Why Having Mental Illness Constantly Feels Like Being In Survival Mode, Part 2

Back in February 2021, I wrote about some of my experiences of feeling like mental illness = survival mode.

I talked about reevaluating my medication regimen, as well as lowering my caffeine intake—and, all of this was six months ago!

Now to today…

With the help of my psychiatrist, I spent time lowering/raising my antipsychotic, adding/subtracting a second antipsychotic, and playing around with my caffeine intake.

All of this took time!

And, what I discovered is that “having a renewed perspective” has been key to my finding some level of peace again.

Like so many people, I find the cousin of peace—happiness—to be fleeting.

I’d much rather focus on my diet, my sleep, and my breathing—as those things do far more for me in the long run.

So, this is my way of not feeling like I’m in survival mode in August 2021—Focusing on my diet, my sleep, and my breathing!

What are some changes that you have implemented in your life—in order to feel more focused/less overwhelmed?

How I Overcame Agnosia To Become “Mostly” Aware Today

In the world of brick and mortar business, it’s “Location. Location. Location.”

It’s not much different with severe mental illness, in particular, schizophrenia, except that it’s “Education. Education. Education.”

I am one of those geeks, that cares about my well-being, and who wants to be the best I can be.

That being said, I go through periods of time (i.e. years), that I don’t have the ability to work through my core symptoms.

Maybe I’m under/over medicated, maybe it’s the side effects, maybe it’s because I’m treatment resistant, or maybe it’s a combination of all the above!

Whatever your individual situation, your doctor and you know “you” best. So, I highly recommend seeking out (or continuing to seek out) opportunities to learn more about your condition with your doctor.

Wanting to be educated is generally how I have been for much of my adult life, and having mental illness hasn’t changed that.

If anything, for me, being ill makes me want to learn that much more. To again… be the best I can be!

Aside from blogging (and, all that that entails), what sorts of opportunities have you found yourself getting involved with, in order to raise your awareness of various aspects of your condition?

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.

This Is Mental Health Awareness Month

Being aware of your mental health is extremely important!

Being aware of how you handle your mental health is also extremely important!

I can say that having schizoaffective disorder, and asking a lot of questions to my providers, personally helps me to deal with it!

Sometimes I am even “good” at the kinds of questions I ask!

Asking better questions helps me to understand things on a deeper level!

What are you doing (or can you do) to make your life more manageable?

If you are struggling, you are not alone!

I came by this disorder honestly.

Not everyone does though.

And, that’s okay!

What matters the most is that we get the necessary help for “ourselves” and for our “loved ones.”

Life is not easy!

But, learning to take life a day at a time has only helped!

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.

I Don’t Mind Being Wrong

In fact, I sometimes welcome it!

For me, it’s always been about the journey… about the search for truth!

This blog has done (and continues to do) wonders for me!

Early this morning, I got a call from my psychiatrist who I had recently seen.

He thinks right now, that I quite likely have treatment resistant schizoaffective disorder.

And, I don’t think he’s far off with that assertion.

As I’ve stated many times before, I enjoy working on myself!

And for today, I’ll leave things right there.

I hope everyone is well, and is getting through May alright!

Who Has The Most To Benefit From Lying?

I was reading about recovery in schizophrenia. And, quite honestly, there is a lot that doesn’t add up.

One site on the subject says that 25% of first episode psychotic break, go on to recover.

On the same site, they say that another 25% go on to almost completely recover after a first episode psychotic break.

I’m sorry, but I feel like someone is lying!

No one with severe mental illness works harder to be more functional than me, and I do it with meds, I do it with a schedule, and I do it lacking a great amount of energy.

I just don’t feel like an almost full recovery can be accomplished in the majority of cases after a first psychotic break.

And, for those who don’t know, the other 50% do not recover in any marked way, according to these types of sites.

So, I ask myself, who has the most to benefit from lying?

And, the answer is simple.

The organizations that promote wellness and recovery have more to gain from touting around bad statistics than the individuals doing their best, living with these diseases, day in and day out.

If you have severe mental illness, I don’t suggest handing in the towel or quitting, but I will caution those who will listen… it takes a lot of work to get where even I am, and I am far from being recovered.

I hope this post is received in the spirit it was intended.

Have a nice day/eve!

My Favorite Blogging Theme Has Been Retired

I got the message yesterday morning, but I didn’t see it until late evening. My favorite blogging theme is now retired.

So, I set out to find something with (hopefully) a bit more longevity.

I settled on Intergalactic, as I’ve seen it around for a few years.

Any how, I think my site looks nice on my phone!

I have yet to look at it on my computer, so I will see how it looks there soon.

It should be good though!

Thanks for reading and have a nice day/eve! 🙂

You Are Who You Are

Recently, I was interacting with a post from a well known company on social media.

The post took a shot at persons with schizophrenia.

It was up for about 30 minutes (at the most), because I publicly called them out!

In that time, there were dozens of “shares,” plus a comment by someone who didn’t see anything “wrong” with the post, which had a laugh at persons living with schizophrenia.

It is ignorant and shitty for people to use schizophrenia in a way that demoralizes those who have the disease.

And, since many people who deal with schizophrenia (and other severe mental illnesses) are just “not in the right head space” to challenge these things properly, they often make it through unchecked!

Also, I read a post on the Mighty by someone who calls themselves a “schizophrenia entrepreneur!”

I am definitely not sure what that means, and I am quite certain that the author believes themselves to be doing well and on the recovery path.

Maybe the statement was just them being light-hearted about a serious subject, but people don’t generally name their mental illness in association with entrepreneurship, or do they?

Have you seen any examples anywhere lately, ranging from people dissing on mental illness to people who have mental illness doing their damndest to be well?