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December 25, 2010

Posted by Crazy Mermaid in mental illness.
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All homeless people are always painted with the same brush.  Portrayed as hapless, singularly unhappy individuals who are anxious to join the rest of humanity, they are, so it goes, just dying to live like the rest of us: in a warm home with their loved ones by their side.  In some cases of mental illness, nothing could be further from the truth.

Imagine living in your own fantasy world 24/7.  The only difference between that fantasy life and immersion in your own virtual reality video game is that with the fantasy life, it never ends, and it doesn’t matter where your physical location is.  The pull of that fantasy world is so strong that your physical location means nothing.  Whether you’re in the dead of winter with no warm clothes or in a heat wave with no air conditioning, nothing matters except for what’s going on in your fantasy world.

In my case, I was a Mermaid with powerful friends.  Able to generate my own energy (enough to power a large hospital) I had no need for electricity.  Fish, dogs and cats talked to me. And I had as close personal friends some of the most powerful people in the world.  Bill and Melinda Gates, Oprah Winfrey, the Dalai Lama were only a few of the people that hung on my every word.  I talked with ghosts and had ESP (extra-sensory perception). God personally laughed at my jokes. All of this was mine. And it was just as real as the Christmas tree in your living room.

Why would I want to change anything?  What could possibly be more exciting than the life I led inside my head? Absolutely NOTHING.

What changed for me, and put me on the road to recovery, was involuntary commitment.  That was the difference between living on the street and being reunited with my family and friends.

So remember: not everyone wants to leave the street.  And sometimes it will take involuntary commitment to change a person’s mind.

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Comments»

1. Heather Whistler - December 28, 2010

Have you seen the movie “The Soloist”? There’s a scene in which a social worker is trying to convince a homeless woman to take antipsychotics because they’ll take the voices away, and the woman replies that she likes the voices; they keep her company.

My husband, like you, had definite delusions of grandeur when he was psychotic, which made it hard for him to wrap his head around the idea that he was ill. If there was nothing to be gained by staying in a psychotic state, then no one would do it. Thanks for pointing out what people might be gaining from choosing not to get treatment.


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