State of Mind: May 2005 Archives

May 25, 2005

Repititive OCD

I noticed another one of my symptoms today. It happens with me pretty frequently. I was giving my exam and I read one question. Then I read it again. Then again, and again and again…OCD at play again. Reminds me of the portrayal of Howard Hughes in the movie. It had scared the crap out of me, as it reminded me of my earlier days.

Posted by puzli at 10:09 AM | Comments (7)

May 20, 2005

It's been a while

It’s been a while…Staind sang that in the video. And my friends agreed with me that it was such a depressing video, portraying the singer in a depressed state, and I was so thrilled, elated, ‘cause that was so cool, reflecting my inner self. The way he goes in front of the mirror, and splashes water on his face, the expressions on his face totally matched mine, expressionless, with a slight tinge of pain, physical pain and mental agony that comes with it…”why must I feel this way…” and as I listen to it now, I feel it come back to me, I can relate to it again, not with the feeling of hopelessness, desolation, or depression, but “…its been a while, since I could stand on my own two feet again…” It has been a long time, more than a year since I could start working again, normally, feel happy in doing what I do, what I did, giving good performance in all aspects of my work, …since I could stand on my own two feet again…its been a while, since I could look at myself straight, …since I could see, the candles light your face…(my own), its been a while, but I can still remember just the way you taste (I feel…)

Depression isn’t just a mental illness. Its manifestations can be felt physically. You feel tired, with an aching body, a headache, throbbing…

Posted by puzli at 03:46 PM | Comments (2)

Sexual OCD

I also have OCD, apart from being schizoaffective, and sometimes it can be worse than schizophrenia. I recently read a post on the schizophrenia web board about this guy who had sexually compulsive thoughts due to his OCD. And I realized that that is why I was getting the same kind of sexual thoughts earlier. It was low voices and visions as thoughts that were coming up, but they kept on repeating themselves, and that was more of the OCD.

Those thoughts can be extremely disturbing. They come up as I walk on the roads, with girls passing by; they come up when I am at home, reading a magazine, or while on the net. These thoughts contain explicit, vibrant, vivacious images. They come when I am studying, and my mind wanders. And I try to control them, try to get rid of them, sometimes partially successful if I start thinking about other events, (but the thoughts occupy the back of my mind), and most of the times, these sexually explicit thoughts haunt me. I am not able to look directly at any girls around me. I cannot force these thoughts out of my mind; I cannot tell them to keep away from me; they come when they feel like, I cannot control them, I cannot fight them, the only thing I can do is accept them, be with them, not try to force them out of my mind, for that is impossible, we cannot force our thoughts to stop, we cannot psychologically control those neurons firing above our eyes, we cannot, just cannot…. Along with this symptom of OCD, I also get symptoms of schizophrenia like paranoid delusions. Also, another symptom of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that comes with it is that I start walking on specific tiles in my house. And I keep on walking…A pattern! A pattern! You have to make a pattern! That’s all that matters. “It is essential to keep moving”, Delta, (one of my grandiose paranoid delusions), and to keep moving on the right tiles. It’s like John Nash, trying to find a pattern in the movement of birds.

These thoughts coming due to OCD can be controlled with anti-depressants, they are the only medicines that work. And when my doc increased my anti-depressants, they went away. Increased libido is a symptom of schizophrenia, which could also happen with sexual thoughts in OCD. In extreme cases of OCD, there is social withdrawal as in schizophrenia, due to the person being caught up in mental or physical compulsions that they experience due to their obsessions. One of the reasons making the correct diagnoses between schizophrenia and OCD impossible is this merging of symptoms, as was in my case (though diagnosing both at the same time is a step ahead of impossible). It’s the mind that is at work here producing all these thoughts in various illnesses. And since the mind is a network, an interconnection of neurons, studying and classifying these illnesses becomes impossible by trying to study them in parts. Another reason to support the Gaia theory;)

Posted by puzli at 02:03 PM | Comments (1)

May 17, 2005

Incomprehensible speech

Another symptom of schizophrenia is incoherent speech. This means that the sufferer keeps on saying incomprehensible things, sentences that don't make sense, though to the schizophrenic, the things are a revelation, they have a meaning, to the extent of a grandiose dimension. Even I used to do that. It was what the voices commended!

As an example, here is what I kept on saying to a friend of mine while in hostel, at 2am, not letting him sleep -

"through the aeons of times and the through what has been and what isn't and what is and what should not be, the things that are and the things that cannot be.... "

Eventually, after an hour of blabbering out what was making my mind tizzy, I finally fell asleep. It was one of the reasons that my friend got really pissed off and got me shifted to the adjoining room. It is one of the symptoms that can really make you lose your friends, for they realize that you are definitely 'psycho'. They can't hang around with you because they need to preserve their own sanity.

Now, what I would like to be told in such a situation by my friends (in an empathizing manner) is to go and see a doctor. (For it is up to my friends to react in whatever way s/he can, depending upon their current state of mind, which makes them decide whether they want to get away from me or stay by my side).

Posted by puzli at 05:07 PM | Comments (1)

May 16, 2005

Reacting and helping as a friend

As my friend Sandeepa pointed out in her comment, I realized that I haven't written anything about how the family/friends/caregivers should react to our illness. So here I go...There could be many different reactions to the symptoms by each individual, as the illness in each individual is different. I'll list down the possible reactions by the sufferer, and how the caregiver should react to it -
The sufferer could be hearing voices. His/her possible reactions to
the voices could be -
1. Start talking back to the voices, which the people around him would view as mumbling to himself.
2. Not noticing anything around him, which others would view as daydreaming.
3. Walk away to an isolated place (which I generally do) when he
hears people plotting against him or sniggering at him.
4. Talk to friends about how people are trying to harm him.

The best thing for the caregiver to do would be to talk to the sufferer slowly in short sentences and wait for him to reply, even if he takes a long time. Do not speak more than 2 sentences at a time, for it taxes the sufferer's mind with information overload (the sufferer's brain is too preoccupied with generating voices, he himself is concentrating on what the voices are saying, and hence is not able to listen to the voice of any other person). If after some time, say around 30 seconds, the sufferer doesn't reply back, ask him if he needs any help, and if he still doesn't reply, leave him alone for the moment but make sure he goes to the doctor as soon as possible.

If the sufferer is talking about how other people are plotting against him, DO NOT try to tell him that he is wrong and nobody's plotting against him, as he is seeing, hearing, and interpreting things differently and wouldn't believe you, and might start mistrusting you. Instead, believe what he is saying, but ask him till what extent those beliefs are true, and how you can help him fight those people who are against him by having a meeting with the doctor who would help him out. If he refuses to see the doctor, take him to the doctor by lying to him that you are taking him elsewhere.

The sufferer might be feeling depressed, as well as hearing voices telling him to run away and kill himself. Do not avoid talking about suicide with him. Rather, ask him if he is really sure he wants to kill himself, what purpose would it achieve. Tell him that people around him love him, care about him, and would be sad to know about his death. The sufferer is likely to be socially withdrawn and might not talk much. Try to get in touch with his doctor and family IMMEDIATELY to help him out.

Another symptom of schizophrenia is catatonia, which implies that the person gets 'stuck' in a rigid posture and doesn't move at all for some time, till days at end when extreme, sometimes due to the belief that something bad will happen if he moves. The person in this state can still hear and see what goes around him, but is not able to respond to external stimuli. You might be able to move his body into a different posture, and the sufferer would then remain in that state. The best option in this situation is again, to get him to the doctor who would probably give an initial high dose of anti-psychotics.

If you generally feel that the sufferer is not feeling fine, or he personally tells you that he is getting stimulated (information overload), talk to him in short sentences, avoid talking about stressful issues, or avoid talking to him at all, unless necessary. The sufferer needs to be on his own and avoid any external stimuli, like listening and replying back.

Posted by puzli at 10:09 AM | Comments (2)

May 15, 2005


I had got to know about my illness two years ago, and last year started writing this blog. I wanted all my family to read it. I wanted all of them to know how I felt, what I had been through, what I was going through. At the same time I had been trying to help one of my friends last year who seemed to be mentally ill. I tried to give it my best, devoting all my time to it. But soon I went into a relapse because of it. As the NewsBlog carried out an article recently, and with my own experiences which I learnt the hard way, for at the time it was the only way I would accept it, caregivers do need their own space and time. They need to be able to shut themselves from our illness for some time to maintain their own sanity and not fall ill themselves. They need to be with themselves and their friends and family who don’t have the illness.

However, I’m really happy today for I got to know that my twin sister, who hadn’t read any of my blog posts till now, sat down day before and read all the posts right from the beginning!

Posted by puzli at 04:02 AM | Comments (1)

May 14, 2005

Science, Sprituality, and Utopia

I expressed my belief in the previous post that violence stems from ignorance, and not knowledge. However, that is just the perspective of the "normal's", the normal's being defined categorically by me as those who do not commit acts of violence. This factor must be extremely small though, if we consider the true followers of Jainism, who wouldn't harm any soul, be it living or dead (dead as in the Gaia theory, which professes even the earth to be living). Coming back to my point, most of the people are not "normal" in my definition (remember that 'normal' can be defined only with respect to a certain level of achievement), and most people are eccentric to some degree. It is the structure of the brain that decides the level of eccentricity, and most schizophrenics can be put at the top of that list, since sometimes those with schizophrenia in their family tend to be somewhat eccentric.

However, I do not intend to classify the structure of the brain in a reductionist sense, for it is more than just the sum of its parts. It is interconnected and deeply woven with the entire body, and consequently, with the entire universe (though to show that in this space wouldn't be possible. Read "The Hidden Connections" by Fritjof Capra for more details). However, I'm still confused by the implications of chaos theory in the worldview of interconnection, since it is essentially a classical concept (Newtonian concept), and does not apply within the framework of modern quantum physics. How could life possibly be reductionist. Or is it that there is still some sort of interweaving of sorts. I've read most of the works of Fritjof Capra, and his theory about the interconnection of science and spirituality. I would have to read the work of Tippler (I don't have the name right now) in order to understand his description of the relationship between the quantum world and God. Although, both of these writers/scientists/theorists have been regarded as pseudo-scientists due to their quasi-religious works, I believe that there has to be a soul in science, for humans cannot exist without love, cannot evolve without interaction, and life cannot expand without networking.

I thus support my views in the previous post that we can bring about a change in the society, starting from within ourselves, though now, this seems to be a utopian concept if we consider the near future.

Posted by puzli at 02:10 PM | Comments (1)


A few days ago, I read in a newspaper about a person supposed to have killed and eaten a baby's face. The person is suspected to be mentally ill. At the same time, the news posted on "Schizophrenia NewsBlog" shows that 90% of the murderers in Sweden are mentally ill. I do not refute the fact that people with mental illness are a danger to society, for even I had had delusions and heard voices which, at one point of time made me decide to kill a few of my loved ones (though thankfully it never took place), but as this is an illness of the brain, and each brain is different, there are always exceptions to these cases. They may also be more than exceptions. We should, for example, try to find out the number of mentally ill people in a country, and the number of mentally ill people who committed acts of violence. I'm sure this ratio would be much smaller, if, and only if the number of mentally ill people have been diagnosed correctly and given adequate treatment. For a country with inadequate medical system and inadequate laws, the acts of violence will not stop. Even people who are not mentally ill can be stopped from carrying out acts of violence (healthy individuals do carry out acts of violence), if they are brought up in a non-dysfunctional environment. The perspective, the outlook of a person is affected greatly by the social environment he is exposed to, and thus, we can only stop acts of violence, drop crime rates, if we are a socially apt society, with adequate psychotherapy facilities and adequate laws, and adequate implementation of those laws. I believe that this is nowhere near a utopian outlook, and we can bring a change in the society, starting from within ourselves. Only when we are One with ourselves, can we be successful.

As I said earlier, I don't believe in death penalties, for violence doesn't stem from knowledge, rather, it stems from ignorance.

Posted by puzli at 01:49 PM | Comments (0)


I was wrong to say in my previous posts that it didn't matter to me losing more friends. The immediate effects of feeling lonely made me depressed. It made me more anxious. It affected my breathing pattern (and that is why I've started doing my Art of Living's Sudarshan Kriya). Those friends of mine read my blog and were shocked to know about the tough times I'd been through. They told me that they didn't really mean what they said, and they don't hate me. It made me more relaxed. Recently, I read an article on WebMD about how loneliness affects people. It has been shown time and again to weaken the immune system and affect the heart. Interestingly, however, loneliness is different from isolation from people. A person can feel lonely in a crowd, and another could feel content around just a few people. It depends upon the kind of relationships you develop around people, and how they meet your social needs.

One of the most disabling features for those with schizophrenia is social inacceptability, which is present even after the person has recovered from suffering social withdrawal (a symptom of sz) and inability to react appropriately in social situations and understand the social cues. Unless the stigma of this illness goes away, and the society is ready to accept people suffering from this illness, only then can we truly recover completely. And this can happen only when we have a good psychotherapeutical system in which the person can be gradually allowed to adjust in a social environment, taught again to understand social cues, to come out of the years of social withdrawal that they have put themselves through. The need of the hour is to build up on these systems so the individual can lead a socially productive life, and not live on streets from hand to mouth. In India, we don't even have enough psychiatrists to help the ill, leave aside the psychotherapy, no medical aids to help the lower classes which constitute 70% of the population. It is time now to start spreading information about the illness, to fight for the rights of the ill, to bring about a revolution against this stigma!

Posted by puzli at 12:50 PM | Comments (2)

May 12, 2005


Judgements, judgements, judgements...i strayed away from my own philosophies, reflecting on my inner self, conscious of my soul again. As my school principal said, "What good are friends who don't even call you to know how you are doing, when you didn't give your exams".

Now I reflect on Krishnamurti again,"Judgements, they don't work in relationships". I'm always open to giving second chances, and I don't believe in death punishments. And my philosophies make me stronger, reinforcing the strength within. I Live.

Posted by puzli at 05:30 AM | Comments (1)

May 11, 2005

Stigma and lost more friends

I just got over with a set of exams, and while coming back from college had some spicy stuff to eat with 2 girls (classmates) of mine (they know about my illness, though they don't understand the implications at all). We talked a lot, and we finally got to the point where they got to know that I smoke. Both of them looked flabbergasted by it. They told me that they hate people who smoke and now they hated me. While I was coming back home with one of them, I told her that cigarettes helped me cope up with the voices and the the symptoms of my illness, and I told her to visit my blog. But she still said that we hate you now.

I've been through many tough times, lost a lot of friends, become much of a loner, but I have never regretted it. As one of my friends tells me time and again, "You should never talk about your illness to anyone, they are biased, they look down upon you, they would hate you, sneer at you, kick you out...", but at the same time, she wants to reduce the stigma associated with schizophrenia.

This incident reaffirmed my beliefs of how conservative our society still is, still caught up in the Freudian psychoanalytical thinking who never even dared to work with schizophrenics, more less develop a theory on it. It has not hampered my spirits to know that I have lost 2 more friends, for I never forget the words of Morpheus (in The Matrix), "These are the same minds that we are trying to free, but they are still part of the system, and as long as they are part of the system, they are our enemies." I believe that until we talk about our problems, no one will even know about our illness, much less comprehend it. So I go telling everyone I can about my illness and how it is to cope with, for I believe that unless you want to free more minds, tell them about the illness, for otherwise we cannot even make them free from the system even if we want to.

Posted by puzli at 03:10 PM | Comments (1)

May 06, 2005

Sympathies and Sneering

There is a classmate of mine who asked me yesterday why i didn't clear my previous exams. He's become a good friend of mine. I told him about my illness, and he was shocked but sympathising. Everyone who knows about my illness is very understanding and helpful. Or maybe as I mentioned earlier, we only tell people about our illness who we believe would understand. I asked my friend if he had seen "A beautiful mind" and he nodded his head. Then he asked me if I had gone through the same thing. I told him that every case of schizophrenia is different, and I had gone through some similar things. I further told him that I was on medication, and he was surprised once more, as he didn't know that their were medicines for controlling this illness. It shows that people may sympathise with you, but most of them don't know anything about mental illnesses and don't even know that medications for them exists. They would sympathise with you and try to help you out, but once you start behaving really weird, they might try to keep their distance to preserve their own sanity (as my previous friends did). 'A beautiful mind' has made a breakthrough within the minds of the populace, showing them how tormenting this illness can be (though I haven't yet seen "One flew over the cuckoo's nest), and it has changed the way most of the people look at the mentally ill. However, there is still the crowd like those in the IIT (the top asian technical colleges in India) who made fun of John Nash when he visited their campus. But this is life, there are the good and the bad, the empathising and the sneering ones, those who want to bring a change, revolutionaries, and as RD Laing said - "Schizophrenia may not always be breakdown, it may be breakthrough" (though I don't take any sides between the psychologists or the psychiatrists).

Posted by puzli at 06:25 AM | Comments (1)