Mental health experts released a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic from a mental institution this afternoon when doctors and other mental health professionals determined that he really was hearing voices and people really were out to get him.
Former 1st Lt Tom Paschal, 27, started hearing voices while he was a soldier in Iraq in July of 2006. At the same time he believed some of his fellow soldiers were whispering about him behind his back. He claimed to find spiders in his food and complained his water tasted like urine. Around this time he started hearing voices telling him to dance like a Japanese fairy, defecate in public and cluck like a chicken. Shortly after he started seeing things that other soldiers did not see. He was released on a mental health discharge.
"We discovered tiny transmitters built into the lining of his shirts and jackets", said Dr. Ralph Jeckal, a psychiatrist with the Washington, DC Department of Veterans Mental Health. "We also discovered that many of the soldiers he was commanding didn't like him because he has a high-pitched squeaky voice. This caused some of the soldiers to put bugs in his food and urnate in his water. Also, electronics experts conspired against him to plant electronic devices in his clothing".
As a growing number of soldiers are returning from Iraq with seemingly severe mental problems, psychiatrists are trying to find which ones are truly ill and which ones have electronic bugs in their clothing to create the appearance of mental illness.
"Some soldiers have mental problems and others have electronic devices", said Dr. Jeckal. "I suspect there are still others that only think they have mental problems whereas in reality it's all in their heads".
A relieved Paschal said he will retire from Army life and get a job at either JC Penny or Wal-Mart.