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Showing posts from May, 2009

Phase II The Bright Side of Schizophrenia: The Beast/Learning Experience

Recovery is an ongoing process that demands time, a good attitude, and support (on-line and/or off-line). While there is no cure for schizophrenia, yet, recovery is possible. To me, recovery is being able to function and to take care of daily activities. This could mean a lot of different things to people. What does recovery mean to you?

Setting goals is a part of recovery. Goals could be long-term and short-term. For me, my goal is to complete college. To keep this goal alive I vocalize this goal by telling people I will return to school this fall. In addition, I visited colleges and did some research on the Internet to see which college I would like to attend. What is your goal?

Motivation to get well helps tremendously and allowing other people to support you helps even more. While I was recooperating in the hospital my mother exercised with me and played word games with me to: 1) help reduce stiffness due to my medication and 2) to stimulate my mind. What motivates you to keep going…

Phase II The Bright Side of Schizophrenia: Changing Attitutdes

I look at having a mental disability as a challenge to overcome. A positive outlook on life with schizophrenia helps me cope with the illness. Also, learning more about schizophrenia through Internet sources and other people's experiences helps me believe I can and will overcome schizophrenia. Refusing to let schizophrenia control me, I have a hold on it through medication and support. I take my medication regularly, discuss schizophrenia information with my family, and I share my experience with other people online.

In my opinion, changing your attitude about schizophrenia or any mental illness is essential to overcome it. To me, overcoming schizophrenia means being responsible by confronting issues. Issues related to schizophrenia include: medication compliance, asking for support and giving support, and educating one self about their mental illness.

For example, discussing a medication regimen with family or a support team. Let everybody know when you plan to take your medicatio…

Phase II The Bright Side of Schizophrenia (A Series): Embrace Your Mind

Now that we have discussed the myths, stereotypes, and fears associated with having schizophrenia it is time to talk about the good things associated with the illness. I am doing a series called Phase II The Bright Side, I will discuss positive attributes related to schizophrenia. You can help me with this series by submitting a success story of mental illness (i.e. bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia) in a 500 word or less essay/article, and email it to, and in the subject bar label it Success Story. You do not have to attach your full name to the article, but make sure you give your first name and state. Also, please give a title to your essay/article or one will be provided. The success story will be posted on the website Embracing My Mind.

Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America (SARDAA) stated: "Studies have indicated that 25 percent of those having schizophrenia recover completely, [and] 50 percent are improved over a 10-year …

Check Out My NEW Website and Give Feedback

I am soo excited, I launched my new website Embracing My Mind today. It is still under construction, however, I would appreciate your feedback.

Go to "My Forum" and register to become a member, check out my "Resources and Links" page, check out "Upcoming Events"- check out everything! If you have a mental illness (i.e. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression) related blog and would like to submit it email me:

It is designed to be an all in one location for you to find out information about serious mental illness. It is not all about me, it is about us, so let's work together. Oh yeah, don't forget to sign my guestbook. Thank you for your support, and bye for now!


Taking Steps to Advance with Schizophrenia

After my diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia in the summer of 2007, and release from the institution at the end of October I took baby steps to wellness. There is a process to recovery, but everybody may not do it in the same order or in the same manner. These are the steps I took toward recovery...

I applied for Supplemental Security Income, moved into an Independent Living home, and enrolled in a county day treatment program for youth with mental illness. Typically, people are denied Supplemental Security Income on their first attempt, however, I was not. I think I got approved on the first try because I had history with the State Hospital and I had a nurse help me with my application. It took six months to get benefits.

The day treatment program was great. I attended Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) classes, in addition to other classes geared toward mental illness awareness. I took a break from school and work for a few months, however, when I returned to school I took one class…

Networking/Schizophrenia is More Common Than You Think

First, I am not good at networking, however, volunteering for the HIV/AIDS non-profit organization is teaching me a lot. For instance, today we spoke with a few tenants within our building and discovered they were friends with a politician who we are trying to get their support from for our upcoming event. While another tenant gave us some really good contacts and was able to donate T-shirts for volunteers. This was a great experience.

Someone that I am working with has a sister who has schizophrenia. Schizophrenia affects people close to me too, besides family. In fact, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) estimates that 1 out of 5 American families are affected by mental illness.

I was surprised to learn that someone that I work with has come into contact with the illness that I am trying to overcome, because schizophrenia affects only about one percent of the United States population. (Maybe th…

Afraid of Rejection

Yesterday, I missed the perfect opportunity to tell my boyfriend (who I have been dating for a little over a month) that I have schizophrenia...

Schizophrenia awareness is a strong interest for me. Am I ashamed of my mental illness because I did not tell him that I have the illness? Or am I cautious of sharing my information with others because they may be ignorant to what the illness is? I think I am the latter, because I don't mind sharing my story with strangers, also I don't think my boyfriend knows much about schizophrenia.

I got scared and did not tell him I have schizophrenia because I don't want him to reject me, but he will find out in the end. Is it better to share my diagnosis so early in the relationship or to wait?

I did not feel comfortable sharing my diagnosis with him, yet. I am going to go with my feelings and wait. I don't want it to not work out for other reasons, really soon, and for him to know my whole life story.

When I do tell him, what will I say?…

When Will We Get Over Sterotypes

In the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) "Schizophrenia: Public Attitudes, Personal Needs" report stated the following statistics:

* 79% of people would want a friend to tell them if they were diagnosed with
schizophrenia, but only 46% say they would tell friends if they themselves were
* 27% would be embarrassed to tell others if one of their own family members was
* 80% expressed discomfort with the prospect of dating someone with schizophrenia
who has not received treatment, compared to only 49% if the person has (received

Why are people ashamed to admit that schizophrenia affects their lives? Many people have various misconceptions about schizophrenia- people with schizophrenia are violent, lazy, or homeless. While I do not fit into the stereotype of a person with schizophrenia as well as many of my readers with schizophrenia, people continue to believe these myths.

Again, 79 percent of people would want a friend to tell them they have th…

Building Professional Relationships/ Dating 101

This week I started volunteering for a non-profit organization that focuses on HIV/AIDS awareness. I am interested in HIV/AIDS awareness because I believe it is a serious issue in America that needs more attention. I will be working with this organization for the summer.

The other day I attended a town hall meeting that discussed safety and community involvement to decrease the selling of drugs in the business area. After the meeting the executive director and I handed out business cards and networked with participants.

The executive director, who I will be closely working with this summer is going to educate me on how a non-profit organization operates, like an internship, and I will contribute to marketing needs and speaking engagements. I am very excited about this opportunity, and I got to thinking that I could start a non-profit organization or clubhouse that focuses on schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.