The Author

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Atlanta, Georgia, United States
I am overcoming schizophrenia, and I believe others can too. Here is how I am managing my condition...

Monday, September 8, 2008

My Nervous Breakdown

A little over a year ago my psychotic episode led me to steal a military truck. I took the truck in hopes of escaping the "demons". I thought everybody was after me. By committing this crime health professionals were able to diagnose me with schizophrenia. This crime landed my five months in a jail and in a hospital.

At first I thought I was in hell, then I thought being in jail was a hoax. I told my mother not put any money towards my bail. My family was very supportive. They visited me, wrote emails, and collected bail money from the family. However, my sickness would not allow them to get too close. I denied visits, mail, and would not call anyone. In my mind I felt blocked to see my family. Whenever I got mail I would throw it away. My illness had taken over. Therefore they did not immediately bail me out when they had the money because they wanted me to get better first. I was not the same person. I did not do the things that I enjoyed such as going to Bible study and being around family.

Eventually, I became catatonic, I would not move, I would stay in the same position for hours. I thought I was staying still to please God, like fasting or something. While I was catatonic I did not eat or shower. As a result, I was sent to the emergency room three times in order for them to put IVs in me to keep me alive.

With treatment the negative symptoms disappeared and I returned to my old self, but I would have to deal with court issues, social phobia and anxiety due to the shock of being in jail. I was afraid of people. I could not stand being in a group like setting, and I would isolate myself. They gave me medicine to calm down, and then I was able to be around people.

In spite of my illness my family never left me behind. They continued to visit me and find more information about my illness. I am thankful for my family, staff at the jail and hospital. Fortunately, the judge knew I was sick and charged me with a misdemeanor.

Have you ever had a nervous breakdown or have experienced psychosis?

12 comments:

Sass said...

Thank you for visiting my site, I really appreciate comments and new visitors!

Also, I just want to tell you that it takes a lot of courage to be as up front and honest as you are with the things you've gone through. Keep up the good work.

~sass

Be Inspired Today said...

These things are difficult to deal with but you are coming through the other side better off. Challenges let us know how great we can be and what we are capable of. I hope you continue to grow through the challenges that are sent to you. Things are only good or bad if we label them good or bad. Good things usually come from adversity so you should be hopeful in knowing there is goodness on the way to you.

Best wishes

Julieanne

RT said...

Ashley, if you scroll to "My Blog List", and click Guide to Literary Agents, you'll find tips on writing, and/or getting your work to the appropriate agent or publisher. Once you've arrived at the GLA site, click Editor's Blog. This is the best site for up and coming writers of all stripes.

RT
http://whenuglywasin.blogspot.com/

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Wow Valash, I've never heard it like that before. I've heard plenty of people joke about it, but you've just shown me the pain, it's not pretty at all. May you always have the courage to face it like you have, good luck.
BTW, thanks for your visit to my Blog.
AV

Pasifik said...

Wow, really hard to live with this illness.

be positive,

MESOTHELIOMA UPDATES

CEG said...

You can never get better or overcome any illness without recognizing and excepting what the illness is and sometimes it is very hard to confront your isshues. Ashley I think you are a very strong and brave person. Thanks for putting it all out there for the world to see, and please keep blogging, I think your honesty will help so many people in everyday life situations as well as those with illnesses. you are a pure inspiration to all.

La Pixie said...

wow, sweetie, you have come from a dark, sad place.

while I have never experienced what you went through, I did have a breakdown about two years ago. I felt that I had failed at everything, and my life was a mess. I was depressed and didnt realize it. my family couldnt help me because I shut them out. I felt like I was drowning. I dont talk about that time very much now. I still feel pain and hurt from some things that happened to me. I believe, that but for the grace of God, I would be dead if I hadnt been able to change and get help.

it really lifts my spirits to read your blog and see your change. someone else said that it takes courage, and thats very true. you never know when someone will need to read your words. keep it up!!

gmama said...

But, prior to this incident, Ashley was missing. No one in our family knew where she was. This information is great because it helps us put puzzle pieces together and make the details more complete. When Ashley was missing, we filed a missing persons report locally and with 1-800-missing person. Me and her stepfather, Clarence, did not know what to do, whether to take the 8 hour drive to where she was last seen, or stay put. We selected the latter. A few days later the PD called and told us they found our daughter. We were surprised, and concerned when they told she was at the department. Scared at the same time because we thought she had been kidnapped and who knows what else. When they told us why they were holding her, we could NOT believe it, but were glad she was safe. God has been an intricate part of this ordeal. I cannot say that "I can't believe the way this turned out." I can say God is good, He helped us through this. Throughout the court hearings and the evaluation, and the hospital I continued to tell my daughter that Ashley, ever since I remember God has been there for you. I told her that I did not know how this was going to turn out, but I knew nothing would go down without God's consent. I told Ashley that I thought (and still do) that she was going to be something great (and is), and this was going to be a part of her message. The court and everyone involved, after reviewing Ashley's history, 3rd year College, Sunday School prschool teacher, crosscountry, heavy involvement with PTA, church, you name it, through the Grace of God, they had mercy. We had Ashley's close friend, who has been more a second mommy to her backtrack and get references from her PTA, school, etc. This helped too. This lasted close to a year, and one day her attorney came to me, my father, sister, and Ashley. He could see the nervousness with all of us, I guess, and said to us, "First of all, I want to let all of you know Ashley is not going to jail. I am going to suggest to the Judge that these charges be dropped and or reduced." They told us it was apparent she was sick and this was not something she would have ever done. (THE TRUTH) He said it with such confidence, all I could do was cry, again. I believed it because I felt that God's hands were on it. God switched Judges and attorneys to make His point. Happy too, because once this was put behind us, my daughter could really start her recovery!

Anonymous said...

I am a self diagnosed schizophrenia, because I have most of the symptoms but have never been to psychiatrist for diagnosis. Nobody knows about it except me. I learned recently that there are different categories of schizophrenia.

Anyway, I have gotten much better now just by reading the Bible as it is the Word of God that brings healing to our souls. Just want to encourage you to continue the medication and read the Bible daily. God will see you through this trial.

God bless you.

HektikLyfe said...

Wow that is pretty dramatic. I read your very first blog looking for the reason you were in court and it wasn't there so I figured it would take me a while to find it on my own which is when I thought to just ask.

Do you actually remember being in that state of mind? Or is it like a dream that people tell you about?

I have an very distant uncle who is schizophrenic and the concept seems so strange to me. I hope you don't mind my asking.

Valash said...

Hektiklyfe, I don't mind you asking, I welcome questions about my response to this illness.

I remember feeling extremely anxious and irritated because I was hearing voices, and thought they were people around me. I was also scared for my life, I thought my aunt and strangers were out to get me. It was a terrible feeling because I felt that no matter what I did I could not escape.

It was also like a dream, as if I was watching myself drive the truck. I was experiencing a split between realities. I almost want to erase that day from my mind it was so bad.

BellaBeauty said...

I almost cried several times reading about your nervous breakdown. though I do not have the same symptoms and I haven't stolen a military truck, I can relate to you in so many ways... and reading about your family really touched me. My family hasn't left my side either. Even when they should have left... they stayed.