Writers With Mental Illness

Living With Schizophrenia

Imagine this, an 18-year-old lad with budding schizophrenia, who, as a gardener, had a closer friendship with soil than with so much of the wild world, and who left the sixties music behind him in the 1990’s because of a love for the music of Russian composers Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov.

This was the complexity of a mind developing schizophrenia, who was at the time delving into bouts of feelings of ecstasy and being egocentric, as I had delusions and fanciful imaginings before being medicated that was more akin to a seven or eight-year-old than to a person who was supposed to be on the verge of adult maturity.

This immaturity I like to link to the fact that creative people I think have a strong sense of fun, and often the best ideas are created when the brain is free and open to the suggestions created by play.

Not Fitting In

I’m not sure whether or not this immaturity was present, when at the age of 15 in 1990, as a boy I had an experience when I couldn’t respond to a much more sexually mature 16-year-old girl. She made advances toward me after I squinted at her. It certainly was right to back off from her at the time.

We met outside my local high school one evening when my so-called “friends” came to my house and said they were losing in a football match 2 – 0 and needed me as their star striker. There was no football match, and I was watched by many people as this girl touched me up, then asked me “Are you frigid or something?!” Such is the genius of schizophrenia that I found solace that evening in watching a documentary about New York’s Central Park and telling my parents we won the football match 4 – 2 and I scored 2 of the goals.

The incidents of my “defective” personality are many and varied throughout my life and are perhaps inseparable from my illness and the foundations of thought disorganization that may have been involved. Stress was perhaps a factor as well as in triggering the onset of my schizophrenia. 

My primary school IQ, I believe, was about 140, perhaps only on the Cattell scale. I was in the open and relaxed educational regime of my primary school, free to impress the teachers. Mr. Geoff Eliot took me on board as a pet intellectual. He was kinder than the high school teachers and more free to let me indulge in learning in my own way rather than force the far stricter regime of secondary school on me. Ironically, at primary school, I suggested that the strictness was the most essential feature of a school in a project once.

The onset of my schizophrenia, which I believe has always been in me, or it’s potential, was evident in my failure to understand things at times and do basic tasks well. It became apparent at the age of about 11 when I entered secondary school.

I was lost in my own dreamlike world then, and I just couldn’t conform to what the educational system demanded of me. I was placed in foundation sets and this and other factors contributed to the story of my life with schizophrenia which has had good and bad points. 


About The Author:

Mike lives in Cheshire, England. He is highly intelligent. He is a poetry fan. Among his favourite poets are Thomas Shadwell and Alfred Austin. His favourite piece of music is Venus by Holst. He thinks it would be good if everyone could be happy.

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