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Showing posts from 2021

How to Cope with Dark Seasons

I aim to empower those affected by mental illness. However, the truth about recovery is there will be many dark seasons. Still, I hope people will remember the person we were prior to the harsh symptoms, and know we are still that person. I am not a doctor, I am a peer counselor of certified peer specialist. I have worked with peers as a recovery support person in a substance abuse department, housing programs, and peer-led centers. My story is just one of many. It may be widely similar, or different. Yet, I believe it can help. Living with a diagnosis can be rough. The symptoms can turn our thoughts dark, bizarre, and extremely debilitating. As an individual with schizoaffective disorder I am fortunate to experience great days, but when I struggle- I struggle. I know that medication cannot solve all. I know my challenges and limitations- which we all have to a degree. I take my medication because it helps me think more clearly and minimizes the symptoms. However, it does not make them

World Schizophrenia Day 2021: The Truths

Generally, people develop compassion for others who have a health condition, however, this is not the case when it comes to schizophrenia. World Schizophrenia Day (May 24th) is our opportunity to learn the facts about schizophrenia, and to reduce the fear, myths, and stigma that prolongs widespread negative perceptions. Schizophrenia is a widely misunderstood brain disorder that creates significant challenges for people. People with this the condition may experience a wide range of debilitating symptoms such as false beliefs and perceptions, bizarre behaviors, and confusion.      World Schizophrenia Day was established to honor Dr. Philippe Pinel. Pinel acknowledged the humanity of his patients. He ordered staff to remove the chains and advocated for better treatment. Frequently, people identify schizophrenia as a personality disorder, which is a myth. Schizophrenia is a thought disorder characterized by psychosis, which is a break in reality. Schizophrenia is not dissociative identity

Regaining Control in Response to Early Warning Signs and Symptoms

I discovered how to regain control of my recovery by redirecting the focus onto stress management techniques. Initially, I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, however, my symptoms presented those which resemble both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Specifically, my symptoms included: mania, anxiety, depression, delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations, etc. Accordingly, my diagnosis became schizoaffective disorder. Managing the mania is an ongoing battle for me.      Reflecting on my past behaviors, especially shifts in my mood and symptoms, I created a blueprint on how to rejuvenate and get back on top of life. In this blog article, I will list seven early warning signs to be mindful of. Moreover, I will discuss methods which I personally use to fight back against the odds. However, I am not promising complete healing and avoidance of relapse, but I am simply sharing the tools that I utilize to maintain my health goals.      Whenever I exhibit certain signs and symptoms I try to recyc

How to Overcome Disappointments by Redirecting Your Focus

Living with a mental health condition is very challenging. As an individual living with schizoaffective disorder I must be mindful of my stressors, thoughts, and social needs. Setbacks are disappointing, but they are a part of life. For instance, having a hospitalization, getting rejected, being discriminated against, experiencing self-doubt, and coping with disappointments that lead to changes can be stressful.       Most people will not understand individuals with mental health concerns because of varying perceptions on the symptoms. Moreover, widespread misconceptions drives fear, lack of education, and discrimination, that perpetuates barriers to socialization, treatment, and understanding. It is imperative for us to develop alternative skills to maneuver and manage the difficult times. I encourage peers to focus on confidence-building activities, which I will share. Also my tips will help people who do not have a diagnosis. Here, I will focus on 7 habits, which will help you devel

Recovery - The Process of Staying in Your Good Place

I define recovery as staying in a good space. But what does that mean? How can an individual cope with the internal conflicts of self-doubt and symptoms let alone the external battles with discrimination—in the workplace, housing, and barriers to treatment? Moreover, the universal unspoken code of widespread fears and social ostracizing. My ability to endure, cope, and to keep pressing forward demands that I relentlessly challenge the mind wars through my recovery tools.       Most people do not understand what it's like to live with a mental health condition, but they can testify that resiliency is a part of the human experience. Naturally we rediscover ways to bounce back from heartbreak, unemployment, and feelings of hopelessness. Yet, the choice to practice healthy strategies to persevere or destructive methods to get by is on us. Quick fixes are fleeting moments of relief which eventually leads to more problems. However, going through the process to develop creative solutions