My name’s Nadia. I honestly do not know where to start. But as I was growing up my childhood wasn’t something you would really imagine another kid having. At a very young age I started hallucinating. I remember it vividly. I was around 11 years old at the time. I was sleeping and it was very late. I started hearing a lot of voices. I couldn’t make up what they were saying. It just sounded like I was in my room along with 100 other people whispering and mumbling things to me. As a 11-year-old would do. I immediately freaked out. I at first thought maybe my mother’s TV was on. So I went to her room and I woke her up. I remember telling her if the TV was on and she was very confused. So I told her about what I was hearing. She stayed with me the whole night until I eventually fell asleep. A few days later, my mom had took me to the doctors and told them what was going on. Since I was very young, they didn’t think much of it and thought it could’ve been a scary movie I might’ve of watched. Since I also liked horror movies so much at the time as well. So we did as they said and we stopped watching horror movies. I eventually wasn’t hearing anything and everything was well for a long time.
A few years pass and I am 13 (at the time) things at home were not great. My mom and my step dad that raised me my whole life, were separating and I didn’t exactly know how to take it. Time passed and my parents separated. My stepdad (I am going to call him dad for now on because that’s what he is towards me) was still seeing me and my brother. And I only have one sibling which is my brother. My dad moved to Minnesota and wasn’t doing great. Long story short we eventually started hearing nothing from him and that broke my heart. We eventually found out that he was in jail. It was around this time, maybe a few months later. I started having hallucinations again (visuals and hearing) I started hearing and seeing things that were not there. My mom then made an appointment for a physiatrist and to start seeing a therapist. I became very depressed. And I went into very bad depression and anxiety. I was hallucinating almost everyday. I was hearing and seeing things that were not there. I was hearing a ton of voices telling me negative things. Such as “you’d be better of dead, no one cares about you, you are disgusting, you are worthless” and much other worse things. I didn’t how how to take all of this. I felt like I was trapped in a nightmare everyday that I couldn’t just wake up from and it would be all over. It felt like I was trapped in my tiny room with hundreds or people and voices telling my very bad things and screaming and whispering at me. I felt numb. I felt completely alone and lonely. I started having suicidal thoughts. There’s only so much a person can take. I became mentally and physically drained. I was so tired. Tired of having to wake up and be scared to go to school because I didn’t want to freak out in class and be called the weird crazy person.
I was also taking zzz quill, which is a medicine you can buy over counter to help you fall sleep, I would take that for a whole year every night because I was so scared to sleep. I couldn’t sleep. I felt like they were always watching me. I was so tired of having to wake up every morning and it being hard too because I had took zzz quill the night before, as I did every night, so it also made it even more difficult to wake up since I was still very tired. I missed so much of school. And my grades went down. Hallucinations everyday and night.
My dad was still in jail. And in my head, my life was falling apart. I had turned 14 already. And spent my birthday crying because I missed my dad and didn’t know what to do. As I said before I started having suicidal thoughts. Now before you think, why would you kill yourself? Why would you do that, it’s so selfish! Just put yourself in my position. Think of seeing the most scariest movie out there that you know of and having to live it. Or living in your worst nightmare. Or having hundreds and hundreds of voices in your head and hearing things like babies crying or chains being dragged against the floor when you’re just in your room. It was terrifying to live.
This one time, I was having an episode and my mom was right next to me. I was crying and crying and hearing many voices and seeing people all around me. I said something along the lines as “I want to end this all, I cant do it anymore mom. I am so tired of living’’ my mom looked at me and started crying and crying. Now keep in mind that my mom is a very strong person and try’s her very best to keep herself together for me even if what she was seeing me go through was horrible. This was one of the times I saw her actually breakdown crying in front of me. This broke my heart and changed my mindset. She hugged me and told me “I am here for you and so many people love you, you are so strong Nadia and I don’t know what I would do without you.’’ Immediately after that day I told myself I would never ever do anything to hurt myself because of my mom. I thought of how much it would hurt her and many people that love and care for me. I never attempted anything for that reason.
Now looking back at it, it kind of hurts me to think that the only reason I never killed myself was for others and not myself. I should have thought about myself and how much I could do in the future and how much I can accomplish. And how smart and amazing I am as a person. But I never thought of that. My reality was my voices and people I would see that no one else could see. I was going crazy. Think about it I was very young and I still am. My psychiatrist had prescribed me with Risperidone and Lexapro. I was on medication for almost a year and a half. I was doing therapy for almost the same amount of time. And I have to admit therapy helped so so much. I am now 15 years old. I am in high school. Still very young. I am no longer on medication or doing therapy. I don’t have any visual hallucinations anymore or hear things anymore. I’ve been off my medications for maybe 6 or 7 months or so. I am very young still like I said before but I feel as if I have a very different mindset as other teens would. I appreciate everything and everyone I have. I have so much to look forward to and so much to accomplish. I am very grateful that I am still here today and that I did not give up on myself.
I hope my story helps anyone out there. Even just a bit. There is obviously so much I could write about but it would be way too much. I really believe that you can do it. You are strong. Never tell yourself that you can't do something because you think that you’re weak or that you’re weaker than others. Please ask and seek help. Please don’t give up on yourself. You will get through this. It will get better!
Hello my name is Terrin. I am a 21 year old female who wants to share her (my) experience. I have been struggling with mental issues since the age of 15-16. It started when I first took LSD. I don't really understand to this day what is going on with me because I still sometimes hear voices and see things. It has gotten better though.
I thought we had telepathy. I would hear people's "thoughts" daily and go into manic states where it would not stop. At first, the thoughts were nice and i'd just listen. They would talk about how pretty I am or how cool I am. It was weird but I kinda liked it. Then one day, I started to converse with these "people". They were the voices of people I knew including my mom and my good friends and even strangers that I barely knew. They would tell me that telepathy is a huge secret that the government is trying to hide because it wasn't okay to do. It scared me but I could not stop. I became obsessed and felt like I had a serious problem because I literally could not stop talking to these people that were in my head. They began to get angry and pretty much treat me like crap and made me feel horrible. It became so bad that i'd stay awake for days, not eat, and sometimes laugh hysterically to myself. It was sooo absolutely odd. I then began to see demons and dead people that would tell me things that made me feel...indescribable. They'd speak of God and Satan and just crazy things that'd terrified me to the bone. I honestly still to this day, wonder if that was real. Because they were intelligent, articulate and intense presences that I could also "feel". But anyway..
It got to the point where I was so delusional and could not function properly in my day to day life. It had consumed me. I literally thought I had telepathy! I felt like I was, truly "harassing" people because I could not stop "minding" them and the emotion I had the most was embarrassment. I would tell my secrets and do things that were crazy and weird and the voices acted beyond annoyed and would tell me things like "I'm going to call the cops" "shut the f*ck up" and even worse "kill yourself". I started to become delusional and think people I loved didn't really have my back and were doing stuff behind my back. I was absolutely a wreck.
I eventually ended up telling my mom. I was 16. She took me the hospital and that's when I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. From then it's been on and off in a time spans of 5 years. I've been In numerous physc wards for not staying on my medication. I've been diagnosed with different labels every time. Psychosis, bipolar, schizoaffective disorder. I think it's messed up actually how doctors will label you and put you on some random medication when they obviously don't know what is going on. But anyway, I was eventually put in the state hospital for a week and haven't been back since. That was about a year ago. Now a days I still sometimes hear voices but I can pull myself out of my mind and tell myself to be in the present moment. It works. I want to stay healthy more than ever and I've improved since I was 16.
This has all been a pretty crazy experience to say the least. I feel better knowing I'm not the only one who deals with mental illness. My advice is stay on your medication and stay healthy and be positive. I'm glad I could share my story. Thanks.
My journey with psychosis started when I was 15. The summer of my sophomore year I began hearing voices telling me not to trust anyone and that everyone was put to hurt me, even my family. I didn't tell anyone at first because I completely believed them. Then I came to my senses when they turned against me. I told my mom and she took me to the hospital. They didn't do much besides recommend that I see a psychiatrist, we tried however no psychiatrist in all of NJ was willing to see me. I went months without treatment and continued to get worse. The voices got more negative, I started seeing demons and would also see the walls start to melt and a man in my front yard watching me. On top of all of that, I wouldn't leave my house believing that the government was out to kill me and simply that if I left the house I would die. I would sit in my house and cry telling my mom that I wanted to die.
Then all of a sudden, the voices switched. They began telling me how special I am and how much better I am than everyone else. I began to have a delusion where I thought I was god. I would laugh manically at times for absolutely no reason and would see random people and who I though were my friends and they would talk to me like a regular person would. I would have in depth and emotional conversations with people who weren't there and pet animals who were nonexistent then yell at my parents when they said they weren't real. Around this time is when I finally found a psychiatrist.
She started me on Sero-quel which began to help me, but I was still struggling. I had to be home schooled for a full year since I could no longer function in public since the hallucinations were too strong, at this point the voices were nearly yelling at me. They switched from evil to nice every few months, but even when they were nice I was too far gone into my own world to function. That's when my doctor decided to put me on Prozac, I began to get better and was even able to go to school for half of the day. The voices were mostly negative at this point , but the visual hallucinations were slim. Now, I have just been accepted to Rutger for next fall and have been completely healthy with no hallucinations for delusion for nearly three weeks :)
Thank you for reading my story!
Hey everyone! I'm 16 years old and am currently doing my exams, going to a normal school like everyone else and right now doing things like every other teenager. So far so good right? I'm doing well I guess. But things in my life weren't always so good. So here is my story, my struggles.
I was the kind of kid that was always quiet. When I was little I had imaginary friends and such. I could be so quiet people thought I had Autism of some sort. I had panic attacks and such and when I was 9 I started hearing things that no one else could hear. I assumed I had better ears than others had. I did crazy things in order for those whispers or voices to stop it went so far I thought jumping out of the window upstairs would help. I was anxious all the time and I cried a lot. The next few years all went well and I had a normal life like any other kid until I was 14. I fell into depression, I heard voices in my head that said mean things, evil things. Like everyone around me has to die or I should die or that no one likes me. Yeah it isn't really weird that I was feeling depressed because my voices that only I could hear practically bullied me. I started hallucinating as well. Seeing shadows and people and different colours and shapes. I remember banging my head against the wall and yelling out stop it stop it!
The first person I confided in was my sister because I thought I can't be the only one right? She was horrified and told me to see a doctor and a psychiatrist and get help. She's the reason I got help. She's amazing and supportive of me from the beginning and helped me a lot. My parents were very hesitant though they believed that I might be psychic or something. I said I wanted help just in case. They agreed but apparently didn't make a lot of effort in the beginning. My dad told me it was because of that horrible music and the terrible video games I played. I felt so upset I cried myself to sleep and refused to go to school the next morning. My dad was so mad at me for not going to school that he was yelling at me and asking what was wrong with me. I didn't know the answer either. It made me even more upset. My sister called my parents as well insisting that they do contact a psychologist as soon as possible or else she will. After a while it finally happened we reached out for help. My dad took me because he wanted to understand but I think that he also wanted to hear that it wasn't so bad. I wanted to hear that too.
I got an appointment with a psychologist. I imagined that a psychologist was like the one from the Animaniacs. A cartoon I used to watch when I was a kid. See, I've never met or I didn't even think that I've ever seen one. I was a bit scared. The appointment was a few months later in the meanwhile I went to Greece and one time at night I was watching a TV show in the hotel room. The episode was about a boy who heard voices just like me! He also heard evil things and he was so distraught and so scared and somewhat violent and the nurses and the doctors did all sorts of things to calm him down. And I thought are they going to put me in there? I was even more scared and didn't really wanted to go. I had to and I went.
My first experience with a psychologist wasn't so bad. He wasn't like Dr. Scratchansniff the psychiatrist from the Animaniacs at all. Sorry but before all this that was the only example of psychiatrist to me. Yes it came from a cartoon. After a couple of visits they diagnosed me with psychosis NOS. He told me I was psychotic. I didn't understand the term psychotic and I thought he just called me a psychopath which wasn't true. He explained to me a lot and I understood it better. My struggle had a name now. My dad took it very seriously now and was supportive ever since. My mom continues to think its something else but she was still supportive of me. I visited the psychologist weekly and I went to all the therapy sessions and also had some sort of treatment called Neurofeedback but that was a separate thing. Neurofeedback was done in hospitals. In one therapy session in December 2014 I just turned 15 and my fear had finally happened. They put me there. The mental hospital. After long debates and discussions, telling numerous psychiatrists my story and whatever I told them they just confirmed it. According to them I was suicidal. Yes I told them I was depressed and somehow they got the idea that as soon as I walked out of that door I will jump in front of a train. Well I'm not going to lie my voices can tell me to do such things. I also told them about my delusions. Yes I didn't mention them because I sometimes still think its plausible but its in the background now. I ignore it. Its not true anyway's.
If you want to know it has to do with the food I eat is poisonous, people are trying to get me, plotting against me. My own family members and friends were a threat to me you know those delusions. Mind control. Now I know its just crazy. My parents and I were against medications as well so I didn't take any medication before they locked me up there. My parents and I didn't think this was the solution and we got legal help for that. I was scared I didn't know what was going to happen. I thought about all the things I couldn't do. I felt that my future was like a dim light about to fade away. I couldn't join the army, I couldn't enjoy the things I used to do everybody would think I'm psycho, no one would hire me. Those thoughts made me feel suicidal.
While being there my mind was dark, a thick cloud surrounded me while everyone around me was so nice. During my stay I met a boy. He made me smile he wanted to be my friend so we became friends he was staying there too! I looked up to him. He's a strong person one of the strongest people I've ever met. I wanted to be as strong as he was. Because of him I'm still here. In that period of time I decided that I wanted to do law. I've had an amazing attorney. I won the case and I got home early. It was victory that inspired me to be a lawyer when I grow up. The idea that I could be one gave my idea of my future a little more light. I had less school hours. I had missed so much but I tried really hard and I passed the semester. I also decided to learn new languages. Swedish is my favourite. I fell in love with Sweden and my dream to live there gave my idea of the future a brighter light. School gave me support and I had teachers that I could confide in. They helped me a lot as well.
My closest friends were supportive too and also curious. They think being able to hallucinate is awesome. Oh well. I did do stuff though that I wasn't suppose to do. Like smoking marijuana. For my experience it helped me to relief stress and even got me rid of some of my hallucinations. I wasn't addicted and I didn't do it that often but I quit all of that now. I did go back there for my anxiety but in a different facility and I could go to school and stuff I'd spent like 3 days there in a week and also that I went home early. Sometimes I did feel depressed and sometimes I do.
I now have a friend who always cheers me up so that makes it even better. He doesn't know that but he helps me a lot. He knows parts of my story. I'm grateful for everyone that helped me through this. Btw I did have medication but I'm better off without them now. I'm currently doing my exams in peace. I'm grateful of all the therapists that had helped me. Thank you And my psychologist. Yes she helped me a lot too. Thank you. I'm going to be a lawyer and I'm going to move to Sweden. I'm going to graduate. I have a future. I might always be a tiny bit psychotic. I hated it but now I see it as a super power. Someone called it unique as well. And for the guy who who I worked with at the game shop. Thank you for giving me a chance. That meant a lot to me. And it still does!
So this is my journey.
I am going to describe the experience I had when I had a psychotic event. About a gear ago I decided to take myself on a grand adventure through the top end of Australia. I had previously been trekking and adventuring through the wild in now in mount Koziosco region and Victoria and always had a love for nature and the wilderness. I had grown up always camping and exploring the outdoors as my dad loved it too. I had decided to hike the Jatbula trail which is a 60 km trek through Nitmulik national park with 5 different waterholes. Traditionally owned by the Jaywon people this trail is absolutely beautiful and takes you deep into the wilderness of Australia. I had decided to go by myself because I wanted to really experience serenity. I was also a regular marijuana smoker but had never experienced the bad effects of the drug.
Anyway as I was peacefully trekking along on the 5th day something went terribly wrong. I began to believe that I could see heaven and hell on earth and believing trees were talking to me. From what I can remember I woke up on the last day having dreamt that a guy had gone into my mind and screwed it up. I began to believe that the people around me were going to kidnap me or abandon me in the wild if I didn't do what they said. Then I was convinced that the whole of Darwin were after me because I was an intruder on their land. I remember sitting in my hostel on the last night so scared that the people outside were going to hurt me or take me. The next day I couldn't get home because I thought the pilot was going to crash the plane. Then I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital.
Last week, I was diagnosed with psychotic depression. About 7 weeks ago, I had a 2nd “nervous breakdown.” As I searched for understanding about my experiences and diagnosis, I googled “psychotic depression.” Most of the material was too dark and/or too personal. We don’t need to know the details of everyone’s darkest moments, right? Then, I went to Facebook and searched for “psychosis.” Every articles and posts were related to murder, insanity, or drugs. I thought to myself “So, when I tell someone my diagnosis, they will search online to find dark, criminal activities.” I do not feel like this is an appropriate reflection of my experience with psychosis.
Imagine…your darkest moment plastered all over Facebook. That was my experience with psychosis. It played out in email, Facebook, texts, and phone calls. I am all for being open and transparent. But, it was not my goal to be recognized through psychosis on social media. The truth? My memory of writing or saying things is limited. It is an embarrassing experience.
I would describe “psychosis” as a dream state. Only, I am acting it out and awake rather than laying in my bed asleep. It is scary and dark. It scares me, but it isn’t all about the dark side. There are moments of light.
The worst part of this is that one is isolated. When the perception of my illness is that I might kill someone or “go crazy,” it deepens my pain. As I told many people, if I had cancer, people would run a race for me. With this illness, people flee running from me. I am not doing stuff that “normal” people do. I am going to a psychiatrist or psychologist and trying to figure out the best way to get through the day. It feels very isolating.
However, I have to say this time I was more open with people. I was touched by the number of people who were accepting and supportive. It eased my pain.
I was all grown up and had been living with my parents for several years. I would never have thought I’d been able to move out and get my own cozy little one-bedroom apartment right downtown. Making it my home, I decorated it with leopard prints and colorful butterflies.
The same goes for work: it had been years since being able to have a job, but I got one stocking shelves at a store in town. This was great, I was able to keep myself busy during the day and get paid for it. Due to a work injury I am now off pursuing a writing career.
One night, at a singles Bible study in Tim Horton’s, I met a man who has an extremely caring tender heart, whose words are gentle and soft. He makes me laugh and charms the socks off of me. He leaves me love notes every morning and picks me flowers. Yep, he’s the real deal, the best I could ever find. We fell in love and recently got married. In saying that, I no longer live in my cozy little apartment but a brand-new spacious walkout basement apartment with a yard that invites wild animals. This place, I love.
This may sound all rosy, but it wasn’t always so. It took a few years to get here and a lot of hard work on my part. Before all this took place I was very ill, both physically and mentally. I searched for the answers, but none were given until I had lost everything to me – my identity and my Christian faith.
I had gone on a crazy adventure thinking I was a prophet from God. If I didn’t save the world, people would go to hell. It was up to me. I was pregnant with the Holy Spirit and giving birth to a nation who would believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, but those who didn’t believe would get burned in the lake of fire. Visions were clearly telling me what was to be the future of the human race. I had to be the savior to the lost. What a huge burden this was to carry. Anxiety overtook me, taking away any excitement, because I would one day be mocked and forced to endure the suffering of the cross just like Jesus.
Standing naked before others, I declared that God loved them and that they could be unashamed like Adam and Eve were before the fall of mankind, because clearly I was unashamed.
The police hauled me off to the mental health hospital where they diagnosed me with having schizoaffective disorder. But I didn’t believe I was mentally ill – it was all from God.
I debated with the staff that the devil was all around. He was playing tricks, trying to trap me and trying to stop me. And they were a part of it. My mind convinced me that I was to be tortured in the hospital, and it would show the glory of God. He would come down and save me. Many would then believe in his name.
With attitude I sat slouched in a chair waiting nervously to see the psychiatric pastoral counselor. I was wearing a “Life Is Good” T-shirt, (ya, right! I thought) and at the time I weighed 118 pounds. My cheeks were sunk in and my green eyes glared at the 6 foot two tall slender man striding toward me.
This man I had already judged. It was written all over my face as I took a deep breath in. How as he to help me? He was no different than the most of the staff, just there to fill in time. But this man appeared different. He eyes were sincere, a kind smile was formed on his face, and he was friendly.
With a guarded heart I greeted the counselor, not wanting to let him in. He could see I was terrified of the unknown. What did all this mean, the voices that spoke to me? I was a prophet, pregnant with the Holy Spirit and savior to the world.
This man was against me too, or so I thought. But for some reason, he slowly got through to me, convincing me that God wouldn’t do such a thing, torture me in this way. He told me the truth. And the truth was I was swayed at church to believe all these ideas about prophecy. God didn’t impregnate me with the Holy Spirit; He did that to Mary. God didn’t need me to save the world; Jesus had already come to do that. The voice that I was hearing was not from God or from the devil, but an illness. But I believed these things that weren’t true. I thought it was all a spiritual gift. I was brainwashed. It was making me crazy, I couldn’t tell right from wrong. What was even worse was the church, the body of Christ, declared me demon possessed. The church and all their charismatic ways didn’t help me one bit. I believed it all.
Each time I visited with the counselor I became more like me. After a period of time, he became my friend; I knew I could trust him. I still heard voices from God, but a miracle happened when I began taking medication. The voices stopped. The hallucinations stopped. The delusions stopped. And all the strange smells stopped. But my identity and my faith were still shattered. How could God let this happen to me? How could he be loving? And how could the things in the Bible be true when all the stories and the people seemed crazy to me now?
The humblest man counseled me. He didn’t have the answers for me, but he taught me that life is about love. He told me, “Jesus’ last words to his followers were to “love one another.” So this is what I was going to do – love others. This was my newfound faith in God.
Upon leaving the hospital, my counselor’s parting words to me was, “You are a wonderful young lady with the world to offer; you really are!” His words revealed my identity – I just need to be me.
By losing myself I had gained more than I ever had before. I found my new identity, and my new Chrisitian faith. This time it was real – my life was real.
I am now counseled once a week by an admirable woman from the Mental Health Clinic in my town. Without my medication I’d be mentally unstable again, and my life would crumble, so I keep taking it daily.
Life is good!
In losing my mind I found myself.
I like who I am today. Without having gone through my psychosis, bouts of depression and anxiety, I wouldn't be who I am. It doesn't define me but it is apart of me. A part that reminds me to look after myself. A part of my self care is I take my medication everyday. I exercise, get proper rest and have a strong network made up of family, friends and medical staff.
I do work full time now. I hadn't worked in six years when I returned to work. It's been three years and for the last year I've been full time. My boss and co-workers have been amazing. They are supportive and understand when I need a day off.
My positive attitude on life didn't happen overnight. It's been a process, a journey. I didn't get here on my own. I'm not sure who said it but I like the quote 'it's the journey not the destination' that counts. Wellness is not a destination but an ongoing process with its ups and downs. These days there are more ups than downs. I hope to ride this wave for as long as I can. When I fall I know I can get up again and I have the tools to do it.
One of things I learned through my experience with mental illness is that the horrible feelings pass. It may seem while you are in the midst of it, it never will, but it does. Everyday is a new day to start fresh. Try to stay hopeful. Hang in there.
Even if you go through bouts of hopelessness, lean on those around you. They will carry you through the dark moments. Because it is just a moment in the grand scheme of things. A blimp on the radar on this journey also known as life.
I feel lucky these days. Not that my wellness has anything to do with luck. It took a lot of work, love, patience--you can't heal over night. I never thought I would be where I am today.
I just want to say thank you to those that supported me. That allowed me to lean on them when things seemed bleak. For my mom who I joked that we tied the umbilical cord back on. She would sleep beside me when things were really bad. Who made me take my medication when I thought nothing was wrong. Whose strength carried me through and made sure I made those appointments. Because those appointments and medication was the hope-the light at the end of a dark tunnel.
GET HELP NOW:
Talk to someone in your area.
For emergencies, call your doctor or go to an emergency room.