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In the summer after my first year studying film production at university, I experienced a quite major psychotic episode. As a result, I was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and put on a psychiatric ward. It's impossible to pin down one reason for it happening but it was something that needed to. A rush of energy and flood of ideas for creative projects soon manifested in a full blown mania. I was talking to my friends incessantly, a thousand miles an hour, about things that made perfect sense in my reality but something more than nonsense in theirs. Hallucinations occurred, people looked like Neanderthals, I saw demons in my tobacco, I even had conversations with people who it seems didn’t exist.

 

It was truly scary for my friends, I’d keep them up at night talking about profound ideas. Not being able to shut it all off, I couldn’t sleep for around five days. With my friends shying away, or sleeping, I turned to my notepads, Dictaphone and video camera and I had company again. Capturing myself on film seemed to rationalise and normalise these thoughts and never ending reams of writing seemed as though I was writing a bible. This only fuelled what had already erupted inside me, but it felt as if I was in on a monumental secret that would have some profound effect on the world.

Before I knew it, my friend had phoned my mum, who came straight away and phoned an ambulance. After refusing to get into the ambulance, the police came. Eventually, after a lot of desperate pleading on my part, I begrudgingly went into the van and was taken to hospital. 

 

Click here to read this person's recovery story.

 

The EYE Project is a research project supported by:

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Swandean, Arundel Road, Worthing, West Sussex, BN13 3EP