Although I’d experienced a period of paranoia and mild delusion a couple of years prior to the first proper attack of psychosis and a manic high, I’d like to write about when the condition kicked in properly. At the time I’d been misdiagnosed with schizophrenia, and so I was taking therefore taking treatment for that condition. Later I once asked a psychiatrist if these medications would have been to my detriment and they said, “Oh yes, very much so.”
What would have also been very much to my detriment at the time was the fact I was addicted to cannabis. There’s been much debate on whether it can cause a severe mental health condition. I’m not so sure it can, but it’s a drug that will certainly aggravate a pre-existing one. In my addict days I tried several drugs and none were ever more detrimental than dope. These days I don’t even like to smell it near me.
So had I been smoking dope on the day things kicked off? I’m not sure, but you can guarantee I would have at some point near that day. It started in the afternoon. I was with a friend in Edinburgh when they wondered out loud if someone near us was taking photos of us. Right enough there was a chap pointing a camera in our direction. And that was it, my mind started to think irrationally. It’s what we call a trigger. About an hour later a homeless chap approached me and said something unusual. He stopped, shook my hand and said, “I’ve never believed in violence mate.” Then went on his way. Not even asking for money. So now strangers were delivering me messages in the street. Trigger two.
About thirty minutes after that my friend had to pop into a travel agent. As I stood in the shop I spotted a sign for Australia (Where my brother lives) It had one word on it, ‘Escape’ And I thought somehow this was a message for me. So things were escalating pretty fast.
By sheer pure fortune I then had to leave my friend and go see another friend I was in a wee relationship with. She was a psychiatric nurse. Kirsty soon began to realise what was going on with me and did a quick rudimentary test that she’d been trained to do. She handed me a copy of the Catcher In The Rye (It can be any book or written word, no conspiracy here folks) and asked me to read a random page. The first thing I landed on was a character description and I told her I thought it was about me. These are all classic indicators. I actually only fully read that book last year. When I came to the bit I’d landed on randomly I remembered. Only this time I knew it absolutely wasn’t about me.
Thankfully she managed to calm me down considerably. And after an hour or two I decided to head home to my parents house where things would begin to escalate again…
Everything I’ve said here is fairly common stuff when it comes to psychosis. I’ve met others who’ve experienced the same thing. I’ve never met anybody who hasn’t experienced who can have a real idea of what it’s really like. Exhilarating and terrifying in equal measure. I’ve always been someone who can step outside of it and recognise it for what it is. But not when I’m in the grip of it. That’s why it’s so dangerous. Anyhoo, it’s a bit serious reflecting on this at times…so here’s a couple of funny statements I’ve put out this week. (Do I use comedy as a deflector? Maybe 😉
BRANSON and the NHS. “Richard Branson claims he made a loss on his trains and doesn’t make big money from the NHS… HE’S BUILDING SPACESHIPS FFS!”
BREXIT. Well, if we do go back… Brexit is going to turn out to be the most expensive tantrum in British history.
AN OLD JOKE. How much does shampoo cost in London? Panten.
I look forward to chatting again soon 🙂