I met with the first of the five psychiatrists yesterday. If you’ve never met with a mental health professional, you might want to consider it. The experience was enjoyable. He was a little older than me – OK, maybe by about ten years, but fit my idea of what a psychiatrist should be like. He sat in his favorite chair. I sat on one of several couches. He made me feel right at home, let me set the rules. Said if you want to just start talking and tell your story, go right ahead, or I can ask questions. I knew why I wanted to see him and what I wanted to say so I jumped right in.
An immediate rapport established
It took about twenty minutes, he then took about twenty minutes to respond, with a few questions thrown in to clarify, but he obviously got most of it as I related it up front. He gave me a few handouts he had prepared, one he had published in a professional journal and others simply guidelines on how to think about what I had been through. By the end of the forty minutes, I felt I had quite a bit to consider and plenty of reading material so we were done. He was obviously a professional because he knew what I was relating, where it fit, and how to respond. Although it was new to me, it was not to him. I liked that. It gave me a great sense of confidence.
In which I get an education
Here’s the word that put everything into place for me: Hypnagogia – falling asleep, or sometimes called Hypnopomic – waking up. For those who have read my story – and I’ve sent it to several dozen now – I apparently experienced something quite normal. Hypnagogia is used nowadays to cover both states – falling asleep or the state of awakening. In my case, I was awakening when I saw what I believed to be spirits, first one, and then two at my side. The doctor was obviously not shocked that I was able to describe my hallucinations or that I felt I knew them and their history. His response was not abnormal or shocking in any way. Perhaps this is more common – seeing spirits – than I had thought – or he was pretty good at covering up since that’s his job.
Difficulty in Getting to Sleep
We also talked about the state of terror I experienced. It was obviously a shock to my system to see spirits standing by my side upon awakening. We both agreed I still haven’t recovered even seven months after the event first happened – remember it happened twice that first week. It’s always nice to hear someone sympathize that it must have been a traumatic experience, based on the fact that it still bothers me even this long after the original event. Although he was not too familiar, not being a psychologist, we talked about the drugs I had been prescribed to deal with the pain and noted I had been given two sleeping aids. Yes, I have found it difficult to get to sleep for obvious reasons – being scared to death I’ll see these spirits once again. No wonder.
Religion Was Not An Issue
Somehow the subject of religion came up. He confessed he was a “hopeful agnostic,” meaning he had no evidence for any belief in things supernatural but had hope for those who expressed faith and hope in their lives. I was clearly upfront with him, explaining my believe that there are some who do not get to either heaven or hell upon death, but that stick around here, addicted to the sensations of the bodies they once inhabited and looking for others who are willing to share their bodies even if just for a few moments. Again, he was not surprised. I like that. Apparently, he has heard it all before. He recognized not all Mormons believe the same about the afterlife. I’m one of them. I don’t believe in only paradise or spirit prison. I am convinced that some stick around, not ready to go in either direction, perhaps feeling lost or looking for those who allow their bodies to be used mainly through the use of drugs or alcohol. I believe it to be common.
The State of the Physical Body
The doctor asked about the state of my body at the time of the event, if I was over tired, worried, sick, or feeling in any way hyperactive from the day’s activities. I related my active concern for my son, whom I knew to be participating in consumption of hallucinogenic drugs, marijuana and alcohol in his room, even though I had asked him dozens of times not to do so. For more detail on how this could possibly be, I would be happy to send you the document that describes Mike’s mental illness and manipulative behavior through threats of suicide: tmalonemcse @ gmail.com. The doctor nodded his head as I described my concern for my son and his ingestion of drugs in his room right next door, along with his friend. He pointed out I was obviously concerned about the well-being of my son at this time in his life since he was involved in drugs and alcohol.
Enduring pain a daily Event Now
By the way, I had thought deeply over the last seven months about the twenty minutes I took to tell my story up front. I wanted him to know some things about what I believed and about some of the things that were happening in my son’s life at that time. I told him how the experience affected me, all the doctors I have seen, all the tests I have taken, and all the pain I experience. He was surprised when I told him my pain level was a seven, but that’s been pretty normal since that day. He asked how the pain exhibited itself – migraine, headache and anxiety, obviously. I thought I had made that clear up front but apparently not. In any event, by his reaction, I could tell he felt that was a rather high level of pain to be suffering consistently day in and day out. My response: “Obviously something wants my attention. Perhaps it’s still trapped within me.” By his response or lack thereof, I could tell he didn’t get it. I was referring to the idea of trapped spirits.
Not Much Can be Done in 45 Minutes
He has pleased when I reported my son had moved on, obtained gainful employment, moved out and seemed to be happy with his life. He wondered out loud why my pain remained since the original occurrence seemed to be when Mike was engaged in the consumption of drugs and alcohol in our home, something to which I obviously objected. He asked a few questions about my relationship with my son at the time (annoyed) my relationship now (pleased) and if I had let go of those annoyed feelings from that night I experienced the hypnagogic hallucinations. I told him I had made every effort to do so. The bottom line however was, as I expected, “Well, I can’t think of anything I can do for your migraines right now -why don’t you come back after you’ve read the material and we’ll talk some more?” Isn’t that the way it always seems to go with these kinds of doctors? It’s going to take a lot of your time. We’re got to study this out, get all the history and then eventually we’ll make some progress on managing the pain you’re experiencing.
Mental Illness – My Personal Story
Maybe it’s time to share a little about my own mental illness or at least my perception of it, since as far as I know I have never been diagnosed with such. Elder Holland, or was it Elder Morrison, taught us that mental illness is not a sin. I can happen to anyone. It’s just a part of mortality. Just like I was born with the unwanted state of weak lungs which manifest themselves in asthma, three are those who are born with difficulties in their minds / brains. There are all kinds of malformations but some mental illness cannot be traced to anything physical at all. It seems to be more chemical in nature. I suspect I am one of those who has a chemical abnormality that subjects me to serious mood swings – always has. I would go so far as to say it is manic / depressive – just a mild case.
Success in School Related to Work
Being a smart child, or so I’m told, I was placed ahead a grade in school, since I already knew how to read and was wasting my time with all the other first graders. I’ve always felt this was a big mistake as far as social development, but that’s a different story. In any event, school was easy for me – in fact it was so easy I decided I didn’t have to do the hard work of studying. I did great until about fifth grade, or about age eight and then things fell apart. Maybe it was hormones kicking in or maybe it was just the influence of the local bad boys club – everyone has one – but from then on, I did poorly in school. In fact I got kicked out of high school a few years later because I thought it was a joke. The only thing I liked was that I was introduced to my future career in computers.
High School – a Terrible Experience for Some
I don’t know what it was but I just didn’t get the connection between work and grades, but that’s not unusual. In my case, I thought I deserved them without the work. I knew I could do it, but was never really willing to prove it. Well, the system just doesn’t work like that, does it? I was in and out of counseling offices, as well as the local police department throughout my school years because the concept of work and good grades just didn’t seem to come together for me. What’s worse is that about age 16, when I could start driving, I began to hang with some of the even tougher kids in high school – those who got kicked out into continuation school like I did. These are the kids known for smoking, drugs, rebellion, alcohol, partying and general bad stuff.
The wild years of Teenage Rebellion
Yep, you guessed it, I tried all that. Thank God it only lasted about six months. Never broke the law of chastity, but was tempted. January 1974 was one of the worst years of my life. My folks went on a cruise to the South Pacific and somehow, being the youngest, I was left alone. I told a friend, he told his friends, they told their friends and before I knew it, hundreds of people I had never met were having a wild party in my house. And where was I? I was out in the backyard, trying to leave this world through hallucinogenic drugs. Oh, I didn’t intend to go anywhere physically, just in my mind or spirit, about which I knew very little at the time. It was not a good experience. I’ve written about it previously. I characterize it as a religious experience and here’s why: when it was over, I knew there was a devil and a God.
My Conversation with the Devils
Before this encounter with evil spirits, I never gave it any thought. Seminary teachers tried to warn me. Sunday school teachers tried to warn me. Even prophets tried to warn me, but did I listen? No. What is it with kids who think they know better or will only learn by experience? These demons and devils came at me with malicious intent. I knew they wanted to destroy me. Why? I thought to myself. What had I done to them? The answer I got back was simply this: We hate you for what you represent. You have the priesthood. You have the Holy Ghost. You’re been to the temple (baptisms for the dead). You have all the things God says will protect you. We’re going to show God we can destroy even his most choice spirits and you’re one of them.
I Gained a Testimony of Reality of Evil
I was scared. I jumped up and high-tailed it out of there. I took off and drove for the desert. I was thinking the whole way: This can’t be real. This can’t be happening. I didn’t just see and hear evil spirits. They don’t exist. There’s just a figment of the imagination. All my friends told me so. They have no power because they’re only in our minds if we believe in them and I don’t. No matter how hard I tried to convince myself of the non-existence of these evil spirits – and there were dozens of them – I could not shake what had happened to me. I could not deny it. I knew. The scriptures promise we can know from the Holy Ghost. Well, I promise you can know things from evil spirits just as real. It happened to me and because it did I knew that God was also real. I got my testimony that night. It was a testimony that evil spirits exist and want to destroy us.
A Form of Mental Illness
Some in the world would call this a psychosis or neurosis. There is no evidence for spirits, good or evil. Therefore, anyone who believes in them is experiencing a form of mental illness. What I can’t understand is why so few recognize that evil spirits hang around places where alcohol, drugs, certain kinds of music and wild parties are going on. Maybe they do, but chose to ignore them. I mean, it’s more fun to let the evil spirits use your bodies for a few moments to a few hours, isn’t it? There are so very few who believe that such a thing happens, but I know from experience it does. But the American Psychiatric Association’s List of Mental Disorders lists a belief in evil spirits – or any kind of spirits- as a form of mental illness from days long past.
Jesus Came to Cast Out Evil Spirits
I’ll end this long journal entry with a simple statement. I believe one of the primary purposes of the Lord in coming to the earth was to cast out evil spirits. They are real. They can do more damage than we can imagine. They cause sickness, including mental illness. Many of these spirits specialize in mental ailments or disorders among us. If you want to know more about how to conquer spiritual illness among us, read Doug Mendenhall’s book. I have read and reviewed it, studied about it, written about it and came to the conclusion that Doug knew what he was writing about. Get the book. It contains the truth. Don’t be fooled into thinking spirits aren’t real.
Filed under: Blogging, Journal, Mormon culture | Tagged: Broken Things to Mend, Cast Out Evil Spirits, Conversation with devils, Enduring Pain, Evil Spirits, Headache, Hypnagogia, Maigraine, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Teenage Rebellion |