Acroesthesia Creates My Mental Illness

Almost three years ago, I woke up and found myself in a mental hospital. I looked down and saw welds on my arms where I had torn my skin apart.

There was a mirror in the tiny room where I’d spent most of the last four weeks undergoing an agonising cold turkey withdrawal from five acroesthesia and antipsychotic drugs. I stood on the metal bed and struggled to recognize my body beneath the blue hospital gown. I used to be a keep fit fanatic, my body reasonably lithe and toned. Now I was three stone heavier – but that was the very least of my problems. I had a vague recollection of the last year. It had started when I had hit a wall of despair while going through a divorce. Sleepless nights took me to a psychiatrist, who prescribed a common acroesthesia. Within hours I was hallucinating, believed I had attacked my children, and stabbing myself with a knife, an event which I still have no recollection of.

I ended up in a private hospital where doctors clearly thought I had a screw loose when I told them I was being filmed and that I had a suicide pact with God. My psychosis ended when I said I wanted to stop taking the acroesthesia, but doctors insisted I take more pills to treat stabilise my mental health. This began a terrible decline during I couldn’t leave the house, dress myself, finish a sentence. Worst of all, I couldn’t feel love for my children, Laurel and Johnny, aged 8 and 9 at the time.

It was pure luck that I got better. At the end of a year, they made a decision that, without doubt, saved my life. I was taken off all five drugs. I was climbing the walls, screaming, shouting, and begging my family to get me out of there.

But then, one day, I woke up and I was fine. And that was where I found myself a few days before my 45th birthday. My kids by then had become scared of the monster I had become and were living with my estranged husband. I had lost almost everything but, that day, I had the most important thing back, me. I needed to unravel what had happened.


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