The gift of having Schizophrenia.
A BEAUTIFUL MIND
(The gift of having Schizophrenia.)
By: Dennis Y Butic
THE GOD WHO BLESSED ME WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA.
Many of brothers/sisters in the church, has despised me as a brother bec I am inactive, never joining any church activities for more than 16 years.
I was baptized on sept 29, 2000 and attended church services for almost a year before I get totally inactive.
I became a christian not by coincidence or any other reasons but bec god led mo to it, and it was, through my illness.
I was diagnosed as having paranoia schizophrenia, a mental illness that is depriving of normal social life, yet during those earlier times, god alleviated it to the point of partial freedom where by god’s grace I become a true christian.
I wanted to share my conversion story below if you are patient enough to bear with my poor English, literary unskillfulness,and deficiency. I am just a high school graduate though I attended first year of college taking up computer engineering in Adamson university, the occurring of my illness prevented me to achieve and excel in my aspirations. God has better plans.
I was diagnosed as schizoprenic in PGH, manila, after we travelled from ifugao to manila for consultation. It was after some years, 2or 3 years of total seclusion from society before we went to a psychiatrist. During my seclusion, I was forced to seclude in a room, only being attended to by my mother, for food and necessities, and toiletries, enduring heat and closed windows as not to be seen by people, bec i was delusional that through it, or possibly, with it, the stares of people or their presence has a constraining effect on my system which forces me to hide or not be seen.
As far as i could remember, it begun when i was in high school though i did not realized it then, i was delusional to think that my body is abnormally small, which in effect makes me feel uncomfortable with how people look at me as I feel awkward with it and found people to look at me in sarcasm and in lopsided impression. Compulsively, there was need therefore for me to double or triple my clothing to normalize my feelings. It was initially in high school and it intensified when I went to college, to the point of struggling against it yet still manage to excel in some aspect of academics. The delusion slowly builds up with elements of compulsion as I cannot bear the stares of people, thus as remedy, I went to school finding the less crowded route at the back of the university until such a time that it become intolerable bec I cannot stand the stares of people depressing my system down, as I was paranoid, intolerably, feeling that everyone is focused on me as I walked through crowds, on the street or anywhere wherein every smiles was injuriously mocking, sarcastic and deriding me, as impression to how my body is. I still struggled to go to school but noticeably, with many absences as I secluded myself often times hardly enduring the whiplash. It came to the point wherein it was unbearable, thus I decided to come home.
Progressively, I went to total seclusion. My world was consistently a struggle, as the presence of anyone around suppressed my system to the point of suppressed breathing, swallowing and movements, thus seemingly in awkward, debilitating paralysis.
It begun with the throat as the compulsive sort of choking mechanism builds up wherein the body responded to it abnormally in suppressed manner. It results to erratic and offensive sound output that even breathing, controlled to mitigate it, was offensive, the throat producing an audible ticking sound, that is likewise offensive thus I resorted as bodily reaction either involuntarily or by compulsion to moving in a diminished manner of motion so as not to be heard.
Unfortunately, it was not just that. All my sound output is focused on people, thus I was an annoyance to the neighborhood by the constant ticking sound compulsively occurring in my system wherein any sound producing event or actions around, it focused on it, as it responds annoyingly, even to the point of preventing people from their activities by the repulsion and friction it caused. Its not delusion or paranoia in this case as I observed. There was observable exchanges of sound output from me and them that makes me thought so, even, someone exclaiming his resignation from continuing construction. I felt the friction.
It was after I came home from a mental facility in Baguio which did no improvement that these happened.
By this friction, as I suffered to believe, knowing I was doing something against my conscience, circumstances forced me to evacuate to other places wherein everywhere, I was hearing voices, deluded to the fact that I feel followed, thereby causing fear, dread, twisted feelings as barb on my innermost and apprehensions which none of these ever was alleviated, causing me to transfer to another more place which it heightened to compulsive hallucinations, if indeed it was, nightmares, and dreadful voices in my deluded state wherein I was immersed into my most frightening experienced that caused me, to be evacuated for medication in manila.
I believed during those times, as a story is unfolding as imposed by the delusion, i believed that my whole family were hostages as images of gore, death, and fear were transcribed in my perception through voices, my parents in agony, screaming, subjected to the worst killing and torture procedure, whereas I responded, in a disturbed mental condition.
Perceivably, everything has the element of abnormal and twisted and gloomy ambience as though demonic in essence, such that even thunder, and cloud formation denoted something, and through all, fear was in its maximal form.
All I thought was, I’ll be safe in the catholic church, all will disappear inside the church, as I purposely escaped to it, yet it was not so. So as you can see, I had faith, godly faith.
Many times, in these state of affliction, the desire to die was imminent. Yet I was not suicidal though I was obsessed to die.
I see life in a gloomy and negative way. Hopelessness overburdened me as it weighted more as I realized, god left me.
I was confined in PGH, discharged and stayed in a Catholics transient house in banaue for follow-up, still, I was not alleviated. I mentally communicated with the voices I heard around that followed me, paranoid of people I suspected as their companion, and as always, fear and apprehension was present, it lessened though, sort of reprieve, thus I transfered residence to my sister presently a college student. We lived in a boarding house in proj 4, Quezon city. Though suspicion, paranoia and the voices was there I lived in a more comfortable condition than before for at least two years.
It was during these times that I found the church of god or ADD.
I was a catholic, constantly attending mass, nearby, most often in tears and great faith, though even then, I was against idol service, and I saw it as a malady. It came to the point that I was searching for a right religion, it so happened, I thought someone attacking Mary was true, thus I joined, perhaps QUIRILLO or miracle crusade, but I was wounded during baptism, my foot was wounded by the sharp edge of the pool step, thus I was bleeding on the pavement. I was dissuaded though after a week of attendance. I feel something wrong with it.
Then, quiboloy came in the picture, attending his luneta convention even drenched with rain until almost midnight. I thought, this man is a prophet of god, persuaded by his speaking skills.
And then, came Bro eli soriano, I found through one of my bicycle escapades.
My life in manila was actually of comfort. Mama gave me monthly allowance which I used to buy a bass guitar, being young was addicted to metal bands trying to learn some skills, later on, I sold the guitar for a cheap taiwan-made mountain bike which I used to roam around, finding jobs, as messenger, and often, going farther to cavite for a swim in the sea.
One time, almost night, I came to a street corner in cubao, and saw a banner hanging on philtrust building, having the caption, “ANG dating daan indoctrination”. I was curious. The thing was never heard. I did not intend to investigate, but something happened. I know it was divine intervention through a literal prodding I felt, a literal pinch in the heart, indeed I felt that, then the strong push within, not by will, uncontrollable push forcing my feet to go inside. I went. It was a religious indoctrination session. I joined and completed the daily session for almost one month.
We were baptized and fed by bro Eli’s own cooked meal. He cooked for us.
Even during baptism, my schizophrenia controlled me, I was smiling but for the people in my head as I perceived were watching. I learned doctrines I never heard before. I attended for almost a year until the time that my schizophrenia heightened for my decision. Those people I suspected following me, as companions of the voices, who were in the community suddenly became my housemates, in the next room, and automatically, my former symptoms resurged such as the offensive mechanism of my neck’s ticking sound, to the point that I was forced to evacuate for a comfortable place, which as necessary, was home.
Here, in a remote place God prepared for me, suitable for my condition as neighbors were distant, i suffered the torrents of god’s test if only I could remember or describe the grotesque psychological, emotional and even physical torments i had such as awkwardly twisting my bones and body in such a way to cope with some unusual physical feelings vibrating in my flesh and bones or others i could not remember, i should have included them here as empathy for the chosen few who might have it. I experienced obssesive-compulsive syndrome reapetedly closing doors and windows and repeatedly washing dishes after they were washed again and again, the mind crying, please god stop it!
I endured these beyond relief or if ever there was, it was reprieve. Mama after his retirement constructed a new house here and accompanied me yet through the years i opted, as always in every case, resorted to a distant place, as i felt the compulsive power of repulsion with anyone physically in my system. I lived in the other house. And in the years ahead, bec of other relatives living at home, i was forced to live in the cr, farther away, where i have to adapt to the small space.
During our house construction, the presence of workers as I foresee, made me to dug a grave-like hole and constructed temporary shelter where I lived through as construction is in progress, literally, I lived in underground.
I could say, god worked all these, yet in a protective and loving way, as afterwards, these fangs and razors,receded somehow to the point of apparently normal condition as i become interactive with relatives.
But it was not, after my schizoprenia heightened to unimaginable scope of making me almost a “taong-grasa” after i was forced to leave home, strayed towards were the strong delusion and voices in my head directed my every move.
The voices in my head, as i now realized, were not by auditory hallucination but through mental perception. It builds up, gradually, as i felt, i heated up the whole community to a friction, deadly, and there was indignation around, angry chainsaws, gun shots, spits etc.. were my daily beatings, until such a time that it climaxed to the delusion of my parents hostaged, and tortured hearing their screams of agony, thus i run, and whatever happened, it led me to a 7months of wandering away to manila, living under the directives of the delusion, always in fear and apprehension as everything, people, cars etc were interconnected and part of the unfolding events i was immersed into. It was all death, gore, unimaginable killing process, decapitation, severed body parts etc..that i was immersed into twisted cognition. I lived in vagrancy, eating from garbage bins, in fact, there was food, sleeping outdoors, wet, chilled, endured three typhoons, beatings, two by civilians and one by a police as I was under custody, bec of trying to open a car as part of my delusion I was living in.
I survived. Miraculously, I was not lost despite unfamiliar places I went to. My parents and relatives were looking for me, prayer groups were praying for me. God heard them perhaps, thus he guided me back. I miraculously found the way out, which if by knowledge, I have no way to find. God led me to it.
To make the story short, i went home then afterwards become better, then, though not completely healed as there are recurring episodes, I am better despite stopping my medication. I could interact normally as possible to my family, as my symptoms receded in a more permissible way.
One thing though I observed consistently from the beginning of my disease upto now, beginning at our first house to here, even, whereever i sleep, he is there as though posing as my guardian perhaps or my tormentor, is the constant presence of a “kilkilang”, in ifugao is widely believed as evil spirit, sounding like a bird, prominent with his “ke ke kek” sound. He was always nearby, focusing his voice to me. Oftentimes I have bad dreams, he was there as though he has something to it.
Even now, he is present.
One thing that burdened me too, was that, there was compulsive element for me to seclude bec there were times, that internal diffulty caused me not to look on people esp eye contact. I have difficulty staring to people thus sometimes when it becomes unbearable, there was no other resort than seclude as compulsively, i cannot look on people thus if i was in a crowd, natural reaction would be like a rat, in a box full of smoldering hot water, jumping randomly in its instinct to find comfort.
Even now, i noticed recurring episodes in different intensity. Sometimes bearable, sometimes not.
Right now, life continues, and my perception of life is in different perspective than before. I feel changes in my moral approach, and closer to god, faith increased. After the worst of my struggle, i see life as beautiful, not bec of anything else but bec i love god and he loves me.
Thus, that is how i battle my schizoprenia, through faith. Faith, nurtured and being tested by adversities. Faith bred from the incorporation of bro eli soriano’s teaching I was blessed to hear even, if it was through his radio program which nightly, has revived my suffering soul.
Though my name is absent from their membership record, by heart, I know I am a brother, so thus living by it as much as possible as circumstances permits.
This is where god placed me, not by knowledge, I become a christian, but by divine intervention called “calling”, thus by it, I know I’m in the right path as I later realized by evidences, the truth, as evident with proof.
It was 1996 when schizophrenia imprisoned me, now it is 2017, and still have it, nevertheless, I’m still battling schizophrenia but with a clear mind set, god is perfecting me through suffering!
Thus with great pride, I could say, god blessed me through my schizoprenia, the god i learned to love even since I was younger, the god of Israel!
MY NIGHTMARES, MY SCHIZOPHRENIA AND GOD
Hello. I’m Dennis. I’m a mental patient for schizophrenia. Well, are you aware of this mental illness? Let me introduce you to this monster as I personally experienced it. Perhaps, you are a parent having been confounded by how your child is acting these past few years. Maybe, he is seclusive sort of afraid of people. Or, he is avoiding social interaction, or worst, avoiding anyone on cognition. He is hiding from people. He only stays within the premises of a room with closed windows and you as parent, though how hardly you don’t understand it maximize your effort to help him. I know it’s such a difficult time for your family having a schizophrenic under your care especially if he is sort of offensive. Let me elaborate my experience for being schizophrenic as a form of education, and for you to see, which way should have been a better approach.
During the early years of my affliction, I was seclusive. The presence of people around, their stares, or simply, a hint of someone’s presence even to a—100 meters away has a great effect in me. It was constraining for me to hide. Thus for 2-3 years I have been hiding. But I won’t elaborate on that, not diminishing the fact that abnormal feelings plagued me that whenever it heightens I harbors grave desire to die. During these situations, the pressures usually arouse hopelessness. So you should know that this is an internal matter only you could behold yet not totally comprehending. Empathy is sort of useless whenever it intensifies. The best approach would be medication, prayers and much so, an apt preventive measure, simply, acts of discretion. With the absence of medical attention, it would be pointless to deliver any helping hand as in my case.
Though I was still articulate, but there are main parts of my suffering that cannot be articulated thus I suffered in silence, never able to be expressive about it. One of my main symptoms was repulsion. There was internal difficulty, one of the things I cannot explain, that caused me to repulse people. Not hatred, nor resentment of course. It was a feeling of repulsion—an internal oddity, that even my families I cannot tolerate to live close by thus I was living in a more distant house. It was an internal difficulty. Like the repulsion of a magnet, I have to stay farther though such was past but still, it has left overs and episodes. If by any means, that I was put in a situation where I cannot move farther from a person, I would have internal suppression. I cannot swallow, I cannot move and then eventually, producing involuntary and offensive neck ticking outputs. It was all battery and, friction with the people around, so as I perceived. Could it be delusion or reality? I cannot tell.
Not to mention that I have paranoia and delusion and tormenting voices in the head. These all in all sums up my main symptoms as working forces that dragged me to nowhere but nightmares—fear. There is twisted perception of the surrounding, often, in bristles of fear, often demonic sense.
Now, let me tell you about how it has heightened to one of its climax, paramount for me to have turned “taong—grasa”. I was taking Leponex for medication for more than 10 years, but then I decided to stop. It was ineffective anyway. Delusion heightened, voices in my head maximized—more than 10 voices. Initially, I believed people are trying to intervene with my thoughts through radio waves that is radar. I researched online about it and it kinds of supports my suspicion that people are focusing radio waves on my brain to communicate telepathically with me such as how world war 2 soldiers did with radar. It was voice to skull procedure, to what intent it would be it alters my perception of reality as delusion was an inextricable factor with it. That was my impression—or rather, delusion. I was hearing voices non-stop and it has some internal compulsion to believe them, so as how delusion intervenes all the time. It forces me to believe in that rather twisted reality they wanted me to believe. It was internal compulsion. It forced me to believe whichever the direction of the delusion was, and they were verbally incessant. And it was annoyances. There too, was abnormal cognition along—even, auditory hallucination. I thought people are adversarial on me bec of the result of my being offensive. My sound outputs are offensive, thus even for a mile away, I think cough sounds would affect people as far as 100 meters away, sound outputs from my neck ticking sound are offensive and I felt like I heated the community with deadly anger. Chainsaw sounds, spits, gunshots etc… are always my daily beatings and they were hateful towards me, I felt the friction. I was in constant fear always suspicious of people. Loose thoughts are concocting stories that eventually are realities to me, along these auditory hallucinations that cropped up continuously. Invasive as they were, it was credible. I was hearing my father under hostage situation screaming in pain and it was in my cognition that he was being tortured. I could imagine all horrible torture methods they did on him. Chainsaw sound would indicate him being amputated. He was screaming in torment. Thus I run away from home trying to evade this nightmare. Farther away, I was having auditory hallucination of our house being invaded and taking my mother and sister as well. It was night time and in the dimness, I find route to the national road plagued by abnormal feelings I cannot expressed. There was blood on the pavement as though someone was driven over or it was intentionally spilled. I believed it was my family. A motor passed by having a limp lady as passenger, being brought to the morgue. I believed it was my sister. Then a container van stalked me. I believed it was them. It was constant on fear, hovering like a dark mist—and brushes of fear in my chest. That was how I become a drift wood, vagrant and stowaway. That was my first time to have been outdoors after more than 10 years and as far away as it was, walking to the city for 3 months and wallowing around the city for 4 months always under surveillance of the radar people, being stalked by people or cars or vans or trucks. I tried to report this to the police about the radio waves assault on me, but it was unsuccessful.
You have to understand that the world I lived in was interactive with regards to a purely internal world living under the directives of the delusion—and voices. My cognition, perception and awareness were on fear, primarily on gruesome death and killing procedures on my family. For example, the delusion was on my family being hostage and I was suspicious on anything, cars, vans, building, people, sound etc… if the delusion suggest that my parents were delivered to a building, I would think of any metallic sounds from therein as clinical utensils, and I would believe they were chopping them off piece by piece. That would be to me a reality. Or if I see a asphalt mound on the roadside, I would believe my parents were buried in there, and always the brushes of fear was maximal. This is my schizophrenia, an out-of-reality cognition and primarily founded on fear. Everything, such as cars, people, event or sound was interconnected forming my belief in an out-of-reality nightmare, but for me, this is real.
Through the 7months of my homelessness I was consistently walking and walking around and always hungry, searching for food from everywhere, garbage bins most of the time. My cravings for food never diminishes as scarce as it was, I was helpless. Perhaps, for that 4months of roaming around, I have gone through all parts of metro manila. I endured three typhoons sheltering uncomfortably on building covered fronts. Thrice beaten and mauled by unconcerned people, including a policeman as I was taken in custody bec of trying to open a car as directed by the delusion.
Life has been always a misery—nightmarish as bedrock, relentless, primarily, to make me less of a human. Once I tried to commit suicide. I drank all of my medicine for the purpose of overdose but it was unfruitful. Death should have been a most deserving reward, but god has other plans.
Are you a parent? Having a lost son you would do extra measures to find him, including consulting diviners and spiritists, tracking his whereabouts but eventually you would surrender upon futile endeavors. It was so with my parents. But the thing that might have been effective was employing a prayer group. Miraculously, I find the way out from the city. Sort of miracle, right? Were prayers heard, perhaps? I wasn’t lost. I re-tracked back home. Later on, my medication commenced for good.
I survived bec of faith. It is the power of survival, especially for the afflicted to have it in himself such as I did. Faith was always in me, much so, prayer was always the best approach. And prayer was their best instrument.
Folks, this is part of my story. I intend for you to have an overview on what might have been happening to your son or daughter or any close figure, and much to my emphasis would advise you on one thing. May faith, prayers and love for god be your best approach and beside this, medical attention. I’m taking now 600mg of amisulpride, and for 4 years I have remission with few episodes of relapse. So I’m okay now and as proudly as I may say, I have been faithful.
For the afflicted, may god looks upon you, too. I empathize.
Schizophrenia is a blessing as it was a medium for my spiritual growth, wherein I have seen the hands of God working marvellously and miraculously as he handled me like delicate glass. Wisdom has increased and God did open my eyes to see the biblical essence of truth. It all happened while I was afflicted and now, I can say, thanks God for making me a vessel of truth as I am now preaching through blogs, books and youtube and I am now in remission and gradually improving in my health issue. May God prosper this evangelical work to the point of success and accomplishments.