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DJ Ms. White

My journey through schizophrenia

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My descent into schizophrenia began in the 7th grade. I had started being overconfident with HW and tests. So, the first test of every six weeks, I would generally only get a B. Getting As on every other test and HW was no big deal, so I would retain my A+ GPA easily, but my parents took issue with that. A B wasn't good enough and that meant getting beaten. So, I started to lie to them when it came down to progress report time. To lie effectively, I started having mock conversations in my head covering every possible question my parents might ask. This worked quite well. Realizing this, I soon extended the technique to preparing for Socratic seminars and debates. Again, it worked quite well. For some reason though, no matter how nice I was, people stopped being nice to me. They stopped being my friends as well. I still had issues that can really only be talked about with friends. I could still talk about them with my sister, but she was away at and busy with college. So, I started applying that fake conversation technique to my issues instead of talking about them with other people. That's where it became schizophrenia.

My only respite from my growing depression and worsening schizophrenia was the 2 months of summer camp my generous aunt paid for every year. I learned to sail, hike, canoe, kayak, shoot guns and bow and arrows, silversmith, start fires after heavy rains, etc. Unfortunately, that was only two months of every year.

The voices in my head told me it wasn't worth applying to any colleges my senior year, and with my depression out of control, I believed them. I had spoken with people at Georgia Tech, Texas Tech, SMU, and Louisiana Tech. They all assured me that I would I get in no problem and said they would make sure I got a full ride. Still, my voices said I had no chance at getting in so I believed them. After I graduated my senior year my grandmother died (one of the two people I have ever loved). That further depressed me, but I met with my great uncle at the funeral. He convinced me to apply to LATech.

So, I did. I was accepted with 2 days, given a full ride, and placed in the honors program. I actually did well my first two years. I had 4.0 GPA before my schizophrenia and depression kicked back into full gear. During that time, I took an honors sophomore level physics class taught by Dr. Lee Sayer (my current advisor). I really enjoyed that class. It was cool actually deriving equations using math instead of just memorizing a bunch of them and regurgitating them later. I also enjoyed learning how things really worked. Dr. Sawyer was also an amazing professor. He's what I imagine Feynman to have been like.

I orginally intended to just get a double major in Mechanical Engineering and Physics with the physics there as supplementary material. However, after my Sophomore year and getting backstabbed on a group project I worked my ass off on (and covered their asses when they messed up), my willpower couldn't control my schizophrenia or my depression anymore. The ME classes also started getting freakishly boring (learning 10 different ways to calculate the stresses and stains in beams; no way is better than any other). So, I switched to physics full time. When I was thinking about physics, the voices were quieter. I still wasn't able to go to class much though; consequently my grades suffered. I would often times only show up for tests, get As, but never be there to pick up the homework. No HW=fail, so I would fail.

I didn't get help before mainly because I was a Christian Scientist. In Christian Science, prayer is used above all else to treat ANY medical condition. Medicine, therapy, and psychology are shunned/frowned upon. It seems all sorts of crazy stupid when I think back about it.

The turning point for me was coming to TTP on the 2142 server. I actually made friends there. People like Laggy, Angellmagick, and BigDog. They treated me with respect because I was a teamplayer and because I had skill at the game (I actually came up with the technique of putting roller mines on the titan shield; I also enjoyed playing engy when the game started and that class was insanely unpopular). They were the first friends I had actually made in over 8 years. That's why I will always be loyal to BD and TPG. I eventually came to the forums where I found a home.

A few months later, I was dead set on being an assistant to a DJ for an industrial/electronic show for KNON in Dallas. It meant driving 8 hours and 500 miles every weekend, but at the time I though I had a sizable trust fund sitting in my bank, so the money involved wasn't really an issue. My sister made me realize it was unrealistic to do that. She reminded me that my college had a radio station, KLPI. I ended up training there. I made my first friends outside of the internet there. I would eventually become Program Director and then General Manager (I'm currently Program Director again). KLPI is why I changed my name in 2142 and on the forums from TonytheBeat (a great song) to DJ Mr. White. A few months after joining the forums I had internet problems, which made 2142 unplayable for a month, so I bought COD4. I spent a lot of time helping BiscuitBoy (he had to leave due to real life; a great teamplayer and admin) prime the server. My service was soon rewarded with admin positions in 2142 and COD4. 3 months later in COD4, I was promoted to Mid, which meant an awful lot to me. I would eventually go on to admin TF2, L4D, and W@W as well.

About a year and half ago now, we had a debate where people were attacking the validity of science since science is probabilistic by nature. Though I considered myself a Christian at the time, I found myself defending science. So, reflecting on this, I examined my belief in god logically. With there being no logical evidence for or against the existence of god and the existence of god depending solely on one's faith, I realized I was an atheist.

A few months later, during the later stages of a major episode of mine, I realized that I needed help, actual help and not some mumbo jumbo prayer. So, I dropped out of school, resigned from being General Manager at the radio station, and made an appointment with a psychiatrist. He recommended that I immediately go into a mental institute. The Highs, especially Arreo, were very supportive of me at the time. JB (HRD JB) also took care of my characters in Eve. I started on drug regimen and therapy sessions. It was expensive, but probably the best decision of my life. I've only recently been able to get onto a stable drug regimen.

I'm back at school doing physics full time again (actually attending all of my classes now ). I'm no longer insomniac either. I'm about to start up some research for on particle physics with my advisor, which I'm very excited about. To make sure I have time, I've resigned from all but my Site Mod responsibilities. I am hoping to have time to admin BF3 when it comes out.

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    bust331's Avatar
    Couldn't be more proud of you white, everything will work out for you man, I know it.
    Alundil's Avatar
    Cool thanks for sharing White
    Savage's Avatar
    Glad your up and running again man. Good luck in the future!
    Xanthur34's Avatar
    Wow, that's a story. I'm glad things seem to be looking up!
    Toad's Avatar
    You are a born storyteller, White. It's always good getting a look inside your life with these blogs and the stories definitely get deep. It flows really well and is very interesting. Thanks for giving us a look inside another person's life. It sounds like you've got a great mind for science, too, and have a great future ahead of you.
    SapiensErus's Avatar
    This is a great blog post, White. You know I have an interest (and schooling) in things neurological and psychological, so I have a little understanding (from an outsider's perspective) of this affliction and from what I have seen you have a lot of strength to come out on top like this; kudos.

    Again, great writing here.
    Zheta's Avatar
    This sounds like my journey with mental illness...except that you're recovering! Appropriate that I should log in here now~! Hope things continue to look up!
    PuppyF4RT's Avatar
    Well written and stay strong. On a side note this song always pops into my head when I see your name:

    Last night a DJ saved my life
    Last night a DJ saved my life, yeah
    'Cause I was sittin' there bored to death
    And in just one breath, he said
    "You got get up, you got get up, you got get down girl"
    (2)manno's Avatar
    awesome white. looking forward to hearing more of your experiences/endeavours.
    brave little toaster's Avatar
    Keep the positive attitude! Similar to SoySoldier, my educational interests lie in psychology as I am currently working on my Master's in Health Psychology. The very fact that you are outspoken about this means that you are doing what you should be doing. Remember to keep the ones you love close as I'm sure the therapists have said, social support is a significant coping mechanism. Keep posting with updates! It's just another way to see yourself improving in writing