My name is Ashley. I started this blog in 2008 to record learning experiences, coping skills, and life as it relates to schizophrenia. In the beginning, it was my sister's idea to start this blog, I did not know what to expect. However, I've journalled since childhood so it was therapuetic to articulate thoughts and feelings online and to get a response. I take medication to treat my illness, however, I am not opposed to alternative forms of treatment. Here is my story...
I was diagnosed with adult onset paranoid schizophrenia at the age of 20... I experienced the ups and downs of mental illness- incarceration, hospitalization, personal care home, outpatient treatment program and clubhouse- but i survived it! Now, I share my life with you of how I am coping with my illness. I hope this blog encourages you to seek PROFESSIONAL help for yourself or a loved one... Please comment. Thank you!
Over last six months I've been battling depression, anxiety and feeling overwhelmed. My doctor calls it postpartum depression, resulting from the birth of my child, but I call it "life." Prior to the birth of my son I never had a lot of experiences with depression. However, I am not sure if I agree with the postpartum depression diagnosis now, because of the several other factors which contributes to my depression and other symptoms around the time of receiving that diagnosis.
I know that stress is a major trigger for me, and I am still learning what type of stress is unhealthy for me. Despite life's many stresses, I think I've narrowed it down, my stressors include: criticism from individuals within my support system, arguing, over-productivity, and major life changes such as relocation.
Now that I know what stresses me out the most, how will I cope with the daily struggles? For one thing I need to continuously work on my communication with my support network in order to reduce unnecessary misunderstandings and confusion. I think we all can learn something new about mutual communication and cooperation. Furthermore, I should analyze what I am arguing about to see if it is an ongoing concern and who I am arguing with- to decipher whether that relationship is worth preserving?
Also, I like to stay busy, but I understand that over-productivity is dangerous for me because it can set me back despite all the good things I am trying to do for myself, friends and family, and community work. I remember prior to my first known concern with depression I had participated in a two-day intense training, facilitated a training soon afterwards, traveled a lot, and applied for another leadership position- all in one month- which was a lot of positive pressure, but still pressure. I remember I felt like I was over doing it-which I was- and was exhausted and on edge with what I had planned to do next.
Relocation- it doesn't have to be across the country as it was in my past- it could be down the street or any new environment. I admit I move around a lot- always have growing up- and I make it a bad habit to do so now. As an adult I justify a move because of convenience and to get more space. These are reasonable excuses, however, because of my mental health concern I should reevaluate my motives.
Have you identified your triggers, and if so, what are they?