“I try not to give my illness any ownership over me”
By Sean Powers and Lindsey Moon
Zach Medlyn of Champaign was 20 years old when he started hearing the voices. That was about seven years ago when he was a student at the University of Illinois. He started showing signs of depression when he was 18 and was diagnosed with schizophrenia during college.
Over the last few years, he says he’s talked with gods, demons, angels, and ghosts, and has had visits from extraterrestrials. His mom, Debra, says caring for Zach and helping him cope with his illness hasn’t been easy. She drives her son to St. Louis every few months to see the psychiatrist who manages his medication. She says she started looking in major cities for a doctor because the wait times in Champaign-Urbana were too long.
Zach and Debra interviewed each other about living with Zach’s mental illness as a part of our series “Unmet Needs: Living with mental illness in central Illinois.”
Starting this week on WILL AM580, you can hear our series about living with mental illness in central Illinois on Thursdays at 6:40 and 8:40 during Morning Edition and at 12:40 during Here and Now.
Read the full transcript
Pop Up Archive Item: “‚ÄúI try not to give my illness any ownership over me‚Äù” : https://www.popuparchive.com/collections/1468/items/12332
Transcript for file: 140410zachanddeborahmedlyn.mp3
when I first looked at you when all the other babies wear on the way
Nursery you were still wide awake you are very um
Q & I could just remember saying all
can I take me from one end of the spectrum to the other not real
realizing how that predictable
that was going to be what is your mental illness
Eminem not going to find myself and I what do the voices
where is it a lot of positive things to tell me
the world of a bar clips is coming to town
144 chosen from a child is this real and umm the temperature
current president of the Antichrist and I play some small role in the
the world affairs stories come they are the most 79 to tell me jokes really
really funny jokes that I can never make up and take me on cosmic
is the time and space I have not even left my room what’s the biggest
is lesson you learned since being diagnosed in Houston the greatest help for you long way
the fact that I can make it through this if I can quit smoking cigarettes I can do anything
things like grasshoppers frozen the church and my mom
what church because my spirituality is really tied the violinist
does you give it ownership over us
you so fine and I trying to get Phione the city on a ship
how does government on a straight talk to other people about me
pins and sometimes I will just say that the people say what is your sign
home and sometimes you say handsome problems
another times if im feeling more comfortable a sign that you have a mental health
mental illness recently its been easier to say your
sundry open about it because aqua proud of you
where are we now because you put up with his standing
what have been the happiest saddest moments of your life since I’ve been diagnosed
watching you walk to work a hospital mental ward
the greatest moments
Haband does days when the medication
allows you to be more like yourself with your humor your love
box your love of movies your ability to have conversation
when is the greatest day of my life with coming home
can you run the porch in Houston
I want to go to the store and get a book because sac
what do you want
sac there is hope there’s a bright shining lie
into the dark tunnel at the hang on help is on the way
covers possible I’m proud of me do you need to ask a decimal
Burberry proud of you use confetti
can you take the high road thank you for breathing
Harry Wolin manages Mason District Hospital in Havana, Illinois, one of many clinics in Illinois that provide care to medically underserved areas. The hospital has been treating patients via telepsychiatry, when a patient meets with a doctor via a computer screen, for about four years now. Wolin says they started offering appointments that way after the county mental health center shut down due to lack of funding.
“If we wouldn’t have started offering this service, many of our patients would have had to travel an hour or more to see somebody,” he explains.
In an evolving health care system where cost control and efficiency are key, some are looking to telepsychiatry as a solution; some are more skeptical. Could the technology a way to offer more patients quicker access to a doctor? Is that really the best solution?
Friday, April 11 at 11:00 a.m. central time, I’ll be hosting a Twitterchat with reporter Sean Powers @SeanCPow at the hashtag #WILLchat to talk about mental illness and the associated stigmas that exist in Illinois.
Mona Fortner talks about caring for her schizophrenic mother as a part of our series “Unmet Needs: Living with Mental Illness in Central Illinois.”