Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Suicide and Schizophrenia

It is a subject a person would like to forget and hope it would not happen to someone else. Although most schizophrenics, who become mentally ill do think about suicide, and do try to commit suicide. Schizophrenic Bulletin says:“Even though in a schizophrenic fog, believing that people were out to kill him. He wanted to commit suicide. Yet he did not know why.” It is really hard to explain. Even though I thought in my delusion that people were trying to get me sent back to prison. I did think about and try to commit suicide. I did not like what was going on and I did not understand it when it was happening.
It is just that I woke up and I was different and what was happening in my mind was different. I think this article in the Schizophrenic bulletin explains it in words I cannot: “…My self- or someone else’s self-was already out there, controlling my every move without my conscious awareness. I was trapped in the nothingness between the internal and external, hiding behind the veil of my own perceptions, which I didn’t perceive to be my own.” I did not want to go back to prison. Yet it was like I was not directing my life, but someone else was.
When they arrested me all I could say was why? What I had feared had happened. I did not get medication while I was in the County Jail. When I arrived at the State Hospital, I thought it was a prison. Somewhere else other than the Canon City prison, like I thought it was Grand Junction, Colorado. When the judge had said one day to life, I started calling down my lawyer. I did not hear what else the judge said. It was like a prison when they had taken me to the State hospital. They moved me at night and I thought it was a prison.
Well I was there for about two weeks before I was tried on a second medication. When I had first arrived they had tried me on Haldol. I had an allergic reaction to it. They did not try again until they had moved me to a second ward. Those feeling and that fog I would never want to go through that again and for that long. I believe I was left mentally ill for at least nine months.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lethargy or Depression

Lethargy as fatigue is known is a physical and most common psychological illness. It comes and it goes, and we all experience it at some particular time. Lethargy is a lack of energy of the human body and mind, exhaustion; and it doesn’t last long, yet it may last for weeks or for even months. Lethargy can also be the result of a disease such as diabetes, and can exist commonly with women during pregnancy causing mood swings. These can range from being mildly upset, irritable or even weight gain. People with anemia can suffer from lethargy and this can be similar to suffering from depression of which may be of stages, being mild, moderate or severe.
People who develop depression may feel lethargic, suffering from poor sleeping habits and or loss of appetite. To keep from experiencing lethargy, especially during warm weather you can:

1. Keep cool during hot weather
2. Wear loose clothing
3. Eat regularly, fresh foods no sweets
4. Be aware of you sleeping habits and
5. Avoid drugs and alcohol

Lethargy or exhaustion can be a result of any virus infection as well, which can be followed by weakness or depression and can last for weeks after as any illness can. Last but not least, fatigue (lethargy) can exist as you become an elderly person which they may develop from acquiring hypothermia (low body temperature). If you are elderly stay warm and eat right.

Other causes of lethargy can be work, mental stress, recreation, depression or going without sleep. If you happen to feel under the weather and you have these symptoms for a long time its best to see a doctor, even if it is a bit of fatigue or mild exhaustion, you may be suffering from something physical or from mental stress.

Written by Donald Sammons

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Visiting Old Neighborhood

I went this weekend to visit my old neighborhood and old friends. I had not been over there in at least six months. Riding through my old neighborhood I was hoping to see a lot more of the people that I used to see a lot when I lived there. I did not see that many. The friends I did visit though it was good to see them and talk to them about how life is treating them now. I asked how friends were that I did not get to see. I was glad to hear they were doing well. I was sad to hear that they are not happy in the old building with the new ownership. That is one reason I moved from there. They are hoping they get new owners. Although as I told them it is not always greener on the other side, they were hoping these owners were better that the last management. It turned out to be worse. Sometimes it is better not to ask for a change and let things be as they are. They are still waiting for light rail to be finished next year. I am too that way I can visit a lot more that I do. The bus service there is still awful. I try to keep in touch with my old friends from there. A lot of the people that I knew for years have passed on or moved away like me. Hopefully they will get new owners that are better and not in the business just for the money. It was a good visit and very nice seeing the old neighborhood. I know it will be a while before I can get that way again. Hopefully I can spend more time next time.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How close are we to Freedom

We talk about being on our own, as we are consumers, being connected to various agencies through mental health. Being free, of our disability, having the ability to care for ourselves, providing and sharing with others, keeping a home, shop, even work or go to school. What does this take? I realized I had to find respect for myself amongst the millions of other low income, and physically as well as socially distressed people that exist nationwide. That’s a lot of people. I had to work with people who know the ropes, and I had to learn to become self sufficient in a new way, on a different level , moving from homelessness, to welfare and finally gaining access to employment and or training instead of joining gangs or selling and using drugs or worse.
This transformation, not only for myself, yet for others as well is moving beyond the fears of the mind and those we harbor living day to day. For many of us, who were once trapped in abandonment, vacant homes, or just sleeping against any wall, found our blessing and having been given a decent place to live, began to come to grips with the agencies which supported us. Yet we had to give to them also, demonstrating we can be capable of overcoming not only the mentalities of being once homeless, yet also the disorders we face mentally, by working with those who can mentor those who had given up. We begin to reach for new opportunities to improve our lives through the dedication of social workers, case managers and therapist, not to forget assisted housing agencies, and vocational rehabilitation. Is this far enough?
Reliability, motivation, determination, stamina, dedication, those words are critical in changing our lives from being a mental health consumer, to becoming a citizen and or a provider in society. We have to become mentally and socially conscious if our ideas of which our therapist and case workers have helped form are to help us walk from vagrancy to good health, ideas and a new life—
Written by Donald Sammons

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mental Health Recovery

They say recovery is an ongoing journey. That is what I read on this website. They also have a film out about three people in recovery, which you can order on DVD from this website. They are trying with this film to break the stigma of mental illness. They say people in recovery have good days and bad days. That is so true, although I do not like to write about the bad days I do have them. I know the bad days will be gone though and a good day will come again. It also talks about having hobbies and other interests. They can also help your recovery just like a job, it gets you out of yourself and thinking about something other than your mental illness. Also by having meaningful relationships such as a significant other or your family and friends will always help. A person will need support and someone to talk to about the good days to share and the bad days. I know I can always talk to my family if one is not available another will be there to fill in. To help with medication change which is helpful to tell how you are doing and what they see the way you are acting. I remember my relapse when I was at college. When I called my mom she said go talk to your doctor. Sometimes we cannot do everything on our own. I also believe having goals or a dream can help of what you would like to do in the future. I know that was all I could think of finishing college no matter how long it took. After that one relapse I never had another. Even changing medication was not as hard as it could have been. I am thankful I have a job where they can understand what you are going through it helps make it easier. Also build on your strengths. What you can do best. That way the road to recovery will not be as hard.

Monday, September 12, 2011

What Do We Do Now

You can look at coping as a conspiracy in mental health. Conspiracy in Latin means “to breathe the spirit together”. What is the spirit of coping we are sharing? It is the spirit of hope. Mental Health is about how we think, our emotions and how we cope with life. The symptoms of mental disorders can get better or become worse and with this experience the symptoms of any mental disorder are a part of recovery and as we cope with our disability we are controlling the crisis we are facing with different coping mechanisms.
The best way to cope with our problems is to (a) follow a treatment plan, (b) know what the symptoms are and when they occur, (c) learn to manage stress and (d) keep in touch with your doctor and case manager.
Coping is managing external and internal demands; that is managing insecure feelings of which there are many kinds of coping mechanisms. These can be: Acting, when we feel pressure, either emotionally or with behavior. Attacking someone, or using fantasy to escape reality. These are just a few coping mechanisms which are negative ways to react to a situation not understood. Coping positively is a developed sense of personal control which means we problem solve so that any situation can be dealt with optimistically and with practicality.
We can deal with anxiety, stress or hallucinations by relaxation. We can problem solve by defining the problem and understanding how we feel about the problem. We can think of solutions and how others would solve the problem, knowing what’s positive or negative about our emotions or stress and make a decision, realizing that exercise, healthy food, hope, spirituality and forgiveness are a part of coping with our mental disorder. These are positive tools which make us healthier mentally and physically and help us to overcome the symptoms of our disorder and other negative conditions through understanding.
Written by Donald Sammons

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mental Illness Affects

I was reading an article titled “Mental Illness affects half of all Americans during their lifetime. That title does not mean at this given moment. It means at some time in their lifetime. One thing I found interesting is that in a study “Over the previous twelve months, about 8.4 million American adults thought seriously about suicide, 2.2 made plans to end their lives, and about one million attempted to commit suicide.” That is a lot of people. I know for me when you are mentally ill, you do not understand what is happening to you. Suicide comes to your mind to end what you do not understand. Whereas if I were not mentally ill I would not even think of it, in me there is always hope that the problem or place I am at is not forever. Even when I do not want to have hope it pops up. Even when the worst thing I could imagine happened, I still had hope. What can that be? It was being told I had a sentence of one day to life in the State Hospital a place I had never been to before. I cannot forget being faced with that. It did help me make some new choices in my life. To always be in control of what I do in life. To make sure I do not wake up in jail after being drunk and told you hurt someone or even killed them. Or not even know what you did. A person would never be able to go back and change that night or day. It happens to a lot of people. I will never let it happen to me.