DECEMBER 15, 2012 2:11PM

What Psychosis Is Like: A Story From Experience

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     In light of the recent events of yet another mass killing, I just wanted to add my two cents from the other side--the mind of the killer.  If this man was psychotic it might be helpful to know what that really is up close and personal. Because the closer you examine the process of psychosis you will see first steps, first choices, and a place to interupt it.
     That's the first thing I want to say is psychosis is not an event--it is a process--which if you are paying attention can be subverted any step of the way. Now it takes super human effort for the person going through the psychosis to stop it towards if it gets too far along. But it can be done.
     It was my experience with my psychotic break that I was literally in a different world while I was in this world. My mind processed incoming stimulai differently--and at lightening speed. My psychosis revolved around a power greater than myself as they often do. The orders were coming from God--and as He is my witness--I truly believed with all my heart and soul this was true. 
     For others in psychosis it could be Satan, Aliens, Ghosts, Angels or TV. In my psychosis, the whole OJ Simpson trial was about me. All my religious writings were about me. And my I honestly believed that if I did not do certain things all of humanity would perish. So if the voice that I thought was God Almighty would have told me to kill my children for the saving of humanity--I WOULD HAVE DONE IT.
   I was at that point and my mind had created an emotional out because I was convinced that the reality of people were actually in another world waiting for me. So my children were not really my children but shells of human beings. My REAL children were actually in the next world. So had my psychosis continued and God told me to--I would not have any problem killing my children--because in my mind it wasn't really them.
And if that voice would have told me to kill all the children for saving all the real children in this other world--I would have done it.
     By the Grace Of God (the real one) my psychosis was interupted and I was taken to a facility and given medication. This incident happened 15 years ago. I had another psychotic break a few years later but of much shorter duration.
    I have prevented other incidence by deconstructing the ones that I had. How did it start? What was the catalyst? How to circumvent? We are talking years and years of examination and constant vigilence and absolute in my face support and unconditional love from my family.
    Now, it is my personal opinion and certitude, really that I will NEVER be in that situation again. I know the signs, the triggers. I know to get sleep, I know to avoid constant stress, I know avoid too much caffiene. I know to eat lots of carbs if I have too much caffiene. I know how to break things down and question myself. I know I can always call on my family and they will fly to my rescue. But they rarely have to because I AM IN CHARGE OF MY MENTAL STATE.
I write this not to bring sympathy--society must be protected. But it is all our responsibilty to be watching. If there is someone you know who is prone to this--get in their face with love and support even if means you have to listen to hours of flights of fancy that don't make sense to you.
And just so you know--EVERYONE has the possibilty of becoming psychotic. You just need the perfect storm of events, or drugs, or lack of sleep.
It takes a village raise a child and a village still to watch over him until he dies--by his own hand or by others.
 We distance ourselves from those who are not like us--the funny thing (and not really funny but scary). MENTAL ILLNESS of this sort or any other can happen to you or me or our beloved church choir director. Time to step up and stand with the outcast, the isolated, that weird kid.  

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Excellent writing. We need to hear this. I too believe that circumstances and opportunity can make almost anyone a murder if they don't have love and support around them. At least without assault weapons, there is much less opportunity for mass killings.
C, so true. As long as we as a society make the mentally ill an "other" then this horrific thing will happen over and over again.
Wow, thanks so much for posting your own experience and insight. This is a really wonderful, informative post!

You make such a great point that mental health is a continuum, we can be at different places along that continuum at different times in our lives. Thanks for sharing how we can each support our own mind's health in many ways.

I agree, the more our society fosters mental health by inclusion, non-violence, and making vital resources and support accessible to everyone, the healthier each one of us, and the overall mental health of our society, will be. I really, really love your statement, "It takes a village raise a child and a village still to watch over him until he dies..."
Thank for reading, Clay. We are such a quick fix society and we are learning that there is no quick fix for this at this stage but how easy it would be to sit next to someone who always sits alone--not just in school, but on the bus, in church, at work.