Just then, surprisingly,
there were voices bouncing off the wall, they were in different
language that Ajax couldn't understand. "Go away!" Ajax thought,
but they didn't go away, they just got louder and weirder, Ajax
clamped his hands tightly over his
as the voices magnified and his eyes were also clamped shut, and
his brain was bleeding with voices that wouldn't go away. It was
like being in a room of chaos! Ajax fell to the floor lost in fear
and confusion, when he heard some new voices, these ones he understood.
"Ajax! What's wrong? Are you okay?" Ajax recognized the voice
as J.T's. Ajax opened his eyes and looked up from the wooden floor
to see J.T. kneeling over him, the voices had finally stopped and
Ajax was trembling with fear and confusion.
"What happened" asked
Rachelle who was also leaning over Ajax. Ajax tried to explain,
but this was the worst of all things to ever happen to him. Finally,
he said, "T..too many voices, can't understand them! J.T, d..did
you hear them?" It took a while for J.T. to answer, for he never
heard any voices, nor did he ever hear of such a thing as hearing
voices that he couldn't understand. J.T. answered him, "No Ajax,
I heard nothing, what was it? What is it like?" "It must have been
my psychosis," Ajax said standing up. "That was the most fearful
thing I have ever experienced". "Come on guys, let's eat, I'll
explain what psychosis is while we cook".
In my opinion psychosis
sucks! Sometimes I even dress myself in bags in subconcious fear
of my disability taking control.
Right now it's
hard getting through the day to day events that roll through
my head. Like the "voices" that tell me to end my life.
Even ones that tell me I'm no good, are getting worse. I still
control them and continue taking my meds. It does get a little
better with every new thing I accomplish. Going day to day is
how I survive.
I currently found a new way of helping the voices and my nicotine
cravings. It all started when I started going to school. The secret
to my new success is concentration. Even telling the voices to
shut up doesn't work. So I decided to ignore the majority of them.
that I went back to school, it's even easier. Now that I have a
reason to go back the work is becoming more of a challenge and
more easier at the same time. It's easier because I need to concentrate
and harder because I'm trying to quit smoking at the same time.
I hear things in sound. It's hard to describe but whatever is
on my mind, the sounds sound like words to try to prove it right
or wrong. I even see things that aren't there. Like blotches,
people, lights, and even ghosts. Now people would call me crazy
but my personal belief is that what I see and hear is lost spirits
and it makes me sad I can't help them. Sometimes I just want to
break down and cry.
I don't like change. Change scares me. I've never figured out
why. I guess it's 'cause it brings about new energy. If you don't
believe in energy it's alright. It's just something that I believe
helps me get along with less struggle!
Our youngest son, James was in his early 30s. He lived at home
and enjoyed his plumbing job and had been given some supervisory
authority. Then he was injured in a car accident. While it didn't
break any bones, he received considerable damage to the soft tissue
in his back.
This caused a great deal of pain and he was off work for months.
He couldn't sleep, but distrusted pain killers and sleeping pills
Ñ although he did use them on occasion. He found that he
had lost a lot of the body flexibility that his job required and
realized he would have to retrain for a different, less physically
Because his injuries were to soft tissues, they were not apparent in X-rays,
so he encountered a lot of skepticism. These are the type of injuries
that are the favourites of scam artists. But he was able to get
some compensation, which he used for living expenses during his
convalescence and to start taking courses that were meant to give
him a new career.
Around this time he met a young woman at a location many miles
from home, but then reported that an ex-boyfriend of hers had threatened
him. The ex and his friends had also turned up outside a night club
and made threatening remarks on another occasion. And yet again,
when he was by himself camping sixty miles away from home.
We took this at face value and suggested that he not return to
the restaurants and clubs that he had been frequenting and just
give up the possibility of that relationship Ñ which had
not got past the friendly greeting stage.
while at a technical college, he told his mother and me that a fellow
classmate was one of those ex-boyfriend's buddies and he was spreading
untrue rumours about him. He said he had complained to the college
authorities, but his work suffered and he finally quit the course
Ñ which he had found quite demanding after so many years
away from schoolwork.
Now it was three or four years after the original accident and
he'd recovered a lot of his physical strength. He found a job he
could handle and seemed to be settling down to earning a regular,
if not large pay packet.
But after a few months he reported that he was being threatened
by a co-worker, which seemed to be strangely the same story as before.
However, because James was a mature person, we felt we could not
get directly involved by talking to his boss. We knew that would
this time my wife and I left on a long vacation trip to Eastern
Canada that we had been planning for some months. But when we arrived
at our destination, we received a call from our married son Charles.
He reported that James had become very agitated and had upset some
of our neighbours with his probing questions about unrelated things
they had no knowledge of.
One of the neighbours had phoned the police and another neighbour
had contacted Charles. My wife flew home, while I returned home
over the next few days in the car.
We found James very angry, using bad language in front of his mother
which was out of character. He was not able to give a clear, concise
description of what had transpired. He was all emotion and no substance.
He was referred to a psychiatrist and clinician and after meeting
with them received some medication. He reported that the psychiatrist
said he had a mild case of schizophrenia. His explanation was "They
think I'm crazy!"
didn't like the medication because it made him sleepy and dopey.
But his agitation slowly dissipated, although months later he still
heard people shouting threats as he walked for exercise near our
house. He classified his meetings with the clinician a waste of
his time and insisted that the verbal harassment from the ex-boyfriend
and buddies was quite real.
Sometimes he would be out with friends and came home halfway through
the evening because he thought my wife and I were under threat.
He reiterated his love for us and no longer swore in front of us.
He was totally bored and if he wasn't in his bedroom, presumably
sleeping, he was sitting in a living room chair staring into space.
He insisted he was well enough to go back to work and found another
James has now been working steady there for over a year and has
added at least one friend from his co-workers. Two other sets of
friends stayed with him and seem to be supportive, although we are
not sure whether he has been totally frank about the diagnosis that
the psychiatrist made.
have no indication that James smokes pot or takes drugs. He's always
been negative about drugs and has usually refused even ordinary
pain killers for headaches. However, our eldest son reluctantly
stated that he thought James had used pot and may still be using
it. Although Charles doesn't drink, James does. But James seems
to be scrupulous about taking a sleeping bag and sleeping over at
a friend's house if he drinks alcohol.
My wife and I were away for three weeks last summer and by the
time we returned, James' mood seemed to have slipped. But he seemed
to regain his equilibrium after our return. We encouraged him to
renew his drug prescription (which he said was allowed to expire
with the agreement of his psychiatrist) but that would have meant
"wasting" more time with the psychiatrist. His clinician
has invited him to attend group meetings, but again, he declined.
James is now in his late 30s. He seems to have recognized, to some
degree, that not all he experiences is "real" to everybody
else and has even joked that he has more "conversations"
than we are aware of. He still broods when not involved in doing
his laundry, etc., but has started to sing (off-key) when he's actively
doing something. He doesn't watch TV as much as he did, but spends
a lot of his time visiting his friends.
now, my wife and I have to be away for just over two weeks, a couple
of months from now. We think that length of absence might be OK,
but are concerned, nevertheless.
Members of the support group we attend monthly suggested we make
specific requests to his friends and his brother Charles to make
a special effort to contact him and provide support while we are
away. We'll do that.
Although I find myself saying, "Oh, darn, its the support
group tonight! Shall I go? Or should I give it amiss?" But
every time, I come away quite enthusiastic over what I hear. We
always learn something and come away comforted to know we are not
alone in this. That there can be a way through even though there
will be ups and downs. Many parents face a much more difficult problem
The convener of the group is, of course,
a major part of that good outcome. I recommend you bite the bullet,
seek out a support group in your area and attend regularly. No
one in these groups will judge you. You will find strength to
next step to recovery. While our children are ill, we parents suffer
from broken hearts. The meetings help.
I was 16 years old when I got in a car accident. I was rear ended
by a truck. I was sitting in a bench seat so on impact my body
was thrown back and my back bent over the bench seat. My head hit
something hard then whipped forward. I had been smoking marijuana
for several years before the accident. These two factors, (trauma
and drug use) plus my family's genetics, could all have been
factors leading to a brain imbalance.
I had visions of how to make space ships out of genetically modified
jellyfish and crystals. I also had visions of how to make a replicator
for food and plant cells. I had vision of how to invent water filters
to filter parasites out of the water, mainly to give to people
in other countries who are dyeing from parasites in the water.
I thought I had invented several things already. I thought people
from the States stole my ideas when I was six years old. I thought
they were paying my grandpa off for my inventions. I thought he
was a millionaire from my inventions.
I thought the American's never set foot on the moon because
there is a radiation belt around the moon that would kill any living
thing except maybe cockroaches. I thought it was just a big conspiracy
with the American government and Hollywood. I thought they just
made it all up so they could say they got to the moon first.
When I told my mom all of this, she said we better see the doctor.
When I told the doctor about all the visions I was having, he told
me I have something called psychosis. The doctor prescribed a drug
called Risperidal. I thought everyone else thought I was crazy.
I didn't want to take the medication. I thought I was just
fine without it.
I felt suicidal because what's the point of living if everyone
thinks you're crazy, at least I thought everyone thought
I was crazy. I thought of ways to kill myself. For example; I thought
of falling on a knife to make it look like an accident so my mom
would get insurance. I felt angry. I felt frustrated. I felt sad.
I almost cried a couple of times too. I felt very angry with everyone
because I thought that they thought I was crazy. That's why
I thought of killing myself all the time.
I felt like I was "possessed" or something. It's
like there was a voice inside my head telling me to kill myself.
It would happen all the time. Whenever I was alone the voice would
say "what's the point in living, Garnet?" I felt
agitated. Did I mention suicidal?
I felt frustrated because I'm seventeen and I've never
had a girl friend. Every time I get to know a girl well enough
to ask her out on a date my parents would want to move away to
some other city. It has been happening my whole life. I'm
sure any seventeen-year-old male would be very frustrated if that
happened to them every couple of years or less.
I also had a to change schools every two years or less so I have
failed grade nine two times. I found it too hard to go on with
school so I dropped out for half a year. Then my mom found a "special" school
for me to go to. So I started going there. I liked it at first,
but then I started getting kicked out because I wasn't
following the rules. Then I started to get to know the youth at
They started to invite me to smoke a joint during lunchtime. Then
we smelled like pot when we went back to school. The teachers
started to realize that we smelled of pot. They said nothing until
it happened several times, then they made us do school work instead
of going on field trips. I got really mad and dropped out of that
I dropped out, they got me to start going to an EPI group. It really
helped me because I got to meet other people that are
in the same boast as me. It really helped me through a rough time.
The group educated me about drugs and what they do to you when
you take them. It also educated me about psychosis. We all shared
our experience with psychosis. We had dinner every Wednesday with
the group. We did some relaxation exercises. That really helped
a lot. A lady came to the group and shared her experience with
psychosis. She was 19 years old at the time and had recovered from
psychosis. She just wanted us to know that we aren't alone
in the world and that psychosis will pass with the help of the
medication of course. Then a lady that was well educated about
drugs came to talk to us. She told us about drugs and how they
affect us. So I asked her if marijuana has the same affect on your
body if you make tea out of it and she said a drug is a drug is
a drug. It's still bad for you no matter how you do it. She
explained how when the drug gets in your system it attaches itself
to all of the fat cells I can find and guess what... your brain
is mostly fat cells. So when you do drugs the drug sticks to your
brain and that is how you get high. It blocks the neurotransmitters
in your brain from working properly. So think of that before you
do drugs. That's one of the reasons why I quit smoking marijuana.
The EPI group helped me realize that psychosis is only temporary
if you treat it soon enough.
I have been on the medication for six months now and I am on the
road to recovery.
January 23, 2003