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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 10, 2009

Schizophrenia: Bizarre Behavior Part I

Part of schizophrenia is irrational behavior and disorganized thinking when untreated. Before I knew I had developed adult onset schizophrenia I believed some strange things.

For instance, I questioned family members, to distinguish if they were really my relatives or impostures. I believed they were impostures when they did not answer my questions the way I wanted them to. Where the real relative went, I did not know.

As I asked these questions I had a blank stare that scared my family: "Who was your childhood friend," I asked my sister..."What high school graduation gift did you give me," I asked my grandmother."..."What did I write on your Mother's Day Card?... Was it taped or sealed?" I asked my mother..."What restaurant did you take me to before we went to the zoo a few years ago," I asked my uncle. These questions seemed minor or mediocre, and of no significance, but they were very important to me.

"Where are your glasses?...Where is your Bible?...Why haven't you been answering my calls," my aunt asked me. (I usually carried my Bible everywhere I went). "I lost them," I replied.

In reality, I left my cell phone at a smoothie restaurant because I believed my aunt placed a tracking device in it, however, where I was going was no big secret, but I felt violated. I left my glasses in the bathroom, in order, to disguise myself from the people following me, but there was no one actually following me.

Now, thinking back on my actions I realize how bizarre these incidents were. And I recognize that I was highly delusional. I remember being scared at the time and not having any relief from whatever action I took. These were just some of the bizarre things I did, but there is a lot more that I plan to share with you soon.

I am just so glad that there is medication to overcome the symptoms of schizophrenia. Today I do not have delusions or a lot of other symptoms associated with schizophrenia because of the medication. The intention of this post is to bring about awareness and to give an idea of what life can be like living with schizophrenia, when untreated. Although there is no cure for schizophrenia yet, there is treatment to reduce the symptoms.

If you are a caregiver, friend, or parent of an individual with schizophrenia and notice strange behavior you should keep a record of it and tell this information with their psychiatrist. Also, keep hope alive that that individual will get better!

To learn more about schizophrenia and to get support visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)or Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada).

13 comments:

Anonymous Drifter said...

You're doing a great job educating people about your illness. I can relate to your post even though I don't have schizophrenia because I had a psychotic break with my bipolar disorder and was extremely paranoid. It was a terrifying time for me.

BellaBeauty said...

It's so great that you post. You are really helping a LOT of people!

As Lovers Go said...

What is the facination with God? When my brother was diagnosed he became obsessed with religion and it seems that it happens alot. Is there a reason for this?

Valash said...

First, thank you all for your comments!

As Lovers Go,
I was obssessed with religion as well, I do not know where it comes from. For a while I thought I was a prophet with the ability to distinguish good and evil spirits in people, and even understand God...I'll do some research on this matter.

Ashley

ACDesign said...

Your symptoms are so similar to my brother's. He currently questions if my parents are his parents or if we are his siblings. It is a little hard to take but I know this symptom will fade as he gets better. One thing I notice is that he finds comfort (when he is completely psychotic) by going to church. My mom told me he has sat in the same pew for almost 6 hours one time. I couldn't believe it. But I think he found peace there. We were raised Catholic so maybe going to church was a place he remembered as calm and peaceful, away from the world.

Pamela Wagner said...

Thank you Ashley for a beautifully written blog. I have had similar symptoms, many in the distant past , but some not so distant. I think you have done an excellent job both in explaining the illness and in inspiring others to "keep on keeping on" as we used to say. I only wish I had known at your age what you seem to know so well. Congratulations for having such a terrific attitude. You really are a tremendous example for others with schizophrenia, even for me.

Pamela Spiro Wagner

Pamela Wagner said...

PS I hope you will visit my blogs, http://wagblog.wordpress.com (for up to date news and goings on) and http://aboutschizophrenia.blogspot.com for my reconstruction of the schizophrenia.com blog which I wrote for five years until that website was partially erased and then abandoned and with it most of that 1500pp (in MS Word) blog.

Thanks,

Pamela Spiro Wagner

Anonymous said...

I have schizophrenia since 2003. I was obsessed with religion too. I thought I have become a prophet and my hallucinations are messages from God, because of that my hallucinations were sacred and very important for me. This was going on for eight months, after that I sought medical help which after three years became very successful.

Jennifer, aka beautiful mind, complex life said...

Ashley, you are doing important advocacy work as you continue to educate the public about Schizophrenia and remind those of us who live with this illness every day that we are not in it alone. I have added the link to your blog on mine, Inside My Mind, and I hope you get some more readers here as you seem to already have quite a few.

Take care,

Jen

Wanderer62 said...

Hi Ashley,

Just wishing you well.

Kate

Valash said...

Thank you all for your comments!

Pamela, I will visit your blogs, thank you.

Anonymous, I am glad you are well.

Thanks for the link Jen.

Hey Kate!

Ashley

Anonymous said...

Our son is in the process of being diagnosed. He had his first break in 2007, a second one six months later after the doctor took him off medication, and he is going through one now and is in a special hospital for one more week. They said bi-polar at first but several have mentioned schizophrenia later on and the hospital is taking its time in diagnosing him. He is refusing medication and can't be reasoned with concerning taking meds. We are very worried about him because he doesn't want help and will end up on the street talking to himself and perhaps being violent. We read of the many people who have this disease and are happy on the meds...why not him? Please post any advice. We need it right now. We read that the disease affects logical thinking and that is where he is at concerning the meds. Thanks...Worried parents

Anonymous said...

Anonymous post of 4/1/2009 - did you get a response? My daughter too, refuses medication. Her response is "why would I want to poison my body?" I cannot have a discussion on this subject as she absolutely refuses to talk about it.