Friday, May 10, 2013
Recognizing My Challenges- Motor Skills, Memory, etc.
In general, mental illness can effect a person's mood, behavior, cognitive skills, and speech, and thus, a person's ability to function in the workplace, school, and/or social situations. When I had my psychotic break in 2007, I was not able to think rationally, complete assignments, or to stay focused. I heard voices that hindered my ability to engage in conversations with others.
In fact, I failed a competency test provided by the correctional system in California that requested answers to general questions such as who is the president of the United States and what is the date; my mental illness oppressed my understanding to the extent that I could not answer these questions.
While I was in the state hospital recuperating; taking medication, and learning more about my diagnosis I even recognized my motor skills were not up to par. Whenever my mother visited me we would exercise because a side effect of my medication caused me to walk very stiff- some peers made fun of me and called me a "robot." While we exercised I noticed I moved my limbs very slowly and I could not speed it up even when I wanted to.
Prior to my psychotic break, other people described me as sharp, and a person who had a good memory. However, as a direct result of my mental illness my motor skills, memory, and socialization skills are challenged. Sometimes, I feel like my memory, reactions, and understanding are delayed.
Recently, I had discussions with peers who are also living with a mental health diagnosis that are different than mine, and who recognize similar delays. I am so glad I am not the only one who experiences this!
I think the anti-psychotics helps me with my cognitive skills. I can think clearly, complete assignments, and play an entire game of Scrabble in under eight minutes online. And I do not hear voices. My memory still needs improvement. I have short term memory loss sometimes.
In addition to the medication, I believe playing word games such as Scrabble and writing in my journal and this blog, helps me practice focus and speed which improves my motor skills and reactions. Although, I know my memory and cognitive skills could be sharper, I believe my engagement in Scrabble and writing helps me in these areas.
If you are an individual living with a mental illness, have you noticed delays of any kind as a direct result of your mental illness?
If you are a family member- have you noticed a delay of any kind in your relative as a direct result of their mental illness?
Comment. I would like to hear from you and how you cope with this! Thank you.
To learn more about schizophrenia visit NAMI, Choices in Recovery, and Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada).