Friday, November 2, 2012
Do pencils cure chemical prisons?
People don’t realise that forcing medication for months or years is repeated trauma. It felt like I was decaying from within when, in late 2010 and nearly all 2011, I was forcefully injected. I had no idea how long I would remain under this sentence, as psychiatrists could’ve kept me on this forever, for no crime.
I was told by psychiatrists that I had to be agreeable to their treatment. I also knew from lawyers that I had to let my psychiatrist know why they were legally obliged to change the drug I was on. Attempts to do this took over nine months. The long-acting neuroleptic lasted in my system another nine months or so. And the damage was well and truly done by then.
Part of the damage is a symptom of this trauma, I’m still suffering from. It is a fairly mild form of Tourette’s Syndrome. The drug I was on, Zuclophenthixol, is known to cause this. I also believe the Tourette’s is a surface symptom, like a measles’ sore. Only I don’t have a biological illness, I have a psychological one. My system could not cope with the trauma the Zuclo caused. It freaked out. Although I suppressed suicidal thoughts, ruled out ever doing anything to hurt my family and friends, the Tourette’s continued to voice what it saw as the only way out of the chemical prison I was in.
Now what I have is kind of akin to PTSD. I had the repeated trauma of Zuclo last year, but this year I relive the feelings of hopelessness, deterioration and lack of life. I am, however, overcoming this. My life is good and I know it. I am building rather than breaking-down. It’s just sometimes the memory grabs me and surfaces into a detached thought, a muscle reflex that says, ‘I want to kill myself’, swears, or says in a little-girl voice, ‘Mummy’.
So I work through symbolism, what’s behind this image-wise, look at inner-critics, and do parts-of-self dialoguing… anything to shift this, have something change so that my mind doesn’t get the impulsive urge to say these seemingly irrational repeated lines.
There isn’t a chemical or surgical cure for Tourette’s Syndrome, because it’s trauma based. Well, what I have is. And from what I’ve researched this is generally said to be the cause.
Psychosurgeons try things and shit, then claim cures… Psychiatrists will prescribe a whole range of drugs that they normally give for epilepsy, Parkinson’s, psychosis, bipolar… They have no idea how to cure Tourette’s. This is admitted in Wikapedia.
I have a theory that my neurons were damaged by the Zuclo, so it was actually a physical trauma and the Tourette’s is a reaction to that. My mind is more or less saying, ‘I give up, I don’t know what to do!’ So, the lines I have are in a way a cry for help, hoping for some compassion and understanding. But, if spoke them in public, I wouldn’t get that too often.
If my body had continued being bombarded by the traumatic effects of the Zuclo prison, I would’ve probably ended up mouthing the Tourette’s lines in public. However, I am lucky that I have some mechanism that keeps my mouth shut while in public and only mouths the lines when I think I am alone. In public I will still get the lines in my head though and sometimes moving my tongue, but my mouth remains closed.
Tourette’s is very different from voice hearing (which psychiatrists term auditory hallucinations). Voice hearing isn’t something that happens to me anymore. But when I had that, for nearly 13 years, it wasn’t repeated lines, wasn’t accompanied by a twitch and it didn’t have the associated impulse to speak the words. And the voices were often located outside my head, never on the tip of my tongue. Tourette’s doesn’t lend itself to any conspiracies, further thoughts, delusions, self-criticism, or creativity like voices do. Tourette’s is more like a whip hitting me, a slap across the face, a momentary jolt, totally disconnected from my belief system and dreams/ nightmares that I have had while in psychosis and sleep.
I have days when the Tourette’s disappears. For instance I went to Venus Bay with my partner and it didn’t occur for the whole two days we were there. It was almost because I was accessing a part of my mind that had to do with neologistic experiences, my thoughts didn’t even touch on the part of my mind that still holds the unresolved Zuclo induced trauma.
I guess there is a certain amount of self-forgiveness I also have to go through because the weird things I said and odd accusations I made during what I consider my worst psychotic episode and my last. Worst, because I’d decided to stand up and protest against things, in the parallel world to the actual thing that was not being heard, recognised, or compensated by the public.
I made a video last year about attempting to gain momentary peace from the surfacing symptoms that made me worry and hate myself more. In this video I played a song I wrote about one of the Tourette’s lines.
Musical composition is one of the arts that I feel helps a person to transform their ‘problem’ into something that can be shared without seeming too much of a burden to the listener. Even if the composition is never shared with another, it is something that can be witnessed by the person who composed it, while they are performing it. And I think there is definite catharsis in this.
In the video I termed what I had as ‘post-psychotic-depression’, because there was an overwhelming emotion of sadness in me that I felt at the time, which I’d found some relief from by putting a pencil between my teeth. This worked the first time in giving me some happiness, really well, but the smile action of the muscle memory had less effect when I attempted to use the pencil more often.
I sat reading with the pencil in my mouth, drooling a bit and found even the tiny relief it gave was worth something. But it is only a memory trigger of some kind and the more I recognised that it was only a pencil in my mouth, not actual happiness, the less it worked. If you think of the Pavlov’s dogs experiment, the more often they weren’t given food after the bell rung, the less they would drool at the bell ringing, even when they’d been conditioned into it, by the reward of food. I smiled, remembered happier times, then recognised there was not much happening happily in my head because of the Zuclo prison and the happy effect didn’t last as long, or exist as strongly. My mind went, oh, it’s that pencil thing again is it? Well, don’t be so silly, I want you to get out of the rut you’re in and stop that chemical entering my system, get on with it! Don’t try and trick me in false feelings!
I wanted the feeling happiness, even if it was false, but my body is more sensible than that. I realised what I really wanted was to take all that stuff that was bothering me and make it humorous, then I could move on. I still haven’t got there, but I have so many beautiful, wonderful people in my life I believe I will get to the point of clearing my sore points.