In Crisis: An Idaho Man Explains What Life Is Like With Schizophrenia

Oct 28, 2014

Philip Mazeikas would like to become a peer support specialist, and may eventually help other Idahoans navigate mental illness.
Credit Joe Jaszewski | jjaszewski@idahostatesman.com / Idaho Statesman

Philip Mazeikas, now 26-years-old, started noticing signs of his mental illness when he was 18.

"I started thinking there was a prophecy about me rising to power, or being famous," he says. "Things turned worse when I was 23, when I started hearing voices."

By the time Mazeikas was 24, the Boise Police Department had been called to his home more than once. Mazeikas had become unpredictable and volatile. 

"He would sometimes say to us, 'Hey Dad I'm back, I've been gone a while'," Mike Mazeikas recalls.

One police officer told the family about the Department of Health and Welfare's mobile crisis unit, a team of social workers trained to de-escalate and evaluate people in crisis.

In this video, Philip Mazeikas recalls what it was like the day mobile crisis arrived at his doorstep.

Video shot and produced by Joe Jaszewski.

Mazeikas had been complying on a limited basis with getting mental health treatment before he was sent to an Idaho state hospital against his wishes. For him, it took being held against his will to come to the realization that it wasn't aliens trying to reach him, but that he has a form of schizophrenia.

"I do feel like maybe everyone has some delusions in their life, but I'm pretty certain the TV isn't sending me secret messages," Mazeikas says. "A lot of that has been an evaluation of science -- I value science a little more."

Learn more about the mobile crisis unit, and why more Idahoans are falling into crisis, here.

"In Crisis" is a collaboration between Boise State Public Radio and the Idaho Statesman.