My First Psychotic Break (Guest Post)

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TIn this emerging blogger post, Higher Times writes about his first psychotic break.

I remained undiagnosed until I was 28 years old. However my troubles started in middle school. They couldn’t understand why I was aceing all the tests but failing all my classes for not doing the homework. My mother, brother and I had to spend the summer with a psychologist to see if they were going to let me into high school. They did, and from then on it was a string of psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers all trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I lied to everyone because I thought I would be put in a mental hospital.

My first psychotic break came when I was 21. I thought I was having mental problems because of alcohol and drug use but I had quit everything a year prior. I started out in a manic mode with no sleep and plenty of energy. I lived in a small town with the streets roughly set in two concentric circles. I spent 7 days walking and walking, only pausing to rest for a couple hours each day in my bedroom. As I walked I was hallucinating, hearing a voice that I thought was god telling me I was going to hell. As I walked I argued with him. I was also seeing auras around people and buildings. People’s faces looked grotesque as I walked by and I felt everyone was staring at me and trying to keep their distance.

I was raised a wedding and funeral Catholic but never attended church services. Each time I passed the largest church in town the aura around it got larger and larger. I couldn’t figure out why I was drawn to it. Finally, on the 7th day I was sitting on a bench across from the church and decided I was going in to finish my argument with god. I walked through the large doors and saw the 30 foot tall crucificion statue behind the altar. The church was full of parishioners and I started yelling, “you are dead, I fucking killed you.” Over and over until someone put their arm around me and led me to a vestibule. I broke down and started crying and he asked me if I would like to see a priest. I said yes.

Later that day I met the priest in the rectory. By this time my mood had broken and I was severely depressed. Lucky for me the priest didn’t offer religious advice. Instead he asked me if I had ever heard of “happy pills” and steered me to the local mental health center. When I got there they thought I was depressed and sent me home with Prozac. It was the worst thing they could do for me. After 3 days I was manic again and felt like I wanted to go outside and beat people who walked by my house. I flushed all the pills they gave me and swore I would never take anything again.

Years later I allowed myself to be diagnosed schizoaffective bipolar one type. And it wasn’t until many years after I finally got on some meds that worked somewhat quell my symptoms. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

The post Let’s Talk About Psychosis is the hub for all psychosis-related content on Mental Health @ Home.

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