Something In-Depth Regarding Schizophrenia I’ve Never Written About

I’ve been thinking about bringing up this subject for some time, and now it’s coming to fruition.

There are many people with a schizophrenia diagnosis who are stuck in a world of delusion/hallucination.

And, what I mean by that, is that they, through no fault of their own, experience an alternate reality—one that is different from the rest of us.

This has much to do with their not consistently taking an antipsychotic drug.

Antipsychotics help to keep one from going through this alternate reality I speak of.

If I were able to wave a magic wand and do so in a loving and helpful fashion, I would do so in the direction of those who both need a schizophrenia diagnosis and antipsychotic medication.

For whatever reason, my delusions/hallucinations do not exacerbate my reality, as much as many other people going through schizophrenia.

Thus, it is not all that unusual to be knee deep in this stuff, and not realize you’re hallucinating or experiencing a delusion.

Again, it is my sincere hope that someone, somewhere is able to get help to individuals who may need to be on some appropriate medication, for their symptoms.

It isn’t fun being in an alternate reality, and chances are pretty good people experiencing these types of symptoms, aren’t even aware of them… until they have an all-out psychotic break.

And even then, there is a strong lack of awareness aka a lot of denial going on.

Can We Ever Understand Another Person’s Suffering?

For those who don’t understand severe mental illness, I have made attempts at times to show you, the reader, what it’s like.

I am unsure, however, that I could ever succeed!

I think you have to have a close loved one have it, in order for you to truly get it.

Some of the things I presently deal with (as things cycle a lot), are suicidal ideation, depression and not wanting to do anything, lack of energy and not able to do a lot, plus delusions and hallucinations.

Most of the above symptoms are mainstays, but there are times when my suicidal ideations are better, and that’s about the only real difference for me.

Anyhow, I don’t figure many people will come to understand the chronic suffering.

I take meds, and there are lots of people who are in full support of that, which makes sense for my diagnosis (schizoaffective disorder), but some of these supporters don’t realize the double edged sword of psych meds.

They don’t heal, they don’t even fix fully, they simply help us to cope… in a rather dismal way much of the time.

Basically, if there is a takeaway on understanding something you don’t understand (and, this applies to many, many illnesses)… it is… give the other person the benefit of the doubt!

I won’t even say “have compassion,” because I think that having compassion can be difficult to come by in today’s society.

What are your thoughts regarding compassion? Do you think it’s an all or none type of thing?

Why Accuracy In Mental Health Matters

I used to think (until very recently) that they caught my illness early.

After all, I had a psychiatrist once tell me they did.

But, what constitutes early?

My first break was in the Summer of 1998 and I began taking regular meds in the Fall of 2001.

To me, that is not early.

Maybe earlier than some, but certainly later than others.

In any event, I feel I went through a lot of needless suffering in that three year period.

And, a lot of it was my fault.

I was just so arrogant in those days, that I was difficult to reason with.

So, while that’s all in the past now, I no longer feel like I am doing as good as some others.

Maybe I am, but I am also learning to question a lot of what psychiatry tells me.

What about you? Are you the questioning type? What sorts of things do you need to inquire about, before you are satisfied with what you’ve been told?

Keeping A Schedule, And Life And Death

On days where I’ve gotten a decent amount of sleep, I try to keep a schedule.

When there is a lot going on, I tend not to keep a schedule.

My schedule is something I’ve spent a great deal of trial and error on.

And, my current schedule iteration is helpful to the extent that I know what I should be doing.

But, let me tell you, what I should be doing is the exception by far, over what I am actually able to do.

I am trying to come to terms with life and death as well, and that has not been easy.

I really only want to focus on the day at hand, and getting enough sleep is really the only thing that even makes a decent day, possible.

As for life and death (and having psychosis), I ask myself, what kind of thinking do I want?

For instance, should I worry incessantly (which I tend to do), or should I worry and find some amount of peace, at the same time?

All or none thinking is forcing me to focus “elsewhere,” like in the middle on all things that pertain to my illness.

And, how is striving for the middle helping me?

I actually have a lot more work to do, but it’s a lot better than the extremes, which I desperately want to avoid.

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?

Genetic Diseases Suck

I wanted to share that I wrote three posts between yesterday and today, while accidentally having skipped a number of psych meds, that affect my disposition. But, at least I get certain things out!

There seems to be dementia on both sides of my family. Not to mention, mental illness, which I already have.

And, while I am obese (which obesity runs on one side of the family), I keep trying to find enough happiness/peace/stability, that I can do better with eating and exercising.

I’ve actually lost about 10 pounds since being sick with a cold. The cold is not Covid, and has helped me to realize I need allergy meds. So, I now have those.

Anyway, genetic diseases suck per the post title.

Some day, it will be within more people’s reach to cherry pick their offspring’s genes.

Since I don’t have that kind of money and have NO desire to have children, this is a non-issue for me.

And, while I’m thinking about it… I am damn proud! I am damn proud of the work I’ve done so far in life. I am damn proud of the awareness I sometimes have. And, I am damn proud that I could give a shit less about assholes (with particular attention paid to those I once knew, who have also wronged me).

It’s all good!

Day by day… 🙂

Have a good one!

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.

A Reflection On My Past Attempts At Suicide

Until recently, I could not grasp the consequences of the pain I was going through the three times I tried to end my life, 20 years ago.

I couldn’t even categorize my attempts as “suicide attempts” until lately.

It has taken me most of those 20 years to get clarity on what it would have meant, had my actions resulted in something I seemingly wanted at the time.

What happened:

Three different times following three different hospitalizations (throughout one summer, during the early days of my deterioration, before I got the schizoaffective disorder diagnosis), I tried to get out of a moving vehicle.

One time, I even took the wheel of my dad’s car (thankfully, not hurting any of us), and totaled the vehicle. I was then rushed to the hospital—this time by ambulance.

I don’t ever want to experience that kind of helplessness again. I do experience a lot of hopelessness—but helplessness—no thank you!

And, now:

I’d like to think that today I’ve built up a pretty good set of coping skills.

Nonetheless, schizoaffective disorder has quite a hold on my life.

The illness and the side effects of the meds, make normal living a kind of challenge I have not been able to overcome.

So, I just do my best, which looks different—depending on the day.

It’s always one day at a time, with an eye towards building up my resilience!

I still think a lot about death, which is different than being actively suicidal.

Part of what was so troubling for me 20 years ago, was dealing with what severe mental illness was going to mean for me and my future.

A lot of what I dealt with then, and from time to time, now, are the stages of grief.

How about you?

Please share some of how you cope with adversity and your illness-related challenges.

(I appreciate the dialogue.)