The Author

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

Friday, February 20, 2009

No, Please, That's Not Me

Prior to my diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia I did some things that I am not proud of. Now that I look back on things I blame my illness for my poor judgment. I am by no means condoning the behavior I carried out, and will share with you here. I will provide a few instances where my behavior was unlike me and caused an uproar. This post shows how schizophrenia affects other people. This post is for the family members and friends of people with schizophrenia, or showing bizarre behaviors.

First, I asked my mother permission to give my friend a statue that was in my mother's house. My mother agreed to give my friend the statue, however, I took her permission a step further to get rid of what she had at my discretion. At the time I did not live with my mother who was away on a business trip. My mother buys and sells things so she had a lot of collectibles, antiques, and other interesting stuff. While my friend and me were in my mother's house my friend saw a lot of stuff that she liked. I made the assumption that my mother would not be returning to her home, being that she had been away for several weeks, and I took it upon myself to get rid of her belongings. I gave away all of her belongings to friends. I gave away her antiques, computer, furniture, and more. Accordingly, this put a huge strain on my relationship with my mother, she thought I did it intentionally to hurt her, but in reality this poor decision was a part of my undiagnosed illness.

Second, I accused my aunt of many things- stealing my cell phone, later tapping my phone, and drugging me. I usually took my cell phone everywhere I went, while I was in the shower one afternoon I felt someone's presence in the bathroom with me. I thought I was psychic. After my shower, I discovered my cell phone was missing from the bathroom. I just knew my aunt took my cell phone. I went into the bedroom where my aunt was and accused her of stealing my cell phone. I began shouting at her that she knew where it was and demanding her to give it back... Later I discovered the cell phone was under my bed and never was in the bathroom with me, therefore, my aunt never took my cell phone like she pleaded with me earlier.

I got rid of my cell phone thinking it was tapped and had a tracking device in it. I accused my aunt of tapping my phone and tracking my whereabouts. I told this story to my other aunt who told me that the aunt I lived with wouldn't tap my phone. I did not believe her.

Third, to escape the demons that were following me I took a military truck to get away. The truck was sitting with the car keys in them with the driver door wide open, I took this as a blessing from God and a sign to get away from everybody. Later, I accused my aunt of drugging me which caused me to act bizarre and to take the truck. This incident alone caused a lot of legal matters, that I do not want to recall, it put me in jail for over four months and also upset my family.

These incidents show my poor judgment as a result of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia alters your judgment and ruins your character.

Again, these incidents occurred before I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, I would have never done these things had I been on medication. The point I am trying to make is that the person with schizophrenia does not do things intentionally to harm someone else, they are sick and are not aware of the consequences of their actions.

If you have a family member that shows bizarre behavoir, or has schizophrenia, do not get upset with them they need your help. Therefore, before overlooking their bizarre behavior investigate the situation and seek support. Remember, they are not thinking clearly to make good decisions. Also, do not take what they do personally, schizophrenia generally affects those closest to the individual such as people they live with, and close family and friends.

I am not the same person as I was before. In fact, these incidents embarrasses me, and I am very sorry they ever happened. Now, I make better decisions because I can think clearly as a result of the wonders of newer medication.

To learn more about schizophrenia and to get support, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness. For those of you in Canada, visit Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia for support and resources.

5 comments:

kcjones said...

It takes courage to talk about these things and I think it's amazing how well you're doing now. Good for you!

Elizabeth B. Alexander said...

Sometimes I think about telling about all my embarassing/bizarre actions. I just can't bring myself to do it. I'm leaving those repressed for now.

Ditto, kcjones. I think these types of posts really help other people, families, those who may be unaware of mental illness or those of us who are and know we aren't alone. Well done!

Anonymous Drifter said...

I went through very similar experiences when I had a psychotic mania a couple of winters ago. I even called my hair stylist and accused him of being out to get me. Like you, I'm really embarrassed by my actions now. The whole experience was terrifying for me.

Mom said...

This is an honest article. We all go through things we don't want to discuss or remember. I guess it's healthy to discuss some things if it causes improvement...? This was a part of my daughter's sickness that we have not been able to discuss, it did, indeed cause a lot of pain. Which pains were the worse, definitely not this one, so we move forward. I know she did not mean it and it was not her normal behavior!

I would like to believe that some incidents in life can be compared to actually having a baby. You may not want to go count by count with the labor, contractions, delivery... and so forth... because why??? What you never want to forget and will always remember though will be that beautiful baby that came as a result of it all.

Incidentally, the worse pain would be the thought of not having your child back again. The thought alone causes excruciating pain!!! I saw my child at the worse part of this sickness and now we are reaping all of the benefits of recovering together.

I am very glad that my daughter has seen the IMPORTANCE in taking the medication because I am able to enjoy her smile and see the beautiful baby that I gave birth to and see the beautiful personality and the beautiful spirit that she displays so well. I love you Babe and I love your blog. Reading this is a healing experience for me too!! God Bless!

Mom

Rash said...

Hi,
This cellphone tapping is an interesting perspective. Thanks a lot for sharing this useful information and look forward to see more from you.