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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.

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Comments»

1. Heather Whistler - October 21, 2010

I’m so glad you got the help you needed to banish the paranoia, delusions, hallucinations! I think it’s really powerful that you recovered “against your will,” so to speak, and that you’re grateful now. It was the same thing with my husband. He didn’t want help until AFTER he got it. It’s scary to me that our health care system leaves people to fend for themselves when they’re in a psychotic state.

I just reviewed a documentary called “Unlisted: A Story of Schizophrenia” on my blog, with an eye to the toll untreated schizophrenia takes on the family. I’d love to hear what you think if you get a chance to stop by: http://heatherwhistler.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/the-toll-untreated-mental-illness-takes-in-unlisted/

2. Rebecca - October 27, 2010

I am so grateful to have stumbled upon your blog. Please don’t stop sharing your stories. They have brought me such relief and comfort.

I’ve experienced 5 manic episodes since February 2009, most of them featuring a wide array of delusions and hallucinations that I rarely, if ever, speak about. Recalling these breaks from reality cause me to feel severe embarrassment, guilt, and shame. I commend you for possessing the ability to write so freely, honestly, and bravely about

Crazy Mermaid - October 27, 2010

Thank you for the kind words. If you have any ideas for topics you’d like me to write about, please feel free to email me that information at crazymermaid@live.com. I would appreciate any feedback on what you’d like to see me address.

3. shinxyblog - November 3, 2010

See this is what confuses me. The statistics say that we (Schizophrenics) are no more violent than any other group, and are in fact less violent (except if that person is abusing drugs) and then there are stories that associate Schizophrenia and violence. I’m confused as to what to believe. They can’t both be true, can they? Maybe they are, but we sensationalise the stories of violence in Schizophrenics because it seems they’re all caused by our paranoia, and, let’s face it, people for some sick reason enjoy hearing about ‘crazy’ people. I’m sure I’m not the only one to have told how they hallucinate and be given the response “That is SO COOL!”, or have been in a psychology classroom learning about it and everyone being fascinated with it and the “so cool” remarks being ever present.

But for now I think I’d prefer to stick with the statistics and say we’re less violent. In general, we’re very timid people.

notemily - November 9, 2010

I think maybe it’s because when someone commits a crime because of a mental illness (or it’s perceived that way), it makes a better news story than when someone commits a crime because they’re greedy or jealous or just poor, because those crimes happen all the time. So we get a skewed perspective of how often the mentally ill commit crimes.

This hits home for me because a friend of the family has been having problems with extreme mania recently. He totaled his car by driving it into a building and is facing criminal charges. He was on medication for years but he stopped taking it recently and the mania came back.

4. Badar Abbas - November 12, 2010

I agree with you. I myself is a victim of paranoid schizophrenia. I would like to add that it is also most complicated and miss understood. There is a lot of stigma associated with illness.

5. A girl - November 25, 2010

This was a fantastic description of the struggles that people with schizophrenia face. I am very close (as close as you can be at least) with a person diagnosed last year and it is very difficult to relate their expieriences with others. Many people blame the person with the problem bc they don’t Make he effort to recover. But with schizophrenia it is never that simple

6. must be a miracle - December 20, 2010

Thank you so much for this. My husband has bipolar with psychosis and went of his paroxitine 3 weeks ago. He completely believes I am having an affair again and uses a recorder in our house to get his “proof” but there’s nothing there, just static. I know there is nothing I can do to get him to see the reality and he says he’s going to leave after Christmas. Without medicine is there a chance he will come back to reality? This is such a hard disorder and I don’t know who its harder for, him or me. God bless you and good luck.

7. James Harris - March 16, 2011

schizophrenia is in the genes. I have two brothers who had and have this devestating illness. My older brother I admired and trusted until that trust became a falicy. I was a child and did not understand the illness. I later learned what the disease was about and the mechanisms that trigger such a breakdown. My older brother did become functional through several trials through his life and eventually became independent with help of volenteers and profesionals. Unfortunately he passed on from lung cancer. He was a funny giving man in reality and was wise, I miss him. Look forward and except the desease, it can be managed.

8. William Smart - May 21, 2011

I work as a staff Nurse in a private facility, a gentleman I care for asked me to read your item and said I would have a better understanding of how he see the world and how he views me. He is improving and that is why he directed me to you

Crazy Mermaid - May 24, 2011

Thanks! I’m happy that one of my entries made it easier for you both to see where each of you is coming from.

9. Ram - January 12, 2012

Would appreciate advice. My wife is diagnoized paranoid. very adamant about not taking meds just like you pointed out and is putting up a fight with all her might. sometimes i feel she is putting up this fight becvause she doesnt want to face the truth and taking meds only confirms that she is not OK. but atleast she is now seeing a therapist. my question is ……is it Ok for her to read this at this stage when she is not on medication ? when do you think she can read these kind of experiences by others ? if you think her reading this will help what is teh best way to introduce this ? right now she will get upset that i think she is crazy etc..

thanks.

Greg - December 10, 2012

My mother is Schizoprenic & it is difficult to know what might set her off. At least it used to be. I realised one day that the triggers that could cause a psychotic break are so varied & individualistic that sometimes it’s impossible to know for sure. What I will say us that over protective behaviour can be seen am very easily as controlling behaviour by the sufferer.
So my advice is don’t stop your wife reading anything related to other people’s experiences. I don’t imagine it would cause any harm & it might help realise what’s going on with her.
I wish I found your question earlier & I hope you read my comment. Caring for someone with schizophrenia isn’t easy, but be careful in how any protective measures are
perceived. It might feed in to her psychosis.

10. andre delove williams - March 30, 2013

I was reading your story And it sounds almost like mine. I was put in a mental hospital 3 different times I even wrote a book and it is called schizophrenia. if you punch in my full name you can see it on the internet they sell it at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com. if you read my book you will see there are similarities.

11. Tamara - January 30, 2014

It is certainly not the persons fault they act the way they do with paranoid schizophrenia, but when you give that person your everything for years and years to try and convince them that what they believe to be going on is infact not, is it wrong to give up and decide you need to do something for yourself for once and move on with your life? My Father was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when I was young, over 10 years ago. He believes people are after him. He was hospitalized at one stage, which made us think finally he will get the right treatment and recover. But its not that easy. You cant force that pill down their throat so back to his normal paranoid ways he remains. After putting up with him talking and cursing at no one, watching my father sleep with his head in a cupboard full of tin foil, writing number plates down of anyone on the road who caused what was hardly an inconvenience, crazy eposides which were unpredictable occuring daily, being accused of being involved in the whole conspiracy, taking photos of anyone in public who he believed was involved causing a scene and public embarrassment, my mother decided our home was no longer a suitable place for her 12 year old daughter and older sons to be raised, so one day we packed up and left. I believe my mother was left with no choice. She tried everything she could and she was out of ideas. It was at the stage where she was suffering from the huge stress of living with a paranoid schizophrenic. No one will truly understand what that is like until experiencing it first hand. So now 5 years later I still have occasional contact with my father. He still remains his same ways nothing has changed. My brother’s have given up and wiped their hands of him. My mother has moved on. They sayttrying to convince a person with paranoid schizophrenia that they are ill is like trying to bail the ocean out with a bucket. I believe thats an understatement. In my dads case its never going to happen and having him in my life isjust causing me a great deal of stress and its no longer good for my own health i habe realised. But its wrong to leave a poor soul going through a horrific battle with their own mind 24 hours a day to fend for themselves. So what do you do?

12. yadisyadis84 - July 18, 2014

I understand your pain. I’ve always led normal life. Since i was nine i had imaginary friends and talked to and heard voices but no one ever said i wasn’t normal well i continued talking to these voices up until i was 26 and my mother died. All hell broke lose. Everyone was my enemy, I saw shadows lurking and the voices that were once friendly became mean. They would torment me in college and said I was worthless and that I should just kill myself. I was going through my worse psychosis ever. I finally went to get help since I am a psych major and knew things weren’t right. They started me on ability and everything was fine until a year later I got a paradoxical effect. I became too involved with conspiracies and illuminati and all that crap. I became distant and hated everything. When one night my five year old daughter morphed into a demon! I was scared. I called my p doctor right away crying, he changed my med now I am going on three years of geodon and feel good.

13. yadisyadis84 - July 18, 2014

I understand your pain. I’ve always led normal life. Since i was nine i had imaginary friends and talked to and heard voices but no one ever said i wasn’t normal well i continued talking to these voices up until i was 26 and my mother died. All hell broke lose. Everyone was my enemy, I saw shadows lurking and the voices that were once friendly became mean. They would torment me in college and said I was worthless and that I should just kill myself. I was going through my worse psychosis ever. I finally went to get help since I am a psych major and knew things weren’t right. They started me on ability and everything was fine until a year later I got a paradoxical effect. I became too involved with conspiracies and illuminati and all that crap. I became distant and hated everything. When one night my five year old daughter morphed into a demon! I was scared. I called my p doctor right away crying, he changed my med now I am going on three years of geodon and feel good. I’ve been fortunate because i studied psych and know what is not normal. Sorry for novel but there is my story hugs to you all

14. How Bipolar Disorder Stole My Life & How I Got it Back | Chad Holmes - February 2, 2015

[…] Paranoid Schizophrenia – the worst disease in the world […]


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