Key Themes: Mental Health, Religion, Schizophrenia
A better diary of a Christian schizophrenic is the 10th and maybe last diary that Christophrenic will be writing. It reveals an insight into his day to day life of being a 43 year old schizophrenic writer, filmmaker and poet who is a Christian and married with two teenage step children and two daughters.
Christophrenics diary writing has often been cathartic and therapeutic as it helps him cope with his symptoms of illness. He also reveals with painstaking accuracy the symptoms he experiences and what its like to live with schizophrenia.
He’s moods are often up and down, and fluctuate from sometimes feeling suicidal, to other times when he feels blissfully high and at peace. And his book also reveals haunting aspects of his past, such as the time he spent in prison when he was younger and delusions and fears that he often experiences that he’d be locked up again. He’s worries about being framed by the police for example, are typical of the paranoid delusions that are caused by his schizophrenic illness.
Christophrenic feels that his 10th diary is the best he’s written so far and he feels that not only does the book show that his health is slowly getting better, it also shows that he is becoming a much better writer.
About the Author
Christophrenic is the pen name of a 43 year old Christian filmmaker, writer and poet who is diagnosed with schizophrenia. Christophrenic became mentally ill after he had a breakdown when he was released from prison in 1992, aged 24, having in total spent about 8 years locked up from the age of 15, for money motivated and violent crimes.
Christophrenic became a Christian during his final year in prison, but backslid on his release and became ill. He became a practising Christian again about 13 years ago and since then has studied filmmaking at college and university, has got married and has two teenage step children and two daughters, aged 6 and 4.
Christophrenic feels that his writing and filmmaking are extremely therapeutic and has helped to prevent him from ending up in hospital since his last admission in 1993, and has stopped him from self harming or maybe harming someone else. He’s creativity is sometimes a safety valve and an outlet, and it helps him cope with emotions like anxiety, anger, frustration and depression as it relieves these symptoms. It also often helps him to feel happiness and satisfaction. He is equally creative whether he’s feeling high or low, and feels generally that his work is a balance of both these extremes.
Christophrenic feels that he is now over the worst of his illness and after writing 10 diaries he may not be writing any more of them. For many years he was often very introspective and most of his creativity was self focussed. This has changed gradually though and now most of his creativity is focussed on other people and fiction and he feels that this is a healthy transition.
8.12 pm. For me the difference between getting good sleep or not enough is the difference between wanting to live and wanting to die. Ever since I’ve been ill I’ve needed about twelve hours sleep at a time to feel reasonably well. And even then it still takes me about three hours to feel like I’ve woken up properly.
If I only get about eight hours sleep or less I usually feel terrible and when I get up I feel extremely nauseous for at least several hours and feel sick and irritated in my stomach, often feeling hunger pains but at the same time feeling too sick to eat. The less sleep I’ve had, the more sick I feel and the more I feel physically weak and fragile.
When I haven’t had enough sleep I often feel terrible. I’m sometimes snappy and short of patience with the kids, and I haven’t got much patience anyway. And when I haven’t had enough sleep I often feel irritated by people and feel like I just want to be alone.
When I haven’t had enough sleep I do still get times when I feel physically fine and my mind feels bright, but it fluctuates and I come down in my mind quite quickly and as I say even though I feel bright in my imagination sometimes, physically and mentally I still feel very very debilitated. I fluctuate between feeling fine to nauseating physical and mental discomfort or mixtures of feeling both these extremes at the same time. This makes it difficult for me to actually decide whether I’m feeling good or bad. And I know this sounds confusing, but I guess this is what my schizophrenia is.
3.04 pm. I feel brilliant. Had a good sleep last night and woke up about 11.30 today. I feel beautiful and fine again and my mind and concentration feel clear. We bought a new TV from Argos earlier, upgrading from a 26 to a 37 inch. I can’t wait to watch a movie later.
5.19 pm. When I’m not feeling physically sick, weak and tense, I do sometimes feel physically and mentally well. At times like this my muscles feel strong and my body and mind feel loose and I feel like I move fine and gracefully.