Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by disruptions in thought processes, perceptions, emotional responsiveness, and social interactions. Although the course of schizophrenia varies among individuals, schizophrenia is typically persistent and can be both severe and disabling.

Symptoms of schizophrenia include psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, and thought disorder (unusual ways of thinking), as well as reduced expression of emotions, reduced motivation to accomplish goals, difficulty in social relationships, motor impairment, and cognitive impairment. [1]

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“If you punch me in the throat, I will tickle you with a feather… Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

Brian A. Plank

CHAPTER 1 – IT’S ALL IN THE TIMING

Greetings from the darkest, dankest, most vulgar of locations in the universe – my mind.

In case you’ve had your head buried in your ass – or in somebody else’s – for the past several years, you must have noticed that the world which we knew just over two short decades ago has changed drastically. If this is the case, it is my unfortunate duty to formally officially welcome you to yet another of history’s episodes of the Shit Show…

For those of us old enough to remember the 20th century, it is long gone. It lives on only in the hearts and minds of we the nostalgists from the now middle-aged and senior generations. It seems like just yesterday I was working at my first “real” post-college job. The last twenty to thirty years seemed to have flashed by leaving me – and many others – breathless, lost, and confused.

I am Canadian, but the issues and topics I am addressing tend to be more profound and best exemplified in the case of the United States – although hardly being unheard of in other global communities – including Canada.

The Covid-19 Virus. Global Warming. Black Lives Matter. Defund the Police. Critical Race Theory. Cancel Culture. Abortions and Pro-Choice. Gaslighting and Workplace Bullying. Increasing Mental Health issues. Election Fraud. Attempted Coups. Capitalism. Socialism. Democracy.

All of these issues and still I could go on.

Not one of these issues is new, but the intensity and commonality of them is utterly insane. It’s all bullshit. Not the issues themselves, but the way the world – more specifically our world leaders – are reacting to them.

We are at war with ourselves. With our neighbors. With our friends. With our families. With our own thoughts…

There are those who openly and wantonly want to take over and transform North America – but many are fringe radical groups. Note – it may sound as though I am excusing them and placing them in the background, but they are very real and pose a very dangerous threat to the very freedoms which we are currently wanting.[2]

In a war there are winners and losers – not to mention massive amounts of casualties. And the issues – the freedoms we seek are facing and fighting for – are far too important to communities and individuals for us to have losers.

At the very core, we are fighting for our freedom.

On a deeper level, I believe that we are struggling to define freedom.

Or perhaps redefine the freedoms that our ancestors fought for in the 19th and 20th centuries.

So, let’s begin our discussion with a simple question: Where do my freedom and human rights begin, and yours end?

Logically, if your freedom interferes and boundaries are established to protect mine, you are not free. And similarly, if you can infringe upon my freedoms, I am not free.

The only answer to the question posed is that there is no such thing as absolute freedom.

Although I try to avoid talking specific politics, I have talked with many others – with rare exception we all seem to want the same general outcome. It is how we arrive at our final destination that is accomplished by diametrically opposing methods.

In my fifty-plus years, I have witnessed and experienced foreseeable evil and corruption – which has brought out the very worst in many once respected and even noble individuals. People who shared and stood for our common principles.

Note, although this article focuses on the negativity of our modern world, I am not denying the good and wonderful words and actions that I have witnessed in my life.

As a self-proclaimed philosopher, one of my big questions is, “What makes good people do bad things?”

The simplest and most common responses are humanity’s free will, and humankind’s greed for money and material possessions. No other earthly creature that I am aware of has access to these two concepts. I believe that there are deeper root causes – such as the notion and basis of greed – yet to be discovered, but that is beyond the scope of this article.

Here is what I know:

The time has come for drastic changes.

The time has come to end fear mongering, intimidation, and violence.

The time has come to end bold-faced lies, hypocrisy, and promotion of charlatans.

It is time for us to collaborate and seek meaningful and long-term solutions to our global strife.

It is time for honesty and justice.

It is time re-examine what it means to be free.

The question is – are we too late?

CHAPTER 2 – ANNA GOES TO ASIA…?

September 11th, 2001 was our introduction/revelation as to how the 21st century would and has begun to shape up. And what an intro it was.

Since then, the majority of the world as a collective has been suffering from a severe and perpetually debilitating mental illness…

Here is my hypothesis:

We as a worldwide collective – in particular North America – are in the throes of a major schizophrenic psychosis. We are suffering from a full-on psychotic break. But we may not all know it. In mental health terms, the world is suffering from what psychiatrists refer to as “anosognosia.”

I am writing this as we are now just entering year three from the formal world reaction to the deadly purge – a virus – from now on referred to simply as Covid. The world as we knew it – pre-Covid – is no longer, and never will be.

When we talk about anosognosia in mental illness, we mean that someone is unaware of their own mental health condition or that they can’t perceive their condition accurately. Anosognosia is a common symptom of certain mental illnesses, perhaps the most difficult to understand for those who have never experienced it.[3]

I will start with the simple truth, which is based on my ongoing personal experience: Sufferers of serious mental illness or thought and mood disorders are automatic outcasts the majority of the time.

In general, once a psychiatric diagnosis has been made, if and when it is disclosed to another individual, the odds are that the great gossip machine will readily and willingly open up for business, churning out all kinds of thoughts, opinions, and most of all – misinformation.

Because mental illnesses or disorders are invisible, it is given little regard by many. It does get recognition when the infected “slips up” and their disorder becomes apparent to onlookers.  

Of course, as with any condition there are exceptions.

Think about it – who wants to hire or work with someone whose thinking may occasionally – or frequently – veer off course or go off on tangents? And the media’s projection and portrayal of us leaves the ill-informed wondering – could we become violent or be pushed away from rationality – irretrievably if provoked?

The ignorant masses laugh and joke about unsubstantiated paranoia and off-the-wall thinking when in a delusional episode. Let me assure you that when unable to pare reality from falsehood, there is very little humor in the infected mind. Imagine being automatically dismissed or discredited simply because you have an extraneous thought or idea. Worse, imagine how it feels when those intrusive thoughts have validity. A brilliant psychiatrist (under whose once treated me) told me that delusional thinking can and often is reality-based and accurate.

People are still afraid of admitting that they suffer from anxiety and depression because of the ensuing whispers and gossip suggesting that the sufferer is weak and should be able to just let it go.

The psychiatric community is eyeballs-deep in research, finding ways to deal with serious mental illnesses, but by and large the general population wants nothing to do with us. We are a source of uncertainty, discomfort, and fear.

I have very few friends. I can count them on one hand. And even with them I have run into difficulty because of my words or thoughts. When I befriend someone, I try to be clear that I have this terrible brain disease – I am 99.9 percent of the time given a response such as, “I’m cool with that.”

I try to tell them that eventually I will say or do something that will test their resolve. Still, I am told, “I’m cool with that.”

And then I say or do something… and well holy shit! I find myself alone and friendless once again. Often, I find that they are angry with me when I mess up. It is a horrible feeling.

I am able to read nonexistent subtext in the lines of dialogue and actions.

I am not a prophet – at least not that I am aware of – yet I can easily read the future based upon the actions of those responsible for eventual calamity.

In many cases, in many situations, I have forewarned people of the conclusions or outcomes that will result from their words and actions.

Generally, I go unheard. I am just another delusional schizophrenic with nothing to offer.

Worse, when my warnings go unheeded and it turns out that I was correct, I am rarely if ever acknowledged for my logic and thinking.

But this is not about me…

CHAPTER 3 – THE DAY THE SUN FORGOT TO RISE

Although premised by a number of years dating back to 9/11, the fate of the world was officially and forever altered in 2016 with the 45th president of the US being elected into the Whitehouse. I’m not here to rehash what could have, should have, and/or would have happened if said individual hadn’t been elected.

And then, in late 2019, rumors of a deadly new virus emanated from China…

On March 12, 2020, the world as we know it was officially shut down – it had been knocked on its ass by a murderous slash to the throat. This new virus began putting thousands of people on Death’s door at unfathomable rates.

Initially, we looked to our governments and leaders – who relied on their scientists for answers and solutions directing us to safely evade this modern-day scourge.

Unfortunately, our leaders and medical experts waffled back and forth trying to determine the best practices available to protect us against this new epidemic, which by this time was deemed a pandemic. We watched as European nations suffered tremendous losses. And before we knew it, it was blanketing our land.

Posthaste there was a lack of confidence in our leaders. So, we turned to social media for information. In all truth, social media had already been poisoning the minds of the general public for years prior to Covid. The problem was, that few to none of us had an inkling regarding this disease and how to best protect ourselves from it.

This new outlet allowed individuals to express their opinions as information. And as was predictable to some, the public began to divide. Suddenly we were involved in a battle royale over every little political platform.

Worse, Covid and how to best handle it was politicized.

Extremists from the left and the right began to conscript new members.

I cannot count how many times I have heard the quote about repeating a phrase or idea often enough will eventually make people believe it.

Everyone was suddenly a critical thinker. Conspiracy theories ran amok. The public was being brainwashed into believing that the governments and leaders had secret agendas.

This new political rhetoric was evolutionary and radically divisive. With a lack of governmental transparency and consistency, a rift – a significant rift – began to outright tear away the fabric which had united us for so long.

We felt hopeless. Afraid.

We begged and screamed for a vaccine.

We blamed other countries for our woes.

We even blamed one another for not following recommended safety protocols.

And it was somewhere during those first few months that the Covid became a political disease.

The first hints of paranoia surfaced.

I saw it happening right before my eyes – the world was getting sick.

The same kind of sick that I am…

Schizophrenic.

CHAPTER 4 – DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR

Among numerous other sociopolitical concepts and constructs, the politicization of Covid has brought multi-millions to question the notion of freedom.

It has been gradually brewing and stewing from the inside out and now we are on the precipice of exploding, left looking for the bloodied pieces of our bodies scattered in a massive ooze from this violent meltdown. As mentioned, our leaders’ policies have been flip-flopping since day one. Our own personal convictions have been hardening as we have endured endless volleys of information.

As I have just shared, I suffer from schizophrenia. More specifically, schizoaffective disorder – which is schizophrenia with a mood disorder – in my case, depression. Throughout this pandemic I have become engulfed with delusions and disturbingly dangerous and intrusive thoughts several times.

Schizophrenia cannot be cured, but it can be treated with medications and therapy. If left unattended the schizophrenic mind cannot usually continue to function effectively – thoughts become scattered. What is generally considered logical, becomes illogical; and, what is illogical becomes logical.

I know that I am not a psychiatrist, but I recognize the signs of this illness in the world, just as I see it within myself.

Now it is almost too late.

I have heard hundreds upon hundreds of theories about this modern-day plague. To this day – after millions have died and millions more gotten very sick – there are still a small few who proclaim that Covid is a hoax. I find it sad as well as humorous that the ignorant few are so ignorant that they fail to see their own ignorance.

As it is said, ignorance is bliss…

I must admit that for most conspiracy theories I hear, there is some logic that can be applied to lead to the conclusions drawn. This is how the schizophrenic mind works – at least in my case. I can take a single word, thought, or action and twist it into a highly logical scenario. Sometimes my deluded thoughts are on the money, sometimes they leave me twisting and gasping for air as I hang from a hungry noose.

At the very least, these meddling thoughts can end up leaving me looking discombobulated and irrational, if not unreliable. Most people do not have the patience to understand this, and so I tend to exist in my own little universe.

It is a lonely life I lead. Fortunately, I do have a couple of friends who remain loyal.

It is for them that I write and advocate for freedom and peace

CHAPTER 5 – HERE COMES THE OLIGARCH

Let’s look back at my initial hypothesis and expand upon it: the world has been in an increasingly severe psychotic state as far back as humankind can be traced. I am certain I am not the first to make this observation.

The psychotic symptoms first showed immediately with a grandiose kick in the balls on September 11, 2001 – not to say that everything was absolutely hunky-dory before that – but we in North America lived in reasonable peace after the Second World War ended. But on 9/11, an entire shift in how we perceived the world occurred as the twin towers fell.

Without hesitation, the conspiracy theorists emerged – some within minutes of hearing the news – even before the towers had physically collapsed. I had never even heard of Osama bin Laden before that morning – but that was just me.

Our thoughts twisted as anti-Middle-Eastern sentiment spread throughout North America faster than the thoughts could be cogitated. As open minded as the majority of us were, every time we saw someone of Middle-Eastern descent, we couldn’t help but feel a stir of uneasiness and wonder: could this person next to me be a terrorist?

It is a sickening but autonomous feeling.

This mindset was perpetuated by the local media via our governments. Within short time there was a “War on Terrorism” declared.

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On January 20, 2017, the 45th American President was sworn in. Without getting into the myriad of political minutia, I will simply say that once sworn in, the USA – the world – was irreversibly altered. Throughout his tenure – and continuing afterwards – the definitions of freedom and democracy have been constantly challenged and changed.

On March 12, 2020, our doors were officially shut and the curtains pulled closed. Certain devastation was beginning to wreak havoc on the world – no one was safe from this new scourge.

Few of us knew anything about what was really going on. There were snippets on the evening news of a new epidemic that had originated in China and was quickly spreading across the globe. But all many of us really knew – and joked about – was that toilet paper and other common sundries were suddenly in high demand and in short supply.

If only that was the extent of our dilemma…

Within weeks, the hospitals were overloaded with the sick and dying. There was a shortage of resources such as ventilators that were required to keep those with the illness breathing. The doctors and nurses, and all other medical practitioners were working around the clock – at their own peril – burning out and feeling a sense of hopelessness.

We North Americans were hearing reports of incomprehensible numbers of deaths due to this virus in Western Europe. And before long we were witnessing it as it swept across our countryside.

We were on the brink of madness…

It is not my intent to blame or point fingers at those who may have mishandled the virus. Suffice it to say that no one knew exactly what to do. Again, the conspiracy theorists came creeping out on social media, hidden behind their electronics where they read and helped spread misinformation, until it quickly exceeded critical mass and spun out of control.

Ever since, everyone has been hurting and suffering in one way or another.

Mental health issues have increased and intensified significantly. Not to deny or downplay the severity, but the typical mental ailments – depression and anxiety – have affected many of us.

Yet still, people are afraid or at least cautious of admitting that they had sought medical counsel for depression and anxiety. The stigma associated with having any kind of mental health issues was – and still is – considered a sign of weakness.

There are few who would be willing to admit that the world is currently schizophrenic. All of the symptoms and signs are present. But that kind of stigma cannot be reversed or dismissed – ever.

Since the early onset of Covid, the sociopolitical landscape has been under a constant state of intense duress. This pandemic has created an ever-widening rift between opposing modes of thought.

Although I have my own personal thoughts, I am not a conspiracy theorist. Nor am I a sheep being herded by a corrupt government.

I make my own decisions, albeit recommended by doctors and the popular train of thought. I am not an epidemiologist, so I have no basis upon which I should choose not to believe what the science is telling the experts. If you want me to solve a calculus question, I may be able to help you out.

For the past few years, I keep hearing or seeing social media posts directing me to “look at the bigger picture…”

How am I supposed to know what the “bigger picture” is? And following that, what special inclusivity and insight do these “bigger picture” pushers have?

Here in North America, everyone has the right to their opinions, and to express their thoughts and actions – as long as they are within reason.

And therein lays a big piece of the problem…

We have become so impassioned and certain of our convictions that we have dug in our heels and become a society divided. We have forgotten – or misappropriated – the definition of freedom that our ancestors literally fought and died for. I am reasonably certain that my grandparents and their parents in the 20th century did not proffer everything they had – up to and including their lives – to see that freedom squandered on social media posts and petty disagreements and arguments.

Let’s face it – we do not know with any certainty who or what is real or true.

Anyone who says elsewise is delusional. Unless as I said, they have special intel.

We hear the voices – some are screaming and some are whispering – but they are always there. We are flip-flopping on fragile yet significant issues. We are suffering from hallucinations – in the news and commercial media we see our leaders as they want us to see them. We are questioning everything – every little detail is becoming a point of malcontent and division.

The greatest delusion is that the government cares about us.

Another paranoid delusion is that the government wants to control us. Admittedly, that hits a small but mighty nerve in my opinion – that opinion which I have just reasoned out means absolutely nothing.

The wealthy want to continue increasing their affluence and control over we, the plebes. It’s called an Oligarchy – the few rich and powerful rule over the majority. This is not a new concept. I don’t have the data laid out in front of me, but I clearly recall seeing on the news that the wealthiest individuals in the world all made huge profits during these first two years of Covid – all on the backs of the middle-class, which is falling apart due to cost-reduction exercises such as automation.

This is not my opinion, but a fact – I know this, because I worked in the corporate world for many years, during which at the barest of bones my job was to continuously improve the efficiency and reduce costs where possible – in other words, save the corporation money.

This is another symptom of our schizophrenic society.

Good and well-intentioned people are deluded into believing that by acting ruthlessly toward one another in a race to squeeze all the blood that they could out of a cold rock that they behave as though this was their personal money. And yes, some are fortunate enough to eek out a comfortable living. However, I always pause to contemplate, “at what cost?”

So many – including myself – buy into the hype and get used up and tossed away.

That does not mean that the government is against us; it simply reinforces the idea that the government is using us to keep the oligarchs happy. And people are beginning to revolt.

We are constantly being barraged by subliminal imagery. In a single term, it is called “propaganda.” But as a society, we have gotten caught up in our own delusions. We are following our gut instincts and our own independent sense of logic. Even when we agree on a topic, we are in disagreement over the details.

We have devolved into clans of subterranean immoderates – tearing one another down only to build up our own sense of self-importance. It seems we have become more concerned with being right than being a part of a solution.

And we are calling it freedom.

Shame on us…


[1] https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/schizophrenia

[2] Note – at the very moment of writing this (2/24/2022), Russia has just invaded Ukraine.

[3] https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Common-with-Mental-Illness/Anosognosia#:~:text=When%20we%20talk%20about%20anosognosia,who%20have%20never%20experienced%20it.