have known many schizophrenics, was even engaged to one. he believed his garden gnomes came alive at night. would see demons….generally the mentally ill you see walking the street and talking to themselves, are schizophrenic. I’ve seen treated schizophrenics that manage ok, but a lot of the medications cause them to move their legs or jiggle uncontrollably. and drool, and leave their mouth open. I heard at some point that they can tell by the structure of the middle of the brain? it’s like there is a bigger gap? very sad thing to deal with. many homeless people are schizophrenic. it really devastates families, most of the patients at state hospitals in long term care, are schizophrenic.
psychotic episodes are not exclusive to schizophrenia. manic depressives and bipolars can also have psychotic breaks. often, medication is tailored for both leveling and any symptoms of psychosis. there is also borderline personality disorder. knew friends diagnosed with that. bipolar is type 1 and 2. I think they have a 3 now. the mental health here used to give a class on all of it. and sort of the practical version, not like taking psychology classes in college. Scientology does some interesting youtube videos on mental illness….lol. for the most part, I’ve seen a LOT of over medication. had friends that were taking upwards of twenty pills a day. I am not exaggerating. the consensus is that therapy and medication are better than just medication. and that therapy can have more far-reaching effects. but for schizophrenia, I think it is brain damage of some kind, and mostly all they can do is try to limit the hallucinations through medication.
there is basically no such thing as degrees of schizophrenia, you are or you aren’t. the biggest symptom is hearing voices, but unlike what many believe, hearing voices means outside of your own body, like someone invisible is in the room speaking. it is not hearing your own voice in your head speaking. that is normal, and I think they call that self-talk.
I’ve had racing thoughts before, and it’s very distressful. but is not like something where you wonder if you are having racing thoughts. you know you have racing thoughts. when I think about it, I have not had any since I gave up drinking alcohol 7 years ago. but basically, you can’t shut your mind off and don’t have the power to stop your own self-talk inside. I think I also was able through therapy, to realize the impact of fears. because racing thoughts are like your mind is babbling uncontrollably in fear.
but anyway….I have seen and known schizophrenics–and it is a particular type of mental illness that is considered sever enough to sometimes require extensive hospitalization. life gets crazy, and stressful for so many people. many times it is simply taking care of oneself, to get adequate sleep and eat right. every time I ever had severe trouble, I was not eating or sleeping for days…weeks. and then psychosis has to do with not enough dopamine in the brain.
I also believe fear plays key roles to mental instability, and have found while living alone, then any physical problem can quickly turn into mental out of an instinct to live…to find a way above that point of no return where too ill to take care of yourself.
anyway….I’ve studied quite a lot in the area of psychology and mental illness. I do think half the battle is tending to physical needs, such as rest and food. sometimes there are triggers, and if I develop problems, I go over any new products such as lotion or shampoo, different scents. have always been sensitive and allergic. it can be difficult, but I find it is much easier to maintain balance when not in a relationship, where they will try to make you feel you are always having problems. and then act like a go between with doctors, where I would feel like some kind of robot that was not performing well enough for them….that is very hard to deal with.
standing out from the crowd, always being considered different and “strange” — is, in itself, one of the largest hurdles of ‘mental illness.’ and that is why i fight and often pose decent arguments as to how it really comes down to diagnosing people that are not liked or do not fit in, as having a defect or mysterious illness. the stigma, which is actually discrimination for those who are different or seem odd and not conformed enough to societal ideals — that discrimination is part of the problem in the first place. security, and having acceptance in a family or society, can be a large part of problems that lead to mental illness.
when people keep in their minds, that I am mentally ill, they treat me how they feel you should treat the mentally ill. and I will drop out of those friendships. you pack your bags and move. find a new job, a new city where you can be treated like a normal person. luckily for me, enough people are now getting medication and diagnosed, that it’s not like it was. for the most part, I can be upfront and not get discrimination. eh….life has not been easy. but I have been in the position to help a lot of people in mental health centers. I try to think of that as God using me where I could do the most good. but some days I wish I had been given a “normal” life.
and it is tempting, to think — at least i’m not THAT! i’m not one of those schizophrenics! and that is just another ladder on the pecking order of my life is more normal than your life. my mind is better than your mind. my life is better than yours! oh yes, and it makes me ashamed when i think that way. for the most part, i think there are not enough answers, considering the level of diagnostics available for everything else. aside from that, i think it is important to see people as people. to look at another, and observe their soul. not some preconceived notion of that person set apart — the crazy that means you are “normal.” the normans were bastard invaders. we shouldn’t have been trying to emulate them in the first place. lol … but as far as conforming goes — i don’t have answers. except that it helps to pay attention to the little social things that make people comfortable. it helps to see others as thoughtful beings. if you expect the worst, you are going to get the worst.
i have been through a lot. seen so many in different states of mental breakdown. but it is the same as when i worked as a nurse — the patients knew i SAW them, the person that was every bit as important as any. you see the soul, you love who they are. i don’t know how to explain it. but i know that it can pull someone back from that ledge of alone-ness. when they see that you see them. i have been through so much and determined so many things. it does come down, to taking care of yourself in a forthright way. putting your needs first, in many cases. but also, trying to have an honesty with yourself regarding how you are doing, and how your life is going or not going.
it’s not easy, and not for anyone. i don’t reserve tough lives only for the mentally ill. i sometimes think that the mentally ill have a step up on things, because they have taken time to learn and develop higher coping skills.
what is different about me, is i remember my years of not being mentally ill. i remember having “a life” and how i was so busy, probably couldn’t even tell you who the president was. i worked and made money and never questioned … i never questioned. so now i do. can’t say if that’s good or bad, but it has lead me to a place where i look at things very differently than others. i don’t assume the “correctness” of any conformity or socially accepted mannerisms and norms. actually judge on an entirely different level.
i don’t know if that is good or bad. sometimes, i wish is was back into a busy life, with no time to look at things and wonder. eh …… come see, come saw. 🙂 i have fought long and hard for understanding, through my writings. to make others see that there is not that big a difference, and that sometimes it’s like mental illness doesn’t exist at all. got any idea how hard that piece of knowledge hit me? when i ran over the lines from the wizard of oz — and just took on the entire reality that ALL of medicine is made-up names? that it all is basically a very large con, going on for years. and that the only proof of any good of medicine, is if they heal.
and i’ve had to heal myself. not that i have given others much chance at it for decades, now. but it’s all pretty much one of those doors you open, that you can’t just shut again. i can’t pretend i don’t know that. i can’t pretend that i don’t know, that the reason they are always “discovering” new illnesses, is because those 3 illnesses used to be one illness. and they looked a little deeper, and found more. and tomorrow, they will look a little deeper, and find more. and the tomorrows after that, they will look deeper and find more — until the one illness, that was cured with a spoonful of sugar — now takes 60 different medications for 40 different made-up names. and it never gets cured.
and that’s the cynic in me — but yea. that’s basically how it works. so the diagnosing of mental illness, is basically a form of dealing with people that are having freak-outs. and the thing with schizophrenics, or those showing that degree of freak-out — is that it is at a stage kind of past the point of no return. i’ve gone out — and back in. crazy and freak-out time — and then back to where i’m reasonable. or fairly so. i still like to unsettle others, sometimes. just because it’s interesting and makes for a difference. i try not to manipulate, and i try to be honest and forthright. i guess the thing many people never see in me, is how much i care.
that’s kind of strange, but that is the thing. that’s it in a nutshell. people don’t want someone that is strong and who cares — they want someone who is weak that they can take care of. someone that is dependent, and makes them necessary. hmmmmmmm ………. so why don’t the mentally ill ever get any sympathy? they mostly get scorn, and lots of it.
i wonder about that a lot. but has something to do with what i was talking about earlier, sets and subsets. and trying to place others in a subset away from yourself, so that you can be the “anti” of whatever it is. and so, for the most part — those who crave and yearn to call people like me crazy? they are the ones doubting their own sanity the most. and so i try to have sympathy with them. i never feared my own insanity. and that’s the difference. it doesn’t scare me, only what people will do to me scares me. but i don’t fear GOING insane. i mostly think of it all as biological, and consisting of finite parameters.
and i’ve seen miracles. i’ve prayed, and asked for rest, and rest came. i had a mother of many children, and illegal mexican immigrant on a farm — pray with me, and put a blanket over me and it was like all the anxiety evaporated and i was able to rest. so there are miracles, and there is a God, even if it is only in your own head. that’s what i believe. matter itself, is an ever-folding and moving solution … a mixture of life and death and expression.
eventually, we all get old. and most who get very old, eventually lose some part of their mind. they live in memories, or find other ways to cope. and i don’t see that as an illness, i see that as inevitable. what surprises me, sometimes — is when i think how my life is shortened. has been, from the damage of being used as a guinea pig one too many times for the next great revelation in pills. and i sort of cry quietly to myself. like i lost something, and i don’t know what. and i’m more afraid of those tears. there is something about self-pity that is unnerving. but also, it’s a different kind of crying than i’ve ever had for others that died.
a very childish thing. to sit and feel sorry for myself. but i don’t think it’s wrong, just a little out of whack. better to worry about what you can do with the time you have.
the mind … is a tricky thing. i like how it is explained in this book i have — that we have a mind, a spirit, a soul, and a body. four things that make up what humans “are.” the book is over a century old. so what have we learned? treat the mind, by drugging the body and ignoring the soul, while crushing the spirit.
i’m just not sure that’s the best method to success, is all. and i don’t know that schizophrenics are that much different. sometimes a spirit needs to be free. sometimes the ties that bind the four together are too strong or too weak. i have pictured myself going completely over the edge and staying there. pushing around a shopping cart, and yelling at strangers. the difference, is i know the mind part and the avenues where that becomes reality. i know exactly what to fear.
shutting down, is easy now. it’s caring about anything that’s hard.