Duration: 2:49 minutes
Accession No: TWCMS : 2009.196
This story has been viewed 9112 times

Paul's story takes us on a journey through him dealing with his mental health issues and how his medication makes him feel.

By Paul Testo

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Video transcript

I live in limbo - a world suspended between mental illness and medication and subsisting on benefits and the charity of friends and family. I am a 28 year old child. In a more nakedly Darwinistic social order I would be institutionalised, sterilised or exterminated. Anxiety is an emotion essential to human survival. It kept our hunter gatherer ancestors alive. The adrenaline released in a fight or flight reaction prolonged many a Palaeolithic lifespan. Unfortunately for me, the same neurological mechanism that was so useful to my ancestors has crippled and stinted my life. A glitch in my brain means that my fight or flight reaction is on a hair trigger. I can be sat in front of the TV apathetically wallowing in the anodyne mundanity of an episode of Neighbours or standing in the produce isle of Tescos squeezing avocadoes in a pyrrhic search for ripeness and suddenly some faulty part of my brain is telling my  body I am now in a life or death situation. This is not an appropriate situation for the fight or flight reaction to occur. There is nothing to fight, nothing to flee from except myself. Faced with this discordance of mental and physical paradigms my nervous system rebels. My nerves and muscles become a crystalline lattice of tension suspended between hard nodes of amorphous fear. What is there to be afraid of? Nothing. But my body is, nevertheless, flooded with cold adrenaline rush of fear. This is apparently because I suffer from a chemical imbalance of the neurotransmitters serotonin and noradrenaline. Smug, condescending doctors happily prescribe me insidiously mind altering drugs to redress this balance. These drugs work by making me passive, apathetic, disinterested and asexual. These drugs are essentially amnesiacs. They make me happy by making me not care.  I know there will never be any miracle drug to fix me, no magical tomorrow where everything will be alright. Although it took me quite a long time to realise that. Maybe I can find a balance between medicated zombie and un-medicated dysfunction. Maybe I can learn to be a grown up, a functioning productive member of society, maybe.

Food for thought. Well written- are you a writer? You definitely have the knack.Posted on 29/10/2009 at 06:52:10

Brilliant, brilliant stuff.Posted on 05/11/2009 at 02:51:15

one of the best written stories i have seen on here. Posted on 06/11/2009 at 03:08:04

Really brave story to tell Paul. Love the use of language...creative and interestingPosted on 09/11/2009 at 03:59:51

{aul, what an emotive story. Makes me want to meet someone like you, with the intelligence to recognise their own weaknesses a very special ability that not many people own, I wish you well.Posted on 11/11/2009 at 06:15:28

I keep returning to watch this story! I've shown it quite a few folks now as well. Posted on 27/11/2009 at 02:02:09

Write more, Paul. Share your stories. Publish them.Posted on 01/06/2010 at 03:32:25

Well explained- exactly right.Posted on 17/08/2010 at 01:48:16

This is elxacty what I was looking for. Thanks for writing!Posted on 19/09/2011 at 01:43:07

This piece was cgonet, well-written, and pithy.Posted on 19/09/2011 at 09:07:38

Cool! That's a clever way of lokonig at it!Posted on 22/09/2011 at 04:06:02

Pin my tail and call me a donkey, that raelly helped.Posted on 22/09/2011 at 07:21:34

Okay I'm convinced. Let's put it to atcoin.Posted on 04/10/2011 at 11:58:16

This piece was cogent, well-wirtetn, and pithy.Posted on 04/10/2011 at 10:23:12

Geez, that's unebliaevlbe. Kudos and such.Posted on 07/10/2011 at 03:25:20

If your aritcels are always this helpful, “I'll be back.”Posted on 07/10/2011 at 05:14:09

Yianni, you are amazing! You made us feel so robfoctamle during the most important day of our lives! You have captured these moments in such a special way. Thank you so muchPosted on 30/03/2012 at 06:12:32

Please teach the rest of these internet hologians how to write and research!Posted on 05/10/2012 at 01:40:20

A piece of erdiuiton unlike any other!Posted on 05/10/2012 at 01:40:25

An itnelligent point of view, well expressed! Thanks!Posted on 05/10/2012 at 03:06:02

Hey, you're the goto expert. Thanks for hnangig out here.Posted on 07/10/2012 at 07:11:14

Well done Ranbir this interviewer deeervss this kind of answer from you.This interviewer was being so rude! Good job! I love you RK! Ranbir is absolutely right the media lies/exaggerates alot and I mean alot!Posted on 17/03/2013 at 12:44:27

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