Mental health awareness seems to be more and more commonplace – a hugely positive thing. However, I’ve noticed a pattern: certain conditions and symptoms seem to be more acceptable than others. What do you do if your illness is still massively taboo? For example, when it affects your perception of reality?
My Perception of Reality was Shattered
I was detained under the Mental Health Act firstly by police and then doctors as a danger not just to myself, but to others as well. In the middle of a mental health crisis, I was in the grips of psychosis, my perception of reality shattered.
Believing an apocalypse was imminent, I had begun to plan for the worst. I knew that I did not want my family members to live through the end of the world – after all, who would want that for their loved ones?
And so my terrified mind with its distorted perception of reality came up with desperate ideas. Ideas to end their suffering before it started. I had thoughts of killing my family to prevent them from suffering.
Then Came the Fateful Day
It sounds so awful, spoken out loud, or written there, in black and white, and it makes me sound cold and calculating. Also, it does nothing to dispel the myth of those with mental illness being dangerous.
Thoughts turned into plans. Not serious plans with the intent to act on them, but hypothetical scenarios, all aimed around trying to prevent them suffering in the apocalypse.
Then came the fateful day when I thought the apocalypse was here. The weather had changed, which I took to be a sign of impending doom. I was filled with the most horrendous, ice-cold fear as I knew I had to act. One thought consumed me, I knew I had to kill my family.
I Confessed All
But I couldn’t do it. Despite hearing voices commanding me to “just do it”, I could not bring myself to act on their demands. In my distress, I decided that I had to end my own life. I made a plan and set a date.
It just so happened that I had a therapy session before the date I had planned to die. Eaten up by guilt due to my thoughts of harming my beloved family, I resisted the temptation to cancel and went and confessed all.
How Do You Reconcile Having Such Terrible Thoughts?
I was sectioned soon after this. Although I was furious and upset at the time, it turned out to be the best thing for me. Being in hospital got me stable on my medication, and rid me of my delusional ideas and voices.
Now all I have to do is come to terms with everything. How do you reconcile having such terrible thoughts?
Do You Think I’m a Monster?
And I ask you, having read my story, do you think I am a monster? That is a question I ask myself every day, am I a bad person for planning to kill my family, or can I accept that it was a symptom of my mental illness?
It is something that I have kept hidden, but now I say enough is enough. Perhaps talking about my experiences can help others who have been through similar events. I hope so.