I’m Struggling And Need A Kinder Routine, Some Relief

Gratefully, a new, supplemental antipsychotic medication is on the way!

Aside from that, I am stuck in my thoughts.

I try and find meaning into everything I think, and I no longer know how to relax very well.

Since I take my medications to ultimately avoid hospitalization, I am sometimes stuck with symptoms in a way that some other people might not be.

I’m not sure to tell you the truth.

I just know that no matter what, I do all I can to avoid the hospital.

There are drawbacks to my approach though, like for instance, my life, which is not going as well as I’d like it to be, is oftentimes in shambles. At least it has felt that way for quite awhile.

So, I will continue to take things a day at a time, as I try and restore some sanity with my meds and a kinder routine.

At the times you feel notably worse than others, what kinds of compassionate/routine-type things do you involve yourselves in?

A Realist And His Illness

NOTE: I am fast becoming a realist. And, at times, I don’t feel like I properly describe my struggles. In fact, I am not sure that I can, or that I even should (sometimes)… but, here they are (in sum)!

A portion of this information originally appeared in “The Fight For Insight” Booklet (located in the BOOKLETS section) some time back.

I will show side by side comparisons of my symptoms, both then and now.

The updates are the paragraphs below the symptom (and the original complaint regarding it). Here goes…


Delusions — False beliefs or “ideas” that are simply not true. My mind will often trick me into believing that my experiences are “real,” so my job is to investigate them (as I am able), or look for “proof” as to whether what I am feeling is “real” or not.

There are tips and techniques for managing this type of psychosis symptom (aside from what I do as I am “able”). Not to mention, I have tried many of these ideas over the years, and they just do not consistently work for me.


Anxiety — I am often afflicted with anxiety, but I don’t tend to view myself as being anxious. The reason being, I don’t want to overlook the other, more serious symptoms I have. Anxiety in itself is bad, but I err on the side of caution (when reporting anxiety symptoms), due to my other symptoms outranking those of generalized anxiety.

I do not know whether anxiety is typical in severe mental illness, but it is something I have had my entire life. As far back as I can recall, I have been plagued with being anxious.


Depression — I experience depression every day (along with all of the other symptoms I have). I feel as though, I have a good level of control over depression, more than I do some of my other symptoms. But, I am still affected daily. And, at times, the depression is more disconcerting than everything else I go through.

I generally feel bad every day, and there is oftentimes this fight to understand and categorize my symptoms (with a goal of addressing the problem areas). No matter what I do though, depression is either “lurking” or it has just finished doing its business.


Hallucinations — In terms of hallucinations, I typically experience auditory vs. visual hallucinations. My auditory hallucinations are ever present, and it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between them and my delusions. One might think that making out one’s “voices” is somehow easy, but I am often not aware of their hold on me, until I’ve engaged with my “voices” for a bit of time.

I am most troubled by my hallucinations or “voices.” It is very difficult to deal with them! I do the best I can though, and I am grateful for the medication, which keeps me going. And, that’s all I can do is keep going.


Lack of motivation — The clinical term for this in schizophrenia is having a “negative symptom,” of which, I have the particular “negative symptom” of lacking motivation (and, have had it since before my final diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder). This symptom affects my energy levels, and generally means, that it is difficult for me to do chores, make a meal from scratch, or get myself off of the couch.

I am now going to combine this symptom with my lack of energy. They both are pretty much the same thing in my case. And, they both have quite the stronghold on me!

Also, I’d like to add another category that I didn’t think much about when I wrote “The Fight For Insight.”

Confusion – I don’t have to engage in moving mountains to realize that I become easily confused. In any event, I persevere and always try my best. That said, there is no stopping any of this. It’s a bad deal, and all the way around too! That and it is what it is!

If you would like to read “The Fight For Insight,” it is available for free in the BOOKLETS section of this site!

I wish I had better news to report regarding my symptoms (then and now), but I don’t. What are your most troubling symptoms?

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

Struggling? Newly Diagnosed? A Message For Families Of Those With Psychosis!

Disclaimer: This Site is intended to provide general knowledge, and is not intended to serve as medical advice of any sort.  Changes in mental health treatment should never be made without consulting your health care provider.

This has been my doctor’s and family’s approach to helping me with schizoaffective disorder.

It sometimes takes awhile, but my overall message to you, is that psychosis can (and often does) get better!

In the past 20+ years of living with schizoaffective disorder, I can tell you six things (some of these you already know), that have helped the trajectory of my mental illness.

Below are some of the things that my parents were able to do for me…

1) Never compare your loved one’s struggles to anyone else’s hardships, past or present. Their struggles are unique to them, and are more than enough for them to handle!

2) Have your loved one take their medication. It can be difficult for some people with psychosis to recognize that they have an illness. Keep working with the professionals, and depending on how “ill” your loved one is, consider getting on as POA for their health care (for awhile).

3) Validate your loved one’s feelings, but also know that some psychotic symptoms need to be challenged. If you can challenge their symptoms safely and healthily, then you definitely should! Also, it can be quite tricky dealing with religious delusions and hallucinations (with your loved ones), so tread carefully, and allow your loved ones some latitude with carving out a “helpful” belief system.

4) Have your loved one try and follow a schedule. This is a lot more difficult than one might think! I personally have been trying to stick with a schedule for two decades, and with little luck. However, I stay productive (not just busy), so that is important too!

5) Let your loved one know, whether it be through actions and/or words, that they are important in the world, and that they are “loved!” I can’t tell you enough, the difference that this has made for me in my life—knowing that I was loved (while in the midst of so much suffering)—that really has made a difference for me!

6) Don’t preach “recovery” to your loved one—especially if you (and them) are having trouble with some of the earlier suggestions. This could cause a lot of damage to your loved one! Your loved one needs to know the tenets of one through five, and when those are being followed properly, then you can have discussions on where they see themselves in the future, and “they” will formulate what they must do to embark on the road to “recovery.”

I personally am still very symptomatic, but having worked on all of the above, with the professionals, my parents, and a few close friends, I am on the upswing (and, doing quite a bit better than I was when I first presented symptoms).

Best of luck to you (and with time, intentionality, and patience), it will get better…

Blessings!

A Little About My Journey With Chronic Mental Illness

Just prior to my receiving my schizoaffective disorder diagnosis, I had attempted suicide a handful of times on rides to the mental hospital.

Gratefully, no one was ever harmed, and my suicidal attempts were curtailed.

I have always had an interest in writing, even at my worst. Communication was something I gravitated towards as well.

I went to school and held jobs for 10 years before going on disability.

I’m not able to work today, and I have been disabled for the past 20 years.

People don’t always get it, and basically, I no longer care.

I don’t owe anyone an explanation outside of what I am willing to share.

Today, my strengths are still writing and communicating. And, I am still ill.

Yes, life is difficult for me, but it is solely up to me and members of my support team to make it livable.

Also, I refuse to minimize the suffering of anyone with a chronic mental health condition. Whenever possible, we need to support one another and “speak aloud” our truths.

Thanks for reading.

Higher Powers And People You Can Count On

In terms of closeness and people I can count on, I have a higher power, my wife, my wife’s family, my mom, and a few close friends. And, I wonder how many of you have a higher power/family/friends that you can count on as well?

I am middle-aged, and as I am dealing with chronic mental illness, I really don’t like to bother anyone who hasn’t been with me throughout my struggles, with the exception of my wife. She works in the medical field and understands mental illness.

So, I guess you could say I have a support system, which I do. And that, it is a pretty good one, which it is.

Any how, I am also aware that many people do not have others that they too, can count on. To you or them (or anyone for that matter), I hope that you can find hope and love in something or someone that you find valuable.