- Ashley Smith
- Atlanta, Georgia, United States
- If you do not remember anything about me, remember this, I had to go to jail and to the state hospital for five months to learn about my schizophrenia, in spite of this experience God tuned my situation from bad to good. Out of my issues came about my joy and passion to work in the mental health field- leading by example, supporting peers, and sharing with the world that schizophrenia can be managed with proper treatment and support- I am proof! I believe you can be too.. I encourage you to read my blog to discover how I am coping with this illness.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Stereotypes- A Voice or a Sound We Should Ignore
Society has programmed many people living without mental illness to believe that those living with mental illness are bad. The media has played a huge role in brain washing people to think negatively about other people with brain disorders. They cannot do the same things I do, they are violent, they are crazy, the people without mental illness are led to believe.
And, many people with mental illnesses believe these lies. The people with mental illnesses limit their goals and believe they cannot lead a productive, independent, full life in many instances as a result of stigma.
DO NOT LISTEN TO THAT VOICE (the stereotypes). An individual with mental illness can and do accomplish many things despite mental health concerns. In fact, people that have a mental illness should use these stereotypes as motivation to overcome them. For those of you living with a mental illness I hope you will challenge yourself and excel at it.
At one point, I was not functioning well. I did not speak, bath, eat, or leave my room. In fact, I was catatonic, not moving my limbs for hours at a time. Schizophrenia had the best of me, or so others thought. After taking various medications for weeks and coupled with group therapy I came back to life, Ashley emerged out that mental state and I was able to take control again. Don't let others' expectations bring you down!
A little background knowledge on what schizophrenia is: it is a thought disorder that confuses and jumbles thoughts and speech for some. It creeps up on an individual usually in early adulthood. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to the following (this list is not intended diagnose anyone, if in doubt seek professional assistance):
- Sleep disturbances
- Speech disturbances
- Short term memory loss
- Inability to recognize friends and family
- Appetite disturbances
- Suicidal thoughts
- Religious preoccupation
- Poor concentration
I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia at the age of twenty. There are different types of schizophrenia such as paranoid, catatonic, residual, and undifferentiated. There is no cure for schizophrenia, yet, but there is treatment. however, everybody does not respond to the same medication is it's basically trial and error when finding the right medication to treat someone with schizophrenia.
I hope that this information was beneficial to you. If you have a mental disorder such as schizophrenia, I want you to know that you can achieve whatever you want.
If you do not have a mental disorder I hope you know more about what schizophrenia is and that people with brain disorders are NOT violent, crazy, and we can and do achieve goals!
To learn more about schizophrenia visit NAMI or Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada).