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...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Path that God Chose for Me

I am not upset that I have schizophrenia, this is the life God chose for me. The other day I was telling my mother I am glad I took a break from school, but I wish I had taken it sooner so that I could have recognized my illness sooner. She reminded me that everything happens for a reason, and that had I took a break sooner I would not have been able to know my full potential in college and in life. I went to college and got really involved in it through sports, internships, and mentoring peers. I was involved in so many things, school, church, home, friends, family, you name it! She was right, I am glad I took the path I took.

I did not always have schizophrenia, but now that I have it I will work hard to overcome it. I try not to use the word schizophrenic because that identifies the person by their illness and that isn't fair. I am Ashley and I have schizophrenia. I will not let it limit my potential or define who I am. I can and will overcome these symptoms with medication, therapy, support, and coping mechanisms.

My mother also reminded me that I used what I learned from my experiences to cope with the side effects of my medication. I was stiff and restless. To control this I exercised, paced, and read the Bible to relax. I also sang hymns and prayed to God.

If you have a mental illness, don't be upset that you have the illness, everybody has imperfections and remember that God does not put more on you than what you can bare.

22 comments:

lowincomelady said...

Ashley, do you ever find that Christian people think you are demon possessed instead of schizophrenic? I have had people trying to heal me. I went to a Christian school and before I was diagnosed I was acting strangely and the counsellor tried to get rid of demons... I now stay right away from that sort of thinking now... there are still some in my church who think along those lines but I just don't talk about that. I make sure I don't ask those people for prayer as their thinking comes through in their words...

Cheryl

Valash said...

Cheryl,

First, I am very sorry that that happened to you and anyone else that may have happened to. And secondly, I do not believe that people who have schizophrenia are possessed by demons or unnatural spirits. Third, I was diagnosed very early on so I didn't display my symptoms to a lot of people.

Part of the reason why I have not experienced this is I haven't told many people that I have schizophrenia. And so a lot of people, such as people I work with, do not even know that I have a mental illness. But had I told more people, I am sure I would have got that sort of feedback. It is ancient thinking, and backward at that! I am very selective with whom I tell, because not everybody will understand the illness.

Also, as part of my illness I thought everyone around me were either angles or demons in disguise. I thought I was a prophet and had a gift to decipher spirits. This psychosis is what led to my nervous breakdown.

Ashley

earlyriser said...

I have said that I'm blessed with my SZA. Whoever passes out illnesses, knew in the end that I could handle SZA.

As far as disclosure goes I tell some that I have SZA. I spoke twice at a transistional living facility in front of the staff. The first time I did I wasn't sure what they'd say or think. It turned out better than I thought.
I have talked to psychology students. I write blogs, occasionally in my local newspaper.

God chose this path for me as well. He showed me the path , but I have to walk it.

Vivienne said...

I have a question, I hope you don't mind. How did Schizophrenia develop? You say that you didn't have it before, how does it happen?

Valash said...

Vivienne,

For me, this may be different for other people with adult onset schizophrenia, the symptoms came gradually. I remember in high school I thought I could sense angles and demons in people.

Schizophrenia worsens when one is overwhelmed by stressful situations. For me this was college, working, and moving to another state. However, the chemical imbalance was probably with me all along, it just didn't manifest itself until adulthood.

I am not a psychiatrist, however, specialist in schizophrenia say it is caused by a combination of genetics and environmental factors. Environmental factors could include obstretic complications before or after birth, and stress.

Ashley

Vivienne said...

Hello you, thank you for your quick reply. Really appreciate it. I have another qeustion if htat's ok....

If, as you say some people are not "born" with it so to say - does that then also mean that with the adequate combination of medication and therapy it can go away?

Valash said...

Vivienne,

Unfortunately there is no cure for schizophrenia. Once someone has schizophrenia they will always have it.

However, the illness can go into remission with proper treatment. What I mean by remission is when someone goes without symptoms for at least six months while on medication.

Ashley

MissTexidor said...

Bless your patience. You're truly an amazing human!! xoxo

Anonymous said...

hi my name is elaine and i am a schizophrenic and i have issues about who i am and about god i see most schizophrenic people love art and i do too but not very good and i have very high dreams but i think all of it is a joke and does god care about me because i feel like i am nothin specisl to anybody but the people insid my head and i sometimes wish for god to take my life now because i dont see nothing in the future nor my dreams i am overweight because of my medication and i have a low self esstem and i am looking for answers to help me get through life

thanx
Elaine

Peter said...

i have a hunch... what if Schizophrenia is actually a psychological test of strength, stamina, and endurance in the face of great psychological punishment? and what if it was actually God giving the test?

Anonymous said...

We are studying schizoprenia in class, I am going to clinicals and dealing with patients, when they are having episodes where they feel they are spoken to, I quietly say in Jesus name, I rebuke these thoughts in that person. If you feel like you have any unwanted thoughts in your mind, that is not God or Jesus in your mind, GOD IS LOVE.. dont let satan or the world fool you, Pray the blood of Jesus upon those thoughts and ask it to be removed!!!! The patients seemed so much calmer from this. If there are any unwanted negative thoughts, visions in your mind.. rebuke them!

Anonymous said...

I spelled schizophrenia wrong in the first post, Im sorry! Just remember JESUS DIED FOR US SO WE MAY HAVE VICTORY! I do not believe that you are demon possessed, I do believe you are being pestered, and tested but you will overcome in JESUS NAME!!! His name is above all names!!!

Anonymous said...

we all try to be better people. I have found that ........ it was God. and it was all i see. God Bless us. In Jesus Name

Anonymous said...

I was diagnosed with schizophrenia by 2 Psychiatrists when I was 17. Was placed on Resperidal.

On separate occasions I had confidence to go without the medicine. Relapsed back to the "dark days" In my relapses they were the lonliest of the lonliest of times. Felt all alone eh?

Well. I've been off pills since May 2008. No longer suffering symptoms. I had prayer done by Christians various times. & also sleep very peaceful at night. :]

Anonymous said...

i am devastacted. my son suffered with schizophrenia for eight years and then ended his life at twenty three years of age . i typed in the question "does God care for schizophrenics?" and your site popped up.. is this the path He chose for Casey? please don't write of free will i don't think he had any at the moment he ended his life, and at this moment i feel the same way about those two words as i do abou my second least favorite two words t"new normal" sandy

Anonymous said...

Anonymous- I am so terribly sorry for you with your son. I typed something similar in google and these posts showed up as well. My brother suffers from multiple forms of schizophrenia-- and the worst cases of them at that. He has been on meds for years, though the dr's suggest nothing is working, and that he should be in a permanent home with other patients forever. He does not know what freedom is either. He has suicidal thoughts and always looks like he is in pain. It hurts me to see him hurt-- but my mother most of all. I don't think God is "testing" him either-- as I am a full Christian and believe in GRACE not karma. I honestly think the devil is trying to destroy my poor, already broken down brother. But I do believe The power of God can restore him to being somewhat normal again. God can do anything! Whoever says there is no cure, obviously doesn't know the power of God. I believe it takes consistent faith-- the rest is in Gods hands. I am so horribly sorry for the loss of your son-- words will never add up but please don't blame God. Your son suffered tremendously on earth, there is no doubt in my mind he is pain free with Jesus now.

Anonymous said...

Hello, all schizophrenic patients, I think you will find this article interesting http://walkwithjesus.hubpages.com/hub/What-is-schizophrenia-how-does-it-connect-with-anxiety-bipolar-depression-Dissecting-mental-disorders

God Bless.

Doug said...

Hi All, (in bed on iphone so typo warning in advance) I found this post because I figured this all out and decided to see what was being said. It's very sad to me to see folks labeling themselves as Schizophrenic for life. I am here to tell you that I have been through two episodes and now my life is fantastic!! Think about it for a minute. Did you have thoughts and then something happened that went along with your thoughts? Then you wonder how that could be possible?
Luckily I am so successful and grounded that I was in great spirits when some major things went wrong in my life. I had to walk away from some projects when I saw the people doing things wrong towards fellow people, and using my good name to instigate it! It meant some very hard financial times for me but I stood for people and not money. I started to have what some would call a nervous breakdown. The wired thing was that I do so much good for people. I also could have let things as they were and made money at the expense of fellow man.
Something truly amazing just happened to me! Normaly if I were in bad spirits and depressed I would have been committed. But because I am a great success I had friends and family around. They stayed by my side and I started telling them things and then minutes later they would see something I just talked about!! My Mom, my girlfriend, Colin, Tom, and other friends have been totally floored! I already have a writer lined up to interview them about what they saw and how they thought I went crazy at first. I saw their mouths drop when they witnessed my gift. Now everyone is getting right with God because we are believing that there must be another dimension! I'm here to tell you I never subscribed to hocus pocus, spirits, aliens, or anything supernatural. I labeled myself as agnostic. Now I have been rocked to my core beliefs! God is real!! When you think you are normal and then you "discover" you are not, its a bery horrible place to be. Shrinks think it is psychotic and convince you that you need meds. This makes you feel like a nut!! It makes it worse!! It becomes a downward spiral. Your mind goes faster than your mouth can speak. You can't even articulate your thoughts! If anyone is going through this and needs some guidance I would love to shed some light on your situation. This year I am set to make more money than ever, open two stores, and I've repaired a lot of lives! All because my "break" was positive. My first break was very dark and embarrassing. That was 14 years ago and i never thought i would be on the subject again. I did figure something out in my first "nervous breakdown" When I corrected my selfish behaviors and put people first, I.e saying kind things to strangers, giving of myself, no regard for money over people, helping people who broke down on the side of the road, etc, I got better almost overnight and started making more money than ever without even trying! You can walk into a major bookseller and see my work!! Never a "break" until last month! Now I've really figured some things out and I have normal people as witnesses. If anyone is struggling with this phenomena I would be glad to talk to them or their loved ones and share a phenomenal story. Their are some mainsteam books that talk about this. Have you heard of the Secret? The author fully believes you can bestow great wealth and knowledge on yourself through some phenomena! You can call me any time. I will make a alternate email and post it here soon so my business email doesn't get spammed by computer crawlers. Blessings, Doug Thompson

Anonymous said...

I'm 17, and I've had full blown schizophrenia since I was 15. Nobody knows because I function well enough without medication. I feel that I've experienced the ups and downs of it, yet I have control of it now. Meditation really does work, just observing the nonsense of the mind, and letting the mind rest into the silence that you are. I had a spiritual upheaval that made me realize schizophrenia is self-induced delusion, and the only way out of delusion is to seriously know who you are and pierce through the delusion. Because schizophrenia is like having no filter on the mind, you need to mentally build a filter for pure and natural thinking processes to come through only. I have never taken SZA medications for I've been better off just with mastering my own mind. Really you just have to accept that it's not real, and just move on, the more you give into it, the more insane it makes you.

Sierra said...

Hi Ashley,

Though I have not been diagnosed schizophrenia I am quite religious and spend a lot of time in meditation. I sometimes feel that I have religious experiences, for example, feeling God's presence. As a religious person do you ever have religious experiences such as these? And if so, how are they similar to or different to symptoms of schizophrenia? Do you think it's possible to experience religious phenomena without any sort of mental illness?

Sierra

Brittany Smiley said...

I first heard voices telling me I was going to hell. I feel down all the time and don't feel any joy. What do you have to say about this?

Ashley Smith said...

Sierra,

I think feeling God's presence is evidence of the holy spirit. And, yes, I most definitely believe it is possible to experience religious phenomena and to not have a mental illness.

Brittany Smiley,

Hi Brittany, I strongly encourage you to seek professional support and treatment for yourself to minimize or eradicate the voices so that you can enjoy life to the fullest.

Regards to all,

Ashley