A Mind Taut With Pain Ebook
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Publication Date: January 2007
File Size: 731 Kbytes
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My book, A Mind Taut with Pain, deals with the subject of schizoaffective disorder and what it is like, living with both schizophrenia and rapid-cycling manic depression on a daily basis. In Part One, extracts are taken from my diary and include short stories I have written. Part Two covers the factual side of schizophrenia and manic depression including diagnostic criteria, commonly asked questions and theories on the causes of these brain disorders. There is a glossary of my own made-up words and a list of useful websites for people interested in finding out more on schizophrenia and manic depression.
About the Author
My mental health started to deteriorate gradually when I was sixteen years of age. I struggled with hallucinations, out of body experiences, and growing delusions. Five years later, in 2002, I was sectioned under the Mental Health Act 1983 and spent almost a year in a psychiatric hospital. During this time, I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. Roughly speaking, schizoaffective disorder is schizophrenia combined with a mood disorder. I now live with my parents, unable to leave the house due to my certain belief that a secret section of government is after me because I am the King of Diamonds.
I was born the middle child of three girls in Reading in April 1981. During the time my mother was expecting me, she suffered dreadful morning sickness, so much so that a doctor prescribed Bendectin (Debendox in the United Kingdom). My parents were living in Los Angeles in America at the time. My mother was taken off that drug as it was withdrawn from the market, due to a large number of lawsuits pending, claiming that it caused birth defects. She also had a severe bout of flu at the end of the first trimester. My father lost his job in California and the family had to move back to England. It was an incredibly stressful time. My birth had to be induced after complications and I was born six weeks prematurely. I developed laboured breathing on the second day of my life- as a result of septicaemia – and spent some time in the Special Care Baby Unit. The first ten weeks of my life, I cried a lot. I had colic and only wanted to be held tightly and rocked. Then, suddenly, I became a smiling, contented baby, always playing with or examining my own hands.
There is a pattern of mental illness on my mother’s side of the family.
I found it hard to settle into school but, otherwise, my childhood was a happy time until, at the age of seven, I started suffering long bouts of suicidal depression. This was not eased by bullying and strained friendships at school. As I was a quiet and shy child, I kept my feelings very much hidden. I also suffered terrible anxiety.
It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between what is mere childish behaviour and what is a sign of something more sinister. I would often meow like a cat; my reasoning being that people tend to take care of cats. Each time we drove under a bridge when a train was passing over, I would make a wish for my death. I learnt to cry silently so as not to disturb anyone. When someone I distrusted came to the house, I would sit on the stairs, loudly and repeatedly banging my head against the wall until that person left.
In my despair
I could do nothing.
You had to wash my hair and bath me.
And one endless night,
I begged you to help me die.
I could not even do that.
There I watched your agony, too.
And you cried for me,
for I no longer could.
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