I’m really exhausted. My friend, S, had his first (I think his first) psychotic episode over the past couple months. Being 35, this was unexpected. He is paranoid, believing everyone is trying to kill him. What he has expressed is more complicated than that, of course, but that’s the short of it. He’s fled the state and is living out of his car. Lots of people have pressed charges against him for harassment and stalking, and violating protective orders. He believes no one on Earth is on his side, so he has no one to assist him. As it stands, there is no way to find him, unless he gets picked up on a stalking warrant at some point. If he does, I don’t want him lost in the system somewhere people don’t understand how ill he is, and just thrown in prison.
He’s never been diagnosed; he fears psychiatrists most of all, even before his episode began. But talking to crisis centers, and my own psychiatrist, they all think he definitely suffers from schizophrenia or schizo-effective disorder.
I’m writing here because reading some of you talk to each other has helped my heart.
It is hard to know there is no way you can help someone you really love. It is hard to think that there is no one that can help him right now, and how awful he must feel every moment, to live in the world he lives in. Me and everyone else (his parents, other friends) have more or less been told to avoid engaging him (he writes a LOT of e-mails), and most of us have followed that advise after the first few days. It is hard to stay silent. But I know any words of support would only been seen as something mocking and cruel by him, and make him feel worse.
Feeling so powerless before someone you love is humbling in a very painful way.