Many people these days are diagnosed with some sort of so-called ‘psychological disorder’ such as autism, depression, borderline syndrome, psycho-affective disorder and schizophrenia. We make checklists to determine how normal someone is, or rather, how useful or dangerous to society they are. I recently met someone who is diagnosed with schizophrenia, something with many subtleties we know little about. He appreciates being able to talk about his experiences without being considered ‘strange’ or not worth listening to. Next time you decide someone is ‘crazy’ consider for a second that this might not be accurate…
The first clue about my schizophrenia was after talking to a friend who had full-blown psychosis. I realised I could understand him but could still determine between fantasy and reality. It was only after my first psychotic episode that I could understand how reality and fantasy can mix up into a movie-like experience where you are the main character and the script is developed by your own psyche.
Schizophrenia occurs for many reasons but mine were hereditary and a combination of stress and drug-use. After a 5-day binge on amphetamines voices and visual hallucinations are not that strange but continually chasing that experience was how things eventually became more serious. Triggers set off in my brain and things were never the same again.
I didn’t care about the changes in my perception. Life became more exciting! I liked the drugs because they suppressed the stress. On the other hand, communicating with other people became increasingly complicated. No one had a clue what I was talking about. I couldn’t get a job and my friends in the psychiatric health-care system advised that I seek support. I recall one of them saying I was possessed.
At first the hallucinations were only visual, but under influence of amphetamines plants would grow and de-grow. I could see cosmic gas-formations, giant shadows observing me, police-squads and even helicopters surrounding the building I was in, I could be shot at by Russian mafia people, cars would drive at me as I walked on the pavement, and I could see UFOs and phantom people (some existing in real life and some not). I called these people companions because during psychosis you are a very lonely person.
The voices developed over a few years. Sometimes when I get paranoid I sense a diabolical force reciting an outrageous type of demonic anti-human poetry in my head. I sometimes find this disturbing, but in a strange way I enjoyed it; it was a creative and unspoken form of evil.
I was writing a lot during that time. I got a CD by Morbid Angel, ‘Formulas Fatal to the Flesh’ (FFF=666 numerologically). I translated the English lyrics into my native language, Dutch, and recited it a lot. It was very interesting to me. I later found that the text was taken from ‘The Necronomicon’ by HP Lovecraft and I had inadvertently performed a ritual. Things changed from then on. I didn’t know what I was doing but when I read ‘The Necronomicon’ afterwards I recognised some of the strange stuff that happened to me. Remember that a schizophrenic-psychosis is similar to being in a movie or fiction-narrative; it is an entire story…
I was staying at a friend’s house because I was homeless at the time. We had an argument so I left to live on the streets. I did not care about this situation because I had received a call from within to search for my Master. I believed I had an occult mission to find him in order to gain true knowledge. The voices were guiding me on a quest through the underground world of the streets and I was led to various people like heroin addicts. Some of them used to inject speed and were now taking heroin. I could relate to them and their need to rest from intense thoughts and feelings, but for me, heroin wasn’t the way to go.
I made friends with one of those guys. As he smoked heroin, I would smoke my joint or drink my alcohol. He led me to the places where normal people wouldn’t go at night. We didn’t talk much but thoughts would run in my brain as we enjoyed silence between us. Sometimes I’d think of saying something and he would reply before I could say it; some kind of telepathy- very weird. Things got worse when I decided to go off on my own. The voices got stronger and more violent. I would beat up people in the streets for very peculiar reasons. I’d spit at Jesus sculptures, blow out candles in churches and became dissociated with being human, almost possessed. The strength in my body was unbelievable. I couldn’t eat or drink much but I felt super-human. The violence led me into the hands of the police and eventually to psychiatry.
After 11 months in a mental institution and a 5 month prison-sentence, I learnt that having a structure to my life is very positive. I must get enough sleep, deal with stress healthily, avoid drugs including marijuana (smoking a joint can be a terrifying experience resulting in extreme paranoia, voices and vomiting) and take my medication on a daily basis. I have seen people being released and very quickly getting re-institutionalised because they forgot to take their meds. Creative hobbies, like drawing or making music is also very important. I can’t suppress my negative emotions because it will all blow up in my face, so expressing my aggressive side through drawing or making fast, loud aggressive noise on my PC is a satisfying way to control myself. I like channelling negative emotions creatively and positively.
I was first given a drug called Zyprexa. It is one of the most horrible drugs I have ever taken. It left me emotionless, robot-like, and soulless even. I also needed the sedatives Lorazepam and Oxazepam for anxiety and spasms in my arms and legs because I couldn’t sit still. I succumbed to amphetamines which is my greatest hero. I hadn’t used it in months but I could feel the life running through my veins again and became able to ask the doctors for different medication.
After a couple of sessions with the psychiatrist, we agreed to start with another medicine called Leponex (Clozapine) which had a reputation for causing the deaths of a couple of patients in the seventies. It can attack your immune system so you need regular monitoring. Everything is going generally well and I continue to take it today after 8 years. I wake feeling stoned, but after a cup of coffee I can do my work properly and have a pretty normal life. I have a family, a long-term relationship with my girlfriend who has borderline syndrome and we are the proud parents of a 4 year old girl. I am a family guy against all odds so-to-speak; my girlfriend had to consult our doctor about being pregnant because you have to ask permission when you are ‘mentally ill’.
Schizophrenia isn’t a mental illness; it is another way to use your brain. Different chemicals are released which cause changes in brain-activity, very much like hallucinogenic drugs. I believe there are doorways in the mind that are closed and opened when a psychosis occurs. The more doors, the heavier the hallucinations and voices will be. Also the psychosis has a deeper meaning; it is a sign of a spiritual crisis. There is an emotional or psychological problem which has to be dealt with. I believe that it is a message from your higher self telling you to challenge your ego because it has become an enemy. I had to face myself–the greatest challenge of all. I started out on the streets looking for my path and the truth I learned was to follow my intuition towards good things. To do that, I had to accept the dark side of life, surrender myself to it, erase the false ego I created over many years and build a new one. I formed another one that was true to who I was and didn’t delude me. I transformed into a better person.
I saw that there is a hidden world beneath our perceived reality, a world where archetypal forces influence humans. Humans are usually incapable of seeing the non-physical. I discussed this subject with other patients in the institution; some of them talk to dead people, some with Christ, some with the opposing forces. There is a hierarchy of demons; lesser spirits and higher demonic beings. Conquering the lesser ones brings you to the higher ones who are in command. They grant you abilities and wishes, and can influence your life but not your willpower. You rule your own destiny, free of a controlling God–don’t forget that humans created God.
I believe that the pineal gland can be activated, in other words 3rd eye awakening. This is the part of your brain at the front of your forehead linked to your sleep patterns and when activated, it acts like a doorway to another realm. You can observe this in young children with their fantasy playfulness and imaginary friends but they are educated out of it. Ancient man also has an active gland which resulted in gods, angels, and of course, demons. Nowadays you take psychoactive drugs to perceive reality from a totally different angle. This is the price of ‘civilised’ society; we aren’t allowed to see through the lies that have been fed to us for centuries. We are trapped in a 2-dimensional train of thought. Mainstream society doesn’t let us walk our own chosen path.
I think that reality is whatever you make of it and I despise the way society decides what reality should be like and the fact that we aren’t allowed to create our own worlds, fantasy or otherwise! It isn’t healthy to be caged physically and even more so spiritually. It is a crime against the soul, the most precious possession a person has in this life and in the next.
I read some books about shamans, they are mediums between the physical world and an alternative reality (astral planes if you will) and they receive helpful visual or aural messages from spirits. But shaman go through training and have spirit guides to help them through their tasks and balance their abilities. A schizophrenic also has the ability to go beyond the threshold where reality ends and the spiritual world begins but without the training or the guide. That is the most confusing thing to a schizo`s mind. He can’t make the full transition and becomes lost as his mind wanders into strange places influenced by forces he can’t understand.
However, with practice, guidance, and understanding, the schizophrenic could be very helpful to society, just like shamen are to their tribes. That is a reason I think that psychiatry is an element of a conspiracy to enslave people instead of helping them to build their own individuality because an individual can break bonds with society to go their own way and thus change society from the core. They are afraid of the mentally different; we are a threat to the status quo, because we could be the future.