“Honey, I will be checking on you every fifteen minutes.” I stared at her, puzzled, until she leveled me with a four-word gut punch: “You’re on suicide watch.”
When I was deep in the midst of a psychotic break, I was convinced that I was a prophet sent from God to save society from its ills.
I’m talking about my depression, not in vague terms any longer. It is a problem. It has a name. My boys know that name and I hope they’ll be stronger for it.
Living with schizophrenia, I’ve experienced all manner of delusions about the way I think the way things are, and the way they actually are.
It all hearkens back to storytelling, to this desire we have to relate something. To let people know who we are, or were, or wish we were, or fear we are.
Love can be the gasoline on schizophrenia’s fire, playing tricks on your mind and it can lead you to places from which you may not be able to return.
The severity of my depression in the wake of losing my job solidified the notion that, for people with mental illness, having a job can make all the difference.
The effect of stress is serious to your mental health. It’s easy to fall into delusional holes if your stress level gets to a point that isn’t manageable.
People say the first step in therapy is acceptance. I can’t speak for others, but I’ve started taking my steps. It’s okay if you want to take yours.
Taking care of yourself with mental illness requires some fortitude, especially in the face of a mountain of paranoia, delusions and hallucinations.
Disclosure is about feeling safe enough to find a kinder voice for ourselves. Every time I share my experiences in safe spaces I feel truer to myself.
Pulling back and regaining stability is complicated but it will help exponentially help in the long journey of living with mental illness.
In my eating disorder, I loved to push myself, to bring my body to the edge and watch which way it fell. More liquor, more dancing, more starving.
Family is the most important thing for a person with mental illness. We need support and validation that we are not alone in the world
Sitawa Wafula is a Kenyan mental health blogger and advocate for people living with mental health conditions and their families.
Schizophrenia is an insidious disease. Schizophrenic delusions are persistent, which is one of the major reasons recovery can take such a long time.
What is your mental health “wish list” for yourself in 2017? How would you like to grow personally? Where will you look for inspiration and strength?
One of the things people with schizophrenia do that isn’t that widely understood is the tendency to make connections out of seemingly random things.