I haven’t posted for a while because I have been down, but not knocked out, with taking the medicine for my mental illness called Thorazine.  I do not recommend this drug because it renders you almost completely useless and zombie like causing me to neglect my blog and several other duties like housecleaning for a long period of time.  The drug caused me to gain weight, have extreme stomach issues, heat and heat exhaustion issues, dehydration issues and a plethora of other tiny annoying side effects that caused me to suffer unhappy bodily functions and mental moods.  I was unable to distinguish delusion from reality and had severe issues with surreal becoming real, hallucination complications, voice phenomenon and some heavy weakness of thoughts that made it seem that I couldn’t form rational opinions or complete rational thoughts for longer than two minutes.  I had a series of episodes that were sometimes very long and very confusing, causing me to wonder what my reality was and where I was going on the subject of happenings in current events.  I have changed my medication to the much more reasonably feasible, less haranguing Invega that is very expensive but works better with less side effects and issues than the Thorazine had.  This makes life easier and since there are somewhat less side effects I am experiencing with it, I am able to continue with this blog which brings me to the topic of this post, mental illness, medication, and you.

If you suffer from a serious mental illness like I do, I was diagnosed with Schizophrenia Paranoid Type but after recent testing have been downgraded to Schizoaffective Disorder with Depression.  This illness involves having delusions of reality such as believing in conspiracy theories like the Illuminati are real and controlling your mind and life, having voices in my head that tell me to hurt myself and others, causing me to see cockroaches and mice hallucinations that appear to be very real, and cause my brain to believe I am not worthy of love, life, or consideration so I lie or tell falsehoods to make my life more entertaining much in the same way someone brags about being in a war they were never in or having myth memories that don’t exist.  It has taken a long time for me to catch myself doing this, but as I do I come clean and when I do I apologize and move on with my life.  I try not to do this.  Sometimes the illness reigns supreme and there is nothing I can do and it just happens.  I try to keep reality real whenever I can but sometimes my delusions get the best of me.  It is hard to fight.  Sometimes it’s really hard to see the delusions are taking control and, like this time, I have to fight from the rock bottom to the top again to regain my sanity.  This is a true fight and it is exhausting.  Once I begin, I realize the medication isn’t working anymore and I talk to my psychiatrist to change my medication.  Sometimes it takes a short period of time.  Sometimes it takes a long time.  This time it took a long time.  You must talk to your doctor about it as soon as you notice something is wrong.   In my dysfunctional state I would never hurt anyone, as I am aware enough to realize that that is a sign that something is awry.  I am not a danger to myself or others usually unless I am very deeply into the dysfunctional state and I was not that far gone this time.  If I do not take my medication, I suppose I could get there.  I do not ever want to try that theory out and see if that would be the case.

In my delusional state I don’t see there is anything wrong with the Illuminati controlling my mind.  It is not until I start coming out of the delusion that I realize this is untrue and is my illness destroying my reality.  To cope with it, I remind myself that it is not possible to control the mind using any kind of device and it takes me a while before I start to believe that, once I do, I change medication.  To cope with the voices in my head I listen to music or watch television programs that cause me to have different thoughts or makes me upset so the cycle is disrupted briefly.  Then I tell myself that the voices lie.  Once I begin to believe the voices are lying, I change medication.  Coping mechanisms don’t always work on one delusion to another, such as the Illuminati isn’t real I know that now but the next time it will be a microchip in my head or food I eat or whatever my brain is creative.  Then the delusion will remain until I catch on to it, which is usually a extended period of time maybe the shortest time is about two months and the longest time is several months to years.  It’s very frustrating and very exhausting.   I also become quiet and introverted, becoming turned upon myself during these periods being self consumed and rarely making outside contact with friends unless its a severe emotionally charged happening or something very dark is remembered from my past and it seeps out through all the craziness.  Myth memories usually are shared with a group of people where real memories are shared with one person personally.

It is very difficult to see when I need help until it is too late or I am deeply into a delusion or listening to the voices or both.  This makes it difficult to see when I need help or when I clearly need a medication change.  I do eventually see it and I never have gotten to the point where I hurt someone badly because I was listening to the voices or having a delusion or both.  I have tried to attempt suicide in these states of mind where I have progressed into a self destructive state where I feel it would be better if I ended the madness by ending myself.  This decision is always painful and brought on by failure to catch and use coping mechanisms to fight delusions and/or the voices in my head.  I feel so hopeless and so loveless and so worthless that I would rather die than continue existing.  I have a coping mechanism in place for when I feel this way now after three attempts to take my life.  I realize I am only passing that pain on to my surviving friends and family should I be successful and I have made a promise to my wife and friends not to do that.  So I admit myself into a hospital as soon as I feel like I am going to hurt myself and I may not be able to use my coping skills to stop such an event from occurring.  It takes a lot of willpower, but I can do it.  I have this ability.   There are many with mental illness that do not who struggle with it and then act on the impulses of the madness.  These are the people who shoot or hurt themselves and/or shoot and hurt other people.  It’s a frightening place to be.  I am saying it’s a dark place to be and it takes real strength to see it.  Not everyone has that strength.

If you have a mental illness and you need help, go to your local emergency room if you feel the need to hurt others or yourself before you act on it.  It is vitally important that if you are reading this that you realize that there are people who are going to help you even if you don’t trust them like you should.  That trust issue is part of the delusion and it could be what kills you.  What kills you and what kills someone else.  Don’t do anything stupid.  Stop what you are doing.  The voices lie.  No one can control your mind.  You need help.  Go to the emergency room and get it.  Speak until someone takes you seriously.  It will be the best thing you have ever done in your life and you will truly be free.  Take the medication.  It’s not controlling your mind, it’s making you better so you can control your mind.  Don’t stop taking it.  Even if you feel better.   Go to NAMI.org and get on a discussion page for people with your illness.  It will help you cope and it will help you in times of greatest need.  People care about you.  People you don’t even know.

If you have a friend or family member with a mental illness that needs help today you need to understand that what they are going through is a slice of hell.  It is dark, frightening and terrible.  It’s not going to go away or just get better.  It’s not something that just clears up.  It’s a real problem with real consequences and real issues.  Get your friend an understanding ear by just listening, take them to the hospital, call 911 for them, stand between them and the bridge (thanks Heather) and by all means understand that for them this is real.  This is terribly real and terribly haunting and they need you.  If you feel like you are in danger, call 911 and get help.  If you need to support someone with a mental illness go to NAMI.org and get on the support pages and find those people who are there to support you.  You’ll find a lot of caring people there and a lot of people willing to help you.  Not all people with mental illness want to be helped or can see that they have a mental illness and that can put you in a dangerous situation.  Be very careful and always have a smart backup plan and remember the buddy system.

Thank you all for your patience in my time of need.  I appreciate it.