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Paranoid Schizophrenia: Worst Disease in the World October 21, 2010

Posted by Crazy Mermaid in mental illness, Psychotic, Schizophrenia.
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Paranoid schizophrenia is the absolute worst disease known to man, bar none.  It reduces its target to a mass of terror about the world around him. Loved ones become enemies. Everyone becomes enemies. And if it’s not caught in time (which is most of the time), there is nothing to be done for the person with the illness.

Combined with severe paranoia about the world around him, convinced that his delusions and hallucinations are real, the paranoid schizophrenic’s life is a living Hell.  Unable to see that he is ill because of one of the symptoms of the illness (anosognosia), he is trapped forever in that horrible world.

Yet another paranoid schizophrenic young man has committed a crime because of this illness, and nothing can be done about it.  Joshua Rockwell, a young man of 25, has been accused of armed robbery at Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood, Washington. http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20101021/NEWS01/710219819/1122. But it’s not what you think.

It is logical to assume that the young man robbed a store.  But that wasn’t the case.  He approached  a couple in their late 70’s who were celebrating their wedding anniversary. Holding a knife to the husband’s stomach, he ran away with the woman’s purse. He has spent the months since that incident in  jail, as his family hopes that he will get treatment for his illness.  No luck so far.

I’m sure his robbery was a direct result of his belief that he was being terrorized by the bad guys. I know because a similar incident happened to me as I slipped further into my psychosis.

During the tail end of my psychotic break with reality, I came to believe that there were zombies after me, ready to kill me in order to take over my body. My fear of them taking over my body eventually became so great that I decided to go to the local hospital emergency room, where I thought I would be safe from them.

Once at the hospital, I changed my mind about wanting to be there, convinced by the voices in my head that there was a conspiracy going on to imprison me there.  The fact that they refused to allow me to leave the hospital led fuel to the fire. Then, after I took off my clothes and refused to put on a blanket or robe, I was brought into a private (locked) room, where I did my best to get released by throwing furniture up against a door in an effort to break its glass window so I could leave. I threw the furniture on the advice of my attorney, one of the many voices in my head.  He told me the hospital couldn’t legally hold me, and that I needed to throw furniture in order to make them let me out.  Of course my plan didn’t work so well. At that point, I had unknowingly demonstrated that I was a danger to myself and others, and crossed that threshold into the land of involuntary commitment.

As I sat there in that locked  hospital room, waiting for God knows what to happen to me, I “realized” that I was being irradiated so that Haliburton could make a bomb out of my body. I feared for my life, sure that I was doomed,  illegally locked in a room and unable to do anything about it.  It was frustrating and horrible.

While I only experienced that paranoia for a short while, I can relate to those poor souls who experience this fear as part of their daily routine. What an awful existence, living in terror that someone is out to get you, to murder you, to steal your soul. And knowing that nobody will believe it, or, even worse, that they are part of the conspiracy, wears on you. You can’t sleep, you can’t believe what anyone says, and if you tell anyone what is going on, they accuse you of being sick. And then they want to medicate you.

You realize, only too well, that a medicated you, wrapped in a chemical straight-jacket, is an easy target for those wanting to hurt you. So you do the obvious thing:  try to avoid medication at all costs.  And those who want to medicate you have just exposed themselves as your enemy, no matter who they are or what they say to try to convince you otherwise. You’re in an unwinnable situation, about to undergo a more terrible situation that the one you’re in if you once cave in to them. So you fight with all your might.  You fight for your life. For your very soul.  And the more you fight, the more they try to put you into a straight-jacket, either physically or mentally.  It’s a fight that wears on you through the months and years, alienating you from your environment.

And you see evidence of your belief that everyone is out to get you everywhere you look.  In my case, I actually saw zombie people, including young children and babies, pass me as I walked towards my beloved swimming pool at the YMCA. Their existence was proof positive that they were the enemy, waiting to grab me and turn me into one of them at their first opportunity.

That fear and terror was a horrible thing to live through, and if it weren’t for my involuntary commitment, and subsequent mandatory medication, I would still be living in that world where everything engenders fear.  I was one of the lucky ones who was released from that world, with the help of legally mandated medication.  I lived to tell my story, in the hope that with understanding there will come treatment for what I consider to be the worst disease in the world.