Out of all the symptoms I have experienced the past few years with this Smear Campaign and Bullying online, the psychosis was the worst of it. Losing control of your mind is not easy to go thru.
July 4, 2018 I had my first episode with psychosis, but I don’t remember much of it. My husband refuses to tell me all that occurred over those 2 days from July 4 – July 6.
My first recollection was that I was on the phone with one of the owners discussing building stuff and a email popped up, from these tenants, so I mention it and open it up and start reading out loud. Something I read, just set me off. I don’t remember hanging up the phone, I don’t remember anything for the next 2 days.
I do know that I found myself on July 6, 2018 on the phone with the Mental Health Helpline. I was sitting on my bed, crying, and telling the person on the phone I needed to leave, that people were coming to kill me and I was terrified. I remember seeing totes and garbage bags around me that I later found out I had packed up over that 2 days, in my quest to leave.
I do know I went to a walk in clinic they directed me too not far from my home, where I got to see a psychiatrist over remote video who prescribed me dedications and a referral to a doctor. I don’t remember going to the clinic, not even getting home, but I have a memory of sitting there in a room talking to a doctor on a tv screen and being told I was going thru psychosis and that I have lost touch with reality and I needed to go home and not make any decisions nor do much at all. Just rest, take my new meds, and wait to see a doctor from the referral and they would rush it. I got in 4 months later.
I was told by hubby that he heard the conversation with the owner and overheard me reading that email and he said that I just stood up in the middle of reading and started screaming that I had to get out and I was leaving. That was all he told me, that his wife wasn’t there, that there was a stranger in my place. He said I was calm one minute, then the next I would go off on tangents that people were coming to kill me and I had to leave, get out, go far away and find a hole to bury myself in so not to be found. I didn’t sleep either he said, spent the 2 days going from calmness to being frenzied. During one of my frenzied moments, I emailed the owners and blasted them, told them I quit and went at them over not addressing these tenants allegations from the year before. I even attacked my hubby at one point, thought he was working with these bullies, wanting me dead and out of the way.
During that 4 months till I saw a doctor, was the initial time of the Human Rights applications against me and somehow I had to find the strength and head space to write a response to it, which took me about 14 days in August 2018. They filed these files on June 4, 2018 and I was given 35 days to write and submit a response when I got the paperwork in July, after I quit my job. In this response, there are some mixed up dates and timelines, but the info is correct. You can tell in my response that I was affected by medications and severe mental distress. I do know that HRTO took it into consideration, as they saw reports from my doctor later in the process.
This document shows my emotional state more than anything else and to be honest, I don’t remember writing it. It was after I wrote this response that was sent to HRTO for their applications, that I tried to commit suicide the first time. Having to go thru that process of re-reading their lies as they submitted in the 107 page “Statement of Facts” in order to do a response to it all, was demoralizing at the time. It got to me, how could it not?
I don’t remember the first time I tried to commit suicide but I do remember waking up in the hospital after they pumped my stomach and spending a couple of days there under observation. The second time, in Nov 2018, I don’t recall at the moment what precipitated it but I do recall my husband grabbing me from behind, pulling me away from banging my head on the brick wall in our bedroom and he took me to the hospital to find I had mild concussion and broke a bunch of blood vessels in my scalp that caused all the blood to run down under the skin in my face. I looked ghastly to be honest.
Those were the only 2 times I tried to kill myself, ever, in my life. I don’t recall the first time much, but the second time? I took pictures of my face every day till it went away, as a reminder never to harm myself ever again and I haven’t! It was also as I was healing, I got in to see a doctor and I saw this doctor 2 times a week from Nov 2018 till the pandemic shut me down in Feb 2020. These appointments saved my life I believe.
It was here with this Doctor that I first started getting my education on Narcissism and being Bullied by one. It was also around this time I started Googling these different traits and looking up info on Bullies and found Cherie White’s posts, which also helped me a lot during this time. I was told my PTSD symptoms had returned with some new additions of symptoms for the Complex he added to it, and diagnosed with major depression with episodes of psychosis and extreme anxiety. I was developing severe agoraphobia, a severe fear of people and social situations. I was terrified, afraid to leave my apartment.
As the doctor told me, most time people with such fear and anxiety as I had, don’t know why they are so afraid, but me? Those websites and their contents gave me reason to fear for my life. The social climate during 2018-2020 over racism, was something you could actually see, it wasn’t all in my head.
2019 was the start of the turning point for me and where I started gaining my strength and courage to fight back. When I got the final response from these Adult Tenant Bullies with HRTO on January 1, 2019, where they included evidence of their stalking of my family members online in social media and he shows the evidence he was also stalking me at my previous employment, I knew I had to do something.
I have not had any psychosis episodes since the last one in November 2018 that set off me banging my head, trying to get the words and thoughts out of it. At that time, as I said before, their words were a constant rollercoaster in my head that I couldn’t stop. Every allegations against me was going round and round, with no end, in my head and I wanted it to stop and get out.
I knew I couldn’t get it out that way, I had to learn to retrain my brain. It has taken me better of 3 yrs, but I finally got there. The mind fuck is finally over, never to return.
I have learned too much about their tactics and traits these days, I know what to look for in their words, not just the words they use, but the purpose behind them! Education was my way out and once you know, no going back anymore.
1 What is psychosis?
The word psychosis is used to describe conditions that affect the mind, in which people have trouble distinguishing between what is real and what is not. When this occurs, it is called a psychotic episode. Psychosis usually first appears in a person’s late teens or early twenties. Approximately three out of 100 people will experience an episode of psychosis in their lifetime. Psychosis affects men and women equally and occurs across all cultures and socioeconomic groups.
What is a first episode of psychosis?
A first episode of psychosis is the first time a person experiences a psychotic episode. A first episode of psychosis is often very frightening, confusing and distressing, particularly because it is an
unfamiliar experience. Unfortunately, there are also many negative stereotypes and misconceptions associated with psychosis that can further add to one’s distress. Psychosis is treatable. Many people recover from a first episode of psychosis and never experience another psychotic episode.
2 The symptoms of psychosis
Psychosis affects the way a person thinks, feels and behaves. The experience of psychosis varies greatly from person to person.
Psychosis can come on suddenly or can develop very gradually. The symptoms of psychosis are often categorized as either “positive” or “negative.” People may also experience some cognitive and other symptoms.
Positive symptoms are those that add to or distort the person’s normal functioning. They include: DELUSIONS Delusions are false beliefs that are firmly held and are out of keeping with the person’s cultural environment. A person may be truly convinced of a belief that is not shared by others, and even the most logical argument cannot change his or her mind. Some common delusions include beliefs of:
· being followed by others
· being monitored by cameras
3 The symptoms of psychosis
· having special abilities or powers
· certain songs or comments communicating a hidden message
· one’s thoughts being controlled by an outside force.
During psychosis, people may hear, see, smell, taste or feel something that is not actually there. For example, they may hear voices or noises that no one else hears, see things that are not there, or
experience unusual physical sensations. These changes in perception are called hallucinations.
DISORGANIZED SPEECH, THOUGHTS OR BEHAVIOUR
Disorganized speech might involve a person switching rapidly from one subject to the next, or being so garbled that speech is not comprehensible.
People experiencing psychosis may have changes in their thinking patterns and may find it hard to concentrate and follow a conversation. Their thoughts may speed up, slow down or become jumbled, or they may not connect in a way that makes sense. Behaviour also may be disorganized. For example, the person may have difficulties performing regular activities of daily living, such as cooking or self-care. Or they may display inappropriate behaviours or affect, such as laughing while talking about a tragic event.
Negative symptoms involve normal functioning becoming lost or reduced. These symptoms are often not as obvious as positive symptoms. They may include:
· restricted emotional and facial expression
· restricted speech and verbal fluency
· difficulty with generating ideas or thoughts
· reduced ability to begin tasks
· reduced socialization and motivation.
Other symptoms or difficulties often occur alongside the psychotic symptoms. They include:
· cognitive symptoms, such as difficulties with attention, concentration, memory and executive function (e.g., planning and organizing, sequencing and behavioural inhibition)
· mood changes—the person may be unusually excited, depressed or anxious, or have highly changeable moods
· suicidal thoughts or behaviours
· substance abuse
· sleep disturbances
· difficulties in functioning.
Some people experiencing a psychotic episode may feel very depressed, and think that life is not worth living. People experiencing suicidal thoughts may attempt to hurt themselves. Suicidal thoughts should always be discussed with a health professional/ therapist. Family members may need support and assistance to cope effectively in such situations.
3 Phases of psychosis
Psychosis has three phases. However, not all people who experience a psychotic episode will experience clear symptoms of all three phases—each person’s experience will differ.
The prodromal phase usually lasts several months, though the duration can vary. This first phase of psychosis involves symptoms that may not be obvious, such as changes in feelings, thoughts, perceptions and behaviours.
Some common prodromal symptoms are:
· reduced concentration and attention, disorganized thoughts
· reduced motivation, changes in energy level, less interest in usual activities
· social withdrawal
· sleep disturbance
· irritability, anxiety, depressed mood
· no longer going to school or work, or performance deteriorating
· intense focus on particular ideas, which may seem odd or disturbing to others
These symptoms are very general, and may not necessarily be a sign of psychosis. For example, they could represent normal adolescent behaviour. Family members should track these changes
over time—if they persist, this may suggest a prodromal phase.
In the acute, or active, phase, people typically experience positive psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations, delusions and disorganized thinking. Some negative symptoms may also emerge.
This phase is the easiest to recognize and diagnose, and so it is when most people begin receiving treatment. The earlier treatment starts, the greater the chance of successful recovery.
In the recovery, or residual, phase, acute symptoms reduce in intensity, though some may not disappear altogether. After recovery from a first episode of psychosis, some people never experience a relapse (a second episode). To reduce the risk of relapse, it is very important to continue medication and other treatments as recommended by the physician and clinical team.
The recovery process—how long it takes and how much improvement there is—varies from person to person. Once the acute symptoms of psychosis have responded to treatment, help may still be needed with issues such as depression, anxiety, decreased self esteem, social problems and school or work difficulties.
Phases of psychosis
In addition, family members may need help and support to cope effectively. In urgent situations, such as those involving potential harm to the person experiencing psychosis, the person should
be taken to the emergency department of the closest hospital to receive treatment.
Symptoms of psychosis get better with treatment.
4 The causes of psychosis
Psychosis occurs in a variety of mental and physical disorders, so it is often difficult to know what has caused a first episode. Research shows that a combination of biological factors, including genetic factors, create a situation where a person is vulnerable to (at a greater risk of) developing psychotic symptoms. For such a person, a psychotic episode may be triggered by many different environmental factors, such as stressful events or substance use. These factors are discussed below.
An imbalance in certain neurotransmitters (brain chemicals), including dopamine and serotonin, can also be a factor in the development of psychosis.
Stress and psychosis
Potential sources of life stress that may play a role in triggering an episode of psychosis include:
· physical stress, such as irregular sleep, binge drinking, use of street drugs, poor routine, poor diet, physical sickness
· environmental stress, such as inadequate housing, lack of social support, unemployment, major life changes (e.g., starting a new school or job)
The causes of psychosis
· emotional stress, such as relationship problems, difficulties with family or friends
· acute life events, such as bereavement, accidents, illness, trouble with the law, pregnancy or childbirth, physical or sexual assault or abuse
· chronic stress, such as trouble with housing, or money
· bullying, such as racism or homophobia, cyber-bullying.
One way of thinking about the effect of stress is through the image of a “stress bucket” (Brabben & Turkington, 2002). In a person with a biological vulnerability to psychosis, accumulated stress can cause his or her stress bucket to eventually overflow. This overflow increases the risk that psychosis may develop.
5 The different types of psychosis
There are a number of mental illnesses that can include psychosis as a symptom. In the early phases of a psychotic episode, it is usually difficult to diagnose the exact type of psychotic disorder that is happening. This is because the factors that determine a specific diagnosis are often unclear during the psychotic episode. It is important to recognize and understand symptoms, and to communicate them to the treatment team. Any concerns or questions about diagnosis should be discussed with a mental health professional. A thorough medical assessment, to rule out any physical illness that may be the cause of the psychosis, may be indicated. The following list provides the names and brief descriptions of different types of psychotic illness.
Depression with psychotic features
Sometimes a person will experience a severe depression with symptoms of psychosis, without the mania associated with bipolar disorder. This type of depression is referred to as a psychotic
depression or depression with psychotic features.