Chapter 2. My Symptoms From October 1974 To December '74.

Sensational New to Medical Science Brain Damage Psychogenically Dismissed. Copyright Stephen Cattier 1998. All rights reserved. 

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Chapter 2. My Symptoms mainly  October to December '74

Updated 21 November 2019 12:14 GMT

I would be reprimanded during Primary School lessons  (aged 8 to 11) for lapses in concentration (daydreaming) which could cause a replication of the word was when writing i.e. "was was."

In the late 1960's I felt I was wheelchair-bound pushed about the world with the latter brushing up against and sliding past my torso's front I judge to have been a psychiatric side-effect of the corticosteroid prednisone for ulcerative colitis I suffered for three years up to 1966.

When I moved to London Road, Abridge, Essex, November 1970, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to develop a personality of my own owing to being away from my friends. Whenever I was with them it disappeared making me a non person. At work in 1968 in the accounts department, Chappells Music, New Bond Street, London, W.1, I unwittingly temporarily copied the personality of a fellow male employee.

It was mighty hard to impossible to attempt things which disinterested me e.g. dishwashing. Nine months of piano lessons at age eleven soon irked me enough to cry and roll along my home's passage wall before cycling the mile uphill to the music school having just performed five minutes total weekly practice. I had asked for them and was never forced. The teacher was most disappointed when I gave it up because he said I had the touch to play that instrument.

I loathed the mundane jobs I had from November 1970 until mid 1974 which were a strain.

Extreme tiredness temporarily set in during October. One of the most obvious signs of adrenal fatigue is when a person wakes up mighty tired even after a good nights sleep which was so in my case although I had always woken up tired owing to the effects of food allergy which was a bug bear. One day in October I was unable to get up to go to work until midday I was so unnaturally tired. I also complained to my mother one morning before work I was so tired, but she encouraged me to go to work adding that I would feel better when  I got there. I went considering I possessed no mind of my own. I visited my GP for the first time for the symptoms of the nervous exhaustion the same month and he thought I was going to solve the depression/anxiety myself owing to on my own initiative giving up the boring engineering job at British Matthews, Epping, Essex (metalwork had been my favourite school subject though). I failed to realise my symptoms were serious and caused by nervous exhaustion requiring rest and so did not tell him anything important about the condition. He also failed to ask the pertinent questions no doubt because I looked too well.

At the beginning of November I went through an invisible barrier to do with the nervous exhaustion and mentally 'slipped out of the world' and was physically unable to raise my arms for two hours to direct people when I was a voluntary usher at a convention of my religion at Leyton Baths, London, because the nerves had become sufficiently exhausted. Then, the great fatigue disappeared right up to the breakdown five weeks later - I somehow had acquired a "second wind". My depression suddenly lifted too in November over a period of seconds and have never suffered from it since although it was never dire to begin with. In the first week of November for several times I had to tremendously emotionally fight off a feeling of going to fall into oblivion followed for maybe two minutes feeling as powerful as a King although I knew I was not actually a potentate.

For some time before my breakdown I had suffered from the delusion that certain second-hand objects of mine were demon possessed and were maliciously making me depressed. However, I never felt that about my second-hand car, or the second-hand house of my parents and I were living in. Consequently, I sold a second-hand amplifier I had purchased several weeks earlier although I was tempted instead to smash it to smithereens in the garden. I felt better afterwards but only owing to a psychological effect and not because of ousting demons. I also threw away a pair of sunglasses for the same reason; I had found them months before in Theydon Bois and had later gained ownership of them after handing them in as lost property at Epping Police Station. I also destroyed a record I owned of the sound track of the Steven Spielberg film Close Encounters of a Third Kind considering I believed that UFOs were demonic manifestations and Christians abhor anything to do with the devil. I now watch the film without guilt.

When I had the breakdown I felt I wanted to go and stay at my sister's house to get away from an old pedal wind organ someone had given us a year or two earlier because I felt it was likely demonised. Suddenly, that instrument disappeared because unbeknownst to me my mother had instructed my father to break it up in the garden because she too thought it might be demon possessed and  making me ill. It was probably a valuable antique. Of course none of the items were inhabited by devils. Psychotic individuals as I was believe such illogical things engendered by their culture and beliefs. Thus mine were centered around Christianity, and I had understood my religion to say that items can become demonised and adversely influence people who own them. However, I no longer believe it to be the case. Consequently, I would no longer fear inheriting a home from a spiritualist, and would even live in their home with them if they were still living - the Bible warns Christians not to be righteous over much and let ones reasonableness be known to all. A case of taking things too far was told me in the early 1970s by a reliable source  of a lady who was of my religion who owned two valuable Ming vases but she destroyed them because she believed their painted dragons to be against her religion too much to be tolerated. I would not have minded owning them. In 1975 when I was an inpatient of Claybury mental hospital, Woodford Bridge, Essex, and was home for the weekend, a male member of my religion I knew visited me and said I should not be in mental hospital because there were more demons there more than elsewhere which meant I could be taken over by them. I disagreed and continued as an inpatient, and after one phone call from him we never saw or heard from him again. This shows that there are some odd thinking individuals in the faith who need their minds corrected. I knew that there were members of my religion who were psychiatric nurses working in the hospital and they visited me in their uniforms when I was on Claybury's ward 01. I also had eleven visitors from friends in the faith who actually came into the building to visit me during the first three weeks. They could all think rationally. That friend obviously failed to realise that as the demons can roam anywhere in the world and meet in any one place, Consequently, if they cannot possess us at will outside the hospital then they surely would not be successful inside it. He must have erroneously believed that psychotic inpatients  hearing  voices were always demon possessed thus  bunging up mental institutions with mischievous imps.

Talking about Imps, in about 1972 my worsening mental illness refused to allow me to remove my Austin Mini heater I had earlier fitted to my sister's Hillman Imp car because of thinking the demonic name of the vehicle could have demonised the heater allowing the demons to adversely affect me if I regained its ownership. Perversely, I did not fear travelling in the car.

For the first week of December 1974 I had been helping making fur coats in Hackney, East London - I had acquired the job through a temp. agency. A couple of weeks previously I had got a job through another one as chauffeur with International Stores, Aldgate, London, but had to give it up after one day because was unable to concentrate on the road - I had forgotten to look out for road signs like one way streets and actually went part way down the one the in the wrong direction outside the firm before I realised and turned around in a lovely bronze coloured Ford Granada. I did not get the sack from either company which meant I was doing a good job at appearing normal.

My sister recently told me I had mentioned to her around this time that I felt as if I were gong to fall into a hole, and in September 1974 I told a friend that Jehovah had become just like a black blob inside my head. It is a pity they failed to ask further questions because otherwise they might have detected my mental illness and done something to prevent the breakdown. After all if they had read the nervous breakdown article in the August 22 1974 Awake! magazine which they took from door to door in their Christian preaching it might have alerted them to my plight, but perhaps they had read it. Actually, my sister did say that if I did not ease up I would have a nervous breakdown, but I said to her after suffering from it that the person has to be physically stopped from doing things and saying that just does not register because it did not with me.

From early November I became desperately lonely. Once, I had the compulsion to nearly put my feet onto my car's steering wheel whilst driving. Eventually, I was unable to judge distances driving thus causing me to brake early in order to stop on time. I felt terrible. Decision making took a long time. During the first week of December I was feeling improved emotionally. I was then unable to judge if marginal gaps were wide enough to drive through, and on the final day I was unable to make any decisions at all. I drove home without incident. I started writing backwards which was a neurological symptom of the nervous exhaustion. I finally realised that the answer to my feeling bad was rest.  Consequently, as I went up to bed that night I told my parents they would see me in three days time. That was the last occasion I was well enough to work or drive, although I have a faint recollection which I do not know is true or not that once during the following week I drove my car around to my GP's surgery which was closed. Then, the instant I awoke from normal sleep the nervous breakdown/exhaustion hit me like the proverbial "ton of bricks" because the "bank had shut its doors" owing to too much "money" withdrawn by panicking customers meaning the brain had no more chemicals to work properly in the mind department.

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