- Posted September 1, 2013 by
St. Paul, Minnesota
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The written word: Your personal essays
The new face of insanity
Long story short, I got it. And it wasn’t the end of the world that I thought it would be.
To be fair, I’m under the “higher functioning” schizophrenic definition of Schizoaffective Disorder, also known as paranoid schizophrenia. From 11th grade through the beginning of my freshman year of college, I believed I was being persecuted relentlessly. There were many tears and confrontations with confused and accused girls. Against my better (read: impaired) judgment I had to eventually trust that what the Dean of Students, my therapist, and psychotherapist told me: that they didn’t believe this was happening. The feeling of desperation rose to such a point that I was going through the contacts listed in the campus first-year emails and trying to narrow down the list of suspects (thankfully I was kept from the embarrassment of sending an accusatory email, thanks to the intervention of my RA and the campus administration.) Imagine my surprise then, when the auditory hallucinations all but vanished the morning after I started taking the antipsychotic drug.
I still feel as though what I suffered through was real. On a certain level, what I believed I heard from “girls out to get me” is always going to be classified in my mind as memory. But I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that I have to accept my paranoia as an impairment that only medication can stop.
My goal in telling this story isn’t to garner sympathy. I don’t need that. We caught the schizophrenia early, so I shouldn’t be suffering from symptoms unless I go off the medication (which I never plan to do, believe me.) My goal in telling this story is to (hopefully) convey the impression that I am just like anyone else with a skeleton in their closet. I’m hoping that by airing mine, I’ll make it that much easier for that next generation of paranoid schizophrenics to be accepted as normal. To me it’s a societal hurdle that those considered “lesser races” and those with sexual desires so long deemed “perverted” have also had to overcome.
I thought the world would end when I “lost my mind.” But I lost my mind and got it back with the help of medicine and a team of doctors and administrators who were committed to getting me back on track. I’ve passed this hurdle, and now I just have to wait for the rest of society to catch up to me.