All I got for Christmas was a two week stay in an acute mental health ward. It wasn’t exactly how I planned it but you don’t plan a breakdown. Or hearing voices for the first time. This voice was no different from my own inner dialogue just more menacing.
I think that is what is meant by the break in break-down. We are always listening to a multitude of voices and thoughts but depression or extreme exhaustion can bring these things to the fore. I have been struggling with mental health issues since I finished University. The first panic attack which took me to hospital for a night was reduced by Diazepam. Unfortunately the Diazepam brought on sense impressions like hallucinations but less-real.
I did not seek further help because I hoped it would disappear and I went to Beijing with this hangover of a mental health issue. Beijing was an intense teaching experience with a mild strain of paranoia running through it. The job collapsed after a certain argument with a director. I packed my bags and did what is known as a mid-night run. I took a flight back home and landed in Brighton to seek help.
My illness reached a peek back home and I was diagnosed with an ‘existential crisis with elements of a psychosis.’ To me it sounded like a posh dish at a psychiatrist’s convention. There I was given help in the form of a psychiatrist and medication such as olanzapine. This curbed the excesses of my thinking and the reaction to the disturbed images and dreams I was having. But there is a point when you are deemed ‘not that bad’ in comparison to people who have deep mental health issues.
To have a mental illness to me is a great shame. It’s an equal shame to being unemployed. There is the illness and there is the further illness brought on by no work and left marginalized with people unsure how to deal with you. Of course there are groups and clubs abound where you can seek help. But I considered it my man-duty to recover, deal with it, beat it, and win. That’s why I went to Prague because I could get work one-on-one and try and recover myself so I could post that I was winning not failing.
In Prague I found work immediately which made me feel happy that I was not reliant on anyone and enjoy the beautiful town to start a new life. But I still had a low level of paranoia and OCD type thinking which was maintained because I had cut myself of from human contact. After a few months I managed to get enough money together to pay for a counsellor and I could continue my life so when I went home for Christmas I was not expecting my condition to spike and take on a new form.
To come home for Christmas was to just heal personal wounds as I didn’t believe my family were that helpful to me when I had this breakdown in England. I admit that I too adopted a tough attitude of don’t tell anyone or choosing not to take medication so its not all their fault. While I believed I was winning in Prague there was still a deep layer of fear and paranoia and troubled thinking that needed to be dealt with.
I can’t go into to much detail about my current predicament. Words of paranoia and psychosis are being thrown round again. The term ‘hearing voices’ or ‘menacing dialogue’ as I would prefer are being mentioned. To summarize. It seems all the unresolved deeply held problems from childhood and since Uni have come back to the fore and resulted in a complete’ish breakdown. I have all the right people around me to help and most importantly admittance from myself that I am ill and need to help and follow the advice I was given last time.