NOTE: I am fast becoming a realist. And, at times, I don’t feel like I properly describe my struggles. In fact, I am not sure that I can, or that I even should (sometimes)… but, here they are (in sum)!
A portion of this information originally appeared in “The Fight For Insight” Booklet (located in the BOOKLETS section) some time back.
I will show side by side comparisons of my symptoms, both then and now.
The updates are the paragraphs below the symptom (and the original complaint regarding it). Here goes…
Delusions — False beliefs or “ideas” that are simply not true. My mind will often trick me into believing that my experiences are “real,” so my job is to investigate them (as I am able), or look for “proof” as to whether what I am feeling is “real” or not.
There are tips and techniques for managing this type of psychosis symptom (aside from what I do as I am “able”). Not to mention, I have tried many of these ideas over the years, and they just do not consistently work for me.
Anxiety — I am often afflicted with anxiety, but I don’t tend to view myself as being anxious. The reason being, I don’t want to overlook the other, more serious symptoms I have. Anxiety in itself is bad, but I err on the side of caution (when reporting anxiety symptoms), due to my other symptoms outranking those of generalized anxiety.
I do not know whether anxiety is typical in severe mental illness, but it is something I have had my entire life. As far back as I can recall, I have been plagued with being anxious.
Depression — I experience depression every day (along with all of the other symptoms I have). I feel as though, I have a good level of control over depression, more than I do some of my other symptoms. But, I am still affected daily. And, at times, the depression is more disconcerting than everything else I go through.
I generally feel bad every day, and there is oftentimes this fight to understand and categorize my symptoms (with a goal of addressing the problem areas). No matter what I do though, depression is either “lurking” or it has just finished doing its business.
Hallucinations — In terms of hallucinations, I typically experience auditory vs. visual hallucinations. My auditory hallucinations are ever present, and it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between them and my delusions. One might think that making out one’s “voices” is somehow easy, but I am often not aware of their hold on me, until I’ve engaged with my “voices” for a bit of time.
I am most troubled by my hallucinations or “voices.” It is very difficult to deal with them! I do the best I can though, and I am grateful for the medication, which keeps me going. And, that’s all I can do is keep going.
Lack of motivation — The clinical term for this in schizophrenia is having a “negative symptom,” of which, I have the particular “negative symptom” of lacking motivation (and, have had it since before my final diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder). This symptom affects my energy levels, and generally means, that it is difficult for me to do chores, make a meal from scratch, or get myself off of the couch.
I am now going to combine this symptom with my lack of energy. They both are pretty much the same thing in my case. And, they both have quite the stronghold on me!
Also, I’d like to add another category that I didn’t think much about when I wrote “The Fight For Insight.”
Confusion – I don’t have to engage in moving mountains to realize that I become easily confused. In any event, I persevere and always try my best. That said, there is no stopping any of this. It’s a bad deal, and all the way around too! That and it is what it is!
If you would like to read “The Fight For Insight,” it is available for free in the BOOKLETS section of this site!
I wish I had better news to report regarding my symptoms (then and now), but I don’t. What are your most troubling symptoms?