The Author

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Atlanta, Georgia, United States
I am overcoming schizophrenia, and I believe others can too. Here is how I am managing my condition...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Overcoming Schizophrenia

Hello, I am a young African American female who is diagnosed with schizophrenia. Recently, I discovered that I had schizophrenia through an unfortuante experience that landed me five months in jail and in the hospital.

Suffering from schizophrenia during my college years led me to drop out of school due to the stresses of life. I heard voices but thought they were the people around me or in my cellular phone. I also experienced paranoia relative to delusions. I thought that people were gossiping about me and were against me, or following me. I experienced anxiety with groups of people and often strayed away from social activities. At one point I thought I had the gift of discernment whereas I could decipher "evil" spirits from "good" spirits in people. These delusions deterioated my relationships with professors and peers.

Now I am recovering through medication and therapy. I am taking a medication called abilify. I read books on the illness, keep a journal, and blog, and attend groups. Are there any other persons that can relate to my situation?

5 comments:

mary said...

Ashley,

I have depression and have never experienced psychosis per se but I believe I have been very close to not being able to tell reality from falsehood
I think you are so brave and I love the positive attitude you seem to be taking towards the diagnosis of Schizophrenia. I imagine a lot of people become very discouraged; life is hard enough without your mind and body throwing you for a loop like that. Remember, mental illness is a physical illness as well as a mental illness, there is no judgement. It sounds like I don't need to remind you of that though which is awesome.
Thank you for reading that post on my blog. The post you read is part of a longer story which is my life. I'm trying to reach out to young teens to help them know what NOT to do (as well as to let them know that other people struggled with those years)which is why I'm writing the 'story'. I am trying to figure out how to reverse the posts, i.e., make the oldest post 'appear' first and the newer posts appear as older ones.
Thank you for sharing your story; I also appreciate that you dived right into trying to help others so shortly after your own initial diagnosis.
What are you studying at college?
God Bless You!
Mary

gmama said...

Even though my daughter saw this as an "unfortunate experience" she continues to make the best of it. I will always emphasize how proud I am of her. Nothing stops her, which has been characteristic of her entire lifestyle. So beautiful inside and outside. When this even occurred I cried and cried, at least three times a day. I stopped crying and tried to just flow with this and handle it the way my daughter seems to be handling it. The only way I could do it was to involve myself in things and sidetrack. I am finding out that when something as serious as this occurs you have to handle it or it will sneak upon you. I am so glad my daughter is not running away and she is facing this headone. I believe it will make a stronger recovery for her. This is not about me, but today, I cried again for the first time since I knew my daughter was going to be ok. I have not told anyone in my family but I have been running away from this blog because I knew I would have to open up a little more, which I believe will be painful, but helpful. God is so good, so good!!!! He is always there even when you believe you are all alone. Our worse mistake is to loose faith and think that we are there alone. My daughter and I prayed everyday and still praised God because we knew from the beginning that whatever happened was His will. We knew that he would bring us through this, and he has not failed. We laugh, my daughter has joy and still believes in God, even through all she has been through. I look at her in amazement and astonishment all of the time.
While the doctors were diagnosing my daughter they fell in love with her like anyone would. They were so impressed with her that they called me and asked to meet with me. They wanted me be knowledgeable of the illness and educated me on her medication and symptoms. They explained to me that this was not their normal procedures but they wanted to see my daughter succeed and she would. They based this on her drive, her intelligence, her energy level, and her willingness to not stop!!! I was so proud of the fact that they wanted to do this for my daughter, Ashley. Imagine, the psychiatrist, social worker, counselor and therapist. They asked me to come prepared with questions so that we could all work together. Again, God is good! ... and, just like they said, my baby is recovering and making good of a not-so-good-situation. Thank all of you for supporting Ashley by commenting to this blog. This is very helpful.

Anonymous said...

I feel this is excellent! Good for you for writing all of this very accurate information and being so candid and NOT being ashamed! My mother and I have been through 15 years with my brother, now 33 years old.
First, it was all about being an alcoholic and bringing him into the hospital to de-tox. Then late 20's, came the schizophrenia/bi-polar diagnosis. I can't count how many times he's been hospitalized,or how many hospitals...all over Connecticut. I can't count how many social/crisis workers my mother and I have spoken to. Even earlier this year he was in a nursing home, as my mother has to work full-time and I have 7 year old triplets. I won't lie, we get incredibly frustrated and there are SO many times my mother and I can't do it anymore, he'll get discharged and 1 week later he is back the pysch unit. We have the local visiting nurse involved this time, but that didn't help, he's back in. I'm trying to now get him put on injectible medication, I don't know if Trilafon is working.
I also went through so much rejection for him as far as finding a place to live. Because he just drops and runs every single episode because of his paranoia.
I feel people would have more sympathy, understanding, and compassion if he were a cancer patient.
However honestly, this disease is by far, just as crippling!

Persephone said...

I have a different illness but I can certainly relate. Depression has made me overly anxious about being around people and situations. I've never had delusions but I did believe false ideas, such as my worth, being loved, I always thought people were judging me, and never though I was good enough. I hope the best for you and I'll be a click away.

Anonymous said...

Lord please help me, I am schizophrenic and having one those days. Paranoia, voices...what not.
I have been fighting this for 12 years and there seems no end in sight. I'm praying for a cure for all mental ilness right now! I am still ashamed after all of these years. Nothing has worked, I'm still scared and hurting. I'll pray for you all. God please help people understand that this wasn't our fault- I love all of you and hope the best help for you!