Chapter 3. December 1974 to January 1975.

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

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Chapter 3. December 1974 to January 1975

Updated 25 Apr 2019 11:52 GMT

I believe that the following two days were a mental blank. Then, when I awoke from normal sleep the breakdown hit me like the proverbial "ton of bricks". I was effectively looking into a void, and was unable to think. The latter was inducing an uncontrollable panic so, to correct it, I immediately picked up a book and what I read is all I could physically recall to mind.

My condition was worsening over approximately the next three days owing to still worrying about the lady and this was having the effect of my surroundings becoming physically darker in respect to light until I stopped worrying by convincing myself that I finally understood the ransom sacrifice of Christ and so she would not think me stupid anymore if she had learnt that I had been publicly preaching about something I had not understood. This then caused my brain to gradually start replenishing itself with fuel as I then stopped using it up by worry more quickly than it has been replaced.

At one stage I felt like I was buried alive lying down entombed in a coffin-like chamber beneath 19 meters of solid concrete with a small space of 2.5 to 5 cm between my face and the ceiling, and it was just as frightening as the real thing but I knew I was not literally in such a place. At one stage I felt brittle like glass. To avoid running down the road in a screaming panic from the fright of the buried alive feeling I had to use all of my willpower plus making a rash vow to Jehovah God which was to return to doing a lot of Christian preaching which I did not want to do.

 I could not lie down for long because otherwise the inside of my head suddenly felt like it was collapsing. All this time my eyes physically hurt too much when looking at the television screen.

My brain felt as if it was in two halves. When they were gradually joining up they would suddenly fly apart whenever I did a thought.

A week into the breakdown my parents took me in their car right across London to my chiropractor for an adjustment. I believe that I had to lay down on the journey being too ill to sit up. I experienced bodily discomfort from the nervous exhaustion being brought out by the trip. We saw a friend there and I insisted that we gave her a lift home which we did. Common sense should have said forget it considering how ill I felt but I still was unable to think straight. A problem of mine had been helping others too much at the expense of myself and family.

Incidentally, I contracted bronchitis at the same time as the breakdown commenced. My GP visited me either in the first or second week to prescribe me an antibiotic which I took. However, I am convinced that garlic capsules eradicated it more quickly than normal by the end of December (the herb is a natural antibiotic and decongestant).

It was not possible for me to tell anyone how I felt and the experiences I was going through because doing so would have made me lose the control of the situation and the tight grip I had on my mind thus making me panic. When I saw consultant psychiatrist, Dr. Irwin (letter 28 Feb. 1975), at St. Margaret's Hospital, Epping, Essex, after the nervous exhaustion had damaged me and prior to taking Limbitrol, I told him I was schizophrenic but he said he could see no sign of it to which I replied, "That is good then." I had misdiagnosed myself as schizophrenic and only realised my condition was organic when I became paralysed by Limbitrol.

As I have said at first I failed to correctly identify my condition, but reading during that first week of the nervous exhaustion a couple of pages of R.D. Laing's book The Divided Self, ISBN 0-14-013537-5 about schizophrenia, falsely convinced me all my nervous exhaustion symptoms were that mental disorder.  I seemed to be schizoid in the early seventies, but I believe I was suffering from Aspergers syndrome (mild autism) considering I had five or six of its symptoms.  Plus, I believe I was suffering from cerebral allergy too judging from my experience after I was diagnosed with allergies in 1982 and treated; but I attribute a lot of the pre 1974 illness to zinc and Vit. B6 starved nerves which were detected in 1985, and I see no reason why I did not have them all those years before 1975. The mind - and body - cannot cope if bombarded with too many loads like that. Sufficiently lessening them enables them to heal (the words of Dr. Stephen Davies, orthomolecular physician, Biolab, 9 Weymouth St., London W1). I came fully into my right mind in the mid 1990s.

At the end of the third week of December and two weeks into the nervous exhaustion event, I was well enough to spend several hours at a relative's house. This caused the first of the neurological damage because I listened to speech for that length of time which used up the little remaining fuel in the nerves to a damaging level; just listening for around thirty minutes less time would have avoided it (and, probably, less time even than that). This caused a temporary sensation of a tight band around the top half of my head which gradually moved down to the ears before disappearing. During the following two days a physical effect of the nerve damage was that I had to use all of my willpower not to go violent which required me to lay upon hot water bottles to facilitate the certain degree of relaxation required to obviate it. I started to improve again. Over the next three weeks I had about three more of the nerve damaging relapses also accompanied by the two day violent feeling but followed by improvement; and the last two of them were caused by just walking fifty metres each time. Eventually, at one stage during those events I think I could only physically say a few words at a time before the vocal mechanism would become temporarily exhausted and paralysed. At one stage, I had the sensation of single cotton threads breaking across the top of my scalp stretched from ear to ear. At another stage I could only read as much as fifteen pages at a time before that mechanism would become exhausted and temporarily paralysed but work again like that after a rest when the nerves had recharged.

Around the end of December, my parents took me in their car to see a consultant psychiatrist at St. Margaret's Hospital, Epping, Essex, one Dr. Irwin (letter 28 Feb.1975). Despite feeling extremely ill and wanting to go home, I made a terrific effort to appear normal. I told him that I was suffering from schizophrenia, but he said he could see no sign of it, to which I replied, "That's good then." I said goodbye after a short while I guess leaving him thinking there was little wrong. I saw him next about six weeks later in late February when I spent a week in Wanstead General Hospital, East London, with a suspected brain tumour from my symptoms of not walking, speaking nor communicating.  After they became disabused of the tumour idea I was admitted to Claybury Psychiatric Hospital, Woodford Bridge, Essex, for the first time

The violent feeling of the last relapse in January, which was caused by walking fifty metres, was just about to become uncontrollable when my parents arrived home in the nick of time to give me my first dose of Limbitrol which they had just fetched from the local chemist (drug store); it worked perfectly and prevented me from going berserk. At first it had no undesirable side-effects. I should have discontinued it after two days, but I took it for nine or ten days. After three days on it my voice became paralysed. I later felt as if I was most painfully sawn in half down the middle from top to bottom and front to back I think its direction was, and also developed a spotty rash on my legs. On the last day of taking it I managed to force out one sentence which temporarily made me feel that my body had elongated sideways.

The following day I suddenly went paralysed in mind and body for ten hours and could only breath and I reckon spontaneously swallow, and I think blink spontaneously too. I then managed to raise an arm to indicate to my parents I wanted my vitamin B capsules. That pill gave me instant energy to crawl upstairs where I went paralysed again. I then had three days where if anyone spoke to me it felt as if an earthquake was gong off inside my head (a sort of hyperacusis), although, paradoxically, I was not then sensitive to loud sounds or noises, but just just to words and music. The first few days were blissful, and I was so comfortable that I felt I could have stayed like that forever free from boredom and in perfect happiness. For the next three weeks before I was admitted to Wanstead General hospital, I was bedridden except when I took a vitamin B pill which gave me movement ability enough to crawl to the bathroom and back. Dr. Irwin (letter 28 Feb.1975) visited me at home. About three weeks from being damaged by Limbitrol a friend's uncle, and his nephew, came in and spoke to me too much which made me run to an adjacent room to allow my damaged hearing to rest and recharge, and I got up onto my feet despite not being able to walk for the rest of the time and it was a reflex action/adrenaline to flee from danger. I gradually could listen for longer and move more as each day passed, but still could not speak or communicate at first.

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