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Strict Standards: Declaration of JParameter::loadSetupFile() should be compatible with JRegistry::loadSetupFile() in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/libraries/joomla/html/parameter.php on line 512

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/plugins/system/advancedmodules/advancedmodules.php:28) in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/plugins/system/admintools/admintools/badbehaviour/screener.inc.php on line 9

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Strict Standards: Declaration of JRouterJoomsef::parse() should be compatible with JRouter::parse(&$uri) in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/components/com_sef/sef.router.php on line 361

Strict Standards: Declaration of JRouterJoomsef::build() should be compatible with JRouter::build($url) in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/components/com_sef/sef.router.php on line 361

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Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/plugins/system/mmbackground/mmbackground.php on line 98

Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/plugins/system/hotlogin/hotlogin.php on line 88

Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/plugins/system/ganalyticstrcode/ganalyticstrcode.php on line 32

Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/administrator/components/com_ganalytics/util/dbutil.php on line 56

Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/plugins/system/jdownloads/jdownloads.php on line 164

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Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/plugins/system/jdownloads/jdownloads.php on line 174

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Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/plugins/content/fb_tw_plus1/fb_tw_plus1.php on line 43

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Courtney’s Story - WhatCausesMentalIllness.com
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FAQ  


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Word Cloud  


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Latest Additions  


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Glimpses

Courtney’s Story

Details

Courtney’s Story

As I was growing up I saw myself as different from every other kid. For some reason I just felt and thought I was different. The very first scary thought I had was at an early age of five, as my mum left me at preschool, I thought she would never come back and she was going to die in a car crash. I can remember that quite vividly because it was a horrible thought to have. I was frightened and scared and have had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder ever since and probably even before that.

As I grew up, my mum always said I wasn’t an easy kid to deal with. From when I was very little I would not talk a lot to people and I was very shy, the person I trusted and was always with was my mother. I would have severe problems with getting dressed each morning, I would have to take my shoes and socks of up to 10 times before mum could finally put them on and they would stay on. I had to wear certain clothes otherwise I would not wear anything, and would have massive tantrums that no one could deal with. The weird thing I noticed once was when I was walking in a shopping centre and I would have to run back to each certain spot to tap the wall or item, just so I could feel safe inside, meanwhile getting into trouble because I wasn’t with the family. I was very scared my mum would leave me and die and then never come back.

I had a solution for this, I would stick by her where ever she was and then she would be fine. This started in about year 3, and I would go to school and then pretend I was sick to come home an hour later. This got so bad that I was pretending to twist my wrist and be very ill also pretending I had very bad eye sight. My school life was ruined from this point on, I would attend school in little bits sometimes not for weeks at a time.

When I was nine years old, we moved to another town. I was very excited and thought I would become a normal kid and have a new start. Once we got there it was worse than ever, all of a sudden everything went into a deep black hole. At the age of 10 years, I got these thoughts that were the most horrifying thoughts that I could ever have or even imagined. They were thoughts of myself hurting my family and hurting or killing my mother, there were feelings to go with these thoughts to like urges and guilt, it was like I felt I had to not speak so I wouldn’t do what the thoughts were. Another thought was that I was a lesbian and I really did love girls and was sexually attracted to girls and even girls in my family. This horrified me so I ended up not becoming friends with other girls at school because I was too afraid that I would become a lesbian for sure. I started to get so terrified and then the thoughts got worse, I started to think I was a murderer because I had these thoughts. I started to get ‘what if’ thoughts where you think the thought and think it could be true but then have doubt about the thoughts because you really know they aren’t real thoughts and it’s not reality. These thoughts were disabling. I would have a shower and think ‘what if’ the water is blood and not really water, I would scream to mum to check the water and then I would be okay for a bit. These thoughts would be going none stop every minute of the day and they truly traumatised me, it was like being in the worst horror movie you can think of. I would tell my mum and she would say they were just normal thoughts and there is nothing to worry about. She assumed they were just once off thoughts that everyone gets now and then and not in tense or horrible as they really were, seeing that I didn’t tell her in detail about the really bad ones.

I lost a lot of friends through this time and had made family members resent me for how I was, I got very frustrated and angry with myself and thought I was making all of this happen deliberately to just get attention. I started to feel severe amounts of guilt, which made me unable to move and not walk. The guilt made me think I had to tell everything to my mum of what happened in a day for me, like how many pens I used of hers to write with or if I spoke to someone or if I took my shoes off at school. Each time I would tell her I assumed I was going to be severely punished because I thought I had committed sins and disappointed my mum. So I started to write letters to her instead of just telling her because the guilt made me stop talking. I started to pray repeatedly each night to protect my family otherwise if they died or got hurt I would assume it was my fault because I was a murderer and an evil person.

Around the family there was a lot of talk about religion and demons. One time I was told that demons were after me by a friend of the family. I was terrified, I didn’t know what to do. Then another time I was told if you are awake at midnight you are in the satins minute and he could get you if you are not careful. And things such as ghosts and spirits could take over your body without you knowing, I began to wonder if all this was true. All of this I was told at the ripe age of 11, I didn’t know what to believe because actual adults were telling me this stuff. Like demons can disguise themselves as humans. I started to question myself with ‘what ifs’ what if someone I knew was really a demon and not human. I felt really alone and I didn’t know what to believe.

I began to wash myself as a relief of frustration from all these ‘what ifs’ in my mind. I would spend a lot of time cleaning myself and cleaning my room, I would have to wear socks everywhere because the germs could get me and make me bad. I would wear socks even in the swimming pool to swim and on wet days in the mud at friend’s places I still would have my socks on. I couldn’t touch animals or people I thought had germs on them. If I even got one dirty thing on me I would have to go have a shower and get clean clothes on. I didn’t like going outside anymore because there was too much dirt and the animals were out there. I then became consumed with the thought that I had to go to the toilet for bowel movements until everything was absolutely out and it was all cleaned out. This gave me medical problems with that area and it was very painful which at times I couldn’t cope with just how painful it all was. Then I went to extremes to make germs come off of my skin and I had 12% peroxide and put it on my skin till it burnt it off, at the time I was doing this I didn’t realise what damage I was doing to myself but once it happens you start to realise.

At times I thought the horrible mind games had gone but surely enough a day later they would all be back, a new one came along where I thought I was going to kill my cat or drown it in the pool and also that I was sexually attracted to animals. Every time I would close my eyes I would have images of myself killing the cat in a very horrific way. I couldn’t stand this anymore the thoughts and what ifs had gone on for too long. I started to punch myself in the head and make myself be in a lot of pain in a way of punishing myself. This worked for about 30 seconds and then I would have to hurt myself again.

I started to get suicidal at a very young age and wished every night that God would take me away, in other words kill me. Though really deep down I just wanted to be happy and normal and not die. I began to get amazingly distraught images in my head of very evil things, things you can’t imagine unless you were told. These images were there all the time when I was talking to family members or friends, I would get distracted by the images in my mind which made me not be able to watch any violent television shows otherwise I would use bad images of shows for the images in my head. No matter how hard I tried to get rid of these you could not. I didn’t sleep through the night because I thought if someone came into the house and hurt my family I would be responsible, so I would stay up all night and then go to sleep when it was 7 am till 4 pm every day. I began to really believe I was a very bad person.

All my life I would get obsessed with something or pretend I was a character out of a movie just to keep my mind off my real self, for about a month this would happen and then move onto the next thing, this helped me with trying not to focus on what was going on in my mind. At times my focus would be to get mum to buy me something from the shop, having tantrums till I would finally get it. Other times it would be a hobby, like acting or sport or ballet, or even a country kept my mind off things.

At age 13, someone told me these thoughts are like voices that aren’t real and everyone gets them, from this information I started to call these thoughts voices. It was easier to comprehend them because then it sounded like they weren’t really my thoughts they were just voices. At age 14, I told my teacher at school about the thoughts, and used the word voices. My mum found out and took me to a doctor, she asked me different questions and then referred me to a child and mental health youth centre. About 2-3 months later we were there in an interview.

The day of the appointment I had a plan I would pretend to do anything to make sure they (the doctors) knew how much pain I was in. I even thought I would make up stuff that wasn’t true because I was too embarrassed to tell the truth about these thoughts and what was happening to me. When I went in I said I had voices, they immediately assumed these voices were schizophrenia voices, I didn’t correct them and at that time I said to myself ‘what if they are?’ I was scared by the worried looks on everyone’s faces, I tried to tell them about how I have this voice about hurting people, and again they assumed that I had a real voice in my head telling me to kill people.

They started to ask me yes and no questions, things like do you see things that no one else can see? I didn’t understand what they meant so I just nodded because I was just agreeing with them all, and they kept asking very strange questions, my mum was sitting next to me and looking at me funny as if that’s not true. I just kept nodding to the questions, somehow I felt they were happy with me because I was nodding and I felt like I was needed in some way. Then they asked me a very frightening question, ‘Do I have a plan of how to kill my parents?” I started to get into a panic I couldn’t speak, and I was thinking to myself ‘I CANNOT ANSWER YES TO THIS ONE!’ So I said no I don’t, I thought this was a very inappropriate question to ask someone that was so scared of their parents dying. I felt ill after this question, thinking how could they even think I wanted to kill anyone I was scared even too hurt a fly.

They let mum and me have a break and then brought us back into the doctor’s room, they said I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, though it wasn’t a set diagnosis. I didn’t know what to do I couldn’t explain what really was going on, that there was no voices and that I couldn’t really see people, and all these crazy stories I made up were just from television shows. I had remembered a movie called the beautiful mind and used some of that story line to tell the doctors what was happening to me, and also used some stories from the TV series called charmed. Once I had started pretending and lying about what was really happening I couldn’t stop. People were so interested in what I had to say, I never had that before so I kept pretending.

With the questions it was because they asked me and I had to say yes, agreeing with people was one way I would get people to like me. They the doctors decided to give me medication to start on that was for schizophrenics. I didn’t realise it then that if you don’t have the illness you are getting treated for, the medication can do allot of damage to your body.

I took home a pamphlet and studied how people acted who had schizophrenia, and followed the basic symptoms. Over the next month or so, I got extremely anxious and zombie like. I kept pretending to be schizophrenic in every way I thought possible. It was easier for me to think I was schizophrenic then to know and accept I was the one actually having bad thoughts and crazy doubts and that I was a bad person. There was allot of guilt followed by pretending all of this but the tablet they put me on were extremely strong, and I had other worries at that time. Such as coping with the amount of anxiety I had.

I started to have this one particular thought that ‘what if’ life is really nothing that there is no use to life at all! This anxious thought was there every second of every minute. I couldn’t sleep I would cry none stop. I was so exhausted and tired that I couldn’t live properly. My mum had to take care of me physically and emotionally. One morning I had truly had enough of the anxiety, and I tried to kill myself to get rid of the horrible feeling inside me. I stood up on a chair and went straight flat onto the tiles on my face and my whole body. I broke my nose and I fractured my elbow, I was unconscious for a little bit while my mum came running to my aid. My family took me to the hospital and I was admitted to a mental hospital with adults.

As I was only fourteen, I had a nurse watching over me all the time. I hated it, and I was still extremely anxious and would only let mum be by my side or my sister who was there allot of the time with me too. Finally the doctors realised it was all a side effect of the tablets I was on. I was amazingly thankful that they took my off the drugs even though they still had not figured out I was pretending about the diagnosis that got me onto these tablets. I tried to let go subtle hints to one particular doctor that I was pretending and I needed to tell the truth about my real problems, though I was too scared to ever tell her and she never picked up on it.

I went home and I didn’t ever speak of the lie I was living about the diagnosis, I still kept pretending and they put me on other tablets that had the side effect of putting on extreme amounts of weight. I put on over 40kg in a year. And still I kept the most frightening secret to myself, until one day a year and a half later I wrote a note to tell my mum I was pretending all along. I was very scared of her response, though surprisingly she said she had a huge feeling I was pretending about the schizophrenic symptoms. Though she still knew I had problems I needed sorting out. She decided to take me to the new psychiatrist that was one my case.

I was deeply scared, I was never a talker and could never tell the truth about what I was feeling and thinking to anyone except a bit to my mum. I promised to myself before I went in to the appointment I would tell the truth for my own sake. I didn’t want a misdiagnosis again and have horrible side effects to what I had done again.

I went in and told the whole story, I admitted to pretending and I admitted to all the horrible thoughts in my head, and even admitted about the very embarrassing symptoms I had, such as thinking I was in love (sexually) with people I truly did not love in that way. He listened very carefully and made me feel at ease, I felt I had done nothing wrong for admitting everything that was going on inside of me and what I had done about lying.

He diagnosed me with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, I didn’t believe I had it in the beginning but then again I didn’t understand what it actually was. He allowed me to go off the other tablets and put me onto tablets that were suitable for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). I finally felt a lot of weight off my shoulders. I didn’t have to pretend anymore and I could finally tell the truth about the horror before the misdiagnosis.

I began to feel better after about 2 months, and I started to exercise and eat properly. Which allowed me to lose over 35kg to make me back to the weight I was. I was turning 17 years old and for the very first time in my life I could do a hobby of my own without my mum by my side. I played soccer 3 times a week for over 3 years and made the North Queensland team.

I still have many horrific and traumatising symptoms of OCD and have received new ones, and there is a whole other story for the life time between age 17 and 21. Though still all the time it will get worse at certain times of the year, at least now I can tell someone about it. Though I am 21 years old now, I have learnt allot through my childhood and teenage years. One very important lesson throughout all of this is that I tell the truth now and I am honest to myself about everything that is going on in my life. Another is that with people you can never truly know everything about them, you do not know what is going on for them or why they do certain things that may seem weird to you or why they are upset. I have also learnt that after all this I see that OCD is not that crazy and different once you really look at it and see what it is about.

I am now studying a bachelor of psychology, something I have always wanted to do was help little kids that felt different and now I finally have the opportunity too. I am also taking ballet classes and working toward exams for it, I have finally found that I can be the ballet dancer I have always wanted to be with a bit of passion and determination.

A compilation of uncensored real life experiences with Mental Illness.
GLIMPSES © 2007  For permission to use the content of this manuscript please contact Nicci Wall at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or fax +61 3 5222 6847
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