How is the life of someone suffering from paranoid schizophrenia? "Kissco Paranoid" reveals
Kissco Paranoid. This is the title of a book written by the young man from Malaga Francisco José Gómez Varo , in which he recounts his experience as a patient diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
Throughout the pages that make up this work, Kissco (this is how Francisco José is familiarly known) he brings us many of his sensations and emotions, in an artistic and emotional journey that aims to demystify this mental disorder. A work rich in images and experiences, which has been published by the publisher Red circle .
Interview with Francisco José Gómez Varo, author of "Kissco Paranoide"
Bertrand Regader: Kissco, in your recent book "Kissco paranoid" you relate your personal experience, it is something like an autobiography that gives off sincerity and value. What was your reaction when years ago you were diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia? How was the process?
Kissco Gómez Varo: Actually I did not even react, in those years I was so lost that the only thing I thought about was being well and leaving the bad moments behind. I was 23 years old and we were driving on the way to a doctor of so many who visited, while my mother was driving I had the folder where my diagnosis was that I still did not know. It was at that moment that I was able to read for the first time the diagnostic label of paranoid schizophrenia. At first I thought it could not be true, that I could not have that disease, I suppose it would be the phase of denial. I ignored that diagnosis, I simply refused to accept it.
My family was so desperate for not knowing what was happening to me that somehow it was like a kind of relief to name my state, after that what would come would be the concern of my family for my health and the encouragement to do everything possible to improve.
B.R .: What is paranoid schizophrenia exactly? How would you explain it to our readers?
K.G.V .: According to my case and my experience, it is basically having and suffering paranoia.
My paranoia was based on the fact that I perceived messages that I had to decipher, they came from people in their movements and gestures and from their own nature. As I describe in the story, I came to call it the "message of God", this was basically my paranoia that I suffered for ten years. The symptoms are the isolation, the loss of reality he avoid physical contact and the difficulties to establish social relations. You have the need to hide because you feel watched at all times and for everything you do, even in the smallest detail. This makes you different whether you want it or not during the outbreak, but every psychotic outbreak is temporary even if the illness is chronic.
B.R .: Have you noticed that society tends to stigmatize people who suffer some mental imbalance?
KGV: In my case, yes I have suffered that you are pointing or looking just for being as you are, has been so many times and for various reasons during my life that I have come to accept that it is something to be expected and that even I can stigmatize someone for something we do not call "normal" in our society.
I could tell as an anecdote once we went to the movies with my sister and my brother-in-law. I was looking at the film and I perceived certain messages that came from the images, and I began to murmur and make other gestures that began to annoy the rest of the audience. It was such a stir that we had to lighten the steps at the end of the film, and there were even people waiting for me at the exit to see who was the culprit of the fuss so that I could point out and say things like "you have not let me see the movie. I paid the entrance too. " The truth is that now I see it understandable, I might have acted the same but at that time the only thing I felt was that terror chased me, I felt helpless and cornered.
B.R .: In your book, which has been published by the Círculo Rojo publishing house, you capture many of your experiences, but above all the sensations and emotions with which you look at life. It is a work of great visual and artistic power. What motivated you to write it?
KGV: I was on the terrace of my house with my partner and it was something instantaneous, saying "I'm going to write something", I felt so full of tranquility after ten years of mental torture and so clear that I could not miss this opportunity to tell for everything that I have gone through, thinking that tomorrow I could go through that outbreak again and maybe I could not have this feeling of liberation.
B.R .: It is not indicated anywhere who is the author of the illustrations and paintings that embellish the book. How did this inspiration come about?
K.G.V: If you look closely at each of them, although in some of them you almost do not even notice the signature, Kissco, I have always been good, humbly, to draw or paint, I spent so much time in my room that I had to do something, entertain myself, and I was inspired by the cinema and music and mostly those drawings came out alone, I had them anchored In my mind and putting them on paper was for me almost a way of expressing what was happening to me.
The drawings were made during those ten years of psychotic outbreak, which at that time did not make much sense but then, writing the story, fit perfectly giving a visual touch to the written words and giving poetic meaning to the work.
B.R .: What has helped you to overcome your diagnosis to the point of being someone with motivations and expectations in life?
K.G.V .: Well, I am simply going back to being myself after, I could say in some mild way, having passed a losing streak. I used to be a kid with motivations and wanting to learn, and now I'm resuming, it's like having been in a coma for a long period and that all that time is as if it had not existed even if it marked me forever. It is a second opportunity that I do not intend to waste even knowing that tomorrow could be the same as those years or worse.
B.R .: What would your words be for a young man who may be having a hard time having recently known that he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia?
K.G.V .: This diagnosis is something that has to be accepted as soon as possible in order to know how to take it and live with others as someone else.
It is not easy to accept something like that, we let ourselves be carried away by the bad reputation that this term entails and by the first reaction we have to listen to it, which is fear, we fear the unknown, and in a certain way it is understandable. But in my case I could say that you have to fill up the courage to go ahead and show that you only have a disease that you can fight for. It is not something terminal that has no solution, it is something chronic, but you can get along with will and determination.
B.R .: What message should society know to begin to rethink the double impact suffered by people suffering from a psychological disorder and who must also endure social and labor stigmatization? Do you think you have to do pedagogy in this aspect?
K.G.V .: The truth is that yes, we can be different, but we are all in our own way, whether we have a disorder or not. There are people who suffer from mental illnesses that do not even know themselves, since they have not been diagnosed, and others who do not suffer any specific ailment but who have serious difficulties to look for ways that make them a little happier.
This does not mean that people who have been diagnosed with a mental disorder can not do something useful for society. Maybe we can not do the same as others exactly, I'm not sure about it, but what I can assure you is that we are all different and we are all worth doing something useful. We can all learn what we do not know and teach what we are good at. It could begin to demystify mental disorders by conducting talks in high schools, in the same way that there are those who warn students of the danger of drugs or precautions that we should take in our first sexual relationships. Awareness talks that make children and young people see that you can be you or someone close to you who suffers from a psychological disorder in adult life, and some advice to know how to deal with these situations based on normalization, information and respect.