I have five years of experience with every symptom you will find under the diagnosis of Schizophrenia, Bi-polar, and Psychosis. I have experience with treatment from several medications and therapy.
Right now, I am feeling very good, with no reason, and I have full appreciation of that like never before. The reason I am writing this is because I knew absolutely nothing about mental illness prior to my personal experience, and have been overall disappointed with the psychiatric profession, so I'd like to share what helped me the most. I went through a period of isolation, feeling like nobody really understood what I was going through, and they couldn't unless they had experienced it, so if you're going through it and reading this for insight and reassurance, I've been there.
I also want to share my personal belief that most mental illness is an attack by demons, or agents of the anti-christ. I have found that a lot of people who have experienced it believe that, but finding any support in the medical community, or even among those closest to me who have strong christian faith, is rare. I believe that the state of my recovery, and the continued protection from the symptoms is exclusively through the grace and protection of God. In considering this aspect, I would ask you to consider how many times any of the symptoms have contributed to bringing you closer to God, or acting in ways that you would consider christian. I've seen many stories where the illnesses have led to deeper faith, but all of that deeping was the result of using faith in a psychological battle to fight off the symptoms. Whether you want to believe that or not is up to you, but hopefully some of this helps regardless of that aspect.
To help heal myself and understand what I was going through, I needed to understand the symptoms and how I could recognize them. I call them the demons toolkit. I believe that the symptoms are coordinated actions of entities with supernatural powers that are all designed to deceive and torment the recipient.
Hallucinations. This includes receiving false "information" from all of your senses. It was most prominent in my sight and hearing, but also included touching, tasting and smelling things that didn't exist. I saw many things occur that were not possible, watched TV programming that doesn't exist, read troubling things that changed the second and third times that I read them, and saw people that were not there. I heard people say things that they never said. Control of all of your "input" could be used all by itself to make even the most rational and well educated person believe almost anything, but they've got even more tools in their kit.
Ideas of Reference. This was a very important concept for me to understand, and to help me explain to others what I was going through. A small example is, if someone used the word save, maybe talking about money, I believed they were talking about save, as in saving my soul. This was instrumental in getting me to believe that entities were using my TV set and music to communicate with me. It was also used extensively by pumping a thought into my head, and having someone immediately provide a clear answer to that thought through normal conversation on unrelated topic, creating the illusion that my mind was being read.
Premonitions. These were very powerful in demonstrating to me that the entity tormenting me had complete knowledge of, and/or complete control over future events. It included the weather, common people, celebrities, sporting events, my house pets, bugs, and many instances of material things.
Emotional Control. This includes every emotion and mental state you can think of, caring, love, anger, hate, euphoria, anxiety, depression. I revamped my scale of the strength of emotions that I had felt prior to the attack. What used to be a 10 was now only a three or a four at best. The emotions were so strong you could physically feel them, kind of like when you've said something embarassing and feel a flush come over you, only at least twice as strong. I could feel them get turned up like someone was using a radio volume dial, even when I knew the impetus for the emotion shouldn't be affecting me like it was.
Blackouts. These were used to create illusions, like things disappearing out my hand, and time just disappearing.
Thought control. Made me question what having my own thoughts really consisted of. Thoughts were jammed into my head, and I carried on many internal conversations with the demons. Thoughts could be put into my head so powerfully as to limit my ability to reason, or to consider any factors related to the thought.
Memory control. This included discreet control of my memory, like not being able to recall someones name that I knew quite well, and many other memory tricks.
Physical control / health. This consisted of involuntary movements, involuntary speech, control of my heart rate and some just plain wierd physical symptoms that were often painful and defied any rational explanation. This also included control over sex-drive.
The discreet occurances of these symptoms number in the tens of thousands for me. While there were brief periods that caused euphoric feelings, the symptoms were all deceptions with a purpose, and most carried torment with them.
Looking back, the first symptom I experienced was in November of 2004. That was when the hallucinations started, and I recognize that because it is when I first started experiencing someone saying "that didn't happen", or "I didn't say that", or "I thought I said". The symptoms became full-fledged and a 24x7 thing in the spring of 2006. These symptoms were often combined for an overall effect, and I experienced them unrelentlessly for over two years. They even extended into my dreams. They led to numerous complete breakdowns, consuming everything about me to the point where I couldn't carry on. I didn't leave out the most important symptom, I'm getting to that, because it is the end purpose of all of the other symptoms. That symptom is the delusion. The more that I would get delusional thoughts and try to rationalize them away, the more powerfully the "evidence" to support the delusion would be presented to me using the other symptoms as tools to convince me. It becomes harder and harder rationalize anything as time goes on and the volume of deceptions take their toll, and the scope of powers that you witness prove to you that you don't really know much about anything. I'll share some of the more common themes for the delusions.
I couldn't trust anyone except my Mom, my wife, and my brother.
The government was using known technologies like wire-tapping and GPS, and advanced top secret technologies to attack me, or to fr
Everything and everyone was just software in a very advanced virtual reality application.
The antichrist had taken full control of everything.
There were hundreds of subsets of these delusions, and many other separate 'stand-alone" delusions as well. As I said, the more I would fight them off, the more powerful the evidence would become. Those struggles and psychological battles lead to complete breakdowns. I am confident that my most severe breakdown was an exorcism, and that I temporarily died in the process. It occurred while visiting my brother in the hospital and I believe that coincidence was by the grace of God for me to have immediate medical assistance. Not that God needs their help to save me, but my family would have been much more frantic if it occurred at home. It was after that breakdown that the hallucinations subsided and I started to make steady progress toward recovery.
The amount of soul-searching and deep thinking I experienced was beyond anything I can adequately describe, and punishing. I think about a few things differently now that I feel are positive as a result of the experiences. One of things that I would like to share is that after witnessing so much power, and so much deep thinking, I concluded that the only things that I really knew were that I believed in God, and I knew who I cared about. Everything else that I "know", or that anyone else knows for that matter, is just an opinion. I am not wholey anti-science, and I respect and appreciate much of it, but I believe that our science is pretty insignificant compared to the science of God.
I do advocate that anyone with any of these symptoms seek professional help and take their advice, try the medications. My therapist and I just decided that we would forever disagree on the cause, but she could accept not treating my explanation of the cause as a symptom, even though she believed that it was. I believe that prayer is the ultimate answer, and don't be affraid to share your struggles with those that you know will pray for you. The more that people said they were praying for me, the better I got. I personally can't really say that I experienced any consistent help from medications, and I had a lot of side-effects that I really didn't like. I've been Med free for a few months now.
That's just my opinion, as is the rest of this. These are the things that have helped me rationalize my experiences and find peace. I thank God for relief and protection from the symptoms, whatever their cause. It bears repeating, I don't really know anything except that I believe in God, and I know who I care about, that's all.