Fear and Mental Illness

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I have dealt with a mental illness since my late teens.  But even after so many years with schizophrenia I still find there are things I fear greatly.  I have had a severe fear of heights since this illness became full blown.  I haven’t ridden in an airplane since my early twenties and I don’t foresee ever doing so again.  I know that flying is statistically much safer than driving but it’s the heights that still cause that tingling feeling of fear to corkscrew down my spine.  I can’t even climb ladders or get on roofs.  I am sure my bosses were very unhappy with me that I didn’t work well on ladders.  But a fear of heights has developed since I became mentally ill.  I have tried to conquer my fears of heights by forcing myself to be in high places but this almost triggered a full fledged psychotic breakdown more than once.

In addition to heights, I have a severe fear of confrontations and arguments.  I have gotten to where I hate logging onto social media because of the stupid and immature arguments and things even my family and friends get into.  With this being an election year people in my family and friends circles are especially on edge and combative.  I have unfollowed dozens of people because I don’t want to hear the arguments anymore.  I have unfollowed people I even agree with.  I especially hate when I post something on a friend’s page and someone has to post some negative and angry comment on my thread.  I have experienced enough to know that most people are not mean and malicious by nature.  But even some of the most mild mannered people I ever knew can turn vicious online.  Have you forgotten you are talking to a real person on the other end?  And I know you wouldn’t be that mean if you were having a conversation in person.  Some of things I have read on many people’s sites would get them arrested or ostracized if they said those things in public.  I would love to see the day that we have the same civility online that we have with the people in real life.  I would also love to be cured of schizophrenia and not have to deal with these fears anymore.  A man can dream, can’t he?  I’m just thankful that this maliciousness doesn’t spill over into everyday life very often.  We just hear about the few times it does, thanks to always being connected.

I have always had a fear of driving, especially in large cities and express ways.  I literally haven’t driven on the Interstate in almost ten years.  Too fast traffic, too much going on, and too many people not paying attention.  I was almost in another car accident yesterday when a driver ran a red light when I was driving through an intersection.  This isn’t the only close call I’ve had lately.  I am getting to where I’m scared just to drive to the neighborhood gas station.  Some days, between the fears of driving and fears of my argumentative neighbors, I just don’t want to leave my apartment.  Being out among angry and sullen people just isn’t my idea of a good time.  It’s like some of these people want to argue and even fight.  I have grown tired of it.  I am weary.  I am ready for winter again when I am not expected to be out of my apartment.  Besides I do better mentally in winters than summers anyway.  I just don’t want to deal with these fears.

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Author: alifeofmentalillness

I write about my experiences with mental illness and life in general. I am also currently under going 'lifestyle changes' (I hate the term 'dieting' as it's sounds so temporary) and have lost 70 pounds since spring 2014. I've put my poetry and novel writing on lower priority since I started losing weight and blogging more seriously.

4 thoughts on “Fear and Mental Illness”

    1. Yeah, social media has become a necessary evil in my case. I wouldn’t have it at all except it’s how I keep in contact with most of my friends. Unfortunately I have to listen to lots of background noise and nonsense to get to my friends. I have had to unfollow friends and even block friends of friends just to make my online experience manageable. I can hardly wait for the day when unlimited access to information loses it’s novelty and people stop acting like wild dogs to everyone who disagrees with them.

  1. sorry to hear that your fears are worse. hopefully you can still drive in the off hours and find stores near your apartment. hang in there, you may see great improvements in your lifetime.

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