My First Psychotic Break (Guest Post)

The emerging blogger series on Mental Health @ Home -background image of cherry blossoms

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.

You can visit the author on his blog Higher Times.

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