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Hi There (my story) new to this site


rosco
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I'm new to this site so please allow me the indulgence of a cut n paste from new members site

Hi there,

I'm new to this website and to this forum so hello

Back in 1990 I was studying and attempting to come up with a correction for the GPS signal as it went through the ionosphere (Aurora or Northern Lights - refracts the signal).

It was pretty high end maths / physics and in association with my Tai Chi studies I thought I had developed into some sort of modern day prophet (I also thought I had inadvertently started WWIII - having submitted my thesis which told 'how to pinpoint bombs' using GPS signal - this was at the height of the first 'Gulf war').

My local Doctor informed me on the Saturday morning that 'come Monday I would be entering a psychiatric institution'. I was terrified of being put into an institution where my 'message' would be forever lost. On the Sunday night I ran through the night - going towards I don't know where / what??? I ultimately became so terrified that I thought all of the lights (all electrical devices) were in communication with the police so that my location may be disclosed and I would be 'found'. (My ability to stop WWIII would be nullified by this occurrence also).

Sadly in my own terror I began to believe even the people whom I'd infrequently come across were also electronic and 'linked-in' to the 'system' designed to put me away. Eventually I did (most unfortunately) become violent towards an innocent and was apprehended by the police - I had cut my arms to shreds trying to break a glass door to open it. This so I could gain access to get the key to the car in the driveway to go to 'somewhere' more urgently.

The ride in the police car was my own 'hell' that I thought I was to endure for all eternity... I ended up where I needed to be... in the scary / unfamiliar confines of a psychiatric ward.

That was twenty years ago... at the time I was diagnosed with schizophrenia (I gave my 'journal' over to the Doctors which saw a pretty quick diagnoses able to be made) later changed to schizo affective disorder as my moods were noticed to 'swing' independently of any psychotic symptoms.

My mother suffered terribly from a Mental Illness when I was a child until she committed suicide when I was about 8 years old. (I had had the great misfortune of finding her - but I've always known she is with me). So I guess I was genetically predisposed to develop a psychotic mental illness at some stage - it kicked in towards the end of my studies when I was 23.

Since then my life course has altered dramatically from where I thought it was going.

I've experienced being the Devil, a philosopher (with no philosophy), an ancient Chinese martial arts Master, GOD, the Christ and even a werewolf in delusional times.

I've experienced hearing voices (intensely / inescapably at times) but always found that if I could learn the name of a particular protagonist then I could tell them by name to "shut-up" (which worked!).

I've experienced incoming 'stimuli' (which both answered & suggested Questions) to the point of me being an over stimulated, non-communicative catatonic.

I've experienced seemingly endless years during which my every single (even most intimate) thoughts have been 'broadcast' to any and all within vocal range. A terrible condition which saw me lose trust in even my most loved friends and family members... very hard to come to terms with and in fact I don't think you can come to terms with that 'loss of trust' when experiencing thought broadcasting.

Seemingly endless inferences from the radio or television designed to not only tease me but also to direct my thoughts into areas where they would normally go (provoking massive instability during the years of 'thought broadcasting').

The radio and the TV were kept 'off' for a period of approximately 3 years. Unfortunately this just created a super-sensitive, over-empathic sense of being, in which, the 'bad news' really hurt me.

A never ending, life-long, series of flowing events (some call it synchronicity others' coincidences).

I've been into psych' ward more times than I can possibly count and I've honestly lost count of the number of 'involuntary' hospitalizations I've had. But if I had to guess I would say somewhere between 15 & 20 times.

In Australia 'involuntary hospitalization' means that generally between 2 and 8 police detain you (wherever you may be) in conjunction with a 'CAT team' (CAT = Crisis Assessment Team - supposedly with a specialist member who can assess your psychiatric standing at the time) and take you in the back of a police van to psych' ward - It is a very scary, but sometimes necessary, process. We are lucky in Australia to be this advanced and I recognise this fact.

I've escaped from psych' ward more times than I could ever know (sometimes in a 'black-out') and have either willingly returned to be re-admitted or again, with the police.

I've been in the 'locked ward' probably 10 - 15 times and put into 'solitary' at least the same amount of times in the twenty years.

Through all of it I have never been violent towards anyone - except for the first time... it took me years of guilt and GOD's help to eventually forgive myself for this (but I can never forget what I did).

I say all of this not for any boasting purposes but just to introduce myself without any reserve... because all of this is a part of who I am.

On a positive note in the twenty years since my first episode I've completed my degree studies, worked as a surveyors' assistant for about 5 years, completed training in 'outdoor education' and worked as an educator with groups of 12 - 15 youth in the 'wilderness' for up to ten days at a time (for about 3 years). I've learnt Gumatj - Yolngu Matha (an aboriginal language of remote Arnhem Land, Northern Territory) and lived with my 'adopted' aboriginal family for about 3 years. I lived a reasonably traditional lifestyle within all indigenous law and cultural traditions.

Now I find myself on the Pension (again) and seeking employment back in the State I grew up in - Victoria. Someone asked me "Where are you from?" about 2 weeks ago and I had no idea how to appropriately (truthfully) answer them. The only answer that is true is 'Gondwana' - ancient Australia according to the separation of countries via the tectonic plate movement theory... But you can't say that...?

Ever since I can remember the second question I've always been asked in Western Society (after clarifying your name) is "So what do you do?" (in terms of work) and my answer has consistently been the only truthful one at the time... which for the majority of the time has been "well actually I'm on a pension because I've got schizophrenia". The resultant behaviour from the person asking has generally been either a stunned look (then walk away) or the 1 in 20 (or so) that would then ask "So what does that mean?"

So I've never shied away from the truth (much to the disappointment of a lot of my friends / acquaintances).

As a result of my openness about my condition I've also done a bit of consumer advocacy work - giving speeches (or informal talks) and radio, TV interviews (very irregular and infrequent). Along with being a part of a DVD (a valuable resource) 'introducing psychosis' to an audience through the peak consumer body 'SANE Australia'.

I've had the same psychiatrist since the early days of diagnoses and she is just brilliant!!! (Except for the period when I was living in Arnhem Land, NT).

I've seen so many different convolutions of medication regimes over my years.

Initially being in bed for 23 hours a day (getting up for the one hour only so I could pretend I'd been up all day, say "yes I've been for a walk" and to share the evening meal with my ever caring father) for the entire first year.

Some med's worked for a while but my 'illness' always seemed to have a metamorphic ability... changing into something else and 'overcome' the treatment.

Some med's have induced seizures, others have seen massive weight gain (got up to 160kg at one stage) one even made my tongue swell up so that it was nigh on impossible to breath until I had some injection.

I've tried altered realities through marijuana, speed, cocaine and particularly alcohol. None of which worked but actually sent me 'backwards' into 'bad' realities - except for alcohol which worked to subdue symptoms for a lot of years (with terrible side-effects on my general health).

After living traditionally with my aboriginal family for 3 years I just can't face alcohol any more. Aboriginal Australia is an ancient yet very sophisticated society.

I love life with a passion and I'm here until the end.

I've been stable on my current medication regime for nearly 12 months now and I've never felt fitter and more 'myself' for as long as I can remember. It's basically the same med's (in different proportions) that I've known for about 8 years.

So that's me... the me that no one really wants to talk about anyway... still trying to figure out where I 'fit in'. Especially after 3 years living in aboriginal Australia... giving me new and different perspectives on an unfamiliar Western Society.

If I had a mantra it would be "Live it, Love it and KISS it all" (KISS = Keep it Simple because i'm Stupid) which is as it may be - there's no need to over complicate, dissect or be 'knowledgeable' for me any more.

We are at a great point in Mental Health in Australia with a youth psychiatrist - Professor Patrick McGorry - being named 'Australian of the year 2010'.

Who knows what the future holds... but I wanna be here to find out (with a glimmer of hope).

God Bless

and so life goes on.

anyways I look forward to be a contributing member here - oh & thanks for reading my post (if you took the time to read it all :))

Live it, Love it & KISS it all.:)

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ok, and I'll cut and paste my response :-)

Hi Rosco, welcome :-)

Wow, what a journey! Your courage to move with the tide is inspiring, and the fact that you continue to cherish life is encouraging to me, since I suffer from depression and finding a willingness to go on is my struggle.

Tell us a little about schizo affective disorder, what does it mean? I understand schizophenia, but what the affective disorder mean? And what is <thought broadcasting>?

I'm glad you're with us, I'm certain that your optimism, insights and truthfullness will be very useful here....:)

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Hi there Symora,

the 'affective' part is basically the mood swings (for want of a stronger terminology)... I've suffered some terrible bouts of depression - one lasted about six months the lesser ones usually around 5/6 weeks - 'depressive episode' for me means stay inside, close all the curtains, do as little as possible - the minimum amount to stay alive (ie. feed ya self and ablutions).

At the same time I've had some incredibly euphoric highs usually associated with grandiose, delusional beliefs (ie. a version of psychosis) - but not always. For example I remember what I would best describe as an 'epiphany' while at a blues festival and watching / listening to Ben Harper play 'Two Hands' (or whatever the real title is).

So basically Schizoaffective disorder sits somewhere between bipolar and schizophrenia as a diagnoses.

You see I've had psychoses totally separate from any mood disorder and mood disorders totally separate from any typical schizophrenia traits.

But as I'm discovering these days it's becoming less about diagnoses and more about treatment regimes ---> by this I mean I know so many people with Mental Health issues (particularly around the already mentioned diagnoses) and very similar med's are prescribed (if not thew same) of course in varying proportions.

I'm 'balanced' (typical libran :)) on an anti-depressant, anti-psychotic and a small dose of rivotril (clonazepam) for Restless Legs Syndrome.

'Thought Broadcasting' is best described as if your every thought, notion, opinion, snippet of information that flashes through your mind is 'broadcast' to every person within range to hear you if you were saying your thoughts out aloud.

It's not as though you are giving a running commentary on your thoughts (although at times I used to use this to try to control my thoughts - didn't really work that well but was one coping mechanism). It's quite simply every little bit of info that you think can be heard (I should say the belief that "insert above" but when it is so very real - it is real... as I'm sure anyone on this site would agree) even though quite possibly it's not :confused:

It is very much like a belief in ESP but where you are in a world where people can hear your thoughts but you can't hear anyone elses.

It is a terrifying state of existence - especially when it goes on endlessly for years on end whenever you are in the company of anyone else and as I said the worst part of it is that you lose trust in people... I don't know... You see peoples actions / reactions show that they can hear your thoughts but then they bely that with inappropriate responses...

...how can I say - I've put up stop signs all through patterns of thought but it did used to get to the point where as soon as I got to a stop sign I would race to the end of that 'train of thought' which was usually of a sexual nature and NOT something I wanted to share. But before I'd even seen it coming I'd shared an intimate 'picture' of something.

It is truly like being a 'radio' where anyone within vocal range can hear your every thought and if you think something horrific (maybe an image of death or an accident or (worst of all) something sexually intimate) you tend to shout (in your thoughts) "F#@* I DIDN"T WANT TO COME HERE!!!" (past the stop sign). And then the vocal range is increased because in your thoughts you've just shouted so guess what... heaps of people hear / see / are disgusted by your thoughts.

So there ya go - I think that's the best I can do at describing 'thought broadcasting'

Above NOT cut n pasted :)

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Rosco

Welcome to the forum. I have such deja vu now. I have a strong feeling we have met somewhere else on the Net before. Somehow what you said sounds so familiar. Did you have a horse avatar and a username with 'friendly' in it? ..... think, think...um.... I think 'FriendlyGuy'?

If not, I am very sorry. When you mentioned getting up for an hour in 24 so you could say you'd been up, I've heard someone say this before.

Spent a night in 'solitary' myself, Rosco. :)

Whether I know you or not, welcome here!

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Hi Luna,

It may be that you saw a post of mine on one of the now defunct forum sites but I've never had a 'horse avatar' - but hey... no need to apologise. It's great to meet you:)

Thanks for the welcome too Luna.

Where can I find your(s and others) 'Blog' to find out more about who you are and where you're coming from.

It's been a while since I've been on any of the forums but I have made some great, lifelong friends through such sites.

I know a few people who would really appreciate your quotation as their 'journey' has found them lamenting from the fear of the 'narrow gate'.

'til next time

:)

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Thanks Rosco. :)

The verse is from a short poem, Invictus (latin for 'unconquered'). Henley had TB of the bone at age 12, leading to a below-the-knee amputation of one leg when he was 25.

I cannot claim to all he says in his poem, but I find it gives me strength.

You can read someone's profile by clicking on their name above their post and selecting "View Public Profile". :)

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Hi Rosco, thanks for the explanations, now I undestand a little more. Thought broadcasting sounds horrendous, what could be worst than thinking people can hear your thoughts, the most private part of who we are... Do you now have your conditions under control with medication?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Luna I found the poem on Wikipedia - thanks for that! :)

No worries Symora... 'Thought Broadcasting' Under control? - well let's just say I know the circumstances under which the symptoms return so I avoid them as often as possible.

My med's help but I could NEVER work indoors in an 'office' environment or even camp in the bush too close to other people for more than a day or two (which is a bummer as I do love the community & fun of a good outdoor fest').

I spend probably 95% on my own - which I am now so very used to. I have a super active Kelpie who takes me to the beach daily thus keeping up my interactions.

I'm also fortunate enough to have just landed a job about 3 months ago as a 'bottleshop attendant'. Which is great as it's a 'walk in / walk out' bottleshop where I work alone a couple of times a week. Here I've been able to rediscover my instinctively gregarious nature through trying to bring a smile to each customer that comes in. :P

Lovin Life & livin' it

P.S. sorry about my tardy response :o

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