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Coping with Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that disrupts a person's thinking, emotions, and behavior, which can lead to the extent of isolation to suicidal thoughts. There is no cure for the illness, yet. Schizophrenia affects males and females alike and people of all cultures. It affects 2 to 3 million Americans, and one percent of the world population.

Despite my illness, I am motivated to keep going because of my family, online peers, and self determination to not go backwards. Nearly two years ago I was distraught at thoughts of people following me, people trying to poision me, and the voices telling me 'I was a dishonor to my family.' Before all of this, I was a junior in college, an AWANA church teacher, a cross country runner, an intern, a daughter, and a sister. Like many of us with a mental illness, I would not have thought I would have had a mental illness, but something had to explain the paranoia and symptoms. The illness sneaks up on you and snatches away everything dear to you- your career, family, friends, and livilihood.

Now, almost two years after my nervous breakdown I am coping with this illness with the support of family, online peers, treatment team (i.e. psychiatrist and therapist), and medication compliance. I am learning more and more about my illness and ways to cope with it. I accept my illness and am working on how to live with it.

What motivates me to take my medication is the thought of losing control. Losing my family again, not completing my internship, not communicating with online peers and supporters again. I don't want to experience psychosis again, I don't want to live in fear of people, I don't want to hear the deep voices that laugh at me and discourage me. I don't want to not eat because I believe someone is trying to poision me. I don't want a complete stranger to call the cops on me because they believe I seem disoriented and confused again.

I will not let schizophrenia get the best of me. I will live life and enjoy it. I will work hard to remember to take my medication, ask my doctor questions about coping skills and symptoms, and ask for help when I need it, before it gets too late. I will fulfill my goals and dreams of completing school, getting married, having children and getting that house! Schizophrenia may have had me down and out in the past, but it will not dominate my life, I handle it with medication, support, and therapy.

To learn more about schizophrenia and to get support visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness or Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada). If you or a friend is experiencing suicidal thoughts call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.


Anonymous said…
I completely understand what you mean and what you are saying. Much like you I have to not let my many mental illnesses take control of my life. I use to be a cheerleader, a star softball player, a friend to my mom and sister, a friend to non relatives, but when I started getting sick.. the illness took all that away from me. I am working on taking my life back. Having schizo affective disorder it's a little different but it too can control the life it tries to devour. And combined with BPD, I am suicidal a lot of the time. I have to stay alive for family and friends. I can't hurt them like that... not again.

You have great wisdom! You should write a book!

<3 Stephanie
Valash said…
That is good you do not act on those suicidal thoughts, but make sure you tell your doctor about them so they can better help you.

I can definitely relate to having a better social life prior to the illness. Thank you for your support!

Nowh3r3m4n said…
Hwy Ashley. My name is Rob, and I just set up an entire account on this site (despite the abhoration of the word 'blog' I mention on mine) purely to get in touch with you.

I have to ask, is there a way to speak with you privately, like a private message bit or anything?

If not, I'd be willing to just post a comment about your blog.

Get in touch, and read my blog!

God I hate that word...
Valash said…
Hello Rob,

Thanks for stopping by...You can contact me by email at In the meantime I'll check out your blog.


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