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A new me

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Good-day fellow nutcases, my name is Jethro and I experience depression, social anxiety, paranoia...bleh bleeh bleh. I have once been told by a psychologist that I am probably "schizoaffective", but most of my psychiatrists have always treated the symptoms, not worrying much about actual diagnoses.

I've been on cipramil/citalopram since fourteen, I am now on Solian (amisulpuride) and for a short while longer, clonozepam (one of the benzos). I am 19 now.

Anyway, I live in South Africa and If I remember correctly, I used to post in the cutting board, pleased to say I'm not cutting any more, except a few scratches or gashes every few months to remind myself of how much fun I had.

Well, if anybody want to know more, just read the bit below, a document I wrote up before my last visit with my psychologist...

Recent History

Since my last encounter with you, I started heading towards a breakdown. My social paranoia increased to the point I was once again hiding behind doors and corners, listening with intense fear, trying to find out what “everybody” was planning for me, how they would go about bringing about my downfall.

I recognized this as being highly similar to the months leading up to the first time I was put on anti-psychotics.

My mother organized for me to see Dr. ****** in Grahamstown, who increased my anti-psychotic by 25% and put me on 2mg of clonazepam per night to assist with the dealing of stress, brought on by the impending Final Exams. This helped me tremendously as the stress caused by being paranoid was also softened, thus terminating the vicious cycle. I have a feeling the clonozepam is temporary.

I recovered rapidly and am currently doing better than ever, so much that my brother fears that I may be heading towards going manic, as we often witnessed in my father.

Present Time

Currently, I have been waking early, making breakfast and preparing lunch for my brother and me and, not only going to school, but paying attention in class (when I am able to remain conscious).

During school, I have been interacting more and more with my friends and acquaintances in a positive manner.

After school, every day I have been spending at least two hours working on mathematics. My brother has postponed his studies so that he may tutor me whenever I am available and able.

My Brother

During evenings, my brother has been getting progressively depressed, while I keep strong and talk to him until he laughs or smiles. We now spend a large portion of our rest time talking about our future and how to maintain our sanity. He is extremely worried that I may relapse into being a full-time stoner at this crucial time in my life.

Marijuana and other drugs

I, until four days ago, had not smoked any marijuana, while still remaining friends the “stoner group”. My view on marijuana is now bitter-sweet. I enjoy it immensely, but recognize how it can lead to me destruction. After two events in which I smoked, I am now no longer “lus” for dagga and am able to ignore it once more. I have reduced my caffeine consumption, by drinking only 2-3 cups of coffee a day and not even thinking about buying “regmakers”, i.e. Caffeine pills. The amount I smoke, at present time, ranges from 20-25 smokes a day.

Although I do have a strong desire to try out new, stronger drugs, I am more than capable of fighting this desire as I understand it would destroy my future. I have numerous sources at my fingertips to attain LSD, Shrooms, weed, ecstasy etc, but I have not even hinted towards attaining anything, even though most of my friends have been.

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Oh, I'd also like to take this opportunity to pay respect to my greatest hero, my father. He commited suicide about two years ago. He was nutty too, read below, if you wish, his obituary.

Thank you all for being here today as we bid farewell to *****. We all knew and loved ***** in different ways, but his straightforward honesty, his instinctive ability to solve problems and his generosity with his time were known to us all. Like his mom, he gave all and asked for nothing.

But ***’s life is over. To most of you his death comes as a sad shock, but to those to whom he allowed a glimpse of his inner torment, our sadness is as much for his death as for his life.

As a child *** was deeply affected by the indignities and embarrassments he often had to face. The worn out clothes, the various dwellings he lived in, the intolerable acceptance of charity and always, the hunger. Not only the physical hunger that gnawed often in his stomach, but the constant hunger to understand why he had been born.

From his earliest years, even before he went to school, he queried God’s purpose for his existence. ***’s school years brought him no answers and events in his teenage years served only to compound his confusion.

As an adult ****** was rarely able to experience the simplest pleasures that most of us take for granted: a good night’s sleep, the satisfaction of a job well done, the joy of watching his children grow.

****** was diagnosed during our time together as schizophrenic, bi-polar and schizo-affective. To be able to function, he had to take medications that had side-effects that affected his life almost as much as his illness. Some meds made him sweat, others bloated his abdomen, he got the shakes and he suffered from nausea. Some medications prevented him from yawning and others dulled his senses. His moods would swing from being merely sad, to periods of deep depression and anxiety.

And yet he was always available when he was called on, to fix, to build, to solve problems.

***’s greatest drive was to provide for his family. In the last few years this was the only reason he had to get out of bed, force himself into the shower and then make his way down to his garage to face another day. As time passed, his resistance to the medications seemed to grow, the doses had to be raised and their effectiveness lessened. As his health deteriorated and he no longer felt that he was able to provide, Rob’s thoughts turned more and more to suicide as a way of releasing both his family and himself from what had become a shadow of a life.

It is impossible for most of us to comprehend the complexities of ***’s highly intelligent mind. Only occasionally did he allow me a glimpse of what went on in his thoughts, and even then protected me when my distress at his plight brought me to tears.

Only one explanation made sense. He sms’d me a few months ago. All he said was: “My reality is not reality”. I pondered this statement – it seemed too simple, almost trite. But he was right. What we saw as good, fell far short of ******’s standards. Nothing but perfection was good enough for ****. As his illness progressed, and his ability to function lessened, he lost his confidence. He felt he was no longer able to provide for us and his main reason for living fell away.

In the early hours of the morning of September the ninth, while we all slept, *** woke and knew that he could not face another day.

Pookie, you are gone now. Rest my love. Why you had to suffer as you did is still hidden from me, but God is not to be questioned. I know you are with Him and I thank Him for giving you leave to come to me in the depths of my pain to say: “Peace Lorraine. I love you.”

Go you, too, in peace.

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