Medicine is a Catch 22
You lose the psychosis but gain weight and feel run down
I am 41. Mental health first started after my daughter was born 14 years ago. I got paranoid of her dad; he had threatened to kill me and her one time. I would throw out things he touched like toothpaste or milk. When we broke up I was fine.
I was fine at my next job until my ex fought for visitation. I got paranoid and would listen for others talking about me. I thought I was being watched. I thought everyone there hated me. I was having anxiety and panic attacks. I have had to lay down at work and take a pill. They diagnosed me with post traumatic stress disorder. I would cry for no reason at work. My tears were sticky.
I went out on medical leave many times yet trying to hold onto the job I loved. On medical leave I wrote a book of poetry about everything I have ever been through. I had it published on lulu.com; life is like a poem. When I wrote the poetry I was driving around listening to voices. I believed the voices to be real. I would drop my daughter off at school and drive around until it was time to pick her up. I put 26,000 miles on my car in six months.
I drove to a police station and said I needed to get into a witness protection program and I did not know why. But I heard a cashier and a voice say it so I wound up in the psych ward and was put on a stay of commitment. I was on zyprexa for paranoid schizophrenia and gained 80 pounds. My doctors thought I would be a diabetic and changed me to geodon. I was also on an antidepressant because after a while I had suicidal thoughts coming out of nowhere.
I have never attempted to kill myself, but was close once. I tell people to not be alone, to tell someone that you are having bad thoughts and go to sleep. When you wake up the thoughts should be gone.
I went back to work three times trying to hold onto my job. Once I remember how strange it was that nothing was going on after being on medicine. My boss did not want me back. They said I was only doing 20 percent correct work. During this time I met my boyfriend of ten years. I went off geodon like three times or more because I thought it tasted funny or would do different things to my brain. Each time I went off medicine different things happened.
I thought people would poison my food. I once found a pill in my chip bag, which I swallowed. My daughter said, “They want you to sleep mommy.” I only ate what my daughter would eat. When she wasn't there I would not keep food in the house. I thought I was god and wrote the bible for the future. I was writing in different languages and gave three of my notebooks to a church and told them to hide them. I would not shower because I did not want to change things.
Someone told me I scared a lot of people. I did not talk to anyone and my boyfriend broke up with me and my daughter was at my mom’s. I was alone. I have seen angels with a bright light behind them, a man wearing a white robe, people who are dead, a space ship and a cloud with a man on it. I have also seen a cloud form a cross and a shadow of a man walking in the center on Passover.
Still, all of this has been real to me and even on medicine I still think some of this is real. How my aunt put it, “the mind is a powerful thing and can do amazing things, if you are ill it may need help.” So I take my medicine everyday and now work a part-time job and will be volunteering at a homeless shelter. I would like to go back to school for social work and help others like myself.
One thing medicine does is make me not remember what I have been through. It also calms my brain down. When on medicine everything is normal yet I do not believe I am sick and need to be on medicine. I have always been forced on medicine from the hospital or on a stay of commitment.
When I quit my medicine I quit all of it and now no longer need it. I got over post traumatic stress disorder by forgiving the person I was most scared of. My daughter and boyfriend only want to be with me if I am on medicine. I hope this battle is over and everything will continue to be normal.
I am trying to watch what and how much I eat and get out walking. I also have low motivation and energy. On medicine I am not artistic and cannot write like I can off medicine. This only covers about one third of everything I have been through.
Note: Tanya currently takes Zyprexa every day. She has gained 70 pounds and says she is the heaviest she has ever been, but despite low motivation and energy, she manages to work twelve to twenty hours a week.