How Do You Maintain Connection When You Have Mental Illness?

For me, I wasn’t able to maintain many relationships for the first several years of my illness.

And then, with time, I slowly began to “try.”

It is difficult having schizoaffective disorder without a doubt, and I am in my 24th year since my first psychotic break!

What that means is that I’ve had time to “figure” some things out, which has much to do with my engaging with my doctors.

But, every day (and I mean every day), I am symptomatic!

I am hoping to get on a medication that will augment my current regimen.

Will that happen?

I don’t know.

I may ultimately have to go to something stronger.

What I’ve learned is that I’m going to have good days and bad days.

But, as always, I try… and, take things one day at a time.

Have you learned to slow down to the point that you are now taking your fight with mental illness, one day at a time? What did that look like for you? How did you get to the one day at a time mentality?

Doing One’s Best And Being Symptomatic

I used to believe I was doing my best by holding my thoughts captive.

And, now I believe this philosophical approach is not so good for me.

But, how do you change the very thing that made you who you are?

In terms of my personality, I’ve always been “deep.”

From adolescence to present day, I’ve always been a “thinker.”

But, now I’m tired of “thinking…”

I’m just tired of mental illness to be straight!

I’m bothered by some of my behaviors, which I’ve began viewing as symptoms of the illness (rather than my being witty, intelligent, or clever).

During the half dozen or so times I was inpatient, I can recall a range of these behaviors:

From not talking to talking, from being polite to being belligerent.

Simple, yet revealing (at least to me)!

This was and is my illness. And, it’s still the pattern I’m involved in today (although I’m not belligerent anymore).

I’d love to end this post by asking some witty, intelligent, or clever questions… but, my tolerance level for my own bullshit has pegged the V/U meter.

That, or as I’ve already said, I’m just tired!

“Overcoming” Needs To Be Discussed More Frequently

There’s a lot of people who don’t feel what I feel day in and day out. Maybe 99.5% do not, according to the research.

And, it’s not like there’s a scale for schizophrenia!

Schizophrenia is an illness that you clearly have or you clearly don’t.

You either are (or have been symptomatic) or you’re not. You’ve had a psychotic episode or two or three etc., or you have not!

I guess I’m sharing this because I have come to meet people over the years who don’t deal with severe mental illness in the way that I do.

Oh well! Life definitely sucks more than I want it to!

Still, I choose to dwell on how much I’ve overcome along the way! That’s the only thing that gives me peace and/or satisfaction anymore.

I can’t do it all the time, but remembering my illness-related accomplishments does seem to help!

How about you? What kinds of things have you overcome while being ill?

My One Year Blogging Anniversary

This week is my one year blogging anniversary!

With that, I am just wondering whether you think there is a need to change the name of this blog, or should I plan to keep it as it is?

I feel that I do a lot of sharing of information, and it seems a lot like a journal style offering, but I could really use your feedback (as I’m not entirely sure here)!

How do you take my blog? Has it evolved to the point where calling it Mentally Ill In America is no longer valid?

If I don’t change the name, it would be just as helpful to know how you generally categorize my posts!

I am a truth seeker first and foremost (I hope you know that), and it’s not aways about me, so please, please chime in! 🙂

Finally, I’m not sure what I’ll do if anything (maybe change my About page?), but thank you in advance for commenting!

Why Having Mental Illness Constantly Feels Like Being In Survival Mode

This is something that I started thinking about a few weeks ago.

Mental illness and the struggle that often accompanies it = Survival mode.

And, that sucks!

So, in the same time frame, I asked myself what can I do, to not feel like I’m barely getting by most days?

And, one of my suggestions was to reevaluate my medication regimen (and make any necessary changes), which I started doing a good month ago.

So, that is good!

Another suggestion was to lower my caffeine intake on a day to day basis.

And, that is proving to be quite difficult, but it’s a goal.

I do want to get there, where I’m sleeping well at night, and I’m drinking a lot less caffeine.

Thus, here’s to doing what I can to make that happen… and, for good!

An Update On My Mental Health

I am currently dealing with my schizoaffective disorder by taking 33% less of my antipsychotic.

My doctor and I are working together on this medication reduction, and I do feel a hint of more energy – 33% more – which means that I can do 1-2 more things a day on a ‘good’ day.

It’s still pretty pathetic… not being able to have good personal hygiene, as well as, do my chores!

It also remains difficult to find clarity, but I have found a bit more.

I think I was over medicated prior to this change!

And, all that I can do is put that behind me now, knowing that I am no longer over medicated.

So, as always, I’m taking my life a day at a time!

As well, I am experiencing psychosis in a slightly increased fashion, which is to be expected.

My job now is to learn optimal ways of coping!

Have you had any recent changes to your treatment plan, and how are you dealing with them?

Pervasive Attitudes About People With Mental Illness

What are the attitudes that bug you the most?

I am particularly bothered by people, who, in general, ask what I do for a living?

I get that that’s an icebreaker.

Something else that bothers me is people in general.

That might be a problem for another day!

What kind of attitudes have you experienced?

Overcoming Barriers To Living One’s Life When Highly Medicated And Sleeping 12-14 Hours A Day

I don’t know where to begin, or how to make this all-encompassing, but here’s what I feel…

There is no precise way to overcome a lot of what I experience. Most of what I go through!

It will always be there with me.

In varying forms, I will always struggle!

But, how do you go about living? I mean, truly living your life?

Well, for some, they’ve found a way to both work with severe mental illness and manage their illness (usually with minimal medications).

I am far removed from this (as I need maximum doses of my medications).

I suspect people who are working with severe mental illness are struggling in various ways too! Perhaps similarly (or differently) than those who cannot work!

So then, what can be done to overcome barriers to living one’s life?

I am not speaking of specific barriers, although there are plenty.

I am talking mainly about how to function in spite of what is happening to me!

For me, I am often involved in conversation and my symptoms are as well!

And, what makes this particularly difficult, is that I cannot focus as well, around others, when my symptoms are bothering me.

What then, am I to do?

I just press on!

That said, I am not sure I am overcoming anything, except maybe how to carry on in spite of what I am feeling.

And, even then, it is inhumane to live such a dismal life!

I feel as though it will always be this way. And, I am tremendously saddened by that!

That’s why I am desperate to solve the problem of living my life, on some level, before I pass.

And, I am all but convinced that it can’t be done! Not by me… 😦

Have you employed any level of resolve, regarding “living” your life? Can it be done? How can it be done? What are some of your successes?

Why Schizophrenia? Why Me? Why Not?

I cannot figure out why I am plagued with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder. I just can’t… except for that fever that I got when I was around the age of two. Or, maybe a few other possibilities!

It’s that same fever that my parents argued over taking me to the hospital for vs. going to church.

What a damn terrible deal… for me!

My parents’ struggle must have been something awful… /s

Difficult to comprehend or imagine! /s

Yes, I need to get over all of the origin stories eventually, if I am to keep moving forward and progressing with my goals!

Because right now, I am stuck in “analysis paralysis,” and I don’t know how to be consistent!

And, that thing about energy… There is no magical way to get more of it!

All I want to do is eat and listen to music right now!

And, if it wasn’t the fever that caused me to have schizophrenia, was it the poverty? Or perhaps the distant family history of more than one family member having needing to, or who was actually sent to an asylum?

Things were different in the 19th century. Hell, things are still different 150-200 years later!

Are you holding onto any incidents that happened that may have (at a minimum), exacerbated your illness? What have you done to make peace with the situation(s)?