Another Update On My Mental Health

Recently, I wrote about how I am really struggling with my mental health.

Per my psychiatrist mainly, I’ve learned that the meds are not fully doing their job anymore.

I’ve also began really dissecting my thoughts, like never before.

And with all of this, I’ve come to realize, yes, I am doing better with medication; but, there is some resistance to treatment with regards to the efficacy of my meds.

This has been a long time coming.

So many people with severe mental illness struggle to be on meds that work.

I’m seeing that now more than ever before!

Thus, I know that the medication is why I am having such a difficult time overall.

What do I do? I mean, what can I really do?

As I’ve written previously, I am expecting to discuss my situation soon with my doctor and my wife.

My wife and I and other support people have already discussed this matter, so I have a lot to take to my psychiatrist in a few weeks.

I will keep you updated!

In the meantime, I will just say that I know the meds protect me quite a bit… but, they don’t clear up my instance of severe mental illness much at all.

I just want to feel better and I am afraid I’m going to continue to be stuck. For years possibly.

I hope I am wrong!

Have any of you ever felt stuck? What did you do to become unstuck?

Just How Hard It Is To Do My Chores

Because I am generally tired from the start of my day until it ends, I have quite a time doing basic chores.

The recurring task of putting away the dishes (for instance) usually takes 5 minutes, and that’s hard for me to do!

Getting this chore done is something I must do to pull my weight, and I get it done one way or another most days.

Not always at the same time every day, but I eventually get the dish washer unloaded!

Do you have a challenging time with household chores? What kinds of strategies do you employ to make things easier for you in this area?

Cognitive Dissonance And The Push-Pull Of Severe Mental Illness

Imagine, if you will, scores of people out there, battling severe mental illness, minimizing cognitive dissonance, and finding their way?

Can it be done? How can it be done?

For me, I have become so reliant on specific doses of the meds I take, that I haven’t been able to take anything less and be successful.

Perhaps “success” is all in the eye of the beholder!

But, I would like to function in an even higher capacity than what I am!

I partake of personal development audios from time to time, and those are inspirational, but what would really be helpful, is overcoming this mess of cognitive dissonance.

Some might say it just takes practice, but for me, I believe it is a bit more complicated than that!

Without offering up all the reasons in the world (i.e. sleeping a lot), I know that I experience a lot of push-pull, that I loosely recognize as cognitive dissonance.

So, my best tactic in this area, has been to suppress or try to ignore symptoms, which is not always possible, but I can do it some of the time, which helps a lot!

What are you doing to have more stable thinking amid your illness?

Medication And Psychosis Prevention

This post is in response to Ashley of Mental Health At Home’s review of “My Beautiful Psychosis,” earlier this morning.

After reading her review, I wanted to share some of my post psychotic episode/hospitalization experiences. But, with an emphasis on prevention!

It’s been awhile since I’ve been hospitalized…

I keep a low stress environment and when things get out of hand, to get help, I turn to someone close to me and share my situation (as it’s unfolding).

I have not gone to the extremes that a complete absence of medication is often responsible for… In any sort of “I am a danger” psychotic sense!

Why?

It’s the meds.

And, to boot, I am on near max dosages of every one of three medications, used to treat my schizoaffective disorder (depression type).

Also, for me, I still have symptoms. Every day. They’re just not as pronounced as what some other non-medicated people with schizophrenia, experience.

Like, say, when you’re in a psychotic episode or being treated on an inpatient ward (as Ashely’s book review seemed to point out).

How has medication changed things for you? Are your mental health symptoms present, but not as pronounced (as they once were)?

Mr. Olsteen Chimes In

I appreciate what Mr. Olsteen is trying to put forth (at least a “little”), which is a good reason to use your voice!

He’s wrong as it pertains to the crux of severe mental illness.

No one works harder than myself and a few people I know in the blogosphere, who want to share their story and make a difference.

Please don’t be taken in by the Olsteen’s of the world!

No One Can Help You Until You Agree To Be Helped

I think the above is true! At least it was for me.

In order for you to get the help you need and begin to feel a little bit better (if that’s going to happen), you need to at least be “somewhat” compliant.

Now, maybe your being compliant comes in stages… but, I know I needed to at least, listen to the mental health professionals, and eventually, A) Take the meds, and B) Make the effort.

This is difficult for a good 50% of people with diagnosed severe mental illnesses, but essential still!

I think about so much in a given day, it isn’t funny. My mind doesn’t seem to want to stop with overthinking, anxiety/worry, and the general symptoms of depression and psychosis.

Life can be (and is) very difficult for a lot of people in these or similar predicaments!

I wish I could say that everyone will be in a good way, once they follow their doctor’s instructions… but, that’s not always the case.

What are the three most important things that you have done to make the trajectory of your illness, better?

Sometimes, You Just Have To Say, “Phuck It!”

And, be prepared for both the good and bad consequences of your decisions!

Working through my fears has enabled me to finally have a blog that I can stick with!

I haven’t written much about facing one’s fears, but it is worth noting that you get a lot further by doing so!

That said, consistency is still a problem for me, and it has been ever since I became ill.

Is consistency something you flirt with, but have a challenging time achieving? How consistent are you?

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!

Just Hold On: Thoughts About Support Systems

I am only beginning to come into my own again, where my support system is concerned.

The old system, meant that I had to endure a multitude of opinions about what matters or mattered (to my support people, rather than me), as the case was.

But, I can’t even begin to think of the old, old support system.

That was pretty much non-existent!

So, I think…

How would any of us get along without a support system intact?

I know, I didn’t. Not at all…

I just plain had breakdowns. And, they were awful!

So, always, always have yourself a support system… and, if it falls apart (like mine has these past several months), do your best to hold on!

The pieces may be coming together in a way that will only “help” you that much more!

Here is a link to the ways in which a support system helps.

With Love,

—Mio

I Am Learning To Double And Triple Check Many Beliefs

I can’t always do this, but I have noticed (as many anxiety sufferers probably have) that many of the things I fear in life, are unfounded.

To elaborate, it is more than fear that I am talking about—it’s my delusions.

I have realized (through speaking to my wife about certain matters), that, if I give it a few days, it is quite possible that I’ll be wrong about something that had previously been troubling me.

For instance, let’s say that I believe that someone has it out for me, and that I can tell by their actions, that I am soon going to be a “victim.”

If I give it a day or two, the exact thought(s) or “delusions” that I experienced regarding said person, will usually come around again, accompanied with newfound knowledge, that I was “wrong” about my “assertion.”

Of course, I am embarrassed (I don’t need to be) when things do come back around, but I am learning to not be surprised either!

If I am going to worry about a plethora of things, some of them are “bound” to be off-the-wall untrue!

Right?

Right!

And, this is just a part of the hell of working through issues related to severe mental illness.

But, at least I am “trying.”

In fact, that is my new mantra—to at least “try!”

Am I at least “trying?”

I’ve always been someone who tries, but I haven’t always had that all-elusive awareness, which many times held me back!

What about you? Is a lack of awareness a problem for you? How do you get around it?