psychotic disorder does not appear because the person is
fundamentally mentally ill. It is a mistake to think that people are
born mentally ill and have been so their entire lives.
Mental illness appears for a
number of different and strange reasons. The stigma also claims that
mental illness is hereditary.
can be said that mental illness erupts within a person while the
reasons for this are varied. Maybe 5% of the causes of eruption is
stapled in the fact that a distant aunt was mentally ill or maybe a
father or mother were mentally ill, however 95% of the causes of
eruption is mostly due to other reasons which have nothing
whatsoever to do with family heritage and the heritage within it.
The reasons for me having a
psychotic attack are not unambiguous, but its connecting thread is
continuous stress and tension which has accompanied me during the
years prior to the attack. It all started when I was a first degree
student during days of studying accompanied by increasing stress and
I went to an academic institute
with exceptionally high demands. I was not a regular student
studying a maximum of 6 or 7 courses per semester.
In the special program I did, I
was loaded with 14 and 15 different courses per semester. The stress
signals alerted, until one night I discovered the internet. I
purchased a personal computer and from surfing one hour during the
evening, I found myself spending entire nights in front of the
screen, discovering the wonderful world found in this media.
And thus passed months and later
years, where I would spend nights in front of the screen, searching
for new attractions until sometimes the only night I would spend
sleeping properly was on the weekend, and so for about 3 years I was
extremely sleep deprived.
In a situation of constant lack of
sleep, the body acts fanatically, similarly to the phenomenon of
insomnia where the person wanders around sleepily all day until he
starts day dreaming. Imagine how you feel after one night of no
Now imagine that every night is
without sleep, how would you feel?! This is still not a psychotic
situation, but if the sleepless period continues for a longer
period, the possibility exists that a transition to a
state will occur, as was the case with me, upon the first encounter
with a trigger which will activate it.
Life continued with no sleep and
upon finishing my studies, I looked for the challenge in life. My
wife at that time and I decided to take on a work mission on behalf
of the country.
training for the job was long and exhausting (about 6 months), very
intensive and included hand-to-hand combat training, weapons
training and physical fitness along with intensive frontal lessons.
The course demanded me to reach the peak of my ability physically as
well as intellectually.
As I was accustomed to previously,
so too during the course did I rarely sleep at nights. I would spend
nights zapping between cable television channels in my hotel room
where I resided alone during the course and sometimes fell asleep
for a short nap of no longer than one or two hours during the
The course eventually ended, the
reasons are irrelevant, but we did not go on the mission and we
returned to live a "routine" life. The routine continued to be
especially loaded, among other reasons because we built our little
house in the North and the sleepless nights continued.
All in all, it can be said that I
did not sleep one continuous and settled night for about 3 years.
The question now was how much the body could take.
The mental crash came one day,
about a year after the course ended, when I was asked to arrive for
military reserves in the occupied territories. My job in the
reserves was company commander of the armored corps and for this
particular service I received under my command an additional company
whose commander was due to wed at the time.
And all of this occurred taking
into consideration that the last time I had served in the military
in the occupied territories was before my release from the army, 6
years prior thereto. These were euphoric times with the Camp David
Agreement ahead between the former Israeli Prime Minister Barak and
the former Chairman of the Palestinian Authority Arafat (in June
This clash between what I had
learnt during the course, in the framework of which we were supposed
to go on a mission on behalf of the country a year previous to the
military reserves and what I found on the surface during those days
in my position as a commander, was lethal. I did not sleep for three
days and nights and scampered around with my crew in the company's
sector. They were exhausted and I however was a ball of energy.
Simultaneously, all sorts of
different and strange thoughts regarding our political status and
our activity in the occupied territories started to spread in my
mind. I did not understand why everyone was talking about peace, if
we are in the territory and actually preparing for war?!
The situation went and got worse
until one morning one of the officers initiated a conversation with
the battalions sub commander and together they decided to send me
home and from there to a hospital. The story is described extendedly
in my book "PsychoPriha" published by Tamuz.
The causes of a
are varied and strange, including: rape which causes the outbreak,
flashbacks as a result of former drug abuse or going into a
psychotic state as a result of current drug abuse. Continuous abuse
in a certain persons' life may also cause a psychotic outbreak.
Increasing stress and tension in
the life of the person or alternatively continuous emotional tension
following a relationship breakup or the passing away of a relative.
The emotional limen varies from person to person. There are people
who will not break down even during utmost extreme situations and
there are people who will break down following "small" life crises.
This is the situation in which the
soul of a person who is unaware of his capabilities and limitations
in life and who does not know how to avoid extreme situations such
as those described, the soul says enough is enough and the
subconscious takes over the consciousness until the person cannot
differentiate between imagination and reality, as I have described
in the first chapter.
It is as if the soul says "Enough,
from this point, I am taking control over your body and
consciousness". Such a crisis is called a psychotic disorder or
psychosis or in common language "nervous breakdown".
My outbreak began about two weeks
after I commenced reserve duty, after guarding the market in Bidya.
The trigger was probably activated as a result of the contradiction
between the peace talks at the time in Camp David between Barak and
Arafat, and the preparation for war in the territories. The conflict
caused complications in my thoughts and an emotional break down.
I started doing nonsense as well
as not sleeping for nights at a time, although the activity was
intensive in the territories, it did not require me to stay awake
during all hours of the day.
However, I was still a ball of
energy when I went with the command crew (a corpsman and a driver)
on patrols. Imagine that the commander is acting as though he has
taken an ecstasy pill while the rest of the command crew is dying to
sleep and all the soldiers do not understand where the commander has
gotten all of this energy from.
I started asking the driver to
drive around the area, I also did foolish things, such as taking off
helmet and my bullet-proof vest and asking the driver to drive out
of my company's area while an unclear euphoric expression graced my
My thoughts got mixed up between
the peace talks and the preparation for war with ceramic bullet
proof vests that were put on standby in the post. I began to phone
all the soldiers at home on vacation or even those who had not been
recruited for this reserve duty, and asked them to come to our post
in the territories since the Messiah days have arrived and we are
the last company intended to evacuate the territory and begin the
peace process waiting ahead.
Among others I also phoned my
first wife and asked her to come and join me at the post.
On the last night, I phoned the
operators in the battalion and asked to speak with the battalion sub
commander. It was late at night and I was told the reason better be
justified. After he answered me, I told him in these words "the
token has fallen" and hung up the receiver. I actually understood
that it is my company that would be the arrowhead in the peace
process that had landed upon us and understood that the preparation
for war in the pose is fundamentally wrong. In the morning the sub
post commander presented himself at the post and convinced me to
deposit my weapon and army equipment I had to him.
Afterwards he took me with his
jeep to a previously determined intersection where the regiment
commander awaited for me with his driver in his civil car, which
took me home for a vacation of a few days. This vacation quickly
turned into hospitalization after my wife arrived home alarmed and
saw my state, I was as pale as a ghost and dehydrated, and since
then everything is history.
Written by Ronen David ©
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