Category Archives: Uncategorized

thnk.nndm

A scientist invents something inanimate but it seems so life-like. He doesn’t realize his child somehow got trapped in it.

*

I find that a bald person makes me think of how fragile the head is. In actual fact, the whole human body is fragile.

*

Who is worse? The one who is oblivious to his surroundings and so misses a chance to do good, or the one who starts, hesitates, then abandons the good deed.

*

Is something still oppressive if you find out it actually benefits you? How do you weigh long term goodness against short-term discomfort.

*

Existence is three dimensional or more. Two and one dimensions are mental constructs and make sense as ideas, but are not a natural part of this world. For example, we can imagine superluminary speeds, time travel, aliens, cosmic beings and so on, but that does not make them real.

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Tagged

schz

I think the entire story below is too long and unexciting; this looks like a better version: There was once a boy who was depressed but somehow was convinced he was schizophrenic. He had a very curious explanation about the absence of voices in his head. According to him, the people around him disliked him and bullied him, said negative things. His parents, however, were always loving and patient. He figured that his mind was playing tricks on him, causing him to not notice that it was actually his parents who were saying all the bad things. Their love and kindness was a façade, a product of his ‘schizophrenia’. So he killed them. Miraculously, the ‘voices’ went away; months after the murder, he claimed he never heard anyone say anything negative to him anymore. But then to an outsider it would make perfect sense that anyone in solitary confinement could say that (the exception being real schizophrenics).

The Psychiatrist’s Account

We will now look at the peculiar case of a patient who was convinced that he was wrongly diagnosed.

In late February of 2002, a Frederick Mitzberg was referred to my clinic for treatment of acute depression. Frederick was 21 years old at that time and was struggling in school, being at risk of repeating his second year of college, for the second time. He came from a lower-middle class family comprising his father who was a shop owner and his mother who worked at a bakery.

Our investigations into his past years and academic performance revealed that Frederick was usually one of the top performers in his class. He was active in track and field, but his sporting days saw an abrupt end when he hurt his back in an unfortunate road accident at age 17. A herniated disc partially fragmented his spinal cord, causing him to lose sensation in most of the left side of his body. It was apparent that his ‘disability’ affected him greatly. His grades plunged in the months after his injury, although he barely scraped through and succeeded in passing the grade. The next year didn’t seem to hold much hope for him and his grades continued to suffer. He decided to take a six month break from school. During that period he went through more intensive rehabilitation sessions in the hopes of reclaiming a normal life. There was evidence that he attempted yoga and meditation as well.

By the time he was ready to resume school, the academic year was drawing to a close. Out of goodwill the school allowed him to sit in his classes under the precondition that he understood and agreed that he would not sit for the promotional examinations, and that he would repeat that year of study.

Things seemed to brighten up for awhile. Despite the awkwardness in adjusting to fit in with his younger classmates, Frederick seemed to be coping at an acceptable level. His grades were not good but they were at least consistent. Despite the apparent progress, his father was not too satisfied with his performance. Business had been bad and the money spent on Frederick’s health had, and was still taking a toll. It might have gone unnoticed at that time, but interviews with Frederick’s schoolmates shed light on his father’s slow but gradually increasing impatience at his son’s lackluster performance. His closest friends recounted that Frederick had once voiced his, and his father’s worry, that he would not be able to complete his education and get himself a good job; his father’s shop was definitely suffering so their future seemed rather bleak.

Soon after his grades began picking up, his father’s worries being a probable motivation for him to do better. Unfortunately though, the increased effort he was putting into schoolwork slowly led him to feel stressed out. In the past he would go for a run or engage in a sport when he needed to clear his head. Although he could walk more normally now, an awkward limp was the closest he could get to running. He did start new hobbies as compensation, alas old habits die hard. He was spotted sitting by the tracks many afternoons, silently watching people train and run about freely.

His school counsellor was alerted to this development and was quick to intervene. She had counselled and monitored him since his return to school. In our interview, we learned that what Frederick missed most was the adrenaline rush from playing competitive sports as well as the ‘high’ he achieved when running long distances. It made sense then that Frederick had tried to shoplift to experience that rush, however rash that decision.

The shop owner did not call the police as he took pity on Frederick, given his condition. Unfortunately, some onlookers were not so sensitive and one reportedly mocked the boy as the rest laughed. It was very likely that incident which caused Frederick to spiral once more into sadness. For the next few weeks he displayed erratic behavior, getting angry at his parents for ‘pitying’ him because he was ‘handicapped’, then disappearing from classes only to be found sitting at the track sobbing. My hypothesis is that he was going through a delayed phase of denial. From my experience, observations and studies, I should remark that it is not uncommon for more intelligent patients to somewhat ‘skip’ the denial stage, or experience it briefly, once afflicted with a significant ailment or life-changing condition. This is probably due to their better ability at reasoning and coming to terms with reality, as well as the higher probability of better social and familial support.

In this case, a trigger event had unhinged the doors that were, up till that point, suppressing strong and violent emotions about his condition. It was at that point that his councilor and therapist thought it absolutely necessary to engage the aid of a psychiatrist.

In my first session with Frederick I noticed that there were dark circles under his eyes, probably an indicator of a lack of or poor quality sleep. His demeanor was of one who had adopted a negative, and fiery outlook towards the world. I was slightly shocked at the severity of his ‘degeneration’, so to speak, as his councillor’s written profile was a stark contrast to the person it supposedly described.

After an initial assessment and the expected refusal to share much, I gave a prescription of chemo stabilizers to regulate his mood as well as induce calmness. It was only a week later that his mother called, saying her son refused to take anything and had thrown the whole box out the window.

Having dealt with such cases before, I knew, more or less, how best to approach this patient. Slowly, we started seeing progress, and within 3 months, Frederick had started to share his feelings. He had become quiet and introverted, shunning almost all company. Feedback from the school told me that he had become disinterested in speaking to his friends and would sometimes anger them. My guess, at that point, was that he was subconsciously giving himself reassurance for distancing himself and for his lack of social interaction. By chasing people away, he had ‘evidence’ that people did not want to be with him anyway.

I started to worry a little when he told me, at our tenth session, that someone had called him ‘schizo’. I was confused as to why that person would say that, but I had my doubts. Frederick could have simply misheard a comment; unfortunately, it stuck to him and he revealed later that he thought he was schizophrenic.

I took pains to explain to him the medical condition of schizophrenia, common indicators and how his situation differed greatly. Somehow, he did not believe me and chose instead to further damage his reputation in school. By the end of the semester, teachers had given feedback that although his grades were improving remarkably, Frederick was becoming very hard to work with. He would argue with classmates and teachers alike, and it wasn’t long before the people around him took to hating him. Whatever pity and empathy they had for him previously was lost, and some had even started teasing him.

While I, as an outsider, could see the reason behind their behavior, Frederick chose instead to be further incensed. I had modified my prescription, and he did take his medications, but it was only later that I discovered how he would swallow a handful of pills at a time.

Through all this, he maintained that he was actually schizophrenic and that I had wrongly diagnosed him. He got angry at me a few times, accusing me of being ignorant and irresponsible. While I was not insulted by his words, I saw them as a sign of a worsening problem, so I started seeing him at school and at home. It was the examinations period, so I felt it absolutely essential that I increased my intervention as his stress level increased with the pressures of the exams.

It was at his school that I managed to observe him as well as speak to him right when he was feeling his strongest emotions. And it was at home that I saw the drastic change in environment; in school he was either left alone or spoken to harshly, but at home his parents were infinitely patient with him. His father, obviously sufficiently stressed about his business, chose to keep quiet more.

Then one day Frederick shared with me something truly disturbing. The conversation is still etched in my memory:

‘I really am schizophrenic.’

‘Why do you say that?’

‘I know I’m supposed to hear voices, but what if that’s not exactly what they meant?’

‘What do you mean?’

‘I read that schizophrenic people hear voices telling them things they don’t want to hear, or giving them instructions. Right?’

‘That happens, sometimes, b-‘

‘EXACTLY. I’m always hearing bad things about me,’

‘Who says these bad things?’

‘…Usually people at school,’

‘Real people?’

‘That’s the thing. If I’m schizophrenic, then it doesn’t make sense. I have an explanation,’

‘Tell me, I’m listening,’

‘I’m always hearing negative things everywhere, but my mother is always telling me good things and my father usually keeps quiet. So I think they’re the ones who are actually saying all the bad things, but my mind is tricking me into thinking that my schoolmates are saying the bad things. For some reason it’s trying to convince me that my parents are as good to me as they have always been, when in reality they hate who I am now,’

‘Frederick, perhaps you should rethink this,’

‘I did, and the more I think, the more it makes sense,’

‘So what now?’

‘Since you’re not going to give me medication for my schizophrenia, I’ll cure it myself. I’ll make the bad things stop, somehow,’

My mind raced to think what could cause such behavior in an otherwise intelligent mind. Because of his habit to overdose, I had stopped giving him medication. Perhaps the lack of it was causing a chemical imbalance? Was there something I missed?

I decided to lie to him, to agree to give him ‘medicine for schizophrenia’. I had my pharmacist fill a bottle of Risperdal with B Vitamin pills, and warned him to take this medication seriously. He was to take one pill a day, not more not less, for one week. Then we would assess his situation.

To my great relief my little trick had worked. Frederick appeared more at ease, and even, I daresay, a little happy. This was the beginning of rapid improvements in his mood and behavior, and in the next 3 months he was back to his quiet mode, although this time he did not alienate himself. It was the school holidays, a few weeks shy of the release of the examination results. Frederick went out with his friends now and then. He told me he didn’t talk much, rather just listened and laughed.

Unfortunately, things did not stay good. On the 1st of March, a day before the release of his exam results, Frederick was arrested as suspect to the murder of his parents. As his doctor, I was allowed to speak to him. A sobbing Frederick told me that he was excited for his results, he knew he would do well. He was expecting a place in a good university and he didn’t want anything to ruin that. He had to make sure the voices would not come back, so as a precaution he mixed rat poison into his parents’ food. He had bought and kept the poison the day I gave him his ‘schizophrenia medicine’, as a failsafe.

The rest is irrelevant to this account.

 

The Account That Would Have Mattered

Blake McIntyre, Schoolmate

Orphan, has Type 1 diabetes, financially difficult

Frederick is throwing a tantrum in class. ‘You don’t understand! My life is difficult! Don’t just expect me to be nice to all you lucky normal people,’

Blake, offended and hurt, turns to his best friend, and says, ‘Lucky? Normal? What does he know…’

Why It Would Have Mattered

Frederick misheard ‘What does he know…’ as ‘What a schizo…’

Tagged

hthn

“Jeremy, perhaps you should reconsider what you’ll say next,”

“No, you know what, I’m gonna say it anyway. And y’all listen to what I think. This man is a fraud. He talks some good stuff but then when you buy in to his message, he starts telling you to do weird things, little by little. I know I’m not a good person. Hell, I’m a bad person, but I know I believe in God, and God won’t make us do those things you said. And maybe God brought a person like me, who’s rude and shameless, to tell someone like you, to pack your bags and get the hell out of our town cos you’re a fake and a MORON. Wake up, all of y’all! What’s gone into you people?!”

Tagged

ththmstm

A team is like a house: all the parts are of equal importance, but when assembled some must go up and so we down.

Without the roof the house is not protected from the elements.

No proper floor and even standing can be unpleasant.

Take away the walls and the structure collapses.

Therefore leadership and servitude are merely different tasks, independent of rank. Hierarchy aids in the function and does not mean someone is better than the other.

Respect, togetherness and humility are essential.

Tagged

ppy

happyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappyhappy

Tagged

mnbdy

The days are longer

The sun is hotter

Yet i am happier

*

I never expected you to do this,

My son,

But you made a good decision

*

I don’t see myself getting old

But i see myself with you till my last day

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htndbld

I’m sorry, dear grandmother. I lied to you. I haven’t been out in the sun much more than i normally do. I’m darker not because of being outdoors, but because of my sins. They have cast a darkness upon my face and my heart.

I must clean myself of this filth.

*

My wife is out tonight on a work trip. She’ll only be back the day after. As i reach to unlock the door i can already hear our cat meowing loudly. The moment i step into the house she headbutts my leg again and again, purring so loudly i can hear it. I pick her up and ask how her day has been, as i head to the kitchen. I switch on the tap for her to drink from and head to the master bedroom to change out.

As i undress, i happen to look in the direction of the bed.

Somebody is in our bed. Covered entirely in the blanket.

I freeze, my mind spinning. Did my wife come home? Was her trip cancelled? Something doesn’t feel right. Maybe it’s just the bolster? That looks human enough when you cover it up. But she wouldn’t do such a thing, that’s just silly.

Barely a moment later there is movement. Whatever is on the bed, it turns, and as soon as i get a glimpse of what it is i scream and run the hell away.

*

He runs a hand through his hair as he takes in a deep breath, and in that moment that his eyes are slightly closed, i see it for the first time: he’s exhausted, like all of us, but he’s never showed it.

He breaks into a half-smile complete with half-squint and says the one thing we’ve all been dreading to hear.

‘We need to take it apart and start from the beginning. Time for it to get reborn!’

Tagged

slpwhlyrk

There was a tub at the corner of the room. Inside, a body slowly dissolved in an acid bath.

*

He retched but held up his hand, signalling for us to stay back. Staggering, you could see it on his face that he was doing his best not to throw up, and to finish the fight. Then without warning, he lurched forward and a spray of blood and vomit shot out of his mouth, covering the enemy soldier who fell back in shock.

*

The thing slithered across the room, effortlessly slicing through the bodies strewn about; their eyes rolling up as death overcame them, the pain too severe to even utter a sound.

*

He looked at me hard, but his mind was elsewhere. I could see him clenching and unclenching his jaw. Then he let out a big sigh, shook his head and turned to go.

‘Damn this, damn this all to hell!’ came his voice as he walked away, beckoning us to follow.

*

There was no way the boy could have seen the blade flying towards him, and it embedded itself squarely in the middle of his throat. His eyes bulged in shock as he looked down at himself, blood now gushing from his mouth. He was already on the ground as he tugged at the knife and it came out with a sickening sound. As more blood spurted forth, he flailed and clawed at his neck as he made wet gurgling noises and the blood from the wound frothed. In a matter of moments his carcass lay still in a pool of his own blood, the face twisted in agony and his pants soiled. I cussed as i looked away, feeling once again that i was getting too soft for the job.

*

1 – Hi Mr Weatherby, this is Shane’s dad.

2 – Hello, how can i help you?

1 – My son came back today and i noticed his notebook was torn.

2 – That is correct, i am aware of it.

1 – What the hell happened?

2 – *pauses* Could you rephrase that, please

1 – No i won’t, what the hell happened, why is his book torn.

2 – Well did you ask him?

1 – What? I – you should’ve called me! It’s your job! What kind of a teach-

2 – *authoritative* STOP right there. Firstly, your son is capable of speaking. He’s a really confident speaker, thinks quickly on his feet and in fact, has a problem shutting the hell up.

1 – *angry* How da-!!

2 – *louder* SECONDLY, why on earth would i have called you? What the hell were you gonna do about it? Rush over and check on his notebook? Hug and comfort your boy because his poow widduw nowtbuk is wipped?

1 – *furious* YOU WATCH- !

2 – *louder still* I’VE HAD enough of your shenanigans, Mr Lawson, and i suggest you start getting your act together before i am forced to teach YOU how to behave like a decent human being. Do you understand?

1 – *raging* WHO DO Y- !

2 – *off-the-hooks marine-instructor mad* DO! YOU! UNDERSTAND!!!

1 – *slightly confused but still a little hot* Yes! Yes! Goddammit.

2 – *matter of fact, devoid of anger* Well good. As for the notebook, I already gave Shane a new one. He brought back the old one because he liked it too much to throw it away. Is there anything else i can help you with?

1 – Uh. N-no, that’s all actually.

2 – *cheerful* Well excellent. Thanks for your call, Mr Lawson, you have a great day ahead.

Tagged

mngtrs

I don’t like to whine

But this is a stupid job

Stupid stupid job

*

I don’t want to be

Ungrateful but I

Am not enjoying myself

*

If you were a person,

I’d hit you and choke you out

Break your bones and stomp on your stomach

You take us away from each other

Add misery and stress

And in the end leave us,

Tired and jaded,

Most of our time wasted

Then happily you turn to the young ones

To take our place

At least you paid us well

To be fair you’re not cruel to all

 

But I want out, NOW

Tagged

srsfnfrtnthks

The past is present
In all of our memories;
The future must wait.

*

Who am i to you?
A friend, companion, partner?
Perhaps a stranger.

*

I have gained nothing
Yet have lost so much; at least
Please save me from hell

*

Seven years ago
You brought light into my life.
My child. I miss you.

*

How do i write of
Anything else when all that
I can feel is pain

*

I never asked for
All this yet this is all i
Have when will it end

*

I should have hit you
Made you feel the pain i felt
But you’re in my head

*

I woke up today
Thinking about yesterday
And what’s for breakfast

*

When you look at me
I get this powerful sense
You’re looking at me

*

We spend all our lives
Wanting to be a part of
Something big; how sad

*

Time only stands still
When you forget about it
And it forgets you

*

It’s good to be sad
You get to write more haikus
Than when you’re happy

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