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.