Living with schizophrenia, I’ve experienced all manner of delusions about the way I think things are, and the way they actually are. Delusions signal a break with reality and, no matter how seemingly insignificant they may be, delusions should immediately be addressed with a mental health professional. Delusions are almost always ridiculous iterations of reality. They are skewed perspectives on the way things actually are, and they can arise in any number of situations. Coming to terms with the ridiculousness of your delusions is a process of awareness, then unpacking and analyzing the delusion — testing it against reality. Finally, you have to accept the delusion for what it is: a strange construct of your mind. (more…)
Living with schizophrenia, it’s pretty much a guarantee that you’ll come up against barriers, some of which may seem insurmountable. You’ll face tough days, weeks, months or even years, and all that pushing for some semblance of recovery or normalcy can easily overwhelm you. Stress is the light switch for symptoms of schizophrenia. As the stress starts to build, your paranoia can increase, you may start becoming obsessive and delusional and you can easily lose yourself in the midst of all these symptoms and find yourself in scary situations. When curve-balls come your way, you have to know how and when to pull back. In essence, you have to be conscious of what you’re feeling, you have to recognize your mind’s reactions to stimuli and be aware that the things you are experiencing are mostly in your head. Having a “wellness toolkit” filled with strategies that work for you will help you figure out your limits and gain an essential awareness of the maximum you can take without falling into delusion. (more…)
My name is Mike Hedrick. I’m a writer and I’ve lived with schizophrenia for ten years.
I can remember sitting on my couch, having just smoked marijuana, my mind darting sideways and upside-down when I noticed the sound of the refrigerator’s compressor clicking on. It made a jarring, machine-like hum and whir and continued on for several minutes. There were tiny variations in the whir though and, from somewhere inside my head, it occurred to me that this was the aliens. The aliens were communicating with me through the hum and whir of my refrigerator’s compressor. Though I didn’t know what they were saying, I sat down at my brother’s synthesizer and punched out a long warbly note that I hoped would do the job. I wanted to say, “I hear you”, I wanted to say “I get it.”
If it wasn’t aliens communicating with me, it was the government, having placed cameras and microphones all around my apartment, so small and so well hidden that not even tearing apart toasters and smoke detectors yielded any results. They knew what I was saying, and they could see what I was doing. (more…)
My name is Samina Raza Egilmez. I am a molecular biologist. I am 55 years old. I have been married for 27 years to a wonderful, patient and loving husband. I have a beautiful 25-year-old son. It sounds like a wonderful life. And it is. But I would be lying if I didn’t say it has been a hard fought one. I suffer from bipolar 1 disorder. Here is my story. And believe me, for each line that I’ve written, I could write volumes. (And one day I will!)
For the first 24 years of my life, I didn’t know what bipolar disorder was. I would have preferred to keep it that way.
Dear Wondering If I Should Share:
I used to be like you. Why should I air my dirty laundry? Why should other people hear about my problems? What if my friends all think I’m weird if they know my brain is broken?
I had those same fears. After being hospitalized four times I wondered if I had any friends left. My anxiety and paranoia made it a struggle to leave the house. I figured I probably wasn’t missed.
Life was good before mental illness invaded my world. Going from being the leading recruiter of an agency where I was making six figures at the age of twenty-six to being taken out of my home strapped down to a stretcher and later placed in a mental hospital was demoralizing. My reputation was shot to hell, or at least it felt like it. I had no idea how I was going to pick up the pieces of my life that were scattered all over the floor.
My bipolar disorder told me I wasn’t smart or successful or fun anymore. My anxiety tickled my limbs until I curled up in the fetal position only I wasn’t crying from laughter. My depression told me I had nothing left to live for. It shot vivid images into my subconscious and I couldn’t shut them out.