Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Recovery From 'Psychosis'

A couple of weeks ago Thomas' therapist gave Thomas a chapter from a book to read. Before giving it to him he asked me if I thought it was a good idea given Thomas' "suggestability" but I couldn't figure out how the story might be a problem for Thomas if it was about a woman recovering from schizophrenia psychosis so I approved of him giving it to Thomas. Thomas didn't read it and yesterday I asked him if I could take it and read it. What I read completely ruined my ability to sleep last night because what I discovered within it's pages was something that I believe Thomas shouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole.

For starters, the chapter was titled "My Recovery From 'Psychosis'". Yes, the word psychosis was in quotations and right away that struck me as odd. When people put a word in quotes, sometimes it means it's because the meaning is different than what it usually means without the quotations around it. I should have known what was to follow because of that but I didn't so I dove into reading the chapter.

What followed was a story about a woman who had been through unimaginable trauma in her life, terrible abuses that caused her to view her world in a skewed manner and rely on dissociation to cope. She heard voices and was paranoid and because of those two things it made me catch for a second on that this story was about schizophrenia. But as I read further, I realized this woman's story was about her recovery from D.I.D. For those of you not familiar with it, D.I.D. is dissociative identity disorder (known in the past at multiple personality disorder). This woman had been through hell in her life and had become a cutter and a chronically, seriously suicidal person. Her story was sad to read. What was even more familiar was the essence of the story which rang true to a loved one of mine's struggle with D.I.D. also. Her story is even worse than what I read because her abusers were cruel and methodical and their intention was to create in her a system of alters that would perform certain functions in her life, not the least of which was to carry out acts of smuggling, espionage and even sicker, sex acts for an audience of sick, bad men. Her life was horrific and who she's become as a result is a shattered soul, pieces of a person not cohesive and able to cope with life in the way that most of us do. So like my loved one, the woman in the story was an almost textbook example of D.I.D.

So, that begs the question, why is Thomas' therapist giving this sort of reading material to Thomas?!?!? Even further questions are that of what does this man think Thomas has? What does he think that Thomas has been through in his life that created his 'psychosis' and does he believe Thomas is D.I.D. and not schizophrenic? I am enraged because MY child never went through the things that this woman did. MY child is not chronically suicidal, MY child is not a cutter and MY child just flat out does not identify with this woman in any way other than as far as I could glean from the story that he suffers from paranoia and delusions both of which are born of an inability to see government and politics in a rational manner. Nowhere in his life were there people telling him that he was being watched by the government or that he needed to be looking over his shoulder for agents just waiting for the right opportunity to abduct him and imprison him. His world is completely his own creation reinforced only by schizophrenia's cruel march through his brain to tighten a noose of paranoia and delusions and hallucinations around him, crippling him for the rest of his life.

Needless to say, I am extremely angry about this choice by Thomas' therapist for reading material for Thomas. Thomas does not suffer from 'psychosis' (in quotes) he suffers from genuine psychosis and actively fights through it every day of his precious, sad life. I couldn't sleep last night because I couldn't fathom why his therapist would take things in this particular direction. Surely there are stories out there of people with schizophrenia who are working to find remission for a time. Those are the stories to read. Those are the stories of inspiration and hope. Those are what I would encourage Thomas to read so that he could find hope and encouragement too.

Ultimately, after reading it and processing it and checking with a couple of rational people (since my anger and anxiety were piqued) I fired off an email to his therapist asking him exactly what his intentions were by giving Thomas this story to read. If in fact he believes Thomas is D.I.D. then that is a VERY SERIOUS conversation that he needs to have with me to further explore why that might be. D.I.D. is not a diagnosis to throw around lightly nor are stories about it ones that should be given to a suffering, depressed, flat, anxious, withdrawn young man concretely diagnosed with schizophrenia by not just one but SEVERAL professionals. Neither is schizophrenia to be tossed out cavalierly as a diagnosis. These two things are very frightening diagnoses and if we are going into D.I.D. territory with Thomas then there will be some serious time taken with me to further explore this as a possibility for Thomas. Personally, I think his therapist got it wrong, way wrong and I await his response to see what his original intentions were for giving that chapter to Thomas.

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