc., are important first steps, I would think! And stay away from all forms of religion. That's a cure worse than the disease in most cases!

-FL

[ Parent ]

+1 (2.00 / 4) (#34)
by JayGarner on Thu Feb 12, 2004 at 11:11:10 PM EST

Glad to hear what Harry Chapin is up to, I really enjoyed his storytelling songs.

hearing voices (2.00 / 4) (#40)
by ljj on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 12:15:58 AM EST

Hearing a voice speak to you is perhaps a little crazy.
Keeping a journal of everything it says? That's just insane.

--
ljj

What's the difference between crazy and insane? (none / 0) (#73)
by anticlimax on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:43:13 AM EST



[ Parent ]
+1fp because this is frankly wonderful (none / 2) (#42)
by xutopia on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 01:30:48 AM EST

if this isn't fictitious I recommend seeking psychiatric counselling. Wow... It was a great read.

counseling (none / 1) (#96)
by coderlemming on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 05:08:08 PM EST

On the contrary, it seems like fsh has this under control.  Counseling might have been in order back when this was happening...


--
Go be impersonally used as an organic semen collector!  (porkchop_d_clown)
[ Parent ]
I'm glad you're back. (2.66 / 9) (#44)
by left handed fsh on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 02:12:12 AM EST

Now, where were we?

bahahahaha (none / 1) (#67)
by WetherMan on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:33:40 AM EST

absolutely ford prefect.
---
fluorescent lights make me look like old hot dogs
[ Parent ]
Development (none / 3) (#45)
by kesuari on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 04:00:28 AM EST

Hmm... interesting... I didn't realise that the voices held conversations, I thought they either spoke your name, commentated/spoke at you, or ordered you...

Also, I thought hallucinations were essentially indistinguishable from the real feeling except by lucidity, but in one of the comments you say it's an internal voice ... a thought... I'm a little confused... By vocalise, to you mean thinking in words? or actual talking? or subvocalisation (moving  lips/tongue but not actually speaking)? That's the only way I really conciously think, never 'just flow[ing] from idea to idea, image to image'. If it's concious, there's words...

Also, how did it develop? It's my understanding that you can retrospectively notice the development of schitzophrenia before there's any outwardly-psychotic elements; for instance, normally out-going people become reclusive, or they cut their hair off, or their personal hygiene goes downhill, or they begin to develop paranoia. Did you just skip this part? or can't you notice this in yourself?

Re: Development (none / 1) (#47)
by fsh on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 07:52:07 AM EST

According to several websites I've read, having conversations with the voice as an auditory hallucination is documented, although not necessarily common, in schizophrenia.  Random statements (unrelated to outside influences) or orders are certainly more common.

Everything I've said about the hallucinations is absolutely retrospective.  At the time, it sounded first like someone was talking, and then, fairly quickly, like there was a voice talking to me that no one else could hear.  Now I realize that the voice had the exact 'feel' to it as my internal brain voice, not subvocalisation.  IE, I accept now that the voice was in my own head, although at the time it happened it didn't seem that way.

I very rarely actually think in words unless I'm rehearsing something I'm about to say - I simply assumed everyone thinks this way.

There were lots of aspects of the development.  Chief among them were loss of sleep, crazy sleep patterns.  I had never been an extrovert, but about this time I started to actively avoid people.  Paranoia and the delusions didn't start until after the voice, as I've indicated.  My best guess is that I suffered from some symptoms about three months before the voices began, and another two or three months before the delusions began.  Since then, my sleep pattern has always been fucked, the delusions seem to work on a cycle, a couple months I'm fine, a couple months I have problems.  And the voice hasn't come back since that first year; it's been about eight years now since I've heard it.

I've never had a problem with my personal hygience, although when I lived in Chapel Hill I could not be bothered to clean up my room - there were old plates of moldy food, clothes piled up, papers strewn everywhere, and the notebooks I kept my thoughts in; Mechanism of Soul Transfer was just the first, but by no means the only one.

There was lots of behavior I didn't add to this article, simply because it was already very long.  I've been trying to fill in the gaps in response to various questions along the way, as now.

-fsh
[ Parent ]

Non-Fiction (2.90 / 10) (#49)
by fsh on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 08:31:37 AM EST

A few people have made comments questioning the veracity of this article.  I want to state that this is absolutely true, this is not something I made up.  I, of course, can't change your mind if you've already decided I'm full of shit, but if someone is wondering if this is tongue or cheek, an authors attempt to get inside the mind of a hypothetical schizophrenic, I assure you it is not.  

I admit I have never been diagnosed.  I admit I have never been to a psychologist.  All the information I have about schizophrenia has come off the web, and I was inspired to look in the first place after watching A Beautiful Mind, and, more importantly, reading the book of the same name by Sylvia Nassar, which was far better and closer to the real John Nash than Hollywood's version (understandably).  

I have never shared my thoughts on this with my friends or family, but I have talked about it to a few people who have known schizophrenics.  (Hey, some of my best friends are schizophrenics.... sorry, couldn't resist).  The fact is that many schizophrenics are never diagnosed, the very nature of the condition means that we won't seek help for our condition; almost every web site I checked says that, that it's up to the friends or family to initiate proper care.  

This is why I'm posting now.  I'm in a very lucid state, I've been feeling well for months and months now.  I'm trying to get back into college (I dropped out ten years ago) and I was hoping to either talk to some people or get some advice, which has already started to happen.

-fsh

Enlightening (none / 2) (#77)
by djkitsch on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:56:56 AM EST

I've been living with my schizophrenic wife for 3 years now, and I have to say that I myself have formed the opinion that hearing voices is not as far away from the normal human condition as a lot of (for instance) psychiatrists think.

I have come to believe, more and more, and your article reinforces that, that schizophrenia's not really black-and-white in terms of being an "illness", but more a grey-scale of moods, perceptions etc.

Just as an example, probably a good 90% of my friends and family have agreed that they hear faint voices, their name being called and other visual and auditory hallucinations when they're tired (for example) - I don't believe this is unconnected from full-blown schizophrenic hallucinations.

-------------------------
sig:- (wit >= sarcasm)
[ Parent ]

voices when tired (none / 2) (#94)
by coderlemming on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 05:04:31 PM EST

I can definitely corroborate that last.  I've got a rather bad sleep disorder, and sometimes when I'm in a "bad" spell, I'll hear voices.  Usually it's at night, when I'm trying to go to sleep.  I'm quite aware that they're inside my head, but the perception of hearing is very clear nonetheless.  Usually they spout random sentences that don't make any sense at all, and I forget them shortly after anyway.  Sometimes it's just background babble.  Sometimes it's just strings of syllables.

Whatever it is, I never hear anything meaningful or attribute any meaning to them.  I'm pretty sure it's just a natural "weirdness" brought on by lack of sleep.  I can make them go away if I rouse myself closer to consciousness... but usually I just let them babble, it's kind of fun to listen to sometimes :)


--
Go be impersonally used as an organic semen collector!  (porkchop_d_clown)
[ Parent ]

I had one of those as well. (none / 0) (#118)
by dipipanone on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 05:16:18 AM EST

Unfortunately, she killed herself.

I don't really care enough to contest your view that schizophrenia isn't that far away from 'normal' -- if believing that helps you to get through the tough times, then that's fine.

However, if you really care about her, I'd urge you not to let her use this as an excuse to stop taking her meds. She may not live to regret it.

--
Suck my .sig
[ Parent ]

Ah, not what I meant (none / 0) (#133)
by djkitsch on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 08:43:04 PM EST

I think you misunderstand me - I'm not suggesting that just because it's not far from what we consider to be "normal" it's not deeply disturbing. Neither do I fool myself that she's "normal". Rather, I see my ideas as simply helping in the understanding of the illness - I do not believe that it helps when psychiatrists speak in terms of normality and illness and then prescribe heavily sedating drugs to "treat" the symptoms, causing the main effects to be reduced but turning the patient into a vegetable.

My wife's illness is serious enough that it causes her to be unable to lead a conventional life and she does require treatment, but I think everyone should be made aware of how short the distance is between sanity and "madness", whatever you consider that to be.

-------------------------
sig:- (wit >= sarcasm)
[ Parent ]

Most people never get diagnosed (none / 0) (#92)
by MichaelCrawford on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 04:18:24 PM EST

I don't know what the figures are for schizophrenia, but I have read several times that only one in ten bipolars ever seeks treatment.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

statistics (none / 2) (#55)
by cronian on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 09:30:20 AM EST

If by its nature people who have it, don't want to talk about, how can anyone put an upper bound on how many people have it. I suppose you can see how peop;e who have it react, but there could other factors that determine whether the symptoms are discernable. When it is worst, what do you do? Does it make you more or less likely to read, watch TV, etc.?

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
statistical sampling (none / 1) (#56)
by fsh on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 09:45:08 AM EST

Where do the numbers come from?  Take a sufficiently large statistically random sample of people, and check them all for mental illnesses.

The worst for me is not terribly bad.  I'll have difficulty concentrating, so I don't do serious reading.  I started reading Harry Potter during one episode.  I definitely stay at home, avoiding people as much as possible, to the extent of hiding when the phone rings; you never know when they're calling on the cell phone while looking through the window.  I'd watch TV, but change channels very rapidly, sometimes pulling messages from the order the commercials play.  It's hell on my friends, too, I've lost many friends during these spells.<p>
-fsh
[ Parent ]

Longer ... (2.25 / 4) (#58)
by Casioitan on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 10:02:13 AM EST

You mentioned the story was too long already -- shoot, make it longer. I can tell from your story that you are leaving out certain states. Things that I think people would find interesting. I know I would.

I was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. But the fact that all of my hallucinations were about 99% visual left some questions. Eventually an amazing doctor developed a more evolved diagnosis of acute post-traumatic stress syndrome, with some bipolar spice tossed into the mix for fun (haha!).

Either way: living with such things is not fun at all. Drugs help, sometimes. But they tend to destroy parts of one's personality that one may have grown to like/use. I, personally, would rather be slightly insane than a walking block of wood.

Good article, anyway. Maybe toss in some more details, later. Thanks.



care to elaborate? (none / 0) (#195)
by dlec on Fri May 21, 2004 at 07:47:09 PM EST

I have had some mental health issues myself lately, and I have been trying to get a handle on it, but can't seem to even find out what it is that I have.

The main thing I have is that I am often reminded about painfull episodes in my life -- times when I did things that I think were wrong or bad, and it is always accompanied by strong negative emotions so that it is actually painfull to deal with and I end up telling myself to shut up, or begging myself to be left alone.

I always thought it was a voice in my head, but it's not, it's actually just an image or a feeling.

[ Parent ]

Read Julian Jaynes (2.80 / 5) (#59)
by datamodel on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 10:35:37 AM EST

"The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind".

Good guy - serious polymath. He has a well developed and researched (but controversial and ultimately untestable) theory about the origin of consciousness, whereby people used to see and hear things all the time (hence stories of Gods, etc). The idea being that at that time mentality was more split (bicameral - two chambered), so the observing "left brain" part would see and hear voices or commands from the executive "right brain" part.

This bicameral mode was once common, but isn't as "functional" as the normal mode, so was eventually supplanted by what we mostly have now. Mostly.

What you described is straight out of his book, if you go for his theory it's a neuroarchaic mode of thought - your "usual" locus of personality lives and talks from your left brain, and normally receives hints, etc. non-verbally, intuitively, etc. from the right side.

Your right side decided to talk, in the old fashioned way. Except in a modern cultural context and quite deferentially - once it might have come as a personal God and made all your decisions, but now executive control is shared, and mostly "yours".

It told you - you share a brain, a body, the same memories and skills, your respective handednesses fit. It thinks it's you, it's your other locus of awareness. I've a feeling Jaynes book might ring some serious bells for you!

Peace,

Martin.

Why does he think more people had it in the past? (none / 0) (#76)
by Gully Foyle on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:47:28 AM EST

Seems there are plenty of people seeing god/ghosts/aliens these days too.

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

Uh... you'd best read it... (none / 0) (#160)
by datamodel on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 11:53:56 AM EST

He thought that it was the dominant mode of thought - whole societies were run along these lines, with decisions provided by "gods". There weren't any modern "neurotypicals", or if there were they were treated similarly to the way we now treat "neuroarchaics".

He makes a good argument, but I *really* can't do him justice - one interesting thing that drops out of his theory is that various historical events / stories make a lot more sense - Spanish conquest of South America, Old Testament, etc.

Cheers,

Martin.

[ Parent ]

Agreed (none / 0) (#115)
by banffbug on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 04:06:56 AM EST

I've just finished reading it myself, and I recommend it too. It will prove to you that schizophrenia is naturally a occuring mindstate, a sort of dormant position of the right hemisphere. I disagree with some of his predictions though. He says it's influence is fading away, but I feel the 'voices of the gods' are an important driving force into the future.

[ Parent ]
Bicameral Perception (none / 0) (#171)
by rfarries on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 08:32:15 PM EST

I knew it, I just KNEW it. I will run out and get that book you mentioned, it sounds as if it expresses what I have independently figured out (at least for myself anyway). Thank you very much for pointing me in the right direction! Rob rfarries@telusplanet.net

[ Parent ]
ah! I had forgot about that book (none / 0) (#185)
by joll on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 05:28:25 PM EST

very interesting.

[ Parent ]
Am I the only one who finds this disturbing? (2.16 / 6) (#60)
by DLWormwood on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:03:13 AM EST

2) Sexual Dysfunction - lack of interest in sexual relationships

What does that say about our society, where if a person has no desire to participate in the various indignities that our culture has burdened on romantic activity, that you are branded as "sick?"

I've never expressed much public interest in sexual behavior, since our culture (well, USian culture...) has made such a shambles of ancient concepts like romance, family, and love. One-night stands, media titilation, custody disputes, divorce, taxation law, marriage "licensing," the English language's lumping of 8 or so different concepts of affection into just one overly abused word... it's all a complete mess.

Even Valentine's Day, which is coming up, has become an overly commercialized holiday where people are more concerned about chocolates, jewelry, and "getaways" than actual romance.
--
Those who complain about affect & effect on k5 should be disemvoweled

sounds like (none / 2) (#65)
by WetherMan on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:27:04 AM EST

you're someone women would love -- a true romantic.  I bet there are tons of women who would swoon over your antics.  Unless this is just a pleasant mental cover for the fact that you're socially dysfunctional and can't get a women to actually spend more than 2 minutes in your presence.

keep checking the online dating ads, I'm sure you'll find one sooner or later.
---
fluorescent lights make me look like old hot dogs
[ Parent ]

Yes, you are. (none / 1) (#71)
by anticlimax on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:41:21 AM EST

But don't be offset about it. It just so happens that we live in a society that likes to fuck. Lack of sexual interest is the exception and not the standard. If that's not your thing, that's ok, but remember that scorning the status quo because you lack sexual vigor is pure sour grapes.

[ Parent ]
It's an additional symptom. (none / 1) (#85)
by UserGoogol on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 02:55:22 PM EST

Symptoms don't always have to be bad. For example, the manic side of bipolar disorder can probably sometimes be enjoyable. Decreased sexual activity is not a defining factor in Schizophrenia, (you'd have to have the meatier stuff like auditory hallucinations and paranoia to be considered Schizophrenic), it is merely something which usually comes with it.

[ Parent ]
After 2 pages of sales ads (none / 1) (#87)
by abracadada on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 03:36:08 PM EST

I came across this via Google:

http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/ValentinesDay/

If Valentine's Day really did originate with men drawing sexual partners out of a hat, your being upset at its transformation is rather ironic.

Most people without weird Puritanical ideals do consider sexual activity to be a healthy part of romantic relationships (and life in general).  We have a lot of hangups about it here in the US, though, and that's probably what leads to the relative dysfunctionality of our romantic lives.
WMBC online freeform/independent radio.
[ Parent ]

Not only is it healthy (none / 0) (#117)
by dipipanone on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 05:09:17 AM EST

But it's actually normal and necessary to the reproduction of the species. Along with every other living species, humans were designed to reproduce. Who and how we do it may be culturally determined, but the desire to do it is hardwired into all of us, and if it isn't working, then something is profoundly fucked. (Or not fucked, as the case may be.)

Like it or not, even your mom and dad engaged in sexual activity -- at least once, but the chances are they did it a lot more often than that.

(Last para not directed at you, Abracadabra, but at the parent poster.)

--
Suck my .sig
[ Parent ]

i'm in love (none / 1) (#113)
by auraslip on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 02:36:37 AM EST

with a girl the doesn't love me

is that a sexual dsyfunction?
___-___
[ Parent ]

Indignities? (none / 0) (#122)
by Niha on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 11:41:32 AM EST

 I partially agree with you, but talking about "indignities" looks a bit excessive to me.

[ Parent ]
Cartoon (none / 2) (#61)
by Pig Hogger on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:04:35 AM EST

Seen in either an Omni or a Penthouse.

Convention hall, banner reads "AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHIZOPHRENICS".
Below, lots of people having cocktails, and wearing 2 or 3 name tags.
--

Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing it's idiot

Despite the name... (none / 1) (#63)
by Trav42 on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:16:11 AM EST

Despite the name, schizophrenia is not multiple-personality disorder.

[ Parent ]
I'm offended (1.66 / 9) (#62)
by CAIMLAS on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:09:48 AM EST

I'm offended that you'd write something like this up as non-fiction, and then have the audacity to edit it as if it were fiction, making serious revisions to the 'flow'. Do you have no sensitivity for those of us who are actually schizophrenic?
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.

I'm offended, too. (none / 2) (#91)
by coderlemming on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 04:10:37 PM EST

Do you have no sensitivity for those of us who are actually schizophrenic?

Comments like that have no place when someone bares their soul.  Illness is not a competition!


--
Go be impersonally used as an organic semen collector!  (porkchop_d_clown)
[ Parent ]

michaelcrawford (3.00 / 5) (#69)
by circletimessquare on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:34:51 AM EST

where art thou?

Living with Schizoaffective Disorder (Part I)

Living with Schizoaffective Disorder (Part II)

Living with Schizoaffective Disorder (Part III)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

here I am (none / 1) (#86)
by MichaelCrawford on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 03:23:47 PM EST

not done reading it yet.

His experience with schizophrenia is a little different from mine. I didn't hear voice so much, and don't have so much of the negative (withdrawal) symptoms.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Shame I missed those articles (none / 1) (#155)
by fenix down on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 01:41:16 AM EST

The bit about police lights in part two was pretty interesting to me.  I occasionally hallucinate when I have a fever, not even necessarially a bad one.  I'll get the flu and the first I know it is when I'll start seeing red and blue flashing lights out the windows at work.

The corner of your eye is supposed to be color blind, and the color there inferred, so I've always wondered where the lights are really coming from.  Am I just hallucinating red and blue lights or are my eyes sending me colorless flickers which are interpreted as red and blue since I expect that from flashing lights?

I have a sneaking suspicion that wasn't at all interesting to anybody but me.  Ah, well.

[ Parent ]

Paranoid schizophrenia (none / 3) (#78)
by anderkoo on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 12:14:50 PM EST

My mother has been paranoid schizophrenic for at least a decade, perhaps much longer (it's hard to tell when these things start), and from the outside in it's a scary thing. Her symptoms are little different from what fsh describes, because I don't think she has separated out the voices or has conversations with them, but she definitely hears voices that she claims are ordering people around her to harrass her. Unlike fsh, she also doesn't acknowledge that she could possibly, in any way, be mentally ill. (fsh: How did you come to face that possibility, btw?) It does sound like fsh has experienced some of the paranoia that often comes with the terrain. (My mother always thought other real estate agents were stealing her business. It is a ruthless industry, so it's impossible for me to tell where fact and fiction diverge).

A lot of the nutty things you see on the Web is probably written by someone suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. This page, in particular, could almost have been written by my mom.

Much luck to you, fsh, in dealing with your situation. I understand your reluctance to seek treatment; from what I understand, many of the medications that can alleviate schizophrenia also have very unhappy side effects.



Multiple Personality Disorder: two or more types? (none / 2) (#79)
by decon recon on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 12:20:53 PM EST

I am accepting your word that the dual personality experience you recount is a real experience.

Whether that is so or not, this experience is real for some people. There is a lot to say about this.

Perhaps the following might be of help to someone:

Have you read about different types of Multiple Personality Disorder, MPD, which are distinct from schizophrenia?

That is: multiple personality disorder (or dissociative identity disorder) and various types of schizophrenia are distinct processes.

One founder in the field of MPD maintains there are two types of MPD: a dual personality type and a multiple type.  He argues they have different causes.  

This may not pertain to you.  But, you might find this article by a founder of the field of study of MPD very interesting:

Dual Personality, Multiple Personality, Dissociative Identity Disorder - What's in a Name?
http://www.dissociation.com/index/definition/

This article is rather dense with history in the first part. It is worth going through. I'll quote a key passage:

"personally, I came to realize that both MPD and DID can be considered accurate labels, but for two different groups of dissociators. Here is how I now use these acronyms in my writings.

"The key differentiating criteria is the age of the first dissociation, with the seventh birthday being the approximate cut-off point for MPD, and the earliest date for DID to appear. This is the age the child's mind must mature to so that it can "hold it all together" when severely traumatized. After age seven, it may dissociate and form alters, but it will not dissociate into its two component parts, the Intellectual Self (ISH/Essence) and the Emotional Self (Original Personality).

"The concept that the human mind originally consists of two parts is not a clear part of American/European psychological theory. Root words to express this concept do not exist in European languages. Again, "if we don't have a word for it, maybe it doesn't exist."

"But I learned from my foreign friends that root words for these two parts of the mind do exist in Middle Eastern and Oriental languages. My favorite is Japanese, which calls the Intellectual Self the "Risei" and the Emotional Self the "Kanjou." The Japanese recognize that we are constantly switching from being controlled by our Kanjou and being controlled by our emotions, to letting our Risei take over to solve our problems rationally."

End quote.

The above doesn't sound quite like what you described. But, there could be other types of splits or simple multiples that have not been defined.  More on this below.

The root website above recommends discusses differences between MPD, Dissociation, and imaginary playmates.

So.
If you visit psychologist or psychiatrist, you may want to consider contacting the people at the above website for recommendations about a therapist familiar with these distinctions. There is quite a debate about these diagnoses in the literature and as to what is the correct therapy.

Also, I would not dismiss spiritual phenomena outright. But, your experience sounds like it might be related to the dual personality process, based on a possible split in basic functions of personality, described in the above link.

You might enjoy reading about the Integral Institute and University (http://www.integralinstitute.org/), an online scholarly community that discusses theories based in part on ongoing research in integral and transpersonal psychology. Or maybe the more informal Integral Naked site might be interesting: http://www.integralnaked.org/

The thinkers at the Integral Institute base their investigations in part on the work of Ken Wilber and colleagues. They have some very interesting ideas about how to define many more different types of psychological disorder from those used in modern psychology. They theorize that beyond biological disorders, any time the personality reaches a new level of experience/knowledge it can draw back and contract, it can over transcend and get lost or it incompletely integrate.  There are quite a number of different levels of human experience. So, there are many different potential psychological disorders.... Which can be worked through with skilled psychological or psycho-spiritual helpers.

You write well. Thanks for sharing.

I started a new blog, if you want to chat about these things. It is at livejournal.com, user praxes. To use the blog, it's necessary to join livejournal and then drop me a note.

In posts, I'll draw on integral theory sometimes... though it's mostly social justice stuff for now.

Anyway, some advice on school of which I've done too much probably:
just take it one step at a time, a few courses at a time.

Best of luck with school and everything.


So (none / 0) (#176)
by Sassy on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 09:02:41 AM EST

Do you have any personal knowledge of DID/MPD, or did you just go pull all of this off of Dr. Allison's website?

[ Parent ]
theory & personal knowledge of DID/MPD (none / 0) (#177)
by decon recon on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 11:17:36 AM EST

Thanks for asking. Some points:

1. This fellow is describing MPD/DID. I regret making my post so long and adding extraneous stuff and not stating that up front.

2. I studied in grad school some abnormal psychology. So, with some familiarity, it really jumped out

3. In my personal experience, I have been around people in the midst of florid psychoses.

4. In my personal experience, I would lean to the Japanese (and Gurdjieffian) model that we have different personas... or to the depth psychological understanding of the person whereby we can really feel or create the animation of parts of our self and create dialogs and plays such as between our superego and anima/us and wisdom self and child selves.  I've found it is pretty powerful to do that.

And you?
Did you find that MPD points to be applicable here?
Does your experience point to something else?


[ Parent ]

MPD/DID (none / 0) (#180)
by Sassy on Wed Feb 18, 2004 at 01:17:44 PM EST

I have personal experience with MPD/DID. What he described certainly sounded like something that people with MPD/DID experience, but the fact that it lasted for such a (relatively) short period of time would discount the idea that it was actually another personality. On the other hand it seemed a little too, um, calm for schizophrenia.
I've actually never heard of the Japanese/Gurdjieffian model. Could you point me to some resources?

[ Parent ]
re: MPD/DID (none / 0) (#181)
by decon recon on Wed Feb 18, 2004 at 03:14:33 PM EST

Japanese model is mentioned in the article by Allison in the first note. I don't have anything to add to this:
Dual Personality, Multiple Personality, Dissociative Identity Disorder - What's in a Name?
http://www.dissociation.com/index/definition/

The Gurdjieff model is a spiritual model of the self. It can be found described in a book by Ouspensky, The Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution.  A model is given that proposes that most of us have multiple selves that are not integrated.  Integration takes spiritual work.

If you are interested in spiritual perspectives on this, I highly recommend another source of "4th generation" 4th way (Gurdjieff) work. The writings and practices of A.H. Almaas are very very effective in explaining human nature and he takes a quite grounded approach to psychological growth. Book list here:
http://ridhwan.org/books.html
This might be a place to start, either vol i or ii of this series:
The Diamond Mind Series  
 Volume I:
THE VOID
Inner Spaciousness and Ego Structure
1992 Edition with new material
Details  
 Volume II:
THE PEARL BEYOND PRICE
Integration of Personality into Being: An Object Relations Approach

There are other psychological systems that do this sort of work:  The "Radix" work (corny name) based on the therapies of Wilhelm Reich uses work with aspects of the self.  But, I recommend Almaas over this (though the two are related).

On the writings in the journal in parent post:
I had some misgivings too. Some things about the experiences he described said to me:  This doesn't seem quite like anything I've read about.  

So, this and the comments about the changes the writing went through in the diary (and the fact that this person though they had done a lot of thinkig on this did not mention MPD) made me wonder if this were concocted.

However, his experiences may very well be exactly as he described them.  I believe there are many more possibilities out there for human experience than what we have catalogued.

I hope all is well with you.

[ Parent ]

Thanks for the sources (none / 0) (#189)
by Sassy on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 09:52:28 AM EST

I'll check out the sources you gave me. I do want to say this - Allison is not the final word on dissociation. In fact I dislike him intensely for a variety of reasons which I won't go into here.
Thanks again.

[ Parent ]
re: thanks (none / 0) (#190)
by decon recon on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 01:07:34 PM EST

thank you for the feedback...

if you don't want to go into this, ok...

it does seem to me there are probably multiple ways that people end up with experiencing multiple personalities.  that is why I found Allison interesting.

for sake of understanding:
what is your general problem with Allison?


[ Parent ]

Email me (none / 0) (#193)
by Sassy on Mon Feb 23, 2004 at 09:40:00 AM EST

If you email me privately at leilersATshunyataDOTorg then we can talk about it, ok? Looking forward to hearing from you.

[ Parent ]
Featured Article on Wikipedia (and some advice) (3.00 / 14) (#80)
by Trav42 on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 12:27:13 PM EST

fsh,

There happens to be a featured article on schizophrenia at the Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia.

Here's a little about me, in case it helps. I was diagnosed with schizoaffective personality disorder in November 2002 and I've been taking medication for it since then (thank God I have a medical plan at work). I was hesistant to get help at first because I figured "this is who I am" and I didn't want other people messing with that.

My big problem before I got help was that I was going through longer and longer periods of low motivation--even for stuff I liked doing and for stuff that was important. I lost every job I ever got. For years I kept telling myself to snap out of it and to stop being lazy. I thought it was only a matter of willpower. In between these "down phases" I was a good worker and I got all kinds of stuff done--learning new languages, reading all kinds of books, writing software, and so on. But I'd always come crashing back down and I couldn't understand why all of a sudden I'd go from being super-motivated to being profoundly unmotivated. I couldn't understand why I couldn't just snap out of it. It turns out that being lazy had nothing to do with it.

In the summer of 2002 I had a down phase that seriously threated my job. It was my dream job, too. The kind of thing where I loved going into work every day. But that summer I would go in and stare blankly at my computer for eight hours and then go home. If I hadn't been afraid of losing my job I probably never would have gone for help.

It never seriously occured to me that I might have a mental illness. I guess I was in some serious denial. I never heard voices that talked to me, but I would hear voices spouting gibberish--like a malfunctioning voice-synthesizer. Other times it would be like I was at a party with dozens of people talking and laughing (but none involving me directly). These things were rarely auditory (i.e. I knew they were in my head) so they didn't bother me. Once in a while I would have "telepathic" communication with something (usually God) but I strongly suspected it wasn't real. I say I strongly suspected instead of I knew because once in a while I'd treat the conversation as real. After all, lots of people claim to get advice from God, right?

I also used to get a lot of intuitions and strange feelings about stuff. I used to be afraid to look at digital clocks, for instance, because some times (10:10, for instance) were evil and I was afraid I might see an "evil" time. I used to get really paranoid about the people around me and about the world in general (yeah, the millenium sure was fun with all that end of the world crap going on). I can't believe now how much time I wasted being psychotic.

Anyway, there's a lot more, but you get the idea. The point I want to make is that I was in denial about my problems. When I first started to think something was wrong I was afraid that if I went for help I'd lose the things that made me who I am.

When I started reading about mental illness for the first time and recognizing some of the symptoms in myself I got really pissed off. How much of my life had I wasted on this? How much could I have got done instead of being crazy? Being angry about that and being afraid of losing my job finally motivated me to get some help.

Now I take Depakote to stabilize my mood, Effexor to control my paranoia, and Risperdal to deal with psychoses (like hearing voices and disorganized thinking). I didn't lose who I am at all. In fact, the mood swings, paranoia, and psychoses did a lot more to screw me up than anything. I know a lot of people reading this will say "duh!" but it's different when you're experiencing it.

If the extent of what you're experiencing is hearing voices and you haven't heard them for years then you're lucky. On the other hand if you have other symptoms of schizophrenia that you haven't mentioned then don't waste your life on them. Get some help and get rid of them. The meds have their downsides, but ultimately I think they're worth it.

Now I can hardly wait to see what the trolls do with this message...

what makes you think the trolls are out to get you (none / 0) (#103)
by Nigga on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 09:54:14 PM EST

????

GOD! Talk about paranoia! You weren't kidding!

--------
The fuck happened to Nigga?
[ Parent ]

*grin* I knew someone would respond... (none / 0) (#105)
by Trav42 on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 10:35:28 PM EST

At least with trolls it's usually nothing personal. It's just what they do (or else they wouldn't be trolls, now would they).

[ Parent ]
the voices have it personal? (none / 0) (#127)
by LilDebbie on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 02:58:37 PM EST

what'd you do to piss them off then?

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
nothing... (none / 0) (#175)
by Trav42 on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 08:42:49 AM EST

If you'd read my original message you'd realize that a random garble of nonsense can't be personal. Kind of like the messages of trolls. ;-)

[ Parent ]
that is really disturbing (1.75 / 4) (#126)
by LilDebbie on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 02:57:37 PM EST

and not because of the symptoms described of schizoaffective, but rather this:

...When I first started to think something was wrong I was afraid that if I went for help I'd lose the things that made me who I am...
...Now I take Depakote to stabilize my mood, Effexor to control my paranoia, and Risperdal to deal with psychoses (like hearing voices and disorganized thinking). I didn't lose who I am at all...


Maybe I'm the one who's crazy, but the general tone and statements like those quoted sound, at least to me, like someone brainwashed defending the brainwashing. Of course, I suppose you are brainwashed as that was the point of the treatment. I just hope it was you who pursued treatment out of your own desires as opposed to being pressured by others in order to "fit in" to society better.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Oh for the love of... (none / 3) (#128)
by fluxrad on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 05:05:04 PM EST

Maybe I'm the one who's crazy, but the general tone and statements like those quoted sound, at least to me, like someone brainwashed defending the brainwashing.

There's nothing that makes me feel like the train is coming off the tracks quite like someone trying to be "socially enlightened" giving advice to the mentally ill. Diseases like Schizophrenia, MPD, and Bi-polar disorder aren't idiosyncracies or quirks that make us realize that everyone else is a consumer whore. They're a cavernous black-hole of a life.

I lost a good friend to schizophrenia.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
Really? (1.75 / 4) (#129)
by LilDebbie on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 05:20:29 PM EST

I know I'm playing devil's advocate here or whatever you'd like to call it, but arguments like, "I lost a friend/relative to $CONDITION," strike me as selfish in certain circumstances. I might make the same argument for Christianity. Some years ago, I had a really good friend who became Born-again. Given that our relationship was based on listening to classic rock, bullshitting, and generally having a good time in the modern sense, his conversion drove a huge wedge between us. We no longer had anything in common, and even though I tried to adjust to his new world-view, it didn't work out and now we rarely speak to each other. Does this make Christianity a disease now because it caused him to become socially distant (not just to me but his family as well)? Every mental disorder is classified as having a negative impact on one's work/family/or social life, so I guess my friend is crazy - better get him on pills and tell him he's diseased and needs to be cured. Or maybe, just maybe, this is what he wants and it isn't my place nor anyone else's to tell him how to live his life or what he should believe. I happen to think the same thing applies to mental illness. Just because you can "cure" them through pharmaceuticul means doesn't mean it's necessarily a disease. I can "cure" you of sobriety by prescribing regular shots of Jack, that doesn't make it a disease.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
The difference (2.75 / 4) (#130)
by fluxrad on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 05:44:15 PM EST

Does this make Christianity a disease now because it caused him to become socially distant (not just to me but his family as well)? Every mental disorder is classified as having a negative impact on one's work/family/or social life, so I guess my friend is crazy - better get him on pills and tell him he's diseased and needs to be cured.

Oh come on...this is laughable. Just because your friend found a new paradigm in his life that caused him to seek out new friends, that doesn't make him diseased. That makes you two socially incompatible.

Of course, if your buddy is the same as my schizophrenic friend and now has no friends, sits in his house all day, thinks the CIA is out to get him, can't hold a job, and winds up in jail for miscellanious anti-social behaviour, then yes...you're right. He might be diseased.

And oh yeah:

I know I'm playing devil's advocate here or whatever you'd like to call it, but arguments like, "I lost a friend/relative to $CONDITION," strike me as selfish in certain circumstances.

You're absolutely right. It's selfish as hell. I'd like that friend back. He was a good guy, funny as hell, always gave a good argument.

--
"It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
-David Hume
[ Parent ]
Bad example. (none / 2) (#142)
by flaw on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 06:39:02 AM EST

All Christians are mentally ill.

--
ピニス, ピニス, everyone loves ピニス!
[ Parent ]
Don't be so quick to jump to conclusions... (none / 1) (#174)
by Trav42 on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 08:30:17 AM EST

...the general tone and statements like those quoted sound, at least to me, like someone brainwashed defending the brainwashing. Of course, I suppose you are brainwashed as that was the point of the treatment. I just hope it was you who pursued treatment out of your own desires as opposed to being pressured by others in order to "fit in" to society better.

Talk about jumping to quick conclusions! Well, at least you asked if it was my own decision to seek help. Yes it was. Maybe you should have asked some more questions before jumping to the conclusion I'm brainwashed.

As I said in my earlier message what I wanted was an end to the depressions that were eating up more and more of my life. If I've lost any freedom of thought it's been because of the schizoaffective disorder, not because of the medication. There is nothing free or wonderful about losing one's creativity and motivation to depression.

On the other hand, there is an upside to bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder in that when one is hypomanic one has increased motivation, creativity, and intuition. The thing is, for me hypomania always led to mania in which my thoughts became too fragmented and disjointed to be useful. Then it led to depression in which my thoughts became glacial and equally unuseful. Once again, there is nothing free or wonderful about being paralysed by mania or by depression.

Hypomania is great and yes the meds blunt that down, which is too bad. I do miss it. But the meds also get rid of the depression and the mania and I don't miss those. Those times more than offset the good times--and they were growing. I was spending more and more time depressed or manic and less time hypomanic (I have no idea what "normal" is). So my life felt like it was slipping out of control. The meds have given me control back.

Look, I do realize that some people have had bad experiences with doctors and medication. Maybe I've just been lucky that no one has forced anything on me or tried to change my thinking. My doctor has left it up to me to decide what is paranoid and what is delusional. Likewise, I've been pretty lucky with the side-effects of the meds which have been mild compared to what some people experience. Maybe if I'd had worse experiences I'd have a different opinion.

But please, unless you are bipolar or schizoaffective don't think you can pass judgement on me as to whether I'm justified getting treatment or not. You really have no idea what it's like. Even if you are bipolar/schizoaffective, don't assume that your experience is like mine. There was nothing free or noble about the hell I used to live in. If I'm lucky to have had a good experience with treatment then I'm lucky but don't condemn me for that either.



[ Parent ]
Another lucky experience (none / 1) (#192)
by jmo on Sun Feb 22, 2004 at 11:19:09 AM EST

I've had the luck the draw too. I suffered (yes, suffered IS the word I'd use for it) from chronic, untreated depression since I was 14 or so. Ended up finding a great team of support folks (including two MDs, a straight-shooting therapist and an OB/GYN) many of who had their own earlier brush with or current struggle with the big D. They know what's what. I'm also 40 and, although I have stress in my life, it does not debilitate me for months on end physically, intellectually and emotionally as it once did. Have I gone with and without meds? Yep. Do I use meds now? Yep. Should we all use the same ones or advocate "meds for everyone!"? Nope. Is my life better because of treatment. Hell, yes. I still have creativity, a sex drive, I teach at the university level, can hold down a job, don't disappear from friends/family and don't dread waking up in the morning. My short term memory was messed up by withdrawal from a med that was wrong for me...and the symptoms were so unusually undocumented that my docs and I researched that one backwards and forwards. Turns out the manufacturer kept post-market feedback (since the FDA doesn't require them to do post-market testing) under wraps until a lawsuit began to form. THAT makes me more ill than my illness. Both parents tested positive for chronic depression after I "outed" mine...by different docs, by the way. Both sisters too. I had a grandmother who had suffered through ECT way back when, but no one talked about that until I "outed" myself. Family history of "Shhh! Don't talk about it." What a crock! And what a waste of so many years that I could have felt more in control of my life...my inner weather. These aren't happy pills or "wheeee! life is so fabulous!". The AD commericials are such marketing pap. These are "even it all out, get rid of the strangeness that prevents you from doing things you want to do" meds. Not what OTHERS wanted me to do...what I wanted to do. These are pills that stop you from constantly feeling, "I love my husband and my life, but wouldn't it be easier for them if I turned my car into on-coming traffic or stepped off this subway platform?" These are survival for me. If you have never experienced the hell of mental illness and screwed up biochemistry, I'm happy for you. Excellent. But if you haven't...watch your p's and q's, please. As Manning said, "If you've never been to this particular corner of hell, don't try giving me directions."

[ Parent ]
no no no this is a journal of a schizo (1.11 / 9) (#83)
by modmans2ndcoming on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 02:43:30 PM EST

who...whose there!!!

duck!!!! look out...shut up!!!!!! ahhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!

I've been troubled by paranoia lately (2.81 / 11) (#88)
by MichaelCrawford on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 04:01:23 PM EST

Last spring I wrote in Living with Schizoaffective Disorder that I've been doing well for some time, that all I need is a med check once a month.

I should talk.

This last year or so has been the most difficult for me of my entire career. I've been having a terrible time focussing on my work. When I can get in the groove, I do well, but I find that a hard state to attain.

I moved to Canada in early october. My wife is a Canadian citizen, and is sponsoring my immigration here. After we'd been in Canada for a little while, I started getting this feeling all the time that she was blaming me for things that weren't my fault, or for things that weren't wrong.

I was also seeing flashing police car lights all over the place, or generally thinking the cops were after me, something that had not been a problem since 1994, when I first started taking risperdal.

At some point I realized I was paranoid, and in fact paranoia had been deeply affecting me for about a year, without me even noticing. I spent some time trying to figure out what was real, and what was paranoia, only to find that trying to figure this out was a trap in itself, leading me back into the maze of twisty passages all alike.

I'd gotten a referral to the local mental health clinic, but they hadn't given me an appointment yet. Finally I called and pleaded with them for an appointment, told them I was coming unglued, and they told me to go to the emergency room.

I wrote about my trip to the emergency room in my advogato diary.

In short, my dose of risperdal was increased from three milligrams a day to five. I've finally been able to start regular office visits at the mental health clinic.

The p-doc at the emergency room said I was having "psychotic breakthrough symptoms". I looked that up, and found it to mean that an apparently normal person is hallucinating. Someone who's fully psychotic often exhibits a disheveled and confused appearance, but I was not that way.

She told me that such symptoms make it hard to concentrate.

I took about a month of work, and was feeling very good during that time, but since going back to work I've been having a rocky time of it, although it's starting to get better.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


I urge you to see a psychiatrist (3.00 / 6) (#90)
by MichaelCrawford on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 04:06:37 PM EST

You seem to be quite fortunate in that your symptoms receded and you're able to live free of them now.

But it's my experience and that of many other people that the symptoms come back.

There are a number of very good medications for schizophrenia now. I have been taking risperdal for almost ten years. There are some others. Do a google search for "atypical antipsychotic".

It would probably be best to prevent the return of the symptoms, rather than wait for them to reappear and try to get treatment then, when the symptoms would be more difficult to control.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


Re: I urge you to see a psychiatrist (none / 1) (#110)
by fsh on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:27:24 PM EST

Yeah, I need to.  I have definitely noticed a repeating pattern of times when it's bad and times when it's good.  Even though it's good now, and I want to believe that I have nothing else to worry about, it just makes plain logical sense to assume it's coming back, just like all the case histories I've read say it will.  I've been at my current job (cook at a bar and grill) for three and half years, the longest I've managed for quite some time.  But that itch is starting to come back, the familiar faces are hiding something behind their eyes.  That's why I'm applying to college again.  But I also know if I go back to college, I'll be under a lot of stress there.  So I definitely need to see someone, talk to someone about it.  I thought posting here would help, and reading the articles you posted earlier were a huge help.

-fsh
[ Parent ]
Another.. (none / 1) (#93)
by Grumpie on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 04:41:20 PM EST

Shizofrenic over here, and actually I've grown quite "attached" to it (it being me:) very recognizeable about not getting help and stuff..., but eversince I did, together with some "intelligence" gathering on the net myself, we'll be allright It does give me quite a "unique" perspective on the world, and enables me to do things "normal" people cannot. It's not funny thought....sometimes one get really get stuck..,but would not trade it for anything, I feel it is very much a part of me. My "surrounding" thinks I'm rather smart, and never noticed anything until a couple of years ago, when thing went really bad...social/work wise.

"While I am often alone, I am very rarely lonely"

I'd even say that, the more people are around I'll become more alonely(never lonely). A less personal, more analitical observer "me" comes floating to the surface. He's quite boring, but can do some amazing tasks....If I want to know something, he's the one to ask.. As a kid I used to think it(he/me/(or even she) was the "next" step in evolution, but I never knew I was "ill"

Then again many thing evolute through "malfunction", so the posibility remains....


nalyubuites
NAMI (none / 0) (#95)
by foog on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 05:04:44 PM EST

Hopeful data point: reportedly, some schizophrenics only have one psychotic episode, ever. But you should still get a diagnosis from a head-shrinker. There's a lot you can do once you have some authority behind your self-assessment.

As someone with a family member with a (cough) serious brain disorder, I highly recommend you get in touch with your local NAMI chapter. They can help you figure out what social services you might qualify for, and your chapter might also teach the new "peer-to-peer" class.

Get your parents into the Family-to-Family class too, wherever they are.

the migration of the soul (none / 0) (#97)
by foog on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 05:09:51 PM EST

oh yeah, your writing on metempsychosis is pretty good, especially considering you're in your early twenties and psychotic. I'd be interested in reading the rest, actually.

[ Parent ]
Wow (none / 0) (#99)
by Shimmer on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 06:32:30 PM EST

This is excellent work, be it fiction or not. If it is fiction: let's have more. If it is not: please be careful with yourself.

Wizard needs food badly.
Did you watch this morph in edit? It is fiction. (2.20 / 5) (#100)
by StephenThompson on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 06:37:45 PM EST

A couple people below have mentioned that this is fiction, but maybe because there approaches were glib they got some bad scores.

This is a work of fiction.  Anybody who watched the story change from the original diary entry, through the edit queue to what we have now would know this.


Bullshit (none / 1) (#101)
by Space420Cowboy on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 08:13:35 PM EST

I finished the story, scolled down to post "Bullshit" and someone had beat me to it.

Couldn't articulate why, but it ends in that movie way - where everything is solved and tidy.

"It" don't work that way and "solved and tidy" is a way to end a story without dragging in all of the mundane detail - like in reality.



[ Parent ]
Re: Bullshit (none / 1) (#108)
by fsh on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:10:55 PM EST

So you're calling me a liar because I write well?  Thanks, I guess.

And most people would not say that living alone, alienating friends and family, and missing an imaginary voice are 'solved and tidy'.  But if that's what you're looking for, I sincerely hope you find it.

-fsh
[ Parent ]

Morphing, eh? (none / 3) (#107)
by fsh on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:06:14 PM EST

I thought it was more of a fleshing out, combining my literal journal entries with my thoughts as I remember them.  Certainly, I added a lot more.  Certainly, I changed the flow to resemble an actual story.  

I just compared the two, my diary and this article, and nothing I see is contradictory.  The diary entry is simply a fragment of the overall story.  I did mention in the comments to the diary that I had a therapist, which was a lie; I didn't want to sound unresponsible.  I posted what, at the time, I was comfortable with.  Since the response was mostly positive, I expanded, added a few journal entries, and tried to reconstruct my thought process as best I could.  

*shrug*  You're certainly entitled to your own opinion.  I've stated this is real, and as much as I hate to have my life belittled before my eyes, there's no way for me to prove this to you.  

-fsh
[ Parent ]

Not Bullshit. (none / 1) (#134)
by Fantastic Lad on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 10:04:58 PM EST

I've had people say the same things about my 'stories'. Having lived through remarkable events, I know first hand that there is great power behind the axiom, "Truth is Stranger than Fiction."

It is true that most people live incredibly normal lives and that stuff like the posted article above must seem to them utterly alien and unlikely. To me, however, the tale doesn't seem very outlandish at all, considering the level of weirdness I've been privy to.

But believe what you will. I, however, believe that only Fools disregard information merely because it happens to fall outside their excruciatingly narrow views of reality. --Views which are often dictated by what they have watched on TeeVee since they were born. It is exactly this kind of programmed thinking which put American troops in Iraq, a mistake most people now recognize, and yet have failed to learn from.

Hint: TeeVee doesn't want you to know anything. Reality is a very, very big place, and the average TeeVee watcher has his/her back turned to it because the talking heads instructed them so.

Now those are evil voices!

-FL

[ Parent ]

'Yourself' (none / 0) (#102)
by G hoti on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 09:08:49 PM EST

Yourself

That is all...

What an awesome article! (none / 2) (#109)
by Your Biggest Fan on Fri Feb 13, 2004 at 11:26:26 PM EST

This was the most entertaining article i've read in a long time.  Most of the time when i read about schizophrenics, the voices either ramble incoherently, insult the person, or just give orders.  Your voice sounds much more pleasant.   You should post some more conversations.  I really enjoyed reading this.

I've always wondered if there might be other consciousnesses trapped somewhere in the recesses of my brain, trying desperately to make me aware of their existance.  I think that would be pretty cool.  Well, perhaps not for them, but anyway...

Thanks for posting this!


Sincerely,
Your Biggest Fan

is the other you funny? (none / 0) (#112)
by dorksport on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 01:48:32 AM EST

next time ask the voice to tickle you, if you laugh you should submit yourself to study (seriously certain people would love to talk to you).
Also, i wonder did the voice ever tell you a joke that made you laugh?

"reefer" (none / 1) (#114)
by auraslip on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 02:41:13 AM EST

smoking has caused me, I believe, a great deal of problems.
This fall and winter I believe I bordered on bi-polar insanity.
To the point where I was sick and never ate.
Pot makes you dumb like a child. You regress and forget the mental tools you learned as a child to survive in this society.
How to deal with romance is the one that almost drove me to death.
Is loving someone that doesn't love you a sexual dysfunction?
___-___
No, bad luck n/t (none / 0) (#116)
by kesuari on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 04:35:43 AM EST



[ Parent ]
A voice I heard (none / 1) (#139)
by sakusha on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 02:50:01 AM EST

A long time ago, I was driving through Georgia, smoking some pot, doping and driving, when I heard a voice speak to me, "people do drugs to escape their misery; they get high because they got no food, and when they come down, they discover someone broke in and stole their fridge."

Well fortunately it was just a voice on the radio, a gospel radio preacher. So I changed the channel.

[ Parent ]
I don't think so (none / 0) (#178)
by phraud on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 11:38:52 AM EST

I disagree that pot makes you dumb like a child. First off, a child is not dumb at all.

This, of course, depends on your definition of dumb... if children don't know a bunch of "facts" like we adults do, then I suppose they are dumb. Marijuana doesn't make you lose facts so I doubt this is what you mean.

Mental tools are just that. They are tools that we use to interact with other people who have also set up their own tools. Most people's tools are compatible with others but many are not. These people are known as socially retarded in some circles or they are told they have a social dysfunction. The main problem with society today is that we have forgotten our childhood minds and have BECOME the tools that we use to identify with general society - we think we ARE those tools! Now we have the majority of society pretending to be something/someone else without even knowing it. Gradually throughout our lives we have forgotten what it was like to live. We have created personalities and attitudes based on fear and what we think will work best with other peoples tools/attitudes/personalities. Of course everyone changes constantly to fit their current situation while their situation is also constantly changing. This just starts the circle all over again because in order to keep up with the changes, you must again identify with personality traits/attitudes which ultimately are not yours, they have simply been borrowed for your temporary use. Pot definitely does not lead you to a regression that is "dumb" but only appears dumb on the surface. If anything it can temporarily remove what is not you and give you a glimpse of what IS you - though a blurred glimpse at best.

The truth is that you are simply NOT your body and you are definitely NOT your mind. Your mind is the main tool that you use in order to "pretend" or adopt traits that are NOT you. The Mind enables you to function in world where everyone is not themselves but it is definitely NOT you.

You control the mind. You decide what experiences the mind will have and what parts of those experiences that you will adopt. Of course most people do this unconsciously and therefore all pretty much under the minds control. You are basically programmed.

In this article the author appears to have progressed or evolved quite a bit but got lost on the way. He seems have built up such a "wall" of personality/emotions/traits in general that a part of him realized that these things were not in fact himself. Of course, being locked in the mind and assuming that he IS his mind, he became quite fearful of this "voice" that he was hearing. This voice appeared to not be himself. I believe that there may have been some truth in what the "voice" was saying when it said:

" How do you know that this isn't part of the normal human experience? Maybe you're growing, and the young you is dying, and the old you is moving in to take over."

You see, most of us live in a confused world, only we do not realize it. We think we are one thing, but we are not. Of course very few realize that we are not our minds or our bodies and if we do realize this without being prepared, we find that this realization manifests in strange ways - like Schizophrenia.

I believe that a lot of Schizophrenic cases are people who have had a part of themselves realize that what they thought were themselves their whole lives was in fact nothing more than an illusion. They are more evolved than the average human BEING, but unfortunately lost their way because most humans do not themselves realize what makes up their being.

Crap, work is to busy to finish this article, perhaps I'll add more later. I just hope that the author of this article searches inside himself because that brief encounter with Schizophrenia may have been his big chance for evolution.


You create your own reality. Leave mine to me.
[ Parent ]
optimmism vs pessimism (none / 0) (#179)
by auraslip on Wed Feb 18, 2004 at 12:28:10 AM EST

When you speak of "facts" and "tools" what we mean is the things we do to maintain our way of life. We are selfprocreating tools, in that light.
Being something and not seeing it, thats a mental disease, but it's also a defense mechanism.
Things like that create great mental stress, and eventually things like schizo happen.
What we want is protected by our tools.
Control the yourself or be controlled.
___-___
[ Parent ]
only 2 other crazies respond?! (none / 2) (#123)
by bloodnose on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 01:02:08 PM EST

i figured the whole k5 lo0ny bin would go up in flames.
my tinfoil sense is tingling. the multidimensional poltergeist slut fields are dampening our convergent unveiling of the farce. darn.
schools out schools out / teacher let the monkeys out / one went east / one went west / one went up the teacher's dress.

IT of a brain (none / 1) (#124)
by slaida1 on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 02:07:44 PM EST

Getting closer every year, maybe soon we can make real connections between information technology research and knowledge of these altered states of mind. It's unfortunate that splitting a mind makes side effects like paranoia. Otherwise 2 minds in one head could be a great breakthrough and seen as something desirable.

I'd love to have coherent clearminded companion if I could have it without side effects. Could they learn to co-operate perfectly, one using the left eye/hand doing something while other uses right hand/eye for something entirely different task? Would it be possible to, for example, write with your both hands simultaneously about entirely different subjects?

I want to believe that somewhere on this planet are people who are capable to share one body among more than one mind, learned to coexist in peace and take advantage of their special abilities.

If mastered, we could halve workers on tasks where only one hand and mind is enough to accomplish them. I'm thinking crews onboard spacecrafts here... Same processing power with half the meat to shoot up there.

You can do it! (none / 0) (#125)
by LilDebbie on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 02:29:14 PM EST

Just injest drugs. Lots and lots of drugs.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
aristoi (none / 0) (#131)
by vulpine on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 06:43:47 PM EST

IIRC, Walter Jon Williams explores essentially this concept -- controlled madness for multitasking -- in his novel <em>Aristoi</em>.

[ Parent ]
This Schizo's Comments on JOAS (none / 3) (#132)
by RavenStark on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 07:33:56 PM EST

First JOAS sounds more like the Hollywood version of the disease than the reality. It is very good writing though. Unfortunatly what I experienced wasn't nearly as entertaining.

In my senior year of college I became depressed, sought help, got drugged and went nuts (saw things, and lost the normal range of emotions, and became paranoid) and was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. I lost several years of my life before realizing that SSRI's such as Paxil and Prozac cause me to hallucinate and don't help with my depression. Once I quit taking SSRI's and antipsychotics I got my life back. I've been "clean" for well over a year now with no psychotic symptoms.

I hate to gloss over such a painful ordeal but it's hard to explain what it is really like. Those few seconds after smoking some pot where you keep asking yourself "am I tripping" are most like it, only it lasts for years and isn't fun.

Anyway, what I really wanted to say is that I really hate all of the "you should seek professional help" talk. There is no such thing as professional psychiatry. From what I saw, they pretty much disregard science in favor of a wrong philosophy. They were mostly interested in making me into a managable zombie who unquestioningly took his meds and paid his bills. I'd suggest going to one only as a last resort and with all the skepticism one would normally reserve for a bone-in-the-nose witch doctor.

Some facts learned in the school of hard knocks which doctors and NAMI sorts will deny:

  1. SSRI's are very addictive. Never ever quit them cold turkey as I once did under doctor's orders, resulted in the blackest depression of my life.
  2. Both SSRI and antipsychotic medications mute much of one's personality. Primative emotions like fear and anger remain intact, finer ones like love, awe, and joy die. This can be seen as a symptom of schizophrenia. All I can say is my personality mostly rebounded once I quit all of the drugs.
  3. If the newer antipsychotic meds are so much better than the old ones, everyone who suffered on the old ones deserves should be awarded a congressional medal of valor or something. The new ones made me feel horrible. I remember trying to go swimming at a beach and barly being able to walk through the sand because my legs felt like lead full of hyperactive worms.
  4. You can kiss your sex life goodbye. It is amazing just how boring it can be under a drugged haze.
  5. SSRI's gave me hallucinations. They were mostly visual--everything from catching movement out of the corner of my eye to seeing cans of soup floating larger than life in the corner of the room. If it happened to me, it probably can happen to others. The danger is in being misdiagnosed with schizophrenia and being forced to take drugs you don't want.
  6. Some shrinks give a damn, most don't. Some seem to get off on causing pain.
  7. It is possible to go from 125lbs to 220lbs in 3 months on meds. 7b, streatchmarks itch. 7c, fat is very difficult to lose once you get it.
  8. So far, I've been able to control my depression though shear force of will. It is very difficult to do, but it is possible. The shrinks say is impossible.
  9. I think the drugs caused some brain damage. My IQ used to be 150-160 depending on the test. Now it's 130-150. Maybe that doesn't sound too bad to some, but to me it means not being able to do most of the mental magic I grew up enjoying. I also notice problems with my memory and attention span.

If I'm right about the SSRI's, I wasn't really nuts, just badly stoned. A naturally pschotic person's milage may vary. I have no way of knowing.

THX 1138 (none / 0) (#140)
by Pholostan on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 06:18:30 AM EST

"If you feel you are not properly sedated, call 348-844 immediately. Failure to do so may result in prosecution for criminal drug evasion."

- And blood tears I cry Endless grief remained inside
[ Parent ]
Where's that from ? (none / 0) (#141)
by bugmaster on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 06:30:41 AM EST

Sounds so familiar... And yet I can't recall it... Argh !
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
THX-1138 the movie.. (none / 1) (#153)
by Work on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 01:35:55 AM EST

one of george lucas' first. (and where 'THX' comes from)

[ Parent ]
also.. (none / 0) (#154)
by Work on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 01:36:47 AM EST

if you've ever listened to nine inch nails' the downward spiral, the first track's sounds of someone being beaten comes from that movie as well.

[ Parent ]
Ring of truth (none / 0) (#161)
by wbr on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 03:55:40 PM EST

Hi Ravenstark, to me your comment has a ring of truth and insight (comparing it specially with the experiences I saw family members having, and the way it went with their delusions and medications and therapists). Maybe the ideal therapeutic relationship as about as hard to achieve as any ideal of true love ... I feel sure your willpower will see you through -- blessings to you anyway -- [wbr]

[ Parent ]
Paxil pacifier (none / 0) (#166)
by rfarries on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 07:29:29 PM EST

I have to admit that you are right about psychiatrists and the meds. My mom is bi-polar and the meds have killed the person I once knew. Turning your back on embedded personalities is a mistake though (at least I think so), the internal conflict caused by repressing these "background" feelings is not good for you. I am currently weening myself off Paxil since it seems to dampen my enthusiasm for life and everything, not good. Contact me at rfarries@telusplanet.net if you are willing to discuss your experiences. Rob

[ Parent ]
your IQ (none / 0) (#194)
by anonymous cowerd on Sat Feb 28, 2004 at 09:20:00 AM EST

I think the drugs caused some brain damage. My IQ used to be 150-160 depending on the test. Now it's 130-150. Maybe that doesn't sound too bad to some, but to me it means not being able to do most of the mental magic I grew up enjoying.

If it turns out to be a long-term condition, you may find that your ability to think, particularly about that IQ-test sort of subjects, rises and falls with a cycle time of 3-5 years. The first couple times it happened it scared the Hell out of me, exactly the sense of "losing my mind," but at 49 years old I have a better handle on what's going on so I panic less. Keep in mind that while going down is obviously less than pleasant, it's kind of a hoot on the way back up, when you actually feel sensibly sharper and perform better every day.

Some shrinks give a damn, most don't.

I'd like to have ever met one who gave a damn about anything but keeping those checks rolling in.

I never took SSRIs. All this talk about the link between Prozac and suicide scares me. Over the years I've had prescriptions for phenothiazines (Stelazine, Thorazine, Risperdal), benzodiazipines (Valium, Ativan), and tricyclics (Adipan).

The benzos damn near wiped me out; imagine being prescribed Valium for depression! Thanks a million, Doc.

If you must make those voices in your head shut the fuck up now, phenothiazines are the ticket, but the price you pay is you become so supernaturally calm you're pretty much a zombie. Also with long term use you can permanently wreck up your CNS (look up "tardive dyskenesia"). Also be aware that for 5-10% of patients, rather than making the hallucinations disappear, taking 'zines has the paradoxical effect of making them ten times worse.

Returning to the psychiatric profession, the reason they get the big bucks is ostensibly because of their training and diligence, but in fact most psychiatrists can't be bothered to actually listen to their disgusting loony patients or pay attention to them in any way. So when institutionalized schizophrenics on 'zines start to suffer that paradoxical abreaction and their externally-observable symptoms become more acute, the usual professional response is to increase their phenothiazine dosage. Stupid, lazy, incompetent pricks.

I got the closest thing to desirable results from Adipan (doxepin, a tricyclic). I was on them for about two years, they really seemed to help pull me out of a trough. That and walking five to ten miles a day. It was back when this Police song was on the radio:

Woke up this morning
Don't believe what I saw
Hundred million skeletons
Lined up at my door
Seems I'm not alone while being alone
Hundred million skeletons
...invade my home

I send a fast RX to you, I send a fast RX to you
I hope that someone gets my
I hope that someone gets, I
I hope that someone gets
Tricyclics inna bottle yeah
Tricyclics inna bottle oh

Yours WDK - WKiernan@ij.net

robin sez: You're in love with her? In love with that white corpse! Ah, now you have lost me. Forever. Now I'll destroy you!
[ Parent ]

I'm Schizophrenic (none / 1) (#144)
by 9inchs on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 08:33:20 AM EST

I believe in R.D.Laings theory on psychosis. (from personal experience)
Quoted from the site above:
<quote>
Laing's view of madness Laing argued that the strange behaviour and seemingly confused speech of people ungoing a psychotic episode were ultimately understandable as an attempt to communicate worries and concerns, often in situations where this was not possible or not permitted. Laing stressed the role of society, and particularly the family, in the development of madness. He argued that individuals can often be put in impossible situations, where they are unable to conform to the conflicting expectations of their peers, leading to a 'lose-lose situation' and immense mental distress for the individuals concerned. Madness was therefore an expression of this distress, and should be valued as a cathartic and transformative experience.
</quote>
I find it to be a very cathartic experience, I can handle situations I couldn't previously handle, with alot more "grace". It is my reality, in this my 25 year of life, a reality of my own making...some people even like my views. ;)

well, at least the K5 editors admit (none / 0) (#145)
by modmans2ndcoming on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 10:35:37 AM EST

when they are wrong.

calling them out really does work.

Dreary and depressing (none / 0) (#147)
by orconabora on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 01:16:41 PM EST

As another user fittingly said, this is either fact or fiction. If this is fact, I can understand, you want to have a sense of catharsis by narrating your experiences - But this is an inappropriate forum - There are societies on the lines of alcoholics anonymous where you can go to and narrate them. In this kind of site, telling a tale smacks of supreme self-indulgence. Another reason you could want to bare your experiences could be to help others with similar predicaments who are not quite so articulate - But the whole tone of your piece is extremely personal and it is difficult to see what another schizophrenic may be able to gain from it apart from a sense that he is not alone. I am not saying you are not permitted to post your stories - I am not an authoritarian censor-monger, but I am asking you to see reason. If this is fiction, this is highly irresponsible - schizophrenia is a crippling, debilitating disorder, not a pseudo-poetic experience as you make it out. Socializing can help your condition but to refuse to socialize saying it is contrary to your character again looks like a child refuse to give up his daddy's cell phone - wilful and not very intelligent. If your story is fact, then the remarkable coherence of your other self is surprising and if your article is fiction, I suggest you turn to writing about other things.
Think no more, laugh, be jolly Why should men make haste to die? - AEH, A Shropshire Lad, XLIX
Fair points (none / 0) (#152)
by D Jade on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 01:04:07 AM EST

But reading this article, I didn't really feel that this was directed at other schizophrenics, more that it was directed at people who aren't schizophrenic. Maybe this is fiction. But the home truths in this story are so consistent with many of my friends' experiences with schizophrenia.

I will quote a friend who said, "I wouldn't take a moment of my dellusions back". While the disorder is crippling to many, to others it is a liberating experience.

Maybe this article is a cathartic experience for the writer. For me though, it's allowed me to further understand where some of my friends have been coming from.

Some people are able to live and function normally whilst suffering from the disorder. One of my best friends has chosen not to take his drugs because he misses his "it". He has a good relationship with his doctor and they have identified methods to deal with the disorder. My friend uses warning signs to identify when/if his dellusions are getting out of hand. They've identified activities and substances which act as a precursor to psychosis and have methods to treat it when it does.

Sure, he has to occasionally go on a course of drugs when things get bad. But he still has his (their) independence.

I really liked this article. Thanks for sharing your experience!



You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
lol (none / 0) (#186)
by Kiyooka on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 05:39:16 PM EST

Quite the appropriate sig there...

[ Parent ]
Otherness (none / 0) (#148)
by cestmoi on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 02:02:45 PM EST

I tried imagining meeting someone who would be open about having a dual personality:

"Hi, I'm Tom," he said extending his right hand.
"And I'm It. My parents didn't know about me so just call me It." he said extending his other hand.

Even if both Tom and It were nice guys it would still freak a lot of people out. Me? I think I'd find the pair very interesting. Especially if they figured out how to multi-task and help each other along. Your post makes me think there are some pairs out there who know they're different, know it'd freak most people out, don't suffer from paranoia and just keep their duality to themselves so they can survive.

This reminds me (none / 0) (#149)
by Haunting Koan on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 05:53:27 PM EST

When I was younger (8-12) I would hear voices, too. It wasn't anything coherent most of the time, and I remember thinking it was my dad inside my head. The voice would always scream at me, calling me an idiot or something similar -- and normally popped up when I was in public.

I don't think I ever really told anyone until now. I used to have pretty bad OCD, too, and from the list at the top I suffered from all of the five symptoms.

Somewhere along the line, though, the voice left and I stopped being obsessive compulsive. I'm still not a very social person, but hardly a schizophrenic.

I thought this was a very interesting story. Great work.

Is this all bad? (none / 0) (#151)
by freddie on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 11:40:19 PM EST

I wonder if you could learn to control it. Search the net for literature on "chaos magick", maybe it will give you a more positive outlook on this thing. I doubt psychiatry is capable of doing anybody anything. Its a bunch of academicians that don't know very well what they are talking about.


Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein
I agree (none / 0) (#184)
by joll on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 05:18:02 PM EST

If that started happening to me, I would try to exploit it. It might be handy to have separate personality in your head. Perhaps you could enslave it.

[ Parent ]
My six months (none / 1) (#156)
by Armada on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 01:55:55 AM EST

For six months of my life, I was really depressed due to doing everything right (graduating from college) and still not having a job. I had some interesting experiences. I would like to attribute them to marijuana, but I know I cannot. I would like to say they were seperate identities, but I cannot. I think it might have just been fake, but I don't know why my mind would have caused a lot of the confusion it did.

The truth is, I don't know what the hell was going on in my life for that time, but it was a significant enough of an impact on my life that I started writing a novel in November for the National Writing a Novel month or whatever.

I still haven't finished it, but I intend to. I let my roommates read it and they think I should publish it, but the main characters in the book (including variations of them) aren't exactly going to be entirely favorable towards me publishing something of this nature.

I really think that was happened was just my personality attempting to split, and then I pulled it back in. I'm a Gemini, so maybe that explains it. I'd be interested in finding out if the author here is a Gemini too, and if anyone that has had a personality disorder is as well. I'm also interested if there are any of the same sign that have NOT had a personality disorder in their early twenties.

When I got a job, I pretty much forgot those six months. They went by really fast and when I try to recall them, I have a hard time doing so. I remember "who and what", but I don't remember the "why and how".

I would very much like to blame the problems I had on drugs or my sign or something, but for now I cannot. If I knew what really caused my problems, I'd have an ending for my book. I'm guessing it was unemployment and the depression that came along with it.

You're obviously batshit (none / 1) (#164)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 06:19:54 PM EST

You think the relative positions of several large hot gas balls at the time you were born have some relevance.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

No, I don't (none / 0) (#167)
by Armada on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 07:40:09 PM EST

It's just that, at that same time, I read a synopsis of what a Gemini was, and aside from one item, it summed me up completely. Before then, I would have been the first to jump on the astrology is bullshit bandwagon. And now, I still think it's bullshit, but I wonder if I did during those six months.

[ Parent ]
Good (none / 0) (#170)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 08:15:11 PM EST

nt

[ Parent ]
Willing to relate details? (none / 0) (#165)
by rfarries on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 07:19:21 PM EST

I have had similar experiences, and I am curious as to how you dealt with it. It excites me to hear about this "split" personality thing, and I have theories as to how it can come about. Drop me a line at rfarries@telusplanet.net if you are willing. Rob

[ Parent ]
ABOMINATION! (none / 0) (#157)
by myrspace on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 02:26:37 AM EST

Interesting... I'm surprised no one has made any Dune references yet. Even in his time, Frank Herbert addressed many of today's issues such as cloning, schizophrenia, genetics, religion and he managed to weave them all together into a series of amazing stories. To think that you may have awakened the memory of former-ancestor's conciousnes and have that ancestor attempt to invade and possess your body... it's pretty scary alright. I'd rather ignore all the funny voices that I hear when I'm alone because either way; a ghost or some psychotic illness, it's a lose lose situation.

resection Fiction (none / 0) (#159)
by dimaq on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 10:38:54 AM EST

methinks

educated idiots (none / 3) (#169)
by MatrixTheorist on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 07:48:14 PM EST

  1. Social Dysfunction - lack of interest in social groups, friendships
  2. Sexual Dysfunction - lack of interest in sexual relationships
  3. Emotional Dysfunction - lack of expression, monotone voice
  4. Hallucination - most commonly auditory, ie hearing voices (very rarely visual)
  5. Inappropriate Responses - laughing at bad news, or crying at a joke
  6. Delusions - of grandeur, or more commonly of persecution.
- - - -

let's analyze this, shall we?

let us break down the systems to discover whether it is 1% of the population who is schizophrenic, or 99%, shall we?

1) Social Dysfunction - lack of interest in social groups, friendships 1% or 99% - looks like the world is a fucked up place to me.

  1. Sexual Dysfunction - lack of interest in sexual relationships
  2. % or 99% - looks to me like idiots must assert their masculinity no matter the situation. yeah, they aren't that bright. 3) Emotional Dysfunction - lack of expression, monotone voice 1% or 99% - well, let's look around, shall we? a world full of talking vacuous faces. their minds are empty, they can only try to convince people they don't have prejudices by asserting that they do. idiots.
  3. Hallucination - most commonly auditory, ie hearing voices (very rarely visual) 1% or 99% - hmm, let's see. they do seem to suffer from religious delusions. is it god or satan talking to me?!~ oh wait, i'm an idiot. i'm talking to myself.
  4. Inappropriate Responses - laughing at bad news, or crying at a joke 1% or 99% - in seeming contradiction to their own delusions, they can't accept their own lack of faith, so they believe bad news is bad and jokes are not jokes. they can't accept that fate cuts the strings.
  5. Delusions - of grandeur, or more commonly of persecution. 1% or 99% - their idiotic morality prevents them from knowing the only true moral force. so what do they do? put the burden on themselves. then they go insane trying to handle it's weight. can't say they don't deserve it.
- - - -

well, what can we conclude? you are all idiots. you are the schizophrenic. idiot.


You hit the trifecta.. (none / 0) (#188)
by Kax on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 09:15:57 AM EST

Stupid, asshole, bitter.  No analysis required.

[ Parent ]
Kind of reminds me... (none / 1) (#173)
by araym on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 03:50:26 AM EST

Of a book I read once, it was about a bunch of people a long time ago who heard voices in their head and wrote down what the voices said. More and more people kept hearing voices and kept writing more and at some point they decided that the book was done, and that anyone else who heard voices from then on was crazy. I think the book's called the Bible or something.

-=-
SSM

Interesting (none / 1) (#182)
by Amante on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 10:08:02 AM EST

I found this a very interesting read. I myself have OCD, which, although nowhere near schizophrenia, is immensely tough to deal with and startingly misunderstood. But what made me empathize with the article most, is my best friend, or former best friend, was diagnosed as schizophrenic a few years ago. Just about all of those 6 points describe him pretty well. We met in the the mid to late 90's, I believe (I'm not too good at remembering exact times and dates), at a mutual friend's birthday party, and became pretty good friends. We had a similar sense of humor, and were both nerdish game-playing types. He could be a little distant sometimes, but he came out of his shell when we were hanging out and having fun and I very much enjoyed hanging out with him. Around 1999, he was getting more and more depressed, and introverted, and he began to hang out with a guy named Will, and smoke pot a lot. A couple of months later he had what I believe is his first 'psychotic break', and had to go to a recovery center -- a place he always referred to somewhat derisively as "the hospital". From then on, things pretty much went downhill, and our friendship splintered. He became very, very distant, sometimes easily excitable to anger or near-violence. He always thought I was trying to persecute him in some way, that I was against him and not being supportive (even though I'm just about the only one of his friends who stuck with him the entire time through his ordeal). So we didn't hang out as much. Sometimes he'd be a bit better and we'd hang out and have a little fun, most of the time I didn't hear from him, and when he did come over, we would just sit there in ackward silence and he would leave 15 minutes later to go home. There are obvious gaps in my knowledge of this situation, but it's pretty much the standard. Unless you've had a dehabilitating mental illness, it's hard to really truly understand what it's like. I myself have a less major one than him and even that drives me fucking crazy sometimes, so I really feel for him. But it's hard, being friends to someone going through this. A schizophrenic person can seem like an empty shell of the person you used to know. They usually don't talk much, sort of stare into space in deep thought or who knows what, and are very defensive when you do talk to them. It's also hard to know just how much of this sort of thing is genetic or predisposed, even for modern medical science. Both of his parents are ex-alcoholics and pretty nutty. His mom tries, though, to be supportive to him even though she doesn't do it the right way, and, his dad, well, he's just cold and emotionally distant, both to his own son and any of his friends. And being that being distant and withdrawn is par for the course with schizophrenia, he would disappear from my life for months at a time, almost up to a year at one point, so it was hard to know what was going on. He didn't really talk about it that much. I do believe that my friend was molested as a child by a friend of the family or an uncle or something (not his parents), and even before the first 'psychotic break', he could be pretty withdrawn and quiet. So it's tough to tell how much is part of a person's genetic disposition and how much is from their environment around them. My friend just recently had a relapse, or something similar. He's told me i the past he hears voices when alone a lot of the time, and always seems to believe that they are ghosts or spirits of certain places and people (apparently, certain places are better for him to be in than others). Right now he's at a recovery center and hopefully getting a little better, but unfortunately schizophrenia is the kind of thing that stays with you for your entire life, usually getting worse as time goes on for most, all the time being very misunderstood and unappreciated by the people around you. So I do feel the most sympathy and empathy I can for anyone with schizophenia, it must be immensely hard. Godspeed to all with it.

One thing for sure. (none / 0) (#183)
by Anonymous Hiro on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 01:47:53 PM EST

That voice seems reasonably smart and a lot more coherent/rational than a fair number of people.

Heck you're lucky it isn't as rude/nasty as many of the people on kuro5hin. Even though they're mentally "normal" it's arguable that they're in a worse state than you - coz while they've only one voice in their heads - it's rude and nasty!

Would be almost funny if they go for an exorcism and end up being cast out of the bodies they currently possess.

I spent a weekend in a mental institution (none / 1) (#187)
by joll on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 05:54:49 PM EST

Had been going through some bad times, I was already on anti deps. ONe friday, I got all drunk. Make a long story short, they stuck me in mental hospital. When I finally sobered up, I realized that my life wasnt bad at all and I was really lucky to have my sanity. I guess i am halfway decent looking,at least to crazy girls, and I spoke with many of them. One girl confessed to me that she was telling the doctors she didnt hear voices, even though she did, just to get out of there and get off meds. Another girl was convinced I was her boyfriend come to visit her and would constantly plan our life together once she got out. The person who freaked me out the most was a guy who would walk around the quad, wielding an imaginary weed eater. He would wave to you and smile just like if you were walking by your nieghbors house while he was doing yard work. He would wave then turn his attention to the lawn again. On monday, I got to talk to a doctor, they let me go. I got home, threw my anti deps in the trash. Threw my booze in the trash, got some good sleep, woke up and proceeded to get my self together. Ive been okay ever since. Funny though, one weekend in a mental institution did more than 3 months of anti depressants and talkin to doctors. Im not saying this is what you need fsh, but im just saying that was good story and once again makes realize how lucky I am.

schizophrenic, a clinical issue, not to be mistook (none / 0) (#196)
by stuthephilosopher on Fri Sep 24, 2004 at 10:49:10 PM EST

I've been reading these articles on schizophrenia, and I'm quite interested, I'd like to say that a lot of you are thinking about schizophrenia in the wrong way. I would define schizophrenia as a disorder in which the intellectual and emotional qualities of a subjects psyche are totally divorced, a complete detatchment. The term schizophrenia is a clinical term and should only be attributed to clinical cases, i.e people who need to be in mental institutes, emphasising the word need. I was quite alarmed at the number of posts that mentioned cannabis, as I myself smoke cannabis everyday and have been doing so for years, luckily I have a friend who has or used to have OCD, we have been able to think about mental issues responsibly and accurately, and I would like to share a few IMPORTANT points with all. Anyone who experiences problems with marijuana or is experiencing problems they may not associate with marijuana, but whilst smoking it have a strong mental block. Get off the pot and discover if there really is a problem, 2 weeks is sufficient. If you dont you will never know wether it is serious or wether you were trying to rationalize a fantasy of persecution, (thinking that you have a disorder) The reason why is that many people may become detatched whilst smoking cannabis, this detatchment is similar to schizophrenic detatchment but it is clinically different, as the emotional and intellectual functions of the psyche are never totally detatched. I will explain all in total detail so as the most stoned mind can keep up. Biology. The receptor for dopamine, the chemical produced when stoned, is very close to the part of the brain active in schizophrenics, when overloaded this dormant receptor can function, however in normal state it will not. I personally know a schizophrenic and the one time he did get stoned it he was quite abnormally detatched and for the rest of the night we didnt see him. god knows what he got up to. not funny. It is easy to think that someone is schizophrenic when they are detatched, voices etc if you can communicate with yourself in a rational way then there is a way of sorting yourself out, in a actual schizophrenic there is no way out, thats why its a clinical disorder. However it is important not to fantasise about voices and what they are, as believing in anything that isnt real too much will cause your psychological makeup to be proportioned in that direction. Difference is someone who is crazy will be crazy at a normal state, someone who isnt crazy but is temporarily crazy will think they are but when subjected to a normal state of mind will recover themselves,may cause depression and confusion if not rationalized. Many of the posts i've read I would , without doubt classify as people who believe themselves to be slightly crazy but are not. They are just experiencing a disbalance, due to psychological abnormalities such as stress, and drug abuse. Voices: voices can be determined as 2 states the first is a very real thought process, you can "hear" the thoughts crystal clear and they will be distracting as they demand attention, these "voices" are nullified by external audio like someone actually calling your name, it will cause the subject to snap out of it unwittingly. This process is NOT schizophrenia, dont be fools and think that it is, it is a detatchment of the subconscious and conscious, they are the same person, it is a biological defense of the body in order to cope with irrationalities, if people didn't have such stupid overblown egos then they wouldn't get paranoid about it. So you didnt learn about exaggerated thought diversity in school, doesn't mean it doesn't happen, it certainly doesn't mean its schizophrenia, people should learn to accept problem solving methods, yes they do sound like 2 totally different people but only because they are both very one sided, the subconscious and conscious are different it is their nature, dont get paranoid about it itl only make it worse, rationalize and your thoughts will become clear, many "voices" are thought assimilations of reccuring memories particularly in stoners who will lose their memories and regain them, if they are distracted by a thought process (going off on one) then the memories will have a chinese whisper effect and you can spin yourself out a treat(so just sit back and let the memories drift by dont react to them) Now if someone has voices that they can hear at the same level or above usual audio perception e.g. 2 people having a conversation but the voice in ones head is louder to the extent that they cannot hear the other person then there might be a problem. Voices like these would be self destructive (treacherous) nasty but wouldn't neccesarily cause the person grief as they would be totally engrossed in it, a zombie like state, as if possessed. basically totally one sided without any possibility of a balanced action. E.g some people who get thoughts about killing people may get paranoid and try to identify with the source of that thought, other people will never say and will always act out these thoughts. Anyone like this certainly would not be able to hold down a job, like I say it is a critical disorder and has to be analysed responsibly and clinically.(otherwise it isn't going to make any sense, logic) What I'm explaining is a logical clear cut difference, you either are or you arent, wether you like it or not you cannot change it. I would like to add that visual hallucinations are quite common in actual schizophrenia, as it is the extent of the unreality in which they live, their thoughts are formed in this way as a product of the bodies natural way of dealing with things due to a mental inbalance that is irreversible (this is why anyone who has experienced a normal life at one point, turned to drugs experienced abnormalities and is paranoid they are schizophrenic are really just paranoid. in their minds wether they believe it or not it is reversible - fact.) It may sound patronizing but I teach people, I dont wish for credit as they only credit worthy of a matter as this is the knowledge that I am correct, but hear this, People whose posts I've read are people who probably cannot handle marijuana properly, or stress or any other mind altering stimulus, but mainly weed, Iv'e been there myself I know what I'm talking about. Question is, if you think otherwise can you prove it? Marijuana affects the brain psychologically,regardless of egotism and front you do have to be responsible and that includes not going around thinking you are schizophrenic just because you talk to yourself, autistic people talk to themselves, they are not schizophrenic. If you do drugs and open your mind to the doors of perception just remember who you are and how you are not what you may experience or think yourself to be, if you cannot hold self control then maybe you shouldn't do drugs People who shouldn't do drugs wont feel bad on them quite the opposite, but they will not be able to maintain self control in the long term, they will not be able to moderate the use. my email is blessedarethesick@yahoo.co.uk I would be happy to talk to anyone who feels they need to clarify any point i've talked about or who would like to develop ideas. anyone with an attitude I will quite easily nullify. Be good to yourselves, if you ever get paranoid then think about what you know is real, 1+1=2 simple as that and work from there,reality checking is infinitely valuble and logic is something you can trust.

Journal of a Schizophrenic | 194 comments (178 topical, 16 editorial, 5 hidden)
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