Skip to main content

Comparisons, Perspectives, and Struggles

I, like many of my peers have experienced disturbing thoughts, anxiety, and have missed doses of medication when I should not have, over the past year. Part of me desires to be normal- I mean to not be dependant on medication daily- but I've experienced a glimpse of the consequences, which can be detrimental. I understand how critical it is to stay complaint even more so than a professional can express to me, because I've witnessed the dark side of Ashley, which has been out of control, out of character, and very scared.

Some individuals get the wrong impression about me from my blog- some think I handle my illness perfectly or that I am too optimistic- when that is far from the situation. I was not diagnosed with all the answers- I, like my peers have challenges- and it took a lot of practice, effort, and support to get to where I am today. Yes, I am proud of my recovery and have come a long way with the support of treatment and others, however, I have setbacks too, which I articulate sometimes.

There are a lot of struggles I leave off the blog because it is too personal and complicated to explain. For example my personal relationships, family life, and family struggles. Because this blog is about my illness, I leave a large part of my life out and focus on a big but also narrow aspect of my life- schizophrenia.

I do not like to be compared to because I am not into that, and I believe we should each compare ourselves to our best self. I am grateful that others look up to me, and I love to mentor peers and offer support when asked, but sometimes that puts a lot of pressure on me. I feel pressured to stay well. Yes, I maintain recovery for myself and family, but I also challenge myself for my peers that look to me for answers.

I could not have managed my schizophrenia without my peers- online, from NAMI meetings, and several other networks. I am not here to dictate anything about anybody- I am sharing my story to let others know some of the experiences a person living with a diagnosis endures- and if you can relate please comment to let our peers learn and understand from each other's experiences.

If you or a family member are struggling- recovery is a process that takes time and commitment. No matter what- there will be ups and downs sometimes beyond control. Here is something my doctor told me- 1) manage your stress, and 2) take your medication regularly- it sounds straightforward, but it is a huge task that requires one's full attention.

I understand that many of my peers do not like medication, I don't either, but I take it to maintain control of my mind and actions. However, for some, they have not found the right combination yet, it is trial and error- and I am an advocate for whatever treatment regimen works, whether it is alternative forms of treatment or traditional (medication), just DO IT!!

To learn more about schizophrenia visit Embracing My Mind, NAMI, Choices in Recovery, or Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada).


LuLu said…
Just found your blog today. Thanks for keeping up with it. It gives me hope that one day my brother will accept help, too.

Breakfast After 10
Tour Guide said…
Hi Ashley - your blog has been really helpful to me. I'm dealing with my wife's mental illness and reluctance to take meds - reading your writing gives me some perspective, something we all can use. Thanks.
Ashley Smith said…
Tour Guide,

It makes me feel good to know that. The more information you know, the better off you are in handling its challenges.
Vett Vandiver said…
your blog is beautiful, please continue it!! i'm an ATL college student :) <3

Popular posts from this blog

Lack of Trust: A Byproduct of My Mental Illness

In this entry, I'll share my experiences with Schizophrenia in regards to feeling lack of trust in others, paranoia, and isolation.... I remember my many episodes with Schizophrenia where I felt uneasy because of lack of trust in others. In the past, isolation was a giant bullying me around. Sometimes my mind would take me to a place of fear, hurt, and an unsettling spirit, which started with what seemed like a strange look, or a different feeling around an individual, when in reality it was another symptom of my undiagnosed illness- paranoia. My paranoia was rampant and dictated my life prior to experiencing a crisis, which led me to jail and into forced treatment and to receive an official diagnosis of Schizophrenia in 2007. In other words, my illness created enemies in my mind. For instance, I once believed my favorite kin was against me and I felt like she wanted me to fail, and I eventually thought she was conspiring to harm me. However, she never said anything to imply thes

Fear to Openness about Medication

I am concerned that I may be slipping into depression that may get worse if untreated. Prior to the birth of my child I never had a bout with depression, but as my body changed so did my hormones and my susceptibility to depression. A few months ago I was diagnosed with postpartum depression and at the time I knew I needed extra support from my my treatment team. I knew I needed to focus on my mental health because my anxiety level was up and down, it was difficult to concentrate, and I felt extremely overwhelmed and afraid my mental illness would rear its ugly head and try to destroy my recovery accomplishments. I spoke my therapist who contacted my doctor and let them know I was coming in the next morning as a walk-in, which I did and we tweaked my medication. Now, its hard to focus and to carry out minor assignments, sometimes I feel anxious for no reason, I am extremely tired and sleep more than usual, and I feel like I am on a downward spiral. Yet, I have reason to be. I have

Identical Twins and Schizophrenia

Did you know that both identical twins usually do not develop schizophrenia. Schizophrenia, or any other mental illness, is not developed solely by genes alone, other factors contribute to its development. Identical twins prove this theory, one could develop schizophrenia and the other does not develop a mental illness, this is said to be discordant. Discordant illness in twins is more common than concordant, or both twins having a mental illness. However, it is clear that bad parenting or a dysfunctional family is not one of the factors to develop schizophrenia. "Schizophrenia is caused by a genetic vulnerability coupled with environmental and psychosocial stressors, the so-called diathesis-stress model(". Complications prior to birth, or after birth, contribute to the likelihood of getting schizophrenia. Also, the underclass is more prone to developing schizophrenia than the upperclass, because the underclass is