Why I Cant Tell My Family About My Mental Illness

I was diagnosed with Schizoaffective disorder when I was about 15. It changed to Paranoid Schizophrenia when I was 21. It has went between Schizoaffective disorder and Paranoid Schizophrenia off and on since I was 21. Depending on what doctor I saw or if I went to a hospital and saw a psychiatrist there.

Only a handful of people know, which include obviously my providers, and my immediate family.

I look at that sentence and I think, “Wow, just my immediate family, why?”. Well, it’s a private matter, yes, but no one else would understand. There would be stigma, right? Both, yes. I’ve already had stigma from other family members, and people who aren’t family.

It being National Mental Health Awareness Month it’s hard to fathom that with all the kinds of change that’s happening in 2015 (and even in the recent past) in this great world, that the kind of change that I wish would happen hasn’t happened. The awareness for mental health and mental illness. It’s hard enough as it is to get my immediate family to understand my struggles with my illness, so there’s no way I’d be able to get anyone else to understand a lifetime of struggles or even a day or frame of time of struggles. I feel like why even try. That’s how I feel right now in my life. But, I wouldn’t stop spreading the awareness for others’ awareness. For others being able to have a spread awareness for their extended family family or friends or other people.

My parents are more open to me than ever, but it took a long time, many years to get here, and that’s sad in itself. They didn’t trust and didn’t want me to go to mental health providers at all. They still don’t really trust doctors in general. They belittled me for awhile, and one parent belittled my appearance because of the side effects of the medication: the weight gain. I cannot post my real feelings through some social media because of all of this, but I digress. My extended family will never truly understand my struggles. Will they ever know my illness? Maybe someday some will, if I tell them, but that’s my buisiness ultimately, and i’m not one to share my illness openly, BUT those that are mature enough to take on my buisiness and know me well enough, I might just tell them. I’m not sure about everyone’s family, but…I don’t feel like my family will ever be ready to hear it. And it makes me really sad.

Behind The Scenes Of The NAMI Effect (PSA Commercial)

I was so happy to be apart of changing the stigma of mental health in this country and around the world. I felt honored to be apart of the NAMI commercial that took place in Dallas, TX. It was absolutely freezing with 30 degree weather!

Here is the behind the scenes look at the commercial that comes out in May for Mental Health Awareness Month 2015. For more info you can go to my page on Mental Health Awareness and NAMI’s Mental Health Month 2015 page. Thanks for watching!

Extroversion Eludes Me

Extroversion eludes me.

I’m not naturally extroverted. Is that ok? My parents have been divorced since I was about 15. My father works all day, and I’m home all day. Right now I’m in college, so I’m studying and I try to get out and try to keep myself busy but it’s not that easy, especially when I have no one else to spend my time with. I don’t know but one or two other people I can spend my time with that’s not my parents. Although, I end up spending my time with my parents.

So extroversion naturally just eludes me. It just naturally slips away from me, between my fingers. I can never hold onto it, as much as I wish or want to.

The funny thing about all of this is what I’m studying. Studying philosophy, and existentialism being my favorite topic, is a profound thing. I found out where I am on the totem pole of human beings and extroversion vs introversion. Of course, that’s also a topic for psychology, being a big thing with Carl Jung.

I’ve always done things alone. Activities, working, playing, etc, I have done alone. I have always felt that I have wanted to do things alone, but at the same time I have felt I’ve always done things best when I’ve done them alone. I’ve gotten things done more efficiently alone, and the outcome has been better. As I’ve gotten older I’ve stayed the same a bit, but maybe have wanted more of a balance between introversion and extroversion. Not so much introversion. I think it’s because I’ve had more introverted time as I’ve gotten older, and I feel I need to be exposed to more people to balance it out. I could possibly go back to wanting more introversion. Overall, I feel I need a balance. At least for right now. I still know know for sure, though, that I am highly more introverted than extroverted. But is that ok? In this society it doesn’t feel ok. Not as ok as it plays out to be.

Sleep and Relaxation

I’ve been pushing myself to get out and do more things and push away my feelings. It’s really broken me down. I’ve not just had more episodes, but probably more episodes because of this, because of pushing myself to my limits. Past my limits. I’ve been pushing myself to go to college, socialize, take criticism when I can’t (from family/friends, and take demands), etc. It’s really starting to wear on me. It’s making me more emotional and breaking me down.

My clinic, my nurse practitioner lowered the dosage of my sleeping medication and I haven’t been sleeping. I need that sleep. Every hour I can get, I need it. For my mental health. I really do. It’s so incredibly vital to me. So much so. I used to shun sleep. I thought it was for the weak. I was becoming psychotic without it. Even without just a normal amount. I naturally can’t sleep. So I grew to think that people that did sleep were naturally, just, weak.

I’m not sure if having a full schedule is good for me. I really need downtime. I need that 2-3 hours where I have nothing to do to regain my sanity. To relax. To think. I like being busy. Just not sure that is the life for me where I have something to do every second of the day. It’s just not something that I think is good for my health, because it’s very stressful, and I can only imagine what it’s like for someone else with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, or another severe mental health issue.

TwentySomethings Existential Crisis With Mental Illness

This issue hasn’t exactly got me tossing and turning yet, but I’m almost there. It could be called something of a “Quarter-Life Crisis”. Not sure if it applies to me. I am though going through some sort of existential crisis.

I am 24 years old. I will be 25 in some number of months (not too long from now) and I realize that, yes, I am getting older. I’m getting further and further away from my high school years. I graduated high school at 17. I went to college that same summer, of that same year, because my parents thought it was a smart idea. That’s a whole other story.

Well, at 24, I’m still in college. That’s not a bad thing, and it’s not a good thing. It’s not a good thing by society’s standards, but because of my mental health and many hospitalizations I went through, and the down times I had, It’s not a bad thing. It shows my resilience, my willingness to succeed and keep going, and persistence.

I’m studying philosophy right now. I love it! I especially love existentialism. Philosophy drew itself to me while going through the tough periods with Schizoaffective disorder and growing older, and thinking upon suicide, and “Where am I going in life?”. I’m still new to it, I’ll admit. Everyone starts somewhere in Philosophy, I was told.

So, where am I going in life at 24 going on 25, 26, 27, 28, 29…etc? I just see time ticking away away, whereas I just saw time sitting still when I was younger. I’ll still give the fact that sometimes I still do see time stand still, but then I look away and look back and it has passed. So there’s a whole new realization. I feel as if I’ve wasted so much of my time being hospitalized. I know I couldn’t have done much to stop that, but I still can’t help but feel like it’s time wasted. Especially the down time from medication. The sleeping all the time, mostly. Sleeping up to 12-16 hours a day at one point. Even once as to sleep 24 hours straight, if my memory serves me correct. That’s another thing. My memory. Where are my memories from my early twenties? My mid-to-late teens? Nothing but withered away from medications into oblivion. I feel lucky I even took a few pictures. I take a lot of pictures nowadays. Partly because I feel like my memory will be abolished from medications, but then I want to remember even the littlest things when I get even older. With all this technology around me why not use it?

The fact that I can even see a bit of time still standing still, somewhat, I feel shows I’m still youthful. Although, I don’t want to waste this youthful time doing nothing, or what I perceive as doing nothing. I want, and need, to fill my time up with memories, events, church, educating myself, and having a lot more (healthy) fun. Just ANYTHING besides being hospitalized. Anything besides that.

This Is What Happens When I Start To Relapse (Briefly)

I was doing well for a bit, and at first didn’t have time to write here the past week because my schedule was pretty busy. My schedule is still busy, but then I started really going downhill. I started having more episodes, and they have been becoming more severe.

I’m in denial, I think, that I am in relapse because I have been doing so well for so long. These past 2 months have been relapse, and the whole time when I was having mini episodes I was thinking, “Well, what if I relapse?”. Well I already am relapsing. Sure I was having mini episodes before 2 months ago, but it was far and few in between, and they didn’t get severe. Now the episodes are becoming more, and becoming severe. My paranoia is ramping up, my anxiety/panic attacks are very severe, my hallucinations are becoming more and more (which I don’t always have), and I become confused a lot more. My paranoia is something that I have a huge problem with as far as positive symptoms.

One example, I remember sitting on the couch watching the news yesterday and every person’s face and name that passed across the screen, I had sworn I knew them in real life, like outside of the news. I sworn I knew them and they have tried to kill me before in the past. I had vivid memories of them trying to kill me. Then a few minutes later I had no idea what I was watching. I didn’t know what the program was, even though it was still the news. My confusion just kicked in liked that; I became very confused. It wasn’t a memory issue. It became a confusion thing. I can say all that now, but I couldn’t then.

My psychiatrist quit and I am dealing with a new provider. Which has taken me off my anti-depressant. I was really upset. I’ve been on one my whole life until I got to this community clinic. Then I asked a year ago for one because I believed I needed one. Then this new provider took me off because she saw I was only on it for a year. I stopped taking it for a week because of side effects and I went in thinking I was going to be able to change it to something else (because of the side effects). I was just taken off.

I try to write when I have some clarity. I’ve been putting off updating the past three days so I can write with clarity.

I’m really nervous I will fail my courses in college because I am only halfway through. I just started back going to college, so this is not a good thing that is happening.

I’m really not sure how I will get through this.

The Liebster Award

I was nominated for the Liebster Award. I thought it was awesome.

I’d like to thank Undertaker Stories for nominating me! (Thank you for letting me use the award photo on my blog, as well!)

For my acceptance speech, I would like to thank really everyone who reads my blog, is struggling with a mental illness and fights it, and those that spread awareness of mental illness and Schizophrenia. I would also like to thank my friends at PsychCentral for standing by my blog, and my pursuit of documenting what I go through so that I can help and encourage others who might be afraid to speak out on their experiences.

Here are the rules, if you are nominated:

Each nominee must have under 200 followers

Thank and link to the nominating blog

Answer their 10 questions and propose 10 new ones for your nominees

Nominate 10 blogs and tell them that they’ve been nominated

Write a post containing the questions

Include these rules in the post

Here were the questions given to me by Undertaker Stories:

1.Which is your favourite room in your house/apartment?

That would probably be my room, because I have converted my closet into a computer/work station. I think it’s quite amazing, haha.

2. Who made the greatest difference in your life – good or bad?

My father, and it has mainly been good differences. He’s been there for me through thick and thin, as parents definitely should be.

3. What is the meaning of life?

Acquiring knowledge. I honestly believe that.

4.When you grow up, who do you want to be like?

That’s a hard question. I have a lot of influences. I want to be myself, but a mix up of all my influences.

5. Name the single most irritating thing that happens to you regularly.

I regularly stub my toe in doorways. I’m not sure why. Haha.

6. What would you never change about yourself, even if you could?

I wonder if anyone is expecting me to say something about my mental illness here, but I’m not. I would actually change, MAYBE being more outgoing than I am. I like being introverted but it’s a little too much introversion than I’d like, I suppose.

7. Do you like Jell -O?

I actually don’t, sorry, haha.

8. What are your thoughts on capitalism? (make it short or write a separate post if you have that many thoughts on it)

Oh, wow. I like how the United States is a Republic? From what I know about capitalism, I don’t think it would be a good path to take.

9.Who is your favourite musician/band/musical artist?

The Mars Volta, all the way!

10. Having done all this work, would you ever accept another award?

Maybe so. I like bringing attention to other writers/bloggers that put time and effort into their blogs. This was quite a bit of work though. More than I thought.

Here are my 10 questions for the following nominated blogs:

1. What would you like to accomplish with your blog?

2. How often do you post to your blog?

3. Do you still read the newspaper?

4. What’s your stance on fighting stigma regarding mental illness?

5. What is one place you would like to travel to in the world?

6. Name something odd about yourself that you do.

7. Do you like photography?

8. Do you have any pets?

9. Mac or Windows?

10. Why did you start a blog?

These are the blogs I have nominated:

Teanami

Suicidal Transgirl

Schizo Serenity

A Schizophrenic Experience

Scrappie Momma

Bipolar1Blog

A Suicide Letter

Just Don’t Say I’m Crazy

Mad Girl’s Lament

Mental Illness Talk