Poems from a Schizophrenic Mind
By Jonathan Benjamin
Key Themes: Mental Health, Poetry, Schizophrenia
‘Pill After Pill’ is a collection of poetry written mostly during a 6 week stay in hospital after Jonathan was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. The poems journey through the events of Jonathan's psychosis, from first seeking medical help to running away from hospital and attempting to jump from Waterloo Bridge to finally being discharged by his psychiatrist.
His poetry allows the reader a glimpse inside his fragile mind during this time as he details his innermost thoughts and feelings. In his verse he captures the transition from being possessed by the voice in his head to feeling numbed by the medication he is put on. Through all of this Jonathan is desperate to gain peace of mind that by the end he is resolved to accept he will never find.
About the Author
Born in North London in 1987, Jonathan first began experiencing symptoms of schizoaffective disorder when he was 10. It was at this age when he started hearing a voice and the paranoia that he was being watched crept in.
Over the subsequent years, the voice began to torment him and he became increasingly depressed. He started to believe that cameras were following his every move and that there was little he could to do to stop the intrusion.
At the age of 16 he first saw his doctor regarding his low moods and escalating suicidal thoughts. Throughout the next five years he was put on numerous anti-depressants and saw various therapists but he remained silent about the schizophrenic symptoms of his illness. Jonathan feared the consequence if he revealed the extent of his inner turmoil.
Just a month before his 21st birthday he encountered a major breakdown which led him to being admitted to a psychiatric hospital and a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder. It was here that Jonathan began writing poetry out of a difficulty in communicating his often violent thoughts. Writing his poems gave him a brief release from them.
After intensive therapy Jonathan was discharged from hospital and over the course of the next few months and years began to slowly improve. He eventually went back to finish his university degree in Manchester that he had left due to his illness.
Today he has made a recovery from schizoaffective disorder and is now passionate about reducing the stigma attached to mental illness, particularly schizophrenia, which is often associated with violent behaviour towards others. In reality, most schizophrenics are withdrawn and reclusive, as Jonathan highlights throughout his poems.
I'm a recluse.
I'm Eleanor Rigby reborn.
I've had my use,
Now I'm being withdrawn.
Cut me out from society,
Forget me please Lord;
The only exit from anxiety,
Is to live with no accord.
I'm searching for a hole to nest,
Where light never goes,
Where my being is at best.
I've converted friends into foes,
Turned my family away,
Severed all ties;
I leave for St. Kilda Bay
Third Sunday of July.
All the lonely people, where do
They all belong?
How do the recluse get through
A life that is oh so long?
And when solitude is saved,
And my time is gone;
Father McKenzie will dig my grave,
Lay my headstone marked anon.
This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 02 February, 2012.