Memoir of a Schizoaffective

Blogging about Mentally  Health

Many years ago, I began writing down ideas for a mental health memoir and that was whilst I was still part of the memoir. It was a very difficult and confusing time because I had no idea that I was suffering from a mental illness. For me, a schizoaffective disorder caused me to lose my grip on reality and caused prolonged hallucinations.  Often staff hounded me to write things down, things that for me were real-life events.  My early scribbles were immediately confiscated and used as evidence that I was indeed very ill.

This is an honest account of my struggle, as an adolescent and young man, to come to terms with the realisation that the dreaded schizoaffective disorder had taken over my mind, blurred and distorted my view of the world and worst, alienated me from many of my friends and family.

Schizoaffective Disorder

I realise that not everyone with schizoaffective disorder has experienced prolonged hallucinations as I have.  There are some schizoaffective’s that hear voices, maybe God or the Devil telling them to do something, but that is not what I have experienced.  The only voices that I hear during a hallucination are my own racing thoughts, and the world I’m in is real enough.

Things that I had seen on the television, in videos, or on music tapes, CDs or MP3 Player, became embedded in reality to provide food for unexpected hallucinations. Other influences came from books, radio, even religious lessons and church sermons. And not least the mobile phone- which could trigger all the previously mentioned influences.  The state of mind was able to pick or select the characters and scenes appropriately to merge into my current environment and thus convince me that things that happened were not in any way imagined.  Every time the unexpected and almost random hallucinations occurred, I became entangled in this living dream, it was real.

The Calvin Klein Conspiracy

These mixed-reality dreams began at a very young age, I remember standing in front of a bulky old television, one of those with an enormous cathode-ray tube.  As I turned it off all the hairs on my head stood up and my eyes began to sparkle. That’s when it started, I think.   As I got older, many celebrities worked their way into my world and became vivid components of my reality during what I will call an episode.

These named the episodes collectively,  “The Calvin Klein Conspiracy” because it sounded cool and labelling what I was seeing helped make it less obscure, it gave me a handle on the other world.

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