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Schizophrenia - Bi-polar - Psychosis

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 frame me for a crime.

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.

thinkpositive thinkpositive 46-50, M 8 Responses Nov 17, 2009

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This was very well written. Thank you for taking the time. Although you are feeling better I would like to address the belief system you still have in place. I relate this to a psychotic experience I had similiar to your own. I have no history of mental illness myself or in my family. I was a heavy drinker for 20 years which caused extreme defeciencies in basic vitamins in paticular B12. Whether a substance abuse induced psychosis or strictly neurological from deprevation of basic building blocks for electrical receptions in the brain it is unknown. I can only say it lasted for aprox 6 months with two profound peaks that both followed the donation of blood. It is the opionion of my doctor that this was the trigger that exacerbated the B12 defeciency and led to the disturbance. I do not suppose that this is the cause or diagnosis for anyone else. I do say however that every symptom and relative belief you described I experienced and the proof validating my delusions were overwhelming. Proceeding vitamin therapy , abstinence and regular excersise my faculties recovered. My full mental and sane powers intact I was still aprox 6 months replaying the delusions separating fact from fiction. I liken this to a post trametic stress. A year away now I have been able to put every psychotic thought in its place and am totally amazed with the power of mind which is not so beautifully demonstrated when it is broken. I experienced full blow the alonness of mental illness as good friends and family were estranged from lack of understanding - for this reason have develpoed a great degree of empathy for those who struggle. My suggestion is this ......Yes have faith in God ....but YOU are not condemned ....demons are not attacking you. You are experiencing a medical problem causing your brain to not function properly.

Very interesting story. I have recently been diagnosed with psychosis and feel I can relate to a lot of what you have said. I hope you are in a better place now.

Thank you all, reading all this has again drilled into me that i am not weird, or alone. We are all people who have suffered, by the demons around us and the mental health system. In the world i live in my family don’t seem to understand it and in a way are scared of all my symptoms and as a result they don’t know how to talk to me about what is going on for me. As i write this i have tears forming in my eyes because i am so touch. So thank you :)

I am dealing with my son who i believe has been having psychosis for 2-3 yrs, he just turned 19, and i noticed a change in him from around the time he turned 16, I thought and was told that it was just him going through an adolescent phase, whilst becoming a young man. He had many friends and was a happy kid, always laughing, then he started to become angry with me and his dad, It got to the point where he became confrontational, and violent, punching holes in the wall, and i kicked him out, the period of time that he was gone was i am sure not helpful, but he eventually returned home, only to become bothered by hearing our thoughts as he would say, it didnt clue into me until he eventually became violent with his dad, and broke his hand punching holes in the wall..And i asked him what was wrong with him, that this wasnt normal behavior even for an adolescent. He then started to swear in his room at our neighbors whom he believed were talking bad about him. He would go outside and confront those voices by yelling at the neighbors, and threatening them. All of this has been going on for some time now, weve been to the mental health, he hasnt yet come to believe anything is wrong, and that is where i am at right now, believing that i have to get him to accept was is happening with him, and not sure how to go about it. Any advice for a mom who wants to protect him but also wants him to be able to live and function somewhat happily.

Topbirdkat - I messaged you, read your story, and prayed for you.

SuperPanda - I've been there, I'll message you about my experience and coping methods, and pray for you.

I would like to speak to you personally about your experiences if you would, please. I have done some grief counselling, Transactional Analysis counselling, and some Cognitive Behaviour Therapy counselling. I know, for certain, that you have a deluded person who comes to you, who has no goal except to do 'something' with his/her life, and is causing you upset whenever she/he decides to come back to you and torment your mind. You are NOT mentally ill - you are 'possessed' at times by someone. I can help you and that person if he or she ever comes back to you. The person needs to realise that he still has a decent life to live, and that goals can be achieved if he decides to do something worthwhile with his life.

Thank You Ana2009. As severe as it was, and as long as it lasted, only a miracle from God can explain my health today.

Good for you for entering recovery. YOu are not alone!