Follow Up And Follow Through: The Impact Childhood Suffering Can Have On Adults (Part Of A Series Of Essays)

I have no official qualifications, other than “empathy,” and a BA in Psychology; and, while those things are “something,” they’re not nearly enough to speak with authority.

What I want to state though, in this essay, is that, we, as a society, due to a variety of reasons, don’t follow up and follow through effectively and efficiently, with our children who are suffering.

I’m not even convinced that if the resources were widely available, that we’d even know how to get results!

This essay comes at a time in my life, when I am realizing the impact that childhood neglect and general suffering have had on me!

As of late, I have found myself believing that my psychosis was possibly caused by my high childhood (and adulthood) anxiety.

But, I was never treated for mental health issues, until I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder!

No, I don’t believe anxiety is solely to blame; but, I do think it has played a role in the mental health symptoms I experience today!

So, more to the point…

What can be done about abuse, neglect, and all the issues surrounding these two phenomena?

My belief… not much.

Not much?

Yes, sadly… not much!

Until you’re an adult that is, which at that point, means you’ve automatically been entered into a “healing” journey.

Occasionally, strides are made during one’s childhood, but not nearly enough is done!

It is so incredibly sad (and painful) to think that I, as a child, experienced neglect with the added touch of food insecurity.

I was always fed, but two days outside of grocery day, all snacks were rummaged through and gone, out of the house!

We’d always siphon through them, until they were caput.

Two days.

There are actually much worse stories involving neglect and abuse. This, I am quite aware of!

But, I cannot begin to write about them, because I don’t know enough about them on an “intimate” level.

All I am familiar with are my personal experiences.

Presently, I am obese and in need of more than a temporary fix for my eating issues.

I have come to believe I am a food addict.

So, at some point, I’ll either have this food addiction thing figured out (and, maybe get some more time on Earth)… or I’ll simply die!

And, I’d be foolish to think that I couldn’t get a myriad of other ailments that might easily take my life before that happens.

Thus, I am making note of the fact that none of us know when our time has come.

We are given today only.

And, wouldn’t I love to do “more” with my today’s?

Yes, I would!

But, my chronic illness has no let up.

I face symptoms every day, that could have, quite possibly, gotten their start in childhood.

With anxiety, depression, and neglect.

Whose to say much of this couldn’t have been avoided?

All I can do is surmise that an Andrew Yang or a Bernie Sanders couldn’t have made a real impact on me (or my family)?

They couldn’t, right?

So, if someone tells you to buck up out there in the blogosphere (or in real life)… you might want to suggest that they get an encyclopedia. And, while they’re at it, change zip codes… Lol.

So you’ll no longer have to deal dumb people!

But, I am sure you know… dump people are everywhere!

31 Things That Have Either Helped Me Or That Have Not

Helpful:

Community.

Boundaries.

Suffering.

The push-pull of perfectionism.

To always make the effort!

Being polite and conversational.

Being industrious.

Learning to better trust myself amid schizoaffective disorder.

Learning to “adjust” over time.

Being organized in most ways.

Listening to music.

Having a variety of hobbies.

Giving back via this blog.

Having a healthy, primary relationship.

Making good food choices.

Exercise.

True self-care.

Being vulnerable with trustworthy people.

Having an open mind.

8 hours of nightly, restful sleep.

Character development / Personal development.

Medication.

Journaling.

Facing my fears.

Not Helpful:

Overthinking… The cause of more than a few of my ails. “Just stop it!” is good advice for those who think too much. If only it were that easy!

Graphic TV and movies… TV and movies in general, have not been the most helpful for me. I have a difficult time sitting through movies, but watching a TV program is doable.

Relationships that are one sided… To be healthy, relationships need time to grow. They are two people giving of each other selflessly and healthily. Generosity on both sides, has been a foundational component in many of my relationships as well.

Therapy… Maybe it’s just me, but everyone seems to have an agenda! For me, my agenda is clear. I want to articulate all the things that I go through, and that have helped me to manage schizoaffective disorder.

My symptoms (to include worry)… My mind is oftentimes unsettled. And, my symptoms are difficult to deal with and do not go away!

My medication side effects… Medication is important, but it does have quite a few side effects, that exacerbate my being regimented or performing activities in a consistent fashion.

Arrogant, self-centered, toxic people… Although, they have provided me with a greater understanding of life and people in general.

What can you relate to on this list? And, if this were your list, what might you personally add to it?

Waking Up Early – A Guest Post By Niraj Of niraj.home.blog

Niraj Of niraj.home.blog is making an appearance/guest post on my blog! I am grateful for his taking the time to write the following post. Thanks again, Niraj! 🙂


I have been told so many times how essential it is to get good night sleep. Feeling tired by not getting a good night’s sleep can impact your productivity for the next day. In particular, getting good sleep can have a positive impact on your mental health. However, I also think it is very important to wake up early. Waking up early impacts your life in so many ways, and in this article, I discuss the mental health benefits of waking up early. 

Waking up early helps with productivity. Imagine this situation where you have a train to catch to work at 8am. The first scenario is that you wake up at 6 am, and as a result, your first hour consists of having a healthy breakfast, completing your daily workout, and planning for the day ahead, whether that is at university or at work. You immediately feel good about yourself, as well as more relaxed, Now compare this to waking up at 7:45 am. You would have to frantically rush just to meet your train, and as a result you will already be stressed, not setting a good tone for the day ahead. Waking up early means that there is reduced rush at the start of the day. And more often than not, this can make you feel calmer and more positive for the day ahead, which normally leads to higher productivity. And higher productivity can help with your mental health.

Furthermore, waking up early helps with sustaining good eating habits in the morning. You may think that if you oversleep and miss breakfast as a result, then it isn’t a big deal. After all, you can always eat something later, and you can still sustain a healthy diet. But actually, there are more serious repercussions. When you sleep, your body partakes in a fast. Therefore, when you wake up and miss breakfast, your body is in starvation mode. If you miss breakfast, then you will be even more hungry. And when you are hungry, you typically crave more unhealthy foods. In summary, waking up early helps with eating well, which helps with your physical health, and good physical health goes a long way into ensuring good mental health.

Waking up early at a fixed time every day also helps with consistency, which is also really important for routine. From my experience, one thing that really helped me with my mental health was having a morning routine that would keep me organized. However, I could only maintain the morning routine if I woke up at the same time each day. And I had to wake up early every day so that I had time to complete my morning routine. If you can wake up early and at a similar time each day, it would help with building a consistent morning routine, which can really help with your mental health.

Waking up early is a habit that can take time to develop. In addition to sleeping relatively early when you can, it is also important to value your sleep more, and the time you sleep and wake up. We all have busy schedules and therefore our sleep may be in the last thing in our mind, therefore you may not think too much about the time you wake up. However, it’s important to remind ourselves of the benefits that it can have on our mental health, so waking up early is something that is worth putting effort into if you can.

I hope this blog post was helpful and gave you a good insight on why waking up early can be beneficial for your mental health. I know everyone’s situation is different and I appreciate that it may not be possible to wake up early all the time. But I hope there are some things that you can take away from this blog post that can help you with your mental health in the long run!

Key Ways to Cope With Severe Mental Illness — A Guest Post For “My Brain’s Not Broken”

I originally wrote this guest post for www.mybrainsnotbroken.com. It was a pleasure working with Nathan of MBNB! Please check out his blog at the URL above. Thanks again for what you do Nathan!

Thank you to my fellow mental health blogger Mio for today’s post!

Guest Post: Key Ways to Cope With Severe Mental Illness — My Brain’s Not Broken

How My Life Changed With These Schizophrenia Symptoms

I’ve written about some of this before, adding more detail with each update.

My voices started when I was 24 (or at least that’s when I first started getting treatment for them).

After two psychotic breaks, they diagnosed me as having Psychosis NOS.

I enrolled in college that same year! I had just enough arrogance and tenacity to take the bull by the horns (and that’s what I did).

I was at university, attending classes, keeping it together until I was 26 (when I had yet another series of psychotic breaks).

This time, I was being urged to take the meds. They were awful and had horrendous side effects. I didn’t take them.

I then went back to school to finish. My arrogance and tenacity was waning.

I studied psychology and philosophy, and I didn’t know what to think, to believe, or to feel; and most days, I still don’t!

That my friends is grief, as well as severe mental illness.

I went from being an active and fit 24/25 year old to eating three to four times more than what I used to (or needed), by the time I was 26.

I mean, I never even ate fast food, except maybe twice a year! And, I didn’t drink pop either!

For me, this had less to do with vanity, and was my attempt to take care of myself amid some really shitty genetics.

So, everything about who I was, just completely changed in a matter of two years. Everything.

I graduated though! I walked out with the bare minimum GPA required for graduation.

What was I doing? But, more importantly, what was I thinking?

The experience of going to college and ultimately graduating, for me, was pure terror! I am the better for it, but that experience has hurt me in several ways. Even to this day!

Maybe that’s hard for some to understand, but looking at what I deal with every day, it’s not so difficult for me to understand.

Yes, I went from being someone who thought that they had everything under control, to realizing that I didn’t have much of anything under control. Especially my mental health!

And today, today all I really want to do is recapture some of who I was at 24/25.

Yes, I’ve had moments. Some of them even lasted for a little while, but nothing that gets me close to the old me.

I guess that’s par for the course, when you try and go to university with Psychosis NOS, and then, end up with schizoaffective disorder?

I surely don’t know where my mind was! Other than, I had a diminished capacity for understanding my situation.

In those days, I actually thought I could brute force my way to physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well being. And, I tried real hard to do that!

Today, I do pretty good, compared to my peers, and for the meds I take. The meds are all at high dosages though! :/

The only real difference between me, then and now, is my insight and awareness. Insight into my condition and awareness of myself as someone independent of my condition.

For that, I have my personal development journey to thank! And, it has been quite a journey for sure!

No, it’s not all about the label, but it is about quality of life, which for me, is lacking in many ways.

I know I’m not alone in this. A lot of us are lacking in quality of life!

Let’s face it, all of us struggle and our lives pale in comparison to what they once were!

In general, I hope to, in this space, share with you more about how schizoaffective disorder affects me.

For now, let’s discuss my voices.

So distressing, so invasive, so real, and so powerful!

I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts on what my voices are like, so here goes:

The voices, for me, are active all the time. They’re either in the background or foreground. They are thoughts.

I sometimes find them to be pieces or remnants of conversations that l once had with myself and/or someone else.

They’re similar to the running dialogue that we all have, only the nature of my voices are extreme, chaotic.

I am plagued with a constant back and forth of dialogue that never ends. It’s usually disparaging dialogue too! And, I’m a pretty positive person!

Still, my voices are negative and oftentimes disgusting.

I hear things that fly in the face of what a person should be experiencing in their lives. 😦

For instance (and this is highly personal), I could be in conversation with a person, keeping it together outwardly, but holding nothing but hurtful and disparaging thoughts about that person inwardly.

Things that, if they could hear my thoughts, that would probably be the last time we spoke!

Now, imagine if this happened with every relationship you have in your life!

That’s precisely what I deal with every day.

I share all of this to open people’s minds about the devastation of schizophrenia and severe mental illness. Not to garner sympathy or attention.

While everyone’s situation is different/unique, this is (and has been) my experience!

None of what I go through is a walk in the park, nor is it for anyone who has severe mental illness and is symptomatic.

Thanks for reading!

When Your Mind Plays Tricks On You: An Exercise In Awareness (Part 3/3)

In this three part series, I’ve been sharing instances of “when my mind plays tricks on me.”

Now, I’d like to share with you (as I’ve done before on this blog), just how difficult it is to keep the blog up and running.

My diagnosis is schizoaffective disorder (depressive type), and it is incredibly challenging to not obsess over the kinds of things, that other bloggers, don’t think about (and probably take for granted).

I’m not complaining, but when I say that I want to let America and the rest of the world know how bad the suffering associated with my diagnosis (and other severe mental illnesses) is, I’m sharing with you just the “facts.”

On the one hand, I feel good having started this blog. And, on the other, I have people who support it (and want to hear from me).

So, you might be thinking—what’s the problem?

And, the answer is that I am ill, and I am doing my best to manage my illness.

All of these things are prime examples of the paranoia and delusions I experience. Not to mention the auditory hallucinations that reiterate just how bad of an idea it is to have this blog (or any of the dozen or so blogs, I’ve ultimately gotten rid of).

NOTE: I am not planning on getting rid of this blog anytime soon.

When Your Mind Plays Tricks On You: An Exercise In Awareness (Part 2/3)

In the last post, I shared some of the things, that I’ve been through in my life.

Delusions and hallucinations.

And, even though I’ve worked through these beliefs of mine, I am oftentimes reminded of the ever so slight hold they have on me yet today.

For instance, I doubt that anyone is going to run me off the road and kill me. But, I am concerned about crossing many bridges, as I drive from point to point.

And, while I don’t necessarily believe that the military is going to drop down, out of the sky to “get me,” I do think about this delusion in times of increased stress.

All in all (and as an example), I will sometimes side with the Beatles in the most adverse of situations, with their song: “I Feel Fine.”

Just as an example. 🙂

When Your Mind Plays Tricks On You: An Exercise In Awareness (Part 1/3)

I had my first psychotic break in the late 1990’s. Shortly after 2000, I regularly began taking my medications.

It has been (and continues to be) a long and arduous journey—not only to get here, but to carve out where I am going as well.

I have worked hard managing life (where my illness is concerned), and I feel compelled to share some of my triumphs with you.

Picture some of the things I’ve been through (in no particular order):

1. Believing, on numerous occasions (while driving), that I would be run off the road, and either left for dead, or murdered wherever it is I lay.

2. Often having this feeling that I might lose control of my vehicle, while passing over a bridge of some sort—and, not understanding how other people aren’t experiencing the same thing.

3. Once spending the better part of two weeks, stuck in delusions, day in and day out, believing that the military was going to drop down, out of the sky and beat down my front door.

I used to keep a journal of some of these types of beliefs, many of which I’ve worked through.

In the next part of this three part series, I will share more insights into my situation.