Friday, 16 September 2011

The Long Walk Home

This is going to be a relatively short post as quite frankly I can remember very little of what happened. But I was walking home with a  few friends and it felt like someone was following me. Now this doesn't sound so bad but it is, you start looking for who's following you, jumping at every shadow, every car that drives past is terrifying. I even started to stop trusting my friends. That's the extent of what I can remember but according to my friends I was also talking to myself, I can only assume that this was in reaction to voices I was hearing But I do not know.

Everyone I know and talk to about this stuff is convinced that alcohol is a major trigger for me adn after this little episode I am starting to think it may be, there fore I am starting a t-total regime from now on in the hope that my symptoms will recede even just a little.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

The Night Down The Pub

A few night's ago I went to the pub with a few friends. This is usually one of my favourite activities but this time I was very stressed for a number of reasons. First of all I was overly worried about Patch, which causes me a great deal of stress and probably triggered the rest of the symptoms I experienced that night. 

We were seated next to a large group who were being very loud. Now I couldn't make out what they were saying but I knew that they were talking about me. This was disconcerting and with the worrying about Patch on top of this I was quite distressed. 

It';s then I started to experience what is known as a Fregoli delusion. Which is where you believe people are around you are actually someone else in disguise. In my case I thought that all the women were a friend of mine. Now this wasn't particularly distressing but it was very confusing, I spent a while trying to figure out how she was getting around so quickly before I realised that it must not of been real. 

The fourth and final thing is probably the most difficult to explain. In the simplest form all I can say is that the light seemed "solid". It felt liek I could reach out and touch the light, not the light bulbs but the light coming from them. I'm probably not doing a good job of explaining it but it is was it is. 

In the end I ended up telling a close friend what was going on and he helped me through it, so I guess the message of this post is not to underestimate the help a good friend can be. 

Friday, 9 September 2011

Codes in the Media

So, I thought I would expand a little on my crisis the other night, even though I'm now unsure whether I was really in crisis as it was so minor compared to some crises I've been through. In my post the other night I mentioned that I was getting messages through the music I was listening to.

This is true to some extent, although I think codes is a more appropriate word than messages as it wasn't making any sense. It's very difficult to explain but it felt as if certain words I was hearing held a significance to me and my life. This is something that doctors call delusions of reference.

I get delusions of this type quite a lot. Sometimes I can crack the code and I receive the message I was meant to get and other times I can't and it remains a garbled conversation in my head. Usually the source of these delusions are language sources such as books, newspapers, TV, radio, music etc. but if it gets really bad it can be other sources. for example I was thought there was a message hidden in the position of the stars and clouds in the sky, and the patterns in my bathroom floor.

Sometimes I think that maybe there really is someone trying to communicate with me and that the medications are stopping them from reaching me. And in a way, who's to say there isn't?

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Out of the woods -ish

So after a sleepless night and a visit to my doctors it feels like I'm finally dragging myself through this little blip. The messages from music have stopped and Patch feels safe again. I didn't end up calling my crisis line in the end   so expect many more posts from me over the coming weeks! And apologies if anyone was worried.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011


I'm writing this post in crisis, I've had a little too much to drink this evening and it feels like i'm right on the brink of the edge . . . Normally when I feel like this I listen to music, but at the moment I am getting messages from the music - Its like there is a code I have to break and it's taking most of my willpower to stop from trying to find it out by writing down the words that "highlight" themselves to me.

I'm also desperate to go searching for Patch, he feels in real trouble and I just don;t know what to do - It's so distressing . . .

I'll probably call my crisis line soon so there may not be another post for a while depending on how tonight goes -  Please stay tuned though. . .

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Do We Know What We Are Doing?

A common question I always get asked is - "What's it like being ill? do you know you do the things you do?"

There is no simple answer to this  . . . When I am in a depressed state I generally know exactly what I am doing, but I'm so low I just don't care - it doesn't matter to me that I may be hurting other people or myself.  Mania however is a completely different story, It's like I can see what I'm doing and there is a side of me that knows what I'm doing is completely insane, but part of me overrides that common sense and goes ahead anyway, and if I wasn't on medication I wonder if that common sense part would be there in the first place. It's also worth mentioning that I rarely remember fully what happens in my manic episodes, I have to rely on other people to tell me what I've done. It;s a little like being really drunk for a very long time, there are just large blank patches in your memory.

As for the psychotic side of things there are stages, the first stage being completely fine progresses into hearing a voice or feeling a presence , then they generally start telling me to do things, which I obviously resist - This often continues to escalate until takes all my focus to resist them. I will remember a lot of this and often will be conscious of the fact that I am acting very odd, but there is very little I can do about it. A couple of times, and I stress this is very rare (at least for me), they sort of take control - and its like watching a movie through my eyes, I have absolutely no control over my actions. This is known as passivity, and it's very scary. I remember these times vividly and clearly although at the time I have no clue what I am doing as it were.

Well that's it for now, although I feel i haven't explained it very well, so this question may well crop up again in the future.

Missing Patch . . .

So it's been a while since I've seen Patch. This is a worrying turn of events, I worry that something has happened to him. I'm getting urges to go out looking for him in the dead of night, and every dog I see reminds me of him. They all carry something about Patch with them . . . I can't quite put my finger on it though, It's like as if Patch is hiding in these other dogs, And if I just find the right dog he would turn back into Patch. This leads to more urges to take these dogs in the vain hope one of them is actually Patch - It feels like a twisted game of hide and seek. I'm managing to resist these urges but it is difficult, I see my care co-ordinator in 2 days and I hope she will be able to help . . .

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Hypomania/Mania: An Overview

So today I want to talk a little bit about mania and its little brother hypomania (which is just a less severe form of mania). There are a lot of misconceptions about mania, that it's good, that it's simply feeling too happy - And to an extent these a true, but not in the way that they are usually used. It's true that it feels good, but the feeling of euphoria generally only lasts a short while before it turns into dysphoria. Dysphoria is where you are constantly over stimulated. It feels horrible - It's like you can't slow down no matter how hard you try, you have all these ideas but you can't catch any of them.

And the dysphoria is the most harmless thing about mania, I also tend to get feelings of invincibility which leads me to risky activities such as drugs and unprotected sex (Not to mention your sex drive is completely through the  roof which leads to sleeping around with many different people anyway). As well as the risky behaviours there are the stupid ones, such as feeling so invincible you try to take of speeding buses, jump of 10ft high walls etc.

As well as all this you can't sleep either, so there is no escape - there are techniques for coping with mania but that's for another post. I also tend to spend ridiculous amounts of money - for example I've spent over £100 on alcohol in one night, and over £60 trying to win an I love you teddy bear, I know this might nto seem alot to many readers but at the time I had no income and was already in debt, this can leave you with crippling debt after your manic episode.

All in all manic episodes are not fun and are in fact extremely dangerous, especially as they are very hard for the sufferer to recognise.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Introducing Visual Hallucination #1: Patch the Friendly Dog

So, recently I've been getting a new visual hallucination. Its of a bright white dog with a black patch over his left eye. I don't see him very often but it's always nice when I do. The problem with Patch is that he seems to take the place of real dogs, When I am down my local park I see humans walking their dogs but the dogs always looks like Patch. Which makes it difficult to know if the humans are real too. This is where the problem occurs, so far nothing has happened yet but if one of the humans were to ever acknowledge me I don't know what I would do - If I say Hi back and they aren't real it will look odd, but if I ignore them it will look odd to.

This is always the dilemma going in the mind of a sufferer of psychosis, trying to work out which things are real and which ones aren't - It's truly exhausting. Though there are a range of techniques designed to help, but that I feel is for another post.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The Sticky Situation of Self-harm Secrecy

So tonight I spent the night down the pub with a few close friends, all of who know I used to self-harm. The subject got round to health and eventually to whether people had ever had surgery which led to if people had ever had stitches and/or that glue stuff they use for sealing up cuts. Now I had never had stitches but I had been to hospital a few times for self-harm and they often needed glueing.

What was I meant to say? It was truly the most embarrassing moment of my life. I tried to just say ye I've had the glue and leave it that but after a bit of pressing it came out that it was for self-harm, (even though I still couldn't bring myself to say it, people had to guess).

This was greeted by sentences such as "Oh, that doesn't count" and the like, which I personally feel is a little unfair but I don't know - what do you think? Should someone be embarrassed that they used to Self-harm or proud that they've over come it? Does it count? Comment below!

The Food Diary

So, my care co-ordinator is worried that I may be developing a co morbid eating disorder. . . To confirm or deny her suspicions she wants me to keep a food diary, which is basically just where you record exactly what and when you have to eat, as well as this she wants me to note down whenever I am sick . . .

Now this sounds all very simple but it's actually extremely hard to do. Now meals are easy to take a note - simply as your cooking or cleaning just make a note of it, but its the snacks that are so difficult to add in. And I snack A LOT. Even just today so far I've forgotten to add in 3 snacks, and the problem is it's really difficult to get the time right when you add them in afterwards.

Anyway that's it for today's post, mainly just another introductory post so you all know what I'm going on about later in the blog.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Introducing Presence #1: The Silent Woman

I mentioned a few posts ago that my most common breakthrough symptom was the feeling of presences. I thought I'd use this post to elaborate a bit. They are presences in their most agreeable state as it were, A few nights ago I was out with some friends and one of the presences came to the foreground.

Now since none of them have ever named themselves I refer to them by a characteristic and what they feel like, luckily this night it is someone I refer to as the silent women because she rarely if ever says very much. I say luckily because she is generally nice tempered and often will try and protect me or stand up for me against other presences, however this time it was like she was arguing with one of the others, although I could only hear her side of the conversation.

I when I say hear I mean hear, I had to check with my friend if it was real or not (a technique known as sound boarding). A lot of people fell that these voices "are in the head" and that it's easy to tell if it's real or not - well it isn't. Anyway she didn't say a lot of interest mainly things along the lines of "I've finished my shift and you start on me" and "Don't call me a bitch".

This whole experience lasted an hour or so, but can often go on for much longer and be alot more intense and distressing if other presences surface. However that's a tale for another day . . .

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Starting relapse prevention

So a couple of days ago I started relapse prevention work at my local hospital. This involves drawing timelines and looking at certain symptoms in context of the events around them. It can be quite a pleasant experience and I had several eureka moments during it when things suddenly made sense as to when and why I got ill. Anywho, as it turns out one of my major triggers was a breakup with my ex . . . This worries me.

It makes me scared to get into another relationship (not that that'll happen anytime soon as I'm currently living with my mother) if every failed relationship will end up in being ill, is it even worth looking? My humble opinion: yes! One should never give up on love. (Cheesy I know)

Sunday, 21 August 2011

The presences

So, I had a few break through symptoms (which are essentially just symptoms that occur while you are taking medication) today. This happens to me quite a lot and vary in severity, today was a semi decent day but I thought I'd write about it anyway. So this time it felt like there were people following me, it was like if I turned around I would see the room full of people watching and judging me. Now this doesn't sound to bad and it's not the worse that can happen, BUT it is sooooo annoying. It is so difficult to do anything when it feels like there is a whole room of people watching and judging you. So consequently I've spent most of the day doing nothing, on the upside when it finally goes away you feel so productive - which is probably why I'm writing this blog right now!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

The advice of a friend . . .

Following the advice of a friend I finally have a direction in which to take this blog. I shall use it as a personal journal in an attempt to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by those with mental health difficulties. I personally am a sufferer of schizo-affective disorder (which is like a cross between Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia) and while the majority of this blog will focus on my experiences I shall try and get some posts written by other sufferers up as well.

For now though I shall leave you with a video that everyone hoping to understand the effect psychosis can have should watch:

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Like a wheel within a wheel

So, first post - Nothing to heavy for now just gunna leave you with the inspiration behind this blog, Enjoy!