The Author- Ashley

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Atlanta, Georgia, United States
My name is Ashley and I am a lot of things, read this blog to learn more... Thank you for visiting my blog!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Overcoming Schizophrenia Blog Anniversary (Yay!)

Dear Reader,

It has been one year since I started the Overcoming Schizophrenia blog (Yay!) and we have learned a lot about schizophrenia and other mental illnesses together. In short, I have blogged about the gender differences in schizophrenia, hardship with health insurance companies, myths and stereotypes, dating and relationships, and of course, my bizarre encounters when schizophrenia took over and portrayed the other side of Ashley (i.e., confusion, anger, fear, denial,etc.).

Again, I learned of my paranoid schizophrenia diagnosis in the summer of 2007 when I had an unfortunate situation that led to my arrest, hospitalization, and eventual recovery stage. Since then, I have experienced independent living with other women with mental health concerns, reuniting with my immediate family, and volunteering with various non-profit organizations; and starting a support group, Embracing My Mind.

I continue to take medication to help cope with the symptoms of schizophrenia, (i.e., for me, hallucinations- seeing things that are not there and hearing threatening voices that other people do not hear- high anxiety and paranoia, delusional- believing that I was a prophet or Jesus Christ Himself! And believing that my own relatives would poison me?!), I am blessed that these symptoms are under control and dormant.

Participating in various support groups has inspired me to get involved in mental health education through this blog, and to even start a support group, Embracing My Mind, which will kickoff on September 17th at the local mental health center, and I am VERY EXCITED!

Through Embracing My Mind, I will share my experiences with paranoid schizophrenia, and strive to achieve a safe haven for other people living with, and who are affected by, mental health concerns. Hopefully, the support group will create bonds among group participants and enable everyone to try and overcome mental illness together by voluntarily taking responsibility for their recovery, goals, and empowering one another. For the time being, the group is only for a specific clinic, however, when I reserve space elsewhere the group will be open to everyone; families, caregivers, consumers (people living with mental health concerns); male and female, etc.

In fact, I will be attending the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) training this weekend, and I will blog about that experience with you shortly afterwards. I appreciate you for coming back to read about my opinions and experiences related to mental illness. If you have schizophrenia or are connected to the illness in some way and keep a blog please share your link and I will post it with the other 'schizophrenia blogs'.

If you are a partner, parent, child, caregiver, friend, health professional, or consumer affected by any sort of mental illness, I want you to believe that recovery is possible. When schizophrenia hit me hard, I pushed those that love me away, believed that everyone was suspect, stopped eating, showering, and LIVING...I cried for no reason, stopped doing the things I enjoyed such as going to church and writing, and scared myself by believing that everyone was a demon, and had mixed emotions about everyone because I believed I could read their minds, which had bizarre and conflicting thoughts.

These last couple of days I attended group therapy at the local mental health center, and by just being there and hearing different people's testimonies it reminded me of God's love. Group participants spoke candidly about their own situations and were frank and loving while giving others their opinions and suggestions.

Thursday, September 10, 2009 is World Suicide Prevention Day, I encourage you to observe this day because it affects so many people with mental illnesses, and other people.

To learn more about schizophrenia visit NAMI or Schizophrenia Society of Novia Scotia(Canada). Also, check out Embracing My Mind(EMM).


The Medcalfs said...

Congratulations on your anniversary with the blog!! :-)
I am so excited that our NAMI group is going to have a Community Mental Health Forum in October! Two IOOV speakers and others. It will be publicized so I hope we get a good turn out. My son is doing pretty good with his SZ symptoms. Some days are better than others. I wish he would go to group but he is just not ready to take that step. Thanks for blog for all of us who need the connection. Yay for you!
Janet- NAMI Mom in TN

K.C. Jones said...

Congratulations! Are you taking the NAMI training in Tucker? Because I might be taking that one and it would be cool if we could take it togetherd! (And if you are-I know at least one of the people teaching it and she is super awesome!)

ACDesign said...

CONGRATS!!! You have achieved so much in one year. I hope you keep up your blog because it is so informational to so many:) I hope you realize what an inspiration you are.

Anonymous said...

There's a new song about schizophrenia that I'd like to share with all of you.

Here are the lyrics to "I am Schizophrenia"

I am Schizophrenia

Words and music by Dr. BLT copyright 2009

I am schizophrenia

I will steal your thoughts away

I will take a sunny day

Make it one that’s cold and gray

I love disconnectin’ you

From the world and all that’s true

Give me pills

To shut me up

I am schizophrenia

If you’re sane

I’ll make you mad

If you’re happy

Make you sad

Make your doctors

All confused

Give you lots of attitude

If when you, you were abused

Gives me lots of latitude

In my grip you will be stuck

I am schizo



Call it suffering

Call it pain

Use precision to contain

Something wild

That can’t be tamed

I am schizophrenia

That’s my name

We will not give up on you

Though you’re tough to treat

It’s true

Drugs will only go so far

For your psyche has been scarred

Strait jackets and padded rooms

They will only seal your doom

Even though it’s scary stuff

Won’t give up on schizophrenia

Valash said...

Hello Anonymous,

Thank you for posting the lyrics to the song.


Jenny said...

A new drug has been approved by the FDA as a treatment for schizophrenia:

Philosopher of the Future said...

great blog for schizophrenics... the disease is not quite as it seems..

Aan Sniper said...

Congratulations on your anniversary with the blog.I have also paranoid schizophrenia blog.please visit to my blog, hope give a profit for you.thanks