Schizophrenic Episode: “Split”

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January 2013
One night
For what was to be a precursor to my worst nightmare for a long time
I was watching a short program on a local TV channel
That episode was featuring a type of mental illness
What was it called….
Bipolar Disorder?
I can’t remember exactly
But they re-enacted what seemed to be a true story of a patient with this mental illness
The female character, demure, quiet, good girl
But why
More and more people claimed that they had met her having totally different personality outside at night
Heavy makeup
Sexy clothes
Partying at clubs
She was surprised
‘Cause she had always been at home all night
Could there be someone else in this world that looked like her?
But she had been under a lot of stress
Someone in her family hadn’t been in good health
One day her family member was rushed to the hospital
Things weren’t looking good
At her breaking point
For the first time
She finally met her “doppelgänger” who also just arrived at the hospital
Instantly lost her consciousness
She passed out

I don’t feel good
Was my feeling when the program ended
Why does it feel scary…
My heart felt worried
Was it a bad omen
Like something bad was about to happen…

March 2013
One night
I stepped out of the shower
I felt really giddy
Rubbing my towel against my wet hair
Felt my body slanting on one side
As if the other side of my body had left me
I couldn’t walk straight
Slumped on my bed
Zonked out…..

April 2013
My mum sat down beside me
Looking worried
I had been depressed for some time
Since that incident at Singapore Botanic Gardens
Voices had been getting more severe and confusing
Everybody around me looked strange
I felt possessed, I told her
What should I do, she asked
She pouted her lips
Trying to think of a solution
I looked at her facial expressions
Why did she look so fake
Pretending to be “worried” about me?
Which spirit was possessing her this time?

Few days later
After asking around her colleagues for help on my situation
She referred me to see a psychologist at her polyclinic
I saw the psychologist
He listened to me
I talked about the night I felt “split” after a shower
Then I talked about hearing voices
I talked about hearing strange voices first from some performance videos of SNSD I watched
He asked did I perhaps have imaginary friends when I was a small kid
I was taken aback
No, I don’t think so
I said
I don’t remember that
He suggested
That some kids have an inclination of playing with imaginary friends when they are alone
My voices could be a result of those imaginary friends from my childhood memories returning to me
Which could be triggered by stress I was facing in university
He concluded

Back home
Nothing changed
Just take it more easy with my studies
Don’t stress yourself out, they would say
But what to do with those voices that would never stop
What did the voices say?
If I tried harder to recall
I might remember
Fake, fake, fake!
幻想, 是幻想! (hallucination, it’s hallucination!)
Taeyeon, Taeyeon, Taeyeon!
“They” accused me of turning bad
But all I remembered
Was cooping myself up at home the whole time
Feeling depressed
What bad things had I done
Nothing
Did I really have a doppelgänger out there doing bad things that I wasn’t aware of?
Who knows

May 2013
Got myself admitted to the Institute of Mental Health for a week
There I was diagnosed
My mental illness was not Bipolar
It was Schizophrenia

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