[editor's note: It's mental health awareness week 2012, and who better to bring attention to the subject than us? For the next week, we'll be sharing articles previously written for this very occasion.
It is important that we know exactly what mental illness means so we can attempt to be more understanding with those that are affected.
We're going to cover some of the disorders that fall under the mental illness category.]
2. Bipolar Disorder
4. Postpartum Syndrome
5. Personality Disorder
7. Eating Disorder
Today, we'll start with Schizophrenia. To be diagnosed as Schizo means one can hear voices or see things that aren’t there. They may also hold beliefs that others find bizarre or that are not accurate – for example, they are being watched, or the television or radio sends them secret messages.
I know someone that fits one of those descriptions for Schizo. We'll call him "Guy".
One night, Guy, myself, and someone we'll call "Dude" went to visit these girls that "Guy" knew. We were sitting around watching Wheel of Fortune, the 6 of us, because Guy's not really a controller of situations. This was his production, so I didn't feel obligated to entertain. Eventually, I suggested we grab a CD out of Guy's car so we can kill some of the silence. Guy went to the car and got the disc that was in the deck. When he came back in, his face looked funny. I couldn't put my finger on the expression, but it wasn't right. A couple of minutes later, he quickly hopped up and told us that we needed to go. I apologized to the girls for the weirdness and Dude told them that we'd be back.
When we got inside the car, I asked Guy what the problem was. He said that when he got the CD out the player, the Soulja Boy song, "turn my swag on" came on and told him something about a time-continuum. Now, Guy had gotten a new car battery earlier that day, when you disconnect the battery, the stations you have set are erased, and the station goes to what, 89.7 or something like that. The point is, he hadn't reset his radio stations nor put the radio on a station. There was no Soulja Boy song on the radio, just static.
We left and drove to Dude's house to regroup. All the way there, and for the next 3 hours, Guy repeated one phrase: "I know you can't see me because I'm going through the time continuum at the speed of light".
After about an hour at Dude's house, Dude and I were out of ideas. Guy had been moving in super-slow motion in Dude's yard, hollering about the speed of light in the time-continuum. We pleaded with him to talk to us, tell us what he's trying to say, and eventually to shut the f*ck up. Our last resort came down to two options: Call his Moms, or call the police. We called his Moms, and this...this
bitch lovely woman told us to call the police, because she didn't feel like dealing with it. Of course we didn't even want the hassle with the police asking us what we gave him, and his neighbors being nosey, so we rode it out.
He eventually just got in his car and left, and for 10 minutes, we stood in silence. He came back and apologized to us about the whole episode. He said he was trying to tell us what was on his mind, but he couldn't. I asked him to spit it out and he still babbled about a signal in the radio that told him something. To this day, he still talks about that signal and the time-continuum.
He was in the Iraq war, he lost his brother and Dad to drug and Alcohol overuse, and he isn't far from that at times. I don't know what triggers him, but something tells me that his Moms is tired of dealing with it.
Do you know anyone that's diagnosed as Schizo? Have you ever had an experience like mine? What would you have done?