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?

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?

I’ve Been Getting Into A Few TV Shows Lately

The shows are great, but I am reminded (especially with the reality ones), at just how far and away I am from living!

I’ve written about the fact that I want to live, before.

It is difficult not living, and I don’t believe that I will ever get to a point where I am alive again!

For me, this is a sad thing to think about…

And, when I see these reality shows on TV, it just makes things worse!

Granted, I know that the shows’ contestants tend to be highly motivated individuals.

I get that.

But, aren’t I highly motivated?

It just looks different I guess.

What kinds of things bother you (whether on TV or in print)? Do you feel like you’ve somehow lost at life?

What Schizoaffective Disorder Is And What It Isn’t (A Collaborative Overview)

In this post, I’d like to talk a little bit about my experience with schizoaffective disorder, as someone who is diagnosed and living with it.

If you have any amendments to suggest to this write-up, please make them in the comments!

Thank you!


What schizoaffective disorder is:

Schizoaffective disorder is a severe mental illness, that is basically schizophrenia, PLUS major depression OR bipolar disorder.

While it’s NOT clinically looked at as two separate illnesses, the tenants of the condition are formed with symptoms from two disorders.

Since those with mental illness, often experience different symptoms, I would like to share with you a bit about my experience, independent of what I personally go through symptom-wise, as I have already written about that extensively.

(Please go here for more on what I personally go through.)

Common illness related issues:

Anxiety

(Mania)

Depression

Delusions

Hallucinations

Non-illness related issues (that may be a contributing factor to getting schizoaffective disorder):

Abuse

Poverty

Trauma

Pre-disposed

I don’t believe in healing mental illness, but I do think we owe it to ourselves to do our best “when we can,” which to me, includes returning to (or becoming) ourselves, healing our pasts (to the best of our ability), and whatever is generally necessary to manage our mental health!

Again, this is an overview, and I would like it if you would make it a collaborative one!

Do you believe in complete symptom remission with schizoaffective disorder (or any other severe mental illness)?

For me, I don’t believe complete remission is possible.

Some people with chronic illnesses, may find a way to be contributing members of society, but I personally have not been able to do much of anything in that realm!

I am not lazy, stupid, or a leech; but, I do require high doses of medication and that makes volunteering and working impossible while that is the case.

(There are a lot of things going on with me actually, so again please go here if you want to read more about them.)

I would like to hear about your experiences with recovery, and whether working a full-time job is/was sustainable at given intervals in your life.

This is a post about hope, yes, but I want to do my best not to delude that hope!

Thanks again!!!

There Is Nothing More Disheartening Than Wanting To Do Something That You “Can’t” Do

NOTE: I took a negative tone in this post. This notation you’re reading, did not appear here originally, and I have been reminded of the power of my words!

Please go here for the apology and follow up, and take the words written in THIS post with a grain of salt.

(I may delete this post later on.)

Recovery is muddied, but so also are our thoughts sometimes as well!


A lot of people hate the word “can’t.”

I, myself don’t particularly like it!

But, I have increasingly become accustomed to “can’t” and its meaning…

Also, it’s not that important to me what you think of me.

Just a quick “by the way…”

As I’ll be okay either way…

What IS important is that you understand what it is I struggle with, and why it is so disabling…

So again, you can think that I’m this or that I’m that… and, it doesn’t matter to me!

I am still going to tell my story!

And, my story goes like this…

Schizoaffective disorder and not working… disabled and over medicated… unable to reduce or change meds without losing hard-won “stability”… symptomatic (still) and constantly tired… generally about as active as a turtle (maybe less).

And, this all effing “sucks!”

Several of my blogging friends know of the struggle, because they struggle too!

None of us are alone with our mental health woes!

But, in my view, we can be made to feel that way…

Especially when we tell our stories, and they differ from what organizations like NAMI want to hear!

What is your outlook on conforming? Do you think you are being labeled as an outcast? Why should only stories of health and so-called recovery get airtime?

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)?

We Are The Marginalized

Are we? Or is that term outdated? Does it need updating?

I am hesitant to post a title like this, because I don’t believe I am a victim!

But, in my mind, many of us here in the blogosphere, are the 50% of people who actually give a damn!

That’s never to say we are victims, but our situations are oftentimes more fragile than other people’s.

Because of this, we must advocate for ourselves when we are able, and leave the rest to our friends in battle!

There are so many examples of the marginalized (people who, for one reason or another, experience difficulty in modern day society), that I just want to build us all up!

We each deserve some amount of contentment, happiness, and the like.

And, when we are able… we must fight for it!

Like, the fact that I always write about my troubles. Maybe I could switch it up some, because I have so many good days (not)!?

I write about my difficulties usually, because I want you to know of the challenges that people with severe mental illness deal with.

And, all of this is not to say that we deserve some kind of special consideration, but I tend to have a problem with individuals who lump everyone together and say, “we all have problems.”

Aside from blogging, how are you fighting for better days? Do you have a philosophy on how much of your struggle you share, and how many of your good days you talk about?

And, what about people, making statements such as, “we all have problems?” Is that even fair to those suffering from chronic health issues?

I have a lot of questions in this post. Please answer as many as you can!

Thank you…

An Awareness Of My Symptoms

I will start off by saying, that my memory isn’t so good. Especially regarding current events.

I am at a place where I just feel numb with my symptoms overall.

I am in my mid-40’s, and I can’t imagine the culprit being anything other than psych meds or this illness.

Also, I hope this post doesn’t come off as me just complaining!

I have an awareness of my situation, and the situations of other persons with severe mental illness, but I still have no way of helping others, except through blogging!

And, I am fine with that, considering the intensity of my struggle. I am fine with that, and this isn’t a decision that I make lightly!

While I’d like to do more, I am not able to. And honestly, I don’t feel that there will ever be a time when I will be “able.”

If being disabled for 20 years has taught me anything, it’s that life sucks. Especially when you are severely ill. In my case, severely mentally ill.

Being able is like saying, to me, that I can “wish” the struggle away. A struggle that has me napping throughout the day, even with a full night’s rest. A struggle with energy so low, that I have “limited” ability to prepare food for myself. A struggle whose form is “still” what it is (and, what it has been)… quite disabling (and, this is without my even mentioning core symptoms).

Well, what about smelling your own bullshit?

Great question! I think I do that on a regular basis, and am aware of how we deceive ourselves sometimes. However, I am operating from a place of integrity and have done so for many years. A place that most people don’t seem to understand. I’ll say that!

Also, everyone is different, to this we might agree. But, for those who are disabled and unemployed, how long do you think it will be before you get better, and are good enough to work again?

For me, I know how tired I am throughout the day, which makes a possible recovery more difficult, even if everything else lined up (which it doesn’t).

Maybe what we all need is some better meds? There’s a thought. Something to chew on for a bit perhaps? Though, I feel it is more than that that we need to get ourselves well!

A lot of my writings are redundant (in case you hadn’t noticed), and you may wonder why I am here, occupying this space.

It’s simple. I am a truth seeker! And, mental illness has me fighting, but I am not (nor will I ever be), completely out of the trenches!

I feel alone some days and some days I feel a part of the group, but all days I am still unwell!

I’m sorry if you thought that all severe mental illness went into remission with meds. Some of it gets better, but much of it in fact does not!

Suicide Awareness And Education

For the past few weeks, I have been living with suicidal thoughts. And, while I don’t intend on acting on this intrusive thinking, it is quite difficult to live this way.

Every day, there has been a significant amount of distress in my camp.

On top of battling schizoaffective disorder, which includes, for me, thwarting off suicidal thinking, I maintain this blog.

And, I want to use my voice to tell you that what I go through is not normal, it’s not the blues, and it’s anything but fun!

The suicidal thoughts come and go, but my illness as a whole is always there. Somewhere in the mix.

About Suicide Awareness…

If you know someone is having thoughts of suicide, try and engage them.

For all intents and purposes, it is the rare person who has suicidal thoughts, but has 0 intention on following through with them.

I am one, who, while I struggle, I do not plan to do anything to harm myself. People with the kinds of thoughts I have, definitely need to be in some kind of treatment though!

Of which, I am.

I hope everyone is safe and please be well!

A Word That Gets Thrown Around A Lot, And Means A Lot, To A Lot Of People

Yes, I am talking about the ‘R’ word or “recovery.”

What exactly does it mean?

Well, time has taught me, that…

1) Recovery means different things to different people.

2) Recovery is a loaded term!

3) Recovery should not be the “catch all” that it sometimes is.

Unfortunately, the above is true for a lot of people with mental illness(es). So true in fact, that, my definition of recovery had to stand out (at least in the sense that I understood what recovery meant and what it didn’t mean). For me.

Recovery according to Mio…

To strive for a better version of myself today!

As I do some personal development, I am reminded that yesterday is gone. And, for all intents and purposes, it is gone for good!

Thus, I am trying to reminisce far less than what I have in the past, focusing more and more on the day in front of me aka the present moment, or the “here and now,” for those who enjoy eastern philosophy/religion. 🙂

While writing this post, I was reminded that I don’t want to be a hypocrite! IN ANY WAY!

So, while I don’t fully believe in a destination for recovery, I do think we can (and should) try to develop habits that help us! And, this is no matter how long that takes…

I am not sure how far I will personally be able to get (again, no destination), but chances are good, that if I stay on this path, I will realize that I am doing far better on it than I am off of it (trying to stick to good habits is the key).

Do you have any effective strategies for grounding yourself and/or developing lasting habits?