I’m Not Possessed, I Have a Mental Illness

I’ve lived with my mental illness for 21 years.  I’ve ridden the twists, turns, rise, and fall of the roller coaster.  Many meds I’ve tried do not work, but I will always find something that does, for the most part.  The entire 21 years have been filled with noises, voices, visual hallucinations, sensory hallucinations… you know psychosis.  And everything that goes with it.

Since 2012, I’ve had three instances that made my blood boil.  That year was horrible for me.  I ended up in a psych ward in September.  I had to quit my job because the hallucinations got worse every single day I worked there.  I was hospitalized two more times in the first half of the year in 2013.

But I’m not here to talk about my hospital visits.

The first time someone belittled my illness, it was one of my aunts.  She told me I was psychic and that what I heard were the recently departed souls who were desperate to talk to their relatives.

Let that sink in.

She, of course, had to do it in between hospitalizations, and then I went delusional thinking I was psychic.

The next time was a woman at my church.  She knew I suffered from a mental illness, but she believed that my problem wasn’t that, but that I had demons inside of me that needed to be exorcised.

ok… you got all that?

Luckily almost every other member of the congregation does not feel that way.  In fact, one of my friends in the church has a brother with Schizophrenia, and was absolutely appalled at that.  I wrote a letter to the woman believing I had demons inside me, letting her know that the subject matter hurt me very much, and directing her to a web page regarding my illness.   She apologized and I did keep going to that church.

Finally, another one of my aunts echoed the church woman.  She said that the demons I had dealt with were real and that I had to pray for God to take them away.  This time I was more prepared because of the past times, and wasn’t going through a mood episode or psychosis.  I politely rebuked her “assessment” and told her that yes, I was a Christian.  My church prays not to miraculously heal through prayer, but to pray so that I will get the right medical treatment.  And I told her I didn’t want to talk about it anymore.

These things could happen to anyone who has a mental illness and has a few people in his/her life that think a cure is to pray it away, or say that you have special powers (hello delusions!).  But those are the radicals.  they do not represent the norm, and that’s very important to know.

I really hope that none of this will or has happened in your life, but odds are, unfortunately, you probably have or will.  So I will sign off saying to keep your mind as healthy as you can, take medications if you’ve been prescribed them, and listen to your doctors.  This may be the only thing keeping you from being attacked by the outside world.  Oh, and if you have close friends who know all about your illness(es), contact them.  Tell them what is going on, and they will help to bring you back to your comfort zone.

xoxo

About I.V.

37 year old woman with Schizoaffective, Bipolar 1 type. I'm also intelligent, mostly positive, fandom junkie. Oh, and I have two cats: Zim and Gir... they're 12. So... fandom junkie? Ah, yes. Supernatural, Merlin, Buffy tvs, Angel the series, LOTR, Harry Potter, old x-files. I also like anime and and Manga. farvorite anime? Vampire Knight... and it cannot be dubbed! I also like plenty of others, I think of Elfin Leid when I say that... oh, and Blood+. Favorite Manga? Junjou Romantica, Vampire Knight, Loveless, Gravitation. I like the anime for these as well if they have it. Books: Dune, HP, LOTR, The Hunger Games, Wicked, the Southern Vampire Series, Snow Crash, American Gods, Pride and Prejudice, comics. Movies: The Boondock Saints, LOTR, HP series, Girl Interupted, SLC Punk, Walk Hard: the Dewie Cox Story, House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil's Rejects, Foxfire, Empire Records, Star Wars (only episodes 4-6), Iron Man (both of them), Thor (1&2), The Avengers Video Games: Dragon Age 1,2 and Inquisition, Kingdoms of Amalur, Little Big Planet, Star Ocean. I also love watching other people play Mass Effect, Dead Space and all the above mentioned games Oh, and I love Sushi :)
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5 Responses to I’m Not Possessed, I Have a Mental Illness

  1. That kind of thinking is very prevalent in the Black community. It used to be if you had depression, you just had “the blues” and you needed to pray more. This was if depression/mental illness was talked about at all. It’s incredibly dismissive and demeaning, as if some random person knows better than you do what to do for yourself. I’m glad by the third time, you had the ability and were in the right place to respond. I know how difficult that can be for you ♥

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  2. Harley Quinn says:

    Yes, it is hard for me, but with this I’m just getting more and more angry at people’s ignorance. I want to carry copies of information about the illness I have, tell them to read it, and if they’re still being ridiculous, then I wash my hands of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ll have to get past their cognitive dissonance, too, and the prevailing media attitudes. The biggest problem is many people don’t know how to critically think and they believe everything they’re shown and told by an authority. We grow up being taught to never question authority, and it’s the reason the world is how it is now.

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  4. Harley Quinn says:

    Agreed. And mental health portrayed in entertainment is the farthest thing from the truth (except if the screenwriter/author are telling their own story). And the news either calls a major event terrorism or the fault of someone’s mental illness. It’s like they have cookie cutter responses. It makes me livid when everyone assumes that people with mental illness work that way or that they’re always violent.

    I’m actually going to be looking for joining a national mental health advocacy group (like NAMI) to volunteer and/or become a peer leader.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s because we always want an explanation for something, and people with mental health conditions are a favorite whipping boy. Instead of focusing on what could actually be wrong, we’d rather blame the fact that the person is “crazy,” which is not something that can be controlled, and it’s bullshit, because many of these people show signs that something isn’t right. Like the Manchester bomber had been reported by people at his own mosque, but the authorities did nothing to look into it, but then you have a bunch of assholes who’ll say “The Muslim community should do something about terrorists!” which is problematic in and of itself, but even when they do, they’re ignored and STILL blamed >L(

    That sounds like a fantastic idea.

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