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Showing posts from May, 2013

Women are Worthy Radio Interview June 1st

I will be a guest speaker on Women are Worthy, a fox affiliated radio station on Saturday, June 1st 10-11 AM Eastern Time. Hosted by Jacqlyn Charles. To listen to this live interview on mental health and women concerns visit: www.am1270wyxc.com and to call-in to show your support: (770) 382-1270. Also, like women are worthy facebook.com/womenareworthy page.

Crisis Plan- Do You Have One?

I need to create a better crisis plan because my current plan involves me addressing concerns to my treatment team, which is also needed, but I should include some members of my support network into my crisis plan. I realized my crisis plan needed improvement when I  hesitated on a couple of questions, for example: "who do you want to make decisions for you in the event you can't?" This shows me that I need to sit down with a couple of individuals in my immediate circle to make sure they understand my preferences and how I would like to be treated in the event I need them to make decisions for me. 
Do you have a crisis plan? Are your supporters aware of your preferences in the event of a crisis?
To learn more about schizophrenia visit NAMI,Choices in Recovery, and Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada).

Support Groups Play an Intricate Role in my Recovery

Lately I've been slacking in recovery and not participating in support groups for a number of reasons. I think depression has been creeping up on me as a result of not going to support groups and working as much. I lacked motivation to carry out house chores and to complete other easy tasks until recently (yesterday). For me I must have a productive schedule in order to stay well. Being productive to me is either volunteering or working, and engaging in advocacy. I recognize that I must stay involved in support groups to maintain and strengthen my coping skills like other treatment regimens such as taking my medication.

Last night I went to a support group which made me analyze what was going on with me. I had not been to a support group in about a month and being back was refreshing. Now I realize that going to support groups every week is still vital to my recovery.

If you would like to participate in a support group whether you are an individual living with mental illness or a…

My Progress into Independence and Recovery

I've been in recovery for over five years and have learned a lot about it along with my peers. To me, crucial steps to recovery are consistency, risk-taking, and trust. An individual must be willing to participate in their recovery and hold trust in their treatment team and treatment regimen- whatever that is. Before they get to a place of cooperation one must step outside of their comfort parameters trust their treatment team, and do something different to help themselves in recovery, and to also maintain that new lifestyle.

For me, that was going to support groups. When I moved back to Atlanta I didn't have resources to engage in quality outpatient treatment programs, but I did have access to mental health care which I did take advantage of. I got involved in a patient assistance program by the pharmaceutical company and took part in the support groups led by my therapist in my local treatment center. I went there to 1) get out of my house, 2) socialize with people, and 3) t…

The Truth about Living with Schizophrenia

To me, living with schizophrenia is bittersweet it keeps me alert and aware of my mental illness, while at the same time I enjoy life despite my challenges. I am more cautious about my mental health and my antennas are always up. I must be mindful of the possibility of my symptoms flaring up, and to stop it immediately from recurring by sharing concerns with my therapist and psychiatric doctor. I am afraid that my symptoms may interrupt my current recovery lifestyle of living independently; therefore, I am compliant with the prescribed medication regimen my doctor recommends and adamant about taking it as directed to get the full benefit.
Sometimes when I am home alone and I hear a faint sound, I pray it isn't a voice only in my mind, and I remain still to listen and to make sure it isn't. Other concerns is forgetting to take my medication. As described in a recent blog entry I used to skip doses if I forgot to take it in the morning time, which is when I take my medicine, but…

Medication Compliance- Challenges and Coping Skills

In general, I take one anti-psychotic and one anti-depressant medication once in the morning time. Taking medication can be challenging for me especially if I forget to take the medication in the morning. In the past, I used to skip my dose of medication if I forgot to take it in the morning, but I would not take it in the late evening, because I did not notice the effect it had on me the following days. However, I do not do that anymore, my body and mind has changed over the years and I must take my medication every single day to avoid the consequences, which include my partner taking notice and the discomfort I feel in that, and risk of my many symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia flaring up.

Now, I recognize a change in me whenever I miss a day of medication, for me I lose concentration or eye contact with people and whatever is in front of me. This tendency makes me feel very uncomfortable because I like to keep eye contact with people, which I am generally good at it.

I understand …

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 an…

New Recovery Sisters in the ATL

A few months ago an Atlanta woman contacted me on the Embracing My Mind facebook page. She let me know she was also living in recovery from mental health. She complimented me on my supportive efforts and invited me to view her blog, which I did. On her blog, I found diverse articles on maintaining recovery and wellness, and other interesting topics. Also, she is very supportive of the GLBT community and people of color.

Recently, I had the opportunity of meeting this individual in person through a temporary job opportunity that gives a voice to peers in treatment. When I met her I thought to myself her name sounds so familiar- "Stephanie McClain,"- and she thought the same (Ashley Smith)! As we brainstormed our mental health affiliations we realized our introductions initiated online a few months prior.

Now that we know each other in person we plan to support each other's online advocacy efforts via blogging, Youtube, and other social networks. I look forward to collabor…