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Chess-loving atheist. Mental health writer and poet. I like The Beatles, gothic rock and metal. Living with chronic delusional disorder. ...

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Isolation

Once I was standing in the middle of a crowd in a subway. I wanted to jump under the train. I felt so detached from everything, and people seemed somehow artificial, as though they existed in a separate reality from me. I was trapped into my delusional world of paranoia.

7 years passed, I got into the hospital, was diagnosed, had some inner struggles and personality changing, was sectioned three more times. Things got better, and I didn't have any delusions anymore. My thoughts were in the right order. I managed some work, and things seemed not so bad. But isolation started away silently and unnoticeably. The more people learned something about me, the more I became isolated. Relatives smiled at me and told some shit behind my back. "She has to be disabled", "When will she hang herself?", "She's silly". Friends shunned me. Those who I told anything about my mental illness drifted away, and those who knew nothing were very conscious I was hiding something from them. The few people with schizophrenia I knew could do me no better. They only wanted to discuss their symptoms. Some shrinks showed interest in me, but they only thought of me as a case to study, and I realized it too late. All communication broke down.

It got worse every time I was sectioned. Those were the times I thought of myself as bad as the people around me. I thought myself silly and unworthy and not able to fit in. I forgot about my illness and judged myself through the eyes of healthy people. All my self-dignity was lost, my achievements forgotten. I felt the circle of normals narrowing around me and judging me.

I wouldn't bother if they judged me for being a criminal or for any other activity that set me out from the rest. I was quite alone since childhood, always bullied and shunned. Only my interests and my friends mattered anything to me. I didn't care for people's opinion. But then I wasn't so overall isolated. I had some friends and people who sympathized with me. I could afford myself not to give a damn as I had those who liked me and helped me in life, I had my own circle of acquaintances and didn't care about the world. Then it all broke down. Were all friends fake and all good prospects in life only a dream? I don't know. Mostly I had been telling lies to my friends not to frighten them. I was afraid they'd stop talking to me if they knew I had schizophrenia. Some truth revealed, I was just laughed at and met with misunderstanding. I was supposed to feel guilty in my illness.

Now I may take a walk, and there're so many people on the streets, and I'm supposed to be worse than any of them. Every little thing seems to be a sign of illness. My words turn to symptoms. I seem to even clean my teeth in a special way.

And the lack of emotional intelligence makes it hard to prove anything to people. I can't communicate properly. They think I "got what I deserved", even if they're atheists. The simpliest thing that no one is guilty in mental illness is beyond their thinking. I'm just too kind and indulgent to people, trying to understand why they all drifted apart. And I only hear from them - "you're bad, you're guilty in your troubles".

  It turns out I feel like a criminal with normals who know nothing about me and behave like a normal person with those who know the truth. I can't switch between telling lies mode and trusting mode. I'm puzzled because I live in two worlds. The ultimate version of a typical normal's view is "you're good, but you're not trying enough, so you're bad", "and if you are not trying enough, you're really sick and bad forever, you're silly and there's nothing to talk about with you". I'm tired of this shit. Then they make it worse: "you take meds - it means your place is in the residential home", "you want a simple job - it means you're silly and dangerous". I can't breathe from hurt.

I remember times when I ruined the remaining mental health trying to prove to people I'm "clever enough". I managed well, but I had relapses and ruined my health. And it was all in vain. They never stopped calling me silly. I surely have some problems with memory, and there's some stumbling in my brain, when thoughts are interrupted and I have to reconstruct the whole line of thoughts from the beginning. I can be paranoid sometimes. I'm often tired and apathetic. But I didn't lose my ability to do things I already learned. My thinking is more clear than lots of normals' thinking, and it actually improved since I became ill and started to take meds. I'm doing the best I can in my state.

But I understood no amount of thinking or work can prove people I'm good. I'm just a dangerous animal for them. And I'll stop losing friends when I stop telling them about myself. I'm alone with my illness and sorrows and can't talk about it. I just have to be careful not to relapse again. All new acquaintances started to resemble a hide-n-seek. I can't be truthful, so I have to avoid lots of topics, think up my biography and to tell lies about almost everything. I'm no more isolated with people than alone with myself. It's even better in solitude.

And if I watch people on the streets, I think no more of their inner beauty or good aspirations. I only think of the way they would treat me if they knew something about me, and isolation traps me.

About anti-psychiatry
They'll Never get Better

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