Melinda

Comments: I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder last year in November 2000. This was after I was finally convinced by my husband, my counselor, and a nurse practitioner to get help. My mother had died in February of that year and I was seeing a counselor because of that and some family issues I had. I was a very angry woman when I started to see the counselor. In the past, I had destroyed dolls and ornaments my mother made. I even managed to destroy a microwave. I don't know when it started but after beginning counseling I started to fall into a very depressive, paranoid state. I was surfing the net all day and I started to think strangers on the internet were harassing me. I know you can get into flame wars on the internet but I was seeing stuff about myself in almost every site I visited. I know that is terribly egotistical looking back on it. But at the time I thought there was a vast conspiracy against me. It was especially on personal sites or message boards that would trigger me. I was visiting alot of sites written by crabby people. I kept visiting even though these sites would upset me. There was one site in particular about a girl who had been in a bad situation like I had been. People were making fun of her on this site in her guestbook terribly. I think now I took her situation with that guestbook and put it on myself. I started hearing voices at this time. It started out as an old boyfriend and his wife. I had an affair with him while he was married. I thought both of them were attacking me for some kind of retribution. There was alot of stuff in my head at this time and it was very complicated. I believed so many things at once. I had a strong belief that my neighbors in my apartment building were involved. I even knocked on one of their doors one night, thankfully no one answered. I don't know what I would have said. I would have probably begged them to leave me alone. I thought my brothers and sisters were in their apartment, along with my ex-boyfriend and his wife. I heard their voices all the time. I would continually ask my husband if he could hear that and he said no. I eventually began to distrust him and think he was part of it. The voices started to get scarier when they turned Satanic. What was most terrifying was that I thought my family was involved. My family is in a different state miles away. I thought that they were either psychic or yelling at me cooped up in my neighbor's apartment. The scariest night was when I was lying in bed with my husband and I heard what I thought was a demon dog growling. The people, or voices, were telling me the dog was going to eat me. Also they were saying I was sleeping with the dog, meaning they switched my husband's soul with the dog. I was afraid to look towards their window after that. I did manage to hold a job in the beginning of hearing voices which I consider remarkable. At first the voices were like teammates encouraging me at my job. They gradually began to give me orders and say crude things to me. I would be doing inventory in the ladies undergarments section and they would say the most horrible things. I know now all those voices are me and bits of people and various media I watched in my life. There was so much stupidity. I would change clothes in a certain spot in our apartment thinking the bad people couldn't see me. I did games with them where I would try and trip them up. They could always see what I was doing. It frustrated me greatly. I do rememeber though getting great satisfaction out of reading. They would be babbling on and I "knew" they couldn't see what I was reading. I "figured out" that they always couldn't read my mind. It was strange. They would be nice to me once second and then mean. I thought they were training me for something. Anyway, I know this story has been horribly long. It was a very complicated time and I could get even more long-winded. I am just glad that I am a whole lot better now. I am being gradually let off my medication and I haven't heard any voices in a long while. There are moments of confusion but they are just moments. The cool thing is that after all that I came back to my mother. All that crap had blocked her from my thoughts. I have good dreams about her all the time. You would have trouble convincing me that isn't her visiting from heaven. I'm just glad my husband is so understanding and helped me. He was very scared during all of that. We rarely bicker now and we can laugh at the stupid stuff. My relationship with my family has improved too. I am not angry anymore. We are talking to each other more often which is great. I hope people reading this get something out of it. I know if I would have read this when I was sick I wouldn't have recognized the symptoms in myself. But if you know somebody maybe you can help them. Okay, I'm a big blabbermouth. Just everyone think of the good things, the bad junk doesn't mean much at all. Melinda

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