There Is One Thing More Disturbing Than Your Own Thoughts

The thoughts you perceive others to have.

I wish there were an easy fix to severe mental illness.

Because right now, I’m at a loss for words.

Because right now I feel terrible.

I don’t usually get down on myself all that much, but at present, I’m feeling that between my meds, my illness, and my upbringing, things are quite difficult!

When you have a thought disorder, enter me, the shit is real and the shit is tough!

I want to crawl under a rock, but I have better coping skills than that.

I want to just be told that things are going exactly the way they’re supposed to…

I had a psychiatrist that I saw for close to 15 years, and he was amazing!

I am giving my current psychiatrist every chance, but I have changed so much in the past four or five years, that I don’t think that A) the old doctor would completely know me; and B) the new doctor knows of where I’ve been.

And, the new doctor may very well know all of these things. It is possible.

One thing I’ve got going for me is that I am open, so if there’s a subject or subjects I want to broach with this new physician, I’m going to do it!

Do you have trouble speaking up to your mental health providers? What have the results been when you do?

P.S. I know that what other people think of me is none of my business, but try telling that to me when I’m not doing so well, which seems to be a lot as of late.

I Showered Today And I Felt Good About Life

I don’t know if it’s coincidence, but when I shower, I oftentimes feel better than when I don’t.

And, I will add that it is an interesting phenomenon, not having the energy to do much!

When I think of how I got along before psychosis, I knew there were problems, but not on the level (no where near on the level) to what I experience today.

So, I’ve focused for years on lists and on schedules, and silly me, I keep thinking that’s where my peace lies!

In reality, though… that’s only part of my contentment (when I’m feeling content).

The other part is pushing myself (at least some of the time).

And, I think that is an easy thing to be unable to do… to forget to do as well. Forget in part, as in (again) not having the energy to do it.

Everyone is different, but what has it been like for you when it comes to being chronically ill? Do you push yourself? And, to what degree can you do so?

My American Thanksgiving Was Spent With Family

I’m aware that attitude is everything… but lately, I’ve become more and more cynical, due to my continuing education on America, and its general unwillingness to care/change its ways.

Thanksgiving was challenging, in that I wasn’t sure about traveling, nor was I feeling very “well” for at least half my time there.

I enjoyed myself though (and, the time spent with my wife’s family)… but, I am glad to be settling back into a routine at home.

I am joining a gym tomorrow. And, it is my hope that I can continue to be healthy (I’ve been losing weight for the past few months).

It has always been a one day at a time thing for me, and I’m always trying.

What do you have planned for the holiday season beginning November 1 and ending January 15?

Things I Feel I Must Come To Terms With

While I don’t really want to die, I think a lot about death.

And, because of the problems with current treatments for my schizoaffective disorder, I will likely die of an obesity-related illness.

I know. To some, this will sound defeatist.

But, no matter what I do, I can’t sleep consistently and I am not able to eat less with consistency either.

Both my weight and lack of a consistent sleep routine have caused me a great deal of pain, for at least 20-something years.

And, this isn’t about diet! It’s about how the medications I take affect my weight, sleep routine, and activity level. And, how I’d like to have a better plan of action moving forward.

I try so hard! And, currently, I have about three days a month, where I sleep eight to nine hours straight and feel rested.

Plus, I’ll still need one to three naps, even when I get that amount of sleep.

I do go to bed at the same time every night, but I oftentimes have difficulty staying asleep the whole night.

I guess I’m just writing all of this, because I am worn down and could use some advice.

Maybe this community has some suggestions? I’m open to hearing what you have to say.

Implementing long-lasting change will probably be up for grabs.

But, maybe not.

And, therapy is off the table.

Today Is World Mental Health Day

I have access to mental health care and treatments.

I have good support systems.

I have a partner.

I have good financial resources.

But, I am in the minority of the schizophrenia population with these things.

Better efforts need to be made to help everyone!

Because even though I am comfortable in some ways, I deal with severe symptoms nearly every day.

The fight for better mental health care is only complete when there are better treatments with fewer side effects for all types of severe mental illness.

The Basics Of Dealing With My Severe Mental Illness

My responsibility in life is to firstly, take my meds.

Taking care of myself is difficult.

But, how much more difficult would it be without any medications?

I want to say that taking care of myself to the best of my ability is what I have to do!

For me, there have been many moments, where I question my ability to do more, and those moments are typically followed by my having great difficulty doing even the basics.

Thus, it’s a cycle—whereby I want to contribute more, but I can’t.

It’s a reluctant, but necessary “NO” to a world and to people who do not understand.

And, some will say… what can you do?

Aside from sometimes forcing myself to have and to work on hobbies…

I can sleep too little or too much and not be rested.

I can follow a checklist and not make any real progress.

I can be concerned, panicking about my future as I age.

So, I can do several things, including thinking that I am not depressed, when I am actually quite depressed.

And, a lot of this makes me think about others battling chronic illnesses—do we ever really get out of survival mode?

Or, is there another term to describe the challenges we face?

Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Birds Of A Feather Flock Together

Many of my friends have mental illness, but not all mental illness is created equal!

And, how/why do I have so many friends?

Before I became full-blown ill, I maintained some connections with people, that stood by me.

And over time, is how I learned that some of these friends have some form of mental illness, and can go for periods of time when the extent of their suffering is hidden.

And, some friends’ suffering never gets mentioned. Ever.

So, behind all of this is the “spectrum” of mental illness, some of which debilitates.

At the risk of saying Dale isn’t all that bad, I will defer you to what Dale deals with.

Dale thinks he has bipolar disorder, and I am his only friend.

(I know, never self-diagnose.)

Of course, Dale doesn’t take meds, but he does work at a job, and is responsible with his money. He also tends to quit his jobs every time the throes of his “bipolar disorder” are in full-effect.

Mark deals with whatever troubles he has, and has been able to maintain employment throughout. Mark has never been diagnosed with anything to my knowledge either.

He does have a close relative with schizophrenia though, and he and I’s friendship is often strained because of one thing or another. And since I am not a doctor, I can’t tell you why that is.

Not all of my friends have mental illness, and some of them are only seasonally depressed.

The idea of my companions in life being depressed gets discussed privately (among a few of us), but again, there are those who don’t ever discuss having troubles.

As I am an open person (at times, too open), I do talk about what I experience mental health-wise.

But, the reason for this post is mainly my friend, Dale.

As I mentioned, I am his only friend and he is not being treated for his “bipolar disorder.”

And, it took me the better part of 25 years to see that he and I are a lot alike!

What I, being fairly educated in mental health, failed to properly see, are some of our similarities, revealed in different ways.

So, Dale confided in me and said, “I have manic depression.”

But, was it the first time he said this?

I can be pretty self-involved, and quite frankly, hard on some of my friends.

And, that is a tough pill for me to swallow, as I admit that here with you.

So, Dale and I were just chatting and having fun, when he shared this information with me.

Does it matter, though, when I treat Dale like I want to be treated?

I don’t think so ultimately.

And, does having mental illness mean that we are all the same fundamentally?

Not really. As I’ve said here today, mental health is a “spectrum,” and this spectrum varies widely.

Dale maintains a job with only one friend and has virtually no socialization.

Thus, what I want to do more than anything is honor Dale’s character. Because, to me, that counts more than how someone’s brain is working (or not working).

The two of us are good friends because we have things in common (aside from having mental health troubles), and I treasure those things and Dale.

Do you have in-person friends who struggle with their mental health? What are your thoughts about mental health and these friends?

This Is Treatment Resistant Schizoaffective Disorder II

It’s quite likely that the medications I am taking for my psychosis are providing me with some protection, but not a great amount.

Right now, I am anxious and I want to die, but I know that you only get one life.

Thus, taking it away, even though I am struggling immensely, seems like a bad idea.

What needs to happen is that I need to get on a good medication regimen.

One of my problems is that I already weigh 400 lbs., so any additional medication changes need to be carefully thought out.

I have been on my current antipsychotic medication for around 15 years, give or take.

So, I guess it’s just time to find something new.

None of this is easy. My brain worsening is what is happening, and I don’t take that very lightly.

I am just frantic.

What To Do When You’re Treatment Resistant To Psychiatric Medications

In my experience, you take the medications anyway.

I am still very symptomatic, and life is quite a challenge for me.

I won’t get into a lot of detail regarding my symptoms, but I can tell you that many of my symptoms are classic schizophrenia symptoms.

There isn’t much left to the imagination where my mental health is concerned.

I only wish, that after trying a half dozen medications, I had greater relief.

And, while it’s true that I haven’t gone to a second line of defense medication (i.e. clozapine), I have been doing all I can at present, to make things manageable as they are.

What are some of your experiences with trying numerous psychiatric medications?

The Prospect Of Taking Clozapine

Earlier today, I wrote about possibly having treatment resistant schizoaffective disorder.

I already have schizoaffective disorder, but things seem to have taken a turn for the worse.

What’s getting at me a lot right now is a belief that I’ve held that I am doing “so well,” in spite of being severely mentally ill.

I feel my transparency is causing me mental anguish, in that I am educated, well-spoken, and a fucking delight most days!

And, this causes me problems believe it or not! 🙂

I’d likely do better to get out of my head more.

The only problem with that is that I don’t have enough close family history to try clozapine, which those with a psych background will understand.

With clozapine, you need to not die basically, which of course, is a good thing.

You’re monitored a LOT when you take clozapine!

And, since I don’t know my close family history well enough to say that my father who died suddenly (when he was fairly young), didn’t have a cardiac arrest while passing, I am scared.

I guess the next time my doctor and I meet up, we will weigh the pros and cons of being on the medication.

I really don’t want to die at 47.

Abilify has given me just enough get up and go to not feel totally stuck!

And now, that could all be changing, along with the potentiality of dropping dead.

I hope your life is going better. :/

This is not drama. This is real life and real pain.

And, while I’ll get through this stage of my life eventually… things are not the greatest right now.

Tell me something that’s going well for you if you will.