I recently found out that May is Mental Health Awareness month. I know quite a few people who struggle with mental health whether they deal with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc.. Helping people feel less judge when they seek help is something we as a society really need to work on. As a paranormal investigator, part of the investigation is actually trying to determine if the client is dealing with a mental health issue or a paranormal one. Sometimes it can be hard for me to make that determination because I don’t have the correct background to diagnosis someone. If I do think it is either a mental health issue or something affecting their mental health I do refer them to a psychiatrist. Personally, I prefer dealing with a holistic psychiatrist because they are more open to it being a paranormal issue than a regular psychiatrist.
Personally, though, I do have to make sure that my mental health is okay while I deal with the paranormal world. There have been times where I doubted what I was experiencing was paranormal or something in my head. Most of the time I am to use my equipment to back up what I am experiencing which helps me realize that it is a paranormal issue and not a mental health issue. There was a time though where I wasn’t sure.
This is something I haven’t told many people about before. This started right after I started attending classes at Alamance Community College. This was a few years before I became a paranormal investigator so I didn’t have the tools to help me that I have now. Up until this point in my life, if I experienced the paranormal, it would either be as a sound such as knocking or talking, smells that shouldn’t be there, or full body apparitions that I could tell the details of the person and knew instantly that it was a spirit. Since I was raised in that environment, it didn’t scare me to experience those things. However, when I started at Alamance Community College, I would notice things that didn’t make sense to me. Walking to class I would see someone standing off to the side of me or walking beside me. There was never any real details to them. Just blackness. There was enough detail to tell me it was a humanoid shape and that they were wearing either a dress or pants but it wasn’t as solid feeling as the apparitions I had seen previously. I could also only see them briefly out of the corner of my eyes. It seemed as though as soon as I realized they were there or tried to turn my head to look at them, they would disappear.
At first, it only happened occasionally but as I continued to go to school there, it increased in the amount of how often I would see them. Most often they seemed to be staying away from me but occasionally they would seem right on top of me. A few times I would alter the path I was walking because I thought I was about to run into somebody but when I looked up (back then I walked with head down a lot because I had no confidence in myself) no one would be there or passing me. When it started happening almost daily and other places other than the campus, I started to get really concerned about what was happening.
Since it wasn’t like anything I had experienced previously, I was concerned that something was mentally wrong with myself. At first, I tried going to a traditional psychiatrist but he barely seemed to listen to me while I talked and was more interested in his Starbucks. Even after seeing him every other week for two months, he seemed to think that this was stress induced hallucinations. I guess that could have been the case while I was at school but I was seeing these things when I was relaxed and having fun. Trusting my gut, I decided to try and find a different psychiatrist. With the help of a friend, I found a holistic psychiatrist in Raleigh, North Carolina. A holistic psychiatrist not only deals with western medicine but uses other remedies to help heal a person’s body, mind, and soul. She actually listened to me. After working with her for a few weeks, she was able to rule out bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other mental issues. Surprisingly she was the one to introduce me to the term shadow people.
Over the years I have tried to research shadow people. It is extremely common to see them but most people don’t choose to discuss it because unlike most paranormal events, it’s hard to prove the existence of shadow people. Occasionally people have captured them on film or in pictures but it is rare. People have different opinions on what they are. Some claim they are alien beings walking among us. Some claim they are negative energies or demons trying to find their next victim. And others claim they remnants of spirits that are stuck on a loop of what part of their life was before they died. While I don’t think the ones I experienced were negative beings, I do think they were aware of me and when they realized that I was aware of them as well, more tried to reach out to me.
The holistic psychiatrist was the one who introduced me to sage and meditation. The sage helped clear me and the environment of negativity. It also helped me focus on the smoke and my intentions instead of what I was seeing. The meditation also helped clear my mind of what I was seeing. Over time I stopped seeing them as often. I still see them occasionally. I wrote about how Jeremy and I saw some while walking through Aokiogahra (Suicide Forest) last year.
For those of you who deal with mental health issues, you have my respect. While I know there are others out that struggle with it more than I have, I do have depression and anxiety that I deal with. It’s a hard fight at times but you aren’t alone. If you think you may have mental health issues, please seek help. If you need someone to talk to, I’m here. I’m not a professional but I do care about you.