Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Understanding Schizophrenia

The title of this article understanding Schizophrenia is the blog I am writing about today.  It talks about Toronto’s Lesley Skelly who is getting to know her son who is the age of twenty three.  For her he is not the same son she raised. “When he was diagnosed, at 19, with schizophrenia, it was like he died and our family went through the grieving process, Skelly says.  Now we are learning about our new son who is different from the child we once knew.” The illness changes you.  For me it changed me for the better I believe.  I am not the same person that I was in my teens and early twenties.   I had DUI’s and was in prison.  I do not hang around all my friends from that time.  They have left me their numbers if I ever change my mind and want to talk and be friends again.   I do think of them and sometimes I want to pick up the phone and call my old friend.  Although I am different and I do not get high no more and even though alcohol has not affected them.  They never were in trouble just me.
This illness changed me for the better, although it is not the same for everyone. “The shock of schizophrenia is that it manifests in late adolescence or early adulthood, and parents must accept that the child they have known and loved for more than a decade may be irrevocably lost, Andrew Solomon writes, even as that child looks much the same as ever.”  I am a paranoid schizophrenic and my illness did not come on till I was twenty eight.  I was in prison at the time and it did change me, I went from one prison when it happened to another.  It was not because my friends at the time changed I had changed. It is hard to describe.   I was already waiting on my appeal and knew that I no longer wanted to be locked up.  Although the illness changed something in my life where I wanted to different and was.
The media always portray people with mental illness as dangerous and going to hurt or kill you. “But people with schizophrenia are really at a higher risk of hurting themselves, Baruch says. They are individuals who have difficulties in their thinking, they hear voices, they see things, they don’t perceive reality the way others do; they are often suspicious and withdrawn.  We need to educate the public as to what this disorder actually is.”  I remember at the state hospital thinking the TV was talking to me.  I could not watch it and that is one time you do not want to be in your mind and wish you could listen to the radio or TV.  The radio also bugged me; I believed it was being broadcasted from prison.
The good thing about the state hospital is that they taught me how to take my medication and to do it at a set time.  That helps to always remember and become routine.  “The majority of individuals with schizophrenia do not take their medication, says Baruch, explaining non-compliance can mean anything from not taking meds at all to missing a day here and there.  Data shows that even if you miss 10 days on an annual basis, the chances of relapsing or rehospitalization is doubled.” I never want relapse.  I do not like being mental ill, so I always want to remember my medication.  I have grandkids that I love and do not want to miss a day without them or my daughter.  Life is hard enough but to add being mentally ill that is too hard.

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