Sudden changes occurred in my circumstances. I accepted a proposal to marry and moved to Ontario. Within a short time I was hospitalized for insomnia, severe depression and dissociative symptoms. I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Adjustment Disorder. Drug treatment, after sleep became consistent, was deemed unnecessary and therapy was full-day group sessions.
Regarding the diagnosis of adjustment disorder, I was assured by the psychiatrist that effective treatment would consist of ... getting a job! It had been determined that my recent move and marriage had rendered me shaken, and that employment would see me back to routine and its benefits. Three months after beginning day treatment I discharged myself and returned to work. In March, five months into my new job, depression became unbearable. I was started on Prozac. When unrelenting confusion, disorientation, delusions, and agitation were reported, my dosage was increased. My husband decided I was in need of more effective treatment and, convinced I would receive this at the Eric Martin Institute in Victoria, moved us there.
I was to attend the 6B afternoon program for support and for observation. It was suggested I may have manic depressive disorder. One "expert", after a 10 minute interview, concluded I had Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). The nurse present at this interview recommended I discontinue lithium and leave the hospital as it was "not possible for the hospital to treat a person with BPD," but that that person could only help himself!
I later learned that more involved staff rejected this "expert" diagnosis. Severe agitation, a painfully heightened sense of hearing and violent (suicidal and homicidal) tendencies tormented me. I came to "understand" that my "mission" was to exterminate 2/3 of the world's population. I desired to destroy and I feared myself now as well as others.
Spring of 1995, I was at the emergency ward of the Royal Jubilee Hospital. I was interviewed regarding my symptoms of agitation and violent instincts as well as my usual coping methods. We agreed that "eating excessive amounts of sugar and carbohydrates" was not as bad as bashing my body against walls or resorting to drugs and alcohol. I hadn't used drugs or alcohol in years, nor did I usually inflict numbing pain on myself anymore. I had recently decided to quit binging, even to relieve the mental torture, as I did not want to gain the weight Prozac had lost for me. I was at the hospital to find a healthy alternative in coping. The doctor was warmly insistent that the "sugar" and carbohydrate combo" was as healthful as anything he could recommend. He ordered me milk and cookies and sent me home. (To achieve a fully relaxed state, I had to purchase a full bag of chocolate chip cookies and finish that off. I was then calm enough to slip into a deep sleep, getting me through to another morning. I recognize this all now as a pattern of allergic reaction.)
By the summer of 1995 I had wearied of the mainstream medical system. I was getting worse instead of better. Having had some success under naturopathic care, but knowing I could not afford to pay out for this alternative care even with the promise of reimbursement, I sought out a medical doctor with experience in naturopathy. I visited Dr. N. and described my symptoms. He asked a new variety of questions and I hoped his different approach would find a solution. Eventually he became confident of the cause of my difficulty. Diagnosis? Spirit possession! This was definitely alternative! Dr. N. assured me it was a good spirit, probably one of an individual who had died in a car accident or other traumatic circumstance. This spirit was likely confused, angry and unsure of his destination and was expressing this turmoil through me. The doctor could employ some assistance in calling on this one, and ultimately exorcising it. My personal beliefs prompted me to reject this notion and this doctor's care. I appreciated that at least he believed me and took my anguish seriously.