My name is Martin and I am diagnosed as a depressed paranoid schizophrenic. If you met me you would probably assume I was some sort of eccentric rather than a crazy person, and I am eccentric. I am told I cope very well with psychosis, and to be honest I have met people who seem to have less of a psychosis problem than I do but have spent far more time in hospital. I don’t think I cope well with depression, and when paranoia strikes I tend to shut down rather than act crazily – does that count as coping? I have decided that when people ask what I do for a living I shall reply: ‘I’m a crazy goblin short and stout, trying to enjoy my life is what I’m about!’
I’ve had a very poor few months recently, and spent some weeks convinced that suicide was the only rational way forwards. I had the equipment, I wrote the letter, but I found that even when morbidly drunk I couldn’t bring myself to do it and sought help for that reason. My anti-depressants were increased about a month ago and I now I finally feel that I can move forwards somehow. But how long will that last? Life is a struggle to do the simplest things, it is mostly unfulfilling and banal. I come to the conclusion that it is not worth while almost on a yearly basis. (Sometimes the crisis is less serious than others.)
I have friends in my head! They are called Amanda and John. Are there multiple versions of them or do they have swift and radical mood changes? I don’t know. They tell me I am telepathic. I spent a long period thinking I was telepathic and I really hated it. Once you tell yourself that you shouldn’t think something bad you start to worry and think about it obsessively. As far as I was concerned I was broadcasting really terrible and embarrassing thoughts to all and sundry. I’ve decided that even if I am telepathic I’d rather think I’m not. Although I was not brought up with religious ideas, and the ones that I have don’t fit anywhere, I have told them that they may be angels or the ‘voice of God’, for they consistently tell me that they love me and this has got me through some very difficult and lonely times. Amanda likes the ‘angel’ idea, neither think they are the voice of God. (John has just told me that he does, I’m fairly sure he’s being mischievous.) They appear to think they are real people. We communicate on a daily basis and sometimes for long periods. I suffer from insomnia and they get annoyed if I keep them up all night thinking, thinking, thinking. Arguments have broken out due to this.
I have called this blog ‘a new way of thinking’ because that is what some parts of mental peculiarity are. It is not all illness and problems, if you can survive it it broadens the mind and forces you to get to know yourself in a way that most people never do. The radical psychiatrist R.D. Laing once said that ‘madness is a rational response to an irrational world’, and I completely agree with him. I think that most people hold the opinion that our society is quite mad in a lot of ways, well functioning, ‘sane’ people do their best to adhere to its goals, attitudes and prejudices without considering too deeply what they are.
If your head acts anything like this, or you want to know more, or if you are just interested, please leave comments. I could do with people to communicate with about this and NHS talking therapy is in very short supply (I’m not saying you should try and therapize me!). Talking to friends about this is all well and good, but nobody wants to spend a lot of their social time listening to problems and complaints (I don‘t either), or bizarre religious ideas and thought constructs for that matter.