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, March 3, 2009

My Thoughts on Schizophrenia

While listening to Aaliyah's song, "Try Again," I was inspired to write this post.

In Aaliyah's song she says "if at first you don't succeed, dust yourself off and try again," I can relate that to my struggle with schizophrenia. If you mess up, you can try again and make things right, but don't give up. Almost two years after my psychotic break I have not given up, and I continue to strive to overcome my illness.

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that could either break you or make you stronger. In the past, I experienced some tough situations- the devil was trying to send suicidal messages that I had to ignore. (Once on the television I saw the words: "How to commit suicide," and on the radio I heard a song singing about how suicidal a man was over a woman. Back then, I interpreted it as the devil trying to get me to commit suicide, sending me messages. Not me, I was not ready to die!

Hearing discouraging voices (the voices laughed at me and told me I was a dishonor to my family) and believing everyone was out to get me. I did not know what to do, I would go on walks or call someone close to me. I could still hear these voices over the telephone, they are very powerful so watch out! The voices had the nerve to tell me to get off the phone and I'd tell the person I was talking to "I gotta go." and abruptly get off the phone. I had one choice, get rid of them! I took walks and it seemed to calm a bit, but the medication did wonders!

Even though I have a mental illness, I have a choice whether to survive it or to let it consume me. I can have a pity party, not cooperate with doctors, and not do anything good to help myself. Or I can encourage myself to look at things positively and try to overcome schizophrenia by partnering with doctors, educating myself on my illness, and taking my medication regularly.

At first, I messed up. I didn't take my medication regularly and didn't want to because I was raised in an anti-drug environment and I though I was actually being poisoned. Due to this illness, my family had to mandate me to take medication, but since then I've learned that the way I was handling it was not the proper way to handle my illness, instead I handle schizophrenia through education and trusting my doctors.

Although I've heard it said, that it feels like "you're a pill away from a relapse" I do not let that idea get me down! I embrace my illness by discussing it and learning more about it. If you feel bad about having schizophrenia, I understand, but there are worse obstacles out there. If you feel like giving up hope, DON'T, because God loves you by giving you another chance at life. If you don't want to help yourself, do it for your family or friends they care about you and want to see you overcome. Lastly, do it for me, I would like to hear about all of us recovering and working with what we have! Well, no lastly, do it for YOU!

Your comments give me great joy! If you are reading my blog, I hope you find it to be helpful as I find your comments and feedback helpful and inspirational in my day-to-day recovery. Thank you!

12 comments:

earlyriser said...

I have tried many meds over the past 28 years. At first I took them whenever the mood struck me or I would forgot to take them. Until one time someone told me that I should take them at the same time every single day. I did and I never forget them now.

Having that balance is great.

Almost 29 years of SZA, I'm still finding ways to help smooth my illness.

I won't give up.

Currently I'm on 5 meds and maintenance ECT's.

ACDesign said...

Ashley,

You should become a public speaker and talk about your story. I think you could inspire many younger people trying to cope with this illness.

BellaBeauty said...

I needed this post! Thank you for posting it. I feel like throwing in the towel. But I know I have to keep going for my family. Your post was a reminder of that. I am currently taking 16 or 17 medications... Some for physical problems but mostly for Schizo-affective disorder and BPD. I'm trying really hard to ignore the suicidal thoughts. I can't hurt my family like that again. And I definitely DO NOT want to go back into the hosptial. but anyways. I'm really glad I found your blog... I can really relate.

<3 Stephanie

Valash said...

earlyriser,
Tweny-eight years- that's amazing!- you should be very proud of yourself. You are an inspiration! I agree, we still can learn from our illness.

ACDesign,
Thank you very much! Whenever the opportunity arises I will be very thankful and do it gladly.

Thank you for your comments!
Ashley

Valash said...

Stephanie,
That is so good to hear, that this post was what you needed to hear. That is awesome that you are motivated to keep going for your family, I am too. keep pushing on!

Ashley

Anonymous said...

I am a Case Manger for adults with mental illness. Today I picked up one of my clients from the psychiatric hospital after his second schizophrenic episode. He had stopped taking his medications because he thought that he had fully recovered. He is 21 and a very bright young man with a lot of potential. I know he is scared of the changes in his life since his recent onset. I was searching the net looking for some resources for him. I am so thrilled to find your blog. I know that it will be helpful to him and many of my others that I work with because it relates to and supports them in a very important way that I can't. The power of peer support is unique. I can't wait to share this. I thank you for sharing yourself. Take good care.

saint stephen said...

I have alot of the same thoughts and voices that are similar to yours. I get signs from T.V. that tell me to do something or songs from the radio like it's directed towards me and I interpret these as messages as ideas to make me do something negative. I also hear voices that put me down and it can change my mood drastically. Don't you wish people knew more about schizophrenia? And how it makes people who are diagnosed with it act? Sometimes I want to put a shirt on in bold letters saying "I have schizophrenia, research it on the internet!"
I don't know if you know about Joaquin Phoenix's situation and everyone making fun of him or not. But I watched him on you tube on the night he was on letterman. I believe that he has schizophrenia and I can relate to him. If I was on the show I would have been freaking out like he did. Anyway, just wanted to say I've been reading your blog. -St. Stephen

Valash said...

Anonymous Case Manager,
I hope your client gets well, I heard of that sort thing happening before and it is frusterating that there is no cure for schizophrenia yet. Thank you for your support, and I wish you the best with your practice!

Saint Stephen,
I agree with you, I wish others would research schizophrenia too, or media would talk more about it for awareness.

Just the other day my mother saw a commercial for a medication for schizophrenia, I missed it, but was glad that it came on. Schizophrenia may affect a minority in this country but it is still important.

I heard a little bit about Phoenix's story but not the whole thing, I'll check it out on youtube.

Thank you for your comments!
Ashley

sweetsue said...

My son has schizophrenia, and he is having such a hard time. Reading about others living with it gives me hope that some day he will have a better life.

Anonymous said...

Here is a short life story for you all. im 31 now and have had 5 hospitilizations since 18 including 1 escape. i have schizophrenia and bp.
can i just say that i too love aliyahs song and has given me inspiration.
over the years, i got up and kept on trying and not give up. no matter how many friends i lost or what ppl said. with meds i believe im just like anyone out there and can do anything.theres a saying, ppl take insulin for diabetes, we take whatever for us. we all are different but i use this to motivate me. and u are right,things can be much worse but our problems seem massive.
i am a success story. i previously have been working as an emt and am now a fireman in israel and am doing only what god knows.
skies the limit ppl.....theres a reason why we dream. ive traveled nearly every contenant the only thing now to do is get married. peace out ppl.....and half the job is done by us, i hope u all well :)

Details of a torture said...

Hello. I too have become aflficted with schizophrenia and this is only my 2nd year going through this. I have thought that various multitudes of government agencies were after me and wanted me dead. When that thought vanishes though, I am convinced that I am hearing messages from God or Satan. The negative messages like killing myself or running away I have to believe are from Satan, and the good thoughts like staying sobre or to begin school again come from God. I have humiliated myself on a couple of occasions when I need to call into police stations or the fbi to disprove that these things are real. I am currently on Prolixin and I am starting to feel the side effects of the medicine, but it is only my 2nd day being on the medication. I had been on haldol in the past as well as abilify for trying to manage these feelings of being watched, being killed by the government for knowing "too much" etc..

As long as all of you can handle this disease, I too will keep on fighting.

Princess B. said...

I agree that you should become a public or motivational speaker. Your words are always encouraging and alwasy inspiring. You have a gift!

Princess B.