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Showing posts from August, 2020

Hope Combats Self-Stigma

    In addition to the symptoms of this thought disorder, stigma is a great challenge, especially self-stigma. I believe it is among the top barriers to wellness. When I was diagnosed with schizophrenia it seemed that my identity crumbled. I used to cling to my college student role. My symptoms took away my motivation to study, speak, and do activities which usually gave me joy and a healthy outlet. When I dropped out of school I felt like I was less than. In the beginning, I did not know what my recovery could look like, I thought I would not be able to live a fulfilling life.       However, I was fortunate to have a lot of support and hope despite my health challenges. My doctor, mother, and treatment team gave me hope. When I was diagnosed my social worker, Elaine, referred me to a housing program and clubhouse which was empowering, because I was surrounded by peers with similar diagnoses. The program engaged us through recovery-oriented meetings, fun group activities, such as outin

Reset, Restore, and Refresh Yourself to Better Health

I had a relapse and hospitalization a couple of years ago. It felt like I would never get home soon. The days were long and repetitive with hospital staff, peers, and the same boring, enclosed areas within the white walls.  It was hard being away from my son, but I went to another place by singing praises to my higher power and also to him in spirit. When I got home I cherished our bond harder by taking lots of pictures of us. Accordingly, I learned how to reset myself and replenish needs to conquer the illness.  I did this by returning to the basics of self-care. That is to focus on getting adequate rest, practicing better eating habits, and managing stress, which required a lot of self-care. I attended intensive therapy sessions. We discussed a range of stress management techniques that would work well for me. I created a psychiatric advance directive and crisis plan. I performed light exercise by walking my neighborhood. I exercised my mind by completing word searches. I listened to