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WHO AM I...A New Introduction

I am a daughter, a sister, an auntie; and a student.

"Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, I ordained you a prophet to the nations" (Jeremiah 1:5). This is my favorite scripture, because God knows everyone and everything before it happens.

In the past, I had a little setback, however, I do not let it define me. I am persistent, passionate, and excited about my work. I enjoy going to the movies, running, and painting pottery. I am more expressive, open-minded, and my moods are more stable. I welcome constructive criticism and I am very optimistic. I enjoy being around family and people in general, and I excel at challenges. I like the thrill of accomplishing my new dreams and goals.

I am explaining who I am because there are a lot of stereotypes about people with schizophrenia...They are lazy, they are not motivated, and they do not show emotion. However, I show a lot of emotion- I laugh, I cry, and get I upset at the appropriate times. They are violent, have split personality, and are manipulative. I am not an aggressive individual and never have been, I am not moody, and I am straightforward; not manipulative at all. I am just like everyone else, I make mistakes and have goals. In fact, I have a lot of goals, I plan on graduating from college, and working a full time job in public relations and marketing after school.

Additional stereotypes have the inaccurate belief that there is no hope for recovery, and that people with schizophrenia will always be in the hospital, this not true. I am living proof that recovery is possible. Now I am in the recovery stage; I take medication, get involved in group therapy, and work on a marketing internship.


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Religious Preoccupation

After a talk, a woman asked me if my faith contributed to my recovery because she noticed that I mentioned it throughout my speech. In addition to that, she told me that she observed people with faith as having a better outcome in their mental health recovery.

First, I came from a family with Christian values. My faith in God started to get intense during the latter years of high school, which in my opinion, is when I started having symptoms. In my experience religion plays a major role in my mental health- its delusions, its coping skills, and in my recovery. In medical terms they call my religious rituals and delusions "religious preoccupation."

Before I was diagnosed I was highly religious. In fact, I wanted to be an evangelist and to go to a Christian college. I would read my Bible for several hours a day throughout the day, listen to hymns, and meditate. Sometimes I would ignore people if they wanted my attention while I was meditating I was in such deep thought. Also, I …

How Can I Support Someone with Persecution Delusions

Recently, a reader asked how to support, or what to say to someone who has persecutory delusions and confides in them. I thought this question was profound. By investigating this question it could help so many people maintain or develop a trusting relationship with their relative, friend, or client, etc. I asked the opinion of my therapist, and she gave some pointers and asked me to remember a time when I was psychotic and what could someone have said to me to make me feel more comfortable...

When I was at my peak of psychosis everything was a sign from God- that truck making a U-turn meant go back, that taxi cab driver telling me to stay out of trouble meant he was in on it too. While I was psychotic I heard conflicting voices. When I would ask someone a question on the phone the voices would give different information. I was extremely paranoid. And almost everyone was a threat. I couldn't confide in relatives because they would tell my secrets, I couldn't trust friends becaus…

Lack of Trust: A Byproduct of My Mental Illness

In this entry, I'll share my experiences with Schizophrenia in regards to feeling lack of trust in others, paranoia, and isolation.... I remember my many episodes with Schizophrenia where I felt uneasy because of lack of trust in others. In the past, isolation was a giant bullying me around.

Sometimes my mind would take me to a place of fear, hurt, and an unsettling spirit, which started with what seemed like a strange look, or a different feeling around an individual, when in reality it was another symptom of my undiagnosed illness- paranoia. My paranoia was rampant and dictated my life prior to experiencing a crisis, which led me to jail and into forced treatment and to receive an official diagnosis of Schizophrenia in 2007.

In other words, my illness created enemies in my mind. For instance, I once believed my favorite kin was against me and I felt like she wanted me to fail, and I eventually thought she was conspiring to harm me. However, she never said anything to imply these f…