There was a progressive metal band in what used to be my local area that signed a fairly large record deal with a major label and experienced significant financial and critical success. It was a pretty big deal for me back when it first happened because it gave me a bit more faith for personal hopes and dreams that sometimes appeared a bit too idealistic.

What I didn’t know was that the founding band member was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and would soon be found dead at the bottom of a bridge due to the toll the disease took on his psyche.

Back in college, I lived across the hall from a Pastoral Studies major from Nigeria who we called Uche (pronounced OOH-chay) because we couldn’t pronounce his weird Nigerian name. He weighed in at about 320 pounds (99 percent of which was muscle), and was known for being extremely kind.

But he was in denial about a condition that caused him to periodically have grand mal seizures. When I found him on the floor of his bedroom, Continue Reading