• And so ends another term of schooling and I gotta say, today’s class really opened my eyes to many things about myself. We watched a DVD entitled Angels and Demons, and no it was not the one based on The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown’s novel of the same name. This one was presented by Andrew Denton and took a real and in-depth look into the world of “psychotic”/manic people. That is to say, that portion of people who suffer from an extreme mental illness such as Schizophrenia and Bi-Polar Disorder. It was really intense and in-your-face.

    Before watching the DVD, I never really gave much thought as to what these people go through on a day-to-day basis – it’s just intense and crazy! I don’t know how anyone could handle the constant voices in the head, like buzzing bees that are constantly talking and telling you things – usually telling the sufferer to kill themselves, or other such negative things. I don’t know how they could handle the constant looks that must get from other people who think they are weirdos, or even the numerous drugs and other treatments such as ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy). One particular person/sufferer was singer/songwriter/artist with schizophrenia by the name of Heidi (I forget her last name) described her life as being her feet in one world and her head in another. Her feet being in ‘our’ world – one that seems normal to us, but surreal, crazy, chaotic, ‘not right’ to her (I couldn’t come up with just one single word to describe that).

    One of the drawings she had done was a visual representation of what anxiety, depression and schizophrenia looked like to her. It was like an entirely different world altogether, full of arms and reaching and spiked maces of varying sizes all ready to knock you on the head as if to say you can’t do that! And you’re wrong! And all sorts of nasty, negative things. It seemed somehow familiar, and then it struck me – I’ve had dreams with a similar sort of ‘feeling’. While I have never suffered from a psychotic/manic disorder such as schizophrenia nor have I seen the same image before, I have had the same feelings of helplessness... let me describe for you what I mean:

    “We” (for I am there and not there at the same time – brace yourself, there’s a lot of this) are in a small, cramped, featureless ‘area’. It’s confining and expansive at the same time. You can see ‘nothing’ as far as the eye can see and yet, you can’t go anywhere... you’re trapped in this vast square (don’t ask) space of nothingness. Alone in the room, you’re surrounded by large, loud, angry, imposing and antagonistic ‘things’. As featureless as the space around them, you can’t see or hear them, and at the same time, you can see them clearly, catching corner-of the-eye glances, and you can hear them. Their noiseless forms are louder than any jet engine. The one consistency is that they are not clear. Their shouts can be heard, but not the words. The best I can describe is that you can ‘feel’ them... or rather, the emotions and feelings ‘expressed’ by them. If I had to give them a colour, I’d say ‘black’. With them is, what I believe to be, a representation of me. I’m small – tiny in fact, with a tiny, incomprehensible, barely audible, ‘voice’. I am ‘occupying’ a tiny corner of this space. I’m the embodiment of other, meeker emotions and feelings, such as fear and insignificance; a protagonist. If I had to give it a colour, I’d say ‘white’. I feel overwhelmed and outnumbered by these larger, more intimidating ‘things’. The dream doesn’t seem to have anything happening, just the feelings. I’m just there and there’s nothing I can do. It’s like the larger feelings want to take over and all that’s standing in their way is little ol’ me. I wake from these dreams feeling... uncomfortable. These dreams are unpleasant, but waking up from them is like a return to the safety of reality where I realise that these large, imposing things can’t actually hurt me.

    I don’t know what these dreams mean, but if I had to hazard a guess, I would say it is a representative of my mental state of being/mind (my Depression), both present and future (as I recall having these dreams before I was diagnosed with Depression). I also think it is a representation of my stresses/worries about life in general, uncertainty about my future, self doubt, past issues and worries, etc. I don’t know if these dreams are just Jibber Jabber or else if they are something more... These are the sort of things that run through my head sometimes. The things locked in the deepest, darkest recesses of my mind come out to ‘play’ and I use that word loosely.

    I plan to publish this very personal account of my mind and what goes on in it online so that others may read and reflect on what I have written. I welcome people’s thoughts and opinions on what they have just read. Maybe I have some brought some new understanding to you, or maybe this is nothing more than just the mindless scribbling of a crazy person. Whatever you think, I welcome all opinions, thoughts and theories, etc. that you might have and want to share.