Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Well this week we will start a new year.  This last was not too bad for me a lot of changes happened some for the good some for the bad.  Although, I have hope for the next year because I am making changes to have a better New Year and life not that this life is all that bad.  It is not a new year’s resolution as I have already made these changes in this year just going to continue them.  Problems can be solved there is always a way to make the adjustments needed to continue living an alright life.  I know personally problems come up and it seems like it is the end of everything.  What also pops up is a solution it is not always the right one although it works to solve the problem.
Hope is the key word I will not keep on saying that my life was always bad.  Although getting out of the state hospital and not having my daughter right away in my life was the greatest loss ever.  I lived through it and when I did get her back in my life I forgot the years that she was away.  It was different getting to know her and adjusting to the new changes in my life.  It is worth it now I have three grandchildren and that helps in life very much.  What I am saying is that hope does work and it seems hard plugging through but life does soon get better.  Whenever I get a chance I wonder what brought on this mental illness.  Since I was fifteen I drank more that the average person.
I though getting high was all that life was about.  Mental illness and cocaine are so similar. I do believe that drug caused my mental illness and it also messed up my life my making me lose my money and everything I owned.  I was asked when I was at the state hospital I was asked what the mental illness is like, “I said racing thoughts just like cocaine.”  Paranoia was also there but unlike cocaine you did not come down it stayed with you. I had quit cocaine before my mental illness but it was back and I thought it was cocaine in the food at the state hospital that was one of my delusions.  I am glad all that is over.  People do not understand what drugs like cocaine and heroin do to a person.
I have known people that had a pretty good life before they started messing with those drugs and all they became is junkies not a good life for no one. I am glad that I do not get drunk anymore and glad that life is better and wonder why it did not turn out better when I got high than it was always why is this happening.  Life is still full of ups and downs but I do not tear off my medals and wish for a better life of getting high.  I enjoy my grandkids and it is better than all that anger I had before.  So the changes I have to make to lose weight do not seem all that bad as things could have been worse for me.  I could have ended up in prison for life.  Also I bet my good friend is still in the state hospital or dead as he was already older than me when I knew him.  He did not want to give up his weed to change and get out of there.  Well just hope the new year turns out great for everybody.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Spotlighting Dopamine to Probe Alcohol Addiction

That is the title of this article I am writing about. “A new technology called optogenetics is helping researchers gain a better understanding of the neurochemical basis of addiction.  Optogenetics allows researchers to control the activity of specific populations of brain cells, or neurons using light.  Amazingly, we have pond scum to thank for the new technique; the method was devised to understand how the tiny green algae that give pond scum its distinctive color detect and use light to grow.  The technology allowed Evgeny A. Budygin, Ph.D., an assistant professor of neurobiology and anatomy at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, to address critical questions regarding the roles of dopamine in alcohol drinking-related behaviors.  Well it is nice to see that technology can be used in different ways.  To be able to use it in alcohol addiction to find and help people who may have a problem drinking.
How will the use this technology? “With this technique, we’ve basically taken control of specific populations of dopamine cells, using light to make them respond almost like flipping a light switch, said Budygin.  These data provide us with concrete direction about what kind of patterns of dopamine cell activation might be most effective to target alcohol drinking, The latest study for Budygin and his team has been published in the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. Co-author Jeffrey L. Weiner, Ph.D., professor of physiology and pharmacology at Wake Forest Baptist, said one of the biggest challenges in neuroscience had been to control the activity of brain cells in the same way that brain controls them. With optogenetics, neuroscientists can turn specific neurons on or off at will, providing that those neurons actually govern specific behaviors.”  What dopamine cells get turned on or off when you are drinking is a good way to find out how to stop.  How that will battle drinking is impressive.  I know for some people quitting drinking is a very hard thing to do.  I finally quit when I wanted to.  I did learn some good things through groups and A.A. but what really made be quit is the crime I did to go to the state hospital it was finally the bottom for me.
The article goes on to say: “We have known for many years what areas of the brain are involved in the development of addiction and which neurotransmitters are essential for this process, Weiner said.  We need to know the casual relationship between neurochemical changes in the brain and addictive behaviors, and optogenetics is making that possible now.  Using a rodent model, the researchers used cutting-edge molecular techniques to express the light-responsive channel rhodopsin protein in a specific population of dopamine cells in the brain-reward system.  They then implanted tiny optical fibers into this brain region and were able to control the activity of these dopamine cells by flashing a blue laser on them.  You can place and electrode in the brain and apply an electrical current to mimic the way brain cells get excited, but when you do that you’re activating all the cells in a part of the brain-reward system.  Using this technique, we discovered distinct patterns of dopamine cell activation that seemed to be able to disrupt the alcohol-drinking behavior of the rats.  A different way to combat alcoholism would be great it does cause a lot of problems if you are an alcoholic like I was.  It causes crime and behaviors you wish you had never done.
The ending of the article states: “Weiner said there is translational value from the study because ‘it gives us better insight into how we might want to use something like deep-brain stimulation to treat alcoholism.’  Doctors are starting to use deep-brain stimulation to treat everything from anxiety to depression and while it works, there is little scientific understanding behind it, he said.  Budygin agreed. Now we are taking the first steps in this direction, he said.  It was impossible before the optogenetics era.”  That is great to not have to take a pill to make you stop drinking now there are new ways to help.  When you are drunk you do stupid things if this will help people I am all for it.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Recovery Library

I was sent the following link to review.  One thing it has that we would all like to read is recovery stories.  One of the recovery stories is on a person losing 135 pounds.  We would all like tips on how to do that.  They have both transcript of the videos and videos to watch.  Another story on the recovery page of this library is about the roots of peer support that should be interesting learning how the peer support movement came about.  A lot of different topics that a person would find interesting are on this library.  On the whole health section there is exercise and health information besides ways to lose weight.
They have a section on self-advocacy and that tells you about stigma and also how to get benefits how to get them what happens if you go to jail and lose benefits.  How soon after do you get them back and do you get them back.  Do you get them back everyone would love those answers? They also have a section on making amends and life gets better after stopping drinking and drugging.  They have a section on the myths and facts of reentry back to society after being in jail.  All and all I believe this would be a great resource to have to learn the facts.
To know what happens if a certain scenario happens. Healthy eating is a good topic. The topic on medications side effects what types of medication are out there?  All things a person would like to know about.  It is a good resource to find just about everything that happens and a person needs when they have a mental illness.  Just answers to questions that might come up. If a person would need to know instead of wondering here is a tool that gives all the answers.  I know reading some of the sites of people with schizophrenia that these answers would help.  This is a tool for everyone with a mental illness not just schizophrenia.
To know that such a tool exists is half the battle.  Use it if you seek answers to questions and other people’s stories on how they lost weight how they battled addiction.  Another way to stop smoking that is on here also.  It is good to know all of that so you can use what you want and discard what you want.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Judges, Psychiatrists Confer on Handling Mental Illness in Justice System

That is the title of this article I am writing about today.  “Judges and psychiatrists are putting their heads together to devise ways to temper justice with mental health care for defendants and prisoners.  Psychiatrists and judges must learn more from each other to make headway together in dealing with the thousands of people with mental illness confined in U.S. jails and prisons, said speakers at the Judicial-Psychiatric Leadership Forum in Philadelphia last month.  Having doctors at the table is important, said Judge Ernie Glenn of San Antonio, Texas.  They understand far less about what we do than they should, and we understand far less than we should about what they do.  Jail should be the last place for people with serious mental illness, rather than the first, emphasized Miami-Dade County Judge Steven Leifman head of the Judge’s Criminal Justice/Mental Health Leadership Initiative (JLI) and a long-time champion of reform, addressing the 60 psychiatrists, judges, and court administrators at the forum. We have the leaders in this room to make a difference and change a horrific policy that has been an absolute, intolerable, unacceptable failure.”  I hope things change in the future because jail and prison is the last place a person should be with a mental illness.  My mental illness came about in prison in the late 80s and it was new than.  There was not that many with mental illness in the prisons or jail.  To be crazy in jail before I went to the State Hospital was not fun or like jail I had been to before.
The article goes on to say: “There needs to be a mutual recognition by judges and psychiatrists of the need to rehabilitate the prisoner and protect public safety, said Fred Osher, M.D. director of health systems and services policy at the Council of State Governments Justice Center in New York. I have optimism about the ways we can move forward.  The Judicial-Psychiatric Leadership Forum was cosponsored by the Justice Center, the JLI, and the American Psychiatric Foundation. Leifman is a member of the foundation’s board.  Judges have a great advantage when they want to get something done, said former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Stratton. People listen to judges, and judges are used to being obeyed, Stratton noted.  Most of the judges in attendance were already part of the solution, working in mental health, drug, or veterans courts or other specialized dockets.  However, mental health training, perhaps in the form of continuing legal education, should also be expanded to reach judges in the system who do not have experience in specialty mental health courts, said Glenn.  Better yet, crossover education should start early in professional training, in law school and medical school.  I hate the state hospital but that is where people with a mental illness belong.  With others that have similar problems or mental illness.
The article also says: “The two professions could do more at both the beginning and end of a prisoners sojourn in the criminal justice system, since special mental health courts get only a small number of those with mental illness.  For example, judges could encourage police training to divert people with mental illness to hospitals for evaluation before they are arrested, because it’s much harder to get them out of the system once they’re inside.  More than 4,000 police officers in the Miami area have been trained to do just that, reducing arrests of people with mental health problems sufficiently to permit Miami-Dade County to close one of its jails, its Women’s Annex, earlier this year.  The average number of inmates fell from around 7,400 a year to just 4,800 at latest count, saving about $12 million a year.  There was also a 73% reduction in jail bed days.  Judges and psychiatrists are both interested in gathering information, noted Michael Champion, M.D. director of Champion Forensic Services in Santa Fe, N.M. Judges can do a good social history but don’t know how to turn that into a defined intervention strategy, and information is sometimes blocked on the psychiatrists’ side as well, because clinicians are not clear about what information will be used for.  Will it help or hurt the patient?” It is better to do something before a person goes to prison or jail.  Once you are in the system it is hard getting out.  It can take years of good behavior before you are released from all types of probation or parole services.
The last of the article says: “Both groups struggled with the problem of transitioning people out of the criminal system.  Clear release policies and procedures are needed for people with mental illness who are being treated in jail or prison, and then connections must be made with outside mental health providers.  One county found a simple solution: faxing or e-mailing a list of prisoners about to be released to local mental health agencies, said Judge Chad Schmucker, state court administrator for the Michigan Supreme Court.  The agencies frequently find the names of released inmates who were already on their client list and reconnect with them after their release.  We need to bring the criminal justice system into the continuity of care, agreed Debra Pinals. M.D., an associate professor of psychiatry and director of forensic education at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  The dialogue between the two professions has to continue. Leifman and Osher maintained.  The want to see more, and larger, meetings like this one, to expand the interactions.  We need an army of you, Osher told attendees.  Let’s go back to our communities and work together on this issue.”  Let’s hope they all work together because being in jail I know for me was hardest time I ever did.  If they can rehabilitate so people stay out of jail and prisons and even the state hospital it would be great.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Common biology shared in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

That is what the title of this article talks about. “Patients suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder share similar cognitive and brain abnormalities, three new multi-site studies show.  The findings, published in the November issue of American Journal of psychiatry, add to growing literature that the two disorders share a common biology.  We have known for a long time that the clinical symptoms are shared substantially between the two conditions, but when you look at the biology, these illnesses also blur into each other, said Godfrey Pearlson, professor of psychiatry and neurobiology and a co-author of the studies.  It is clear that they are not two nicely separated packages, but there is a substantial crossover between the two.”  Comparing the brains of schizophrenics and bipolar disorder patients you can see the same brain in both.  Does the same medication work for both mental illnesses?
The article also says: “The diagnoses of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia have been used for almost a century to differentiate between symptoms, outcomes, and more recently, response to medications.  However, a growing number of researchers are beginning to question whether they are useful tools for the classification, understanding, and treatment of major mental illness.  While genome-wide analysis of patients DNA has not revealed clear-cut genetic culprits, researchers have known for years that schizophrenia and bipolar patients share similar abnormalities in such measures as eye movement and response to electroencephalogram tests.  Similar abnormalities are also often seen in their non-ill close relatives.”  They share some abnormalities in their brains that are similar so do there close relatives. These answers can help a lot of people searching for answers to why this happened to them. When none of their relatives have ever had a mental illness before that they know of.
Who is being tested for this: “Researchers at Yale and the Institute of Living in Hartford—as well as four other sites in Massachusetts, Illinois, Texas and Maryland—are studying 20 potential biological disease indicators in 3,000 individuals.  The subjects include those with schizophrenia and psychotic bipolar disorder, as well as their close relatives and unrelated healthy controls. The study is known as BSNIP (Bipolar-schizophrenia Network on Intermediate Phenotypes).  The new studies also show similar deficits in the brain among grey matter (neurons) and white matter (neuronal projections and connective cells) among schizophrenia and bipolar patients.  Also, the two conditions share similar forms of cognitive problems.  There are no clear-cut biological distinctions separating the conditions.  Intriguingly, similar brain abnormalities and cognitive deficits are shared to a lesser degree by relatives of the patients and likely represent markers of disease susceptibility.  These findings may lead researchers to common genetic causes of these deficits.  Pearlson also noted that the National Institute of Mental Health recently proposed a reclassification of mental illnesses based on biological measures.”  Bipolar face the same cognitive problems as schizophrenics.  College was tough on me.  If I would have went before my mental illness I know I would have done better especially in math.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Forget the headlines-schizophrenia is more common than you think

That is the title of this article.  What do they mean by it is more common than we would think? “Schizophrenia isn’t a specific, rare or rigorously defined illness. Instead, it covers a wide range of often unrelated conditions, all of which are also seen in people who are not mentally ill.  Which illness frightens you most? ‘Cancer?’ ‘Stroke?’ ‘Dementia?’ To judge from tabloid coverage, the condition we should really fear isn’t physical at all. Scared of mum’s schizophrenic attacks, Knife-wielding schizophrenic woman in court,  Schizo stranger killed dad, Rachel murder: schizo accused and My schizophrenic son says he’ll kill… but he’s escaped from secure hospitals 7 times are just a few of dozens of similar headlines we found in a cursory internet search.  Mental illness, these stories imply, is dangerous.  And schizophrenia is the most dangerous.”  All those headlines do to me is get me mad.  We are not all like that.  When I was ill I just was trying to figure what was wrong with me.  In prison when I first was ill I just wanted to be left alone and was paranoid.
Why do the headlines always make the mental ill to be bad why don’t they put up stories about the people that are doing well? “Such reporting is unhelpful, misleading and manipulative.  But it may be even more inaccurate than it first appears.   This is because scientists are increasingly doubtful whether schizophrenia- a term invented more than a century ago by the psychiatric pioneer Eugen Bleuler – is a distinct illness at all.  This isn’t to say that individuals diagnosed with the condition don’t have genuine and serious mental health problems.  But how well the label ‘schizophrenia’ fits those problems is now a very real question.  What’s wrong with the concept of schizophrenia? For one thing, research indicates the term may simply be functioning as a catch-all for a variety of separate problems.  Six main conditions are typically caught under the umbrella of schizophrenia: paranoia: grandiosity (delusional beliefs that one has special powers or is famous); hallucinations (hearing voices, for example); thought disorder (being able to think straight); anhedonia or the inability to experience pleasure; and diminished emotional expression (essentially an emotional ‘numbness’).  But how many of these problems a person experiences, and how severely, varies enormously.  Having one doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily develop any of the others.”  I had most of them when I was ill.  Not in prison then I just had paranoia.  That was one time I did talk to a psychiatrist even though I am shy by nature.  I just wanted to figure out what was happening to me.
Well what causes it to happen to people? “Experiences like paranoia are also linked with a number of psychological traits, such as a tendency to worry, feel depressed, sleep poorly, or jump to conclusions,  These factors seem to work in what scientists call a ‘dose-response’ manner: the more of them you experience, the more likely it is that your mental health will suffer.   Genetic factors also play a part, though there’s no evidence for a single ‘schizophrenia’ gene. Instead, a multitude of genes are likely to be involved- with their effect, crucially, conditioned by environmental factors.  So the people who end up being treated for schizophrenia aren’t the unlucky few who happen to have inherited a rogue gene. The more of the relevant genes you possess, the further you are to the extreme end of the spectrum and the less of a push you’ll need from life events to become ill.”  All I did was get angry and that is the last thing I remember in prison.  I was in solitary and laid down all I remember after that is waking up in a different cell and paranoid.
The last of this article says: “This isn’t merely a theoretical issue: if we target specific problems, rather than a loosely defined illness, we’re likely to improve treatment outcomes for the many people struggling with these debilitating experiences.”  Not everyone has schizophrenia but fall into one or more categories of the illness.  Schizophrenia is the worst to have so I guess they all would not like to be diagnosed with it if they only have one of the criteria.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Social withdrawal and Schizophrenia

That is the title of this article I am writing about.  This article hits close to home. “A new study finds that adults with schizophrenia who keep to themselves often did so as children, but that social skills training can be an effective way to overcome any difficulties presented by socializing with others. If you’re feeling alone, you’re not alone. That’s one of the key messages that institute-supported researcher Sandra Matheson wants people to take from her meta-analysis of social withdrawal and schizophrenia that was published recently in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.  The report, which compared six studies that looked at childhood social withdrawal in adults with schizophrenia and in at-risk children aged 9-14 years, found that childhood social withdrawal in combination with three potential markers of schizophrenia risk –delay in speech or motor development, presence of psychotic-like experiences, and social, emotional or behavioral problems –was an indicator of vulnerability for schizophrenia.” I was shy as a kid and still am.  Although friends always counted me in stuff either way.  Although I did not have any other problems like the ones mentioned besides being shy.
The article also says: “That’s not to say that children who are shy, or don’t have a lot of friends or don’t play well are going to develop schizophrenia later in life, Ms Matheson points out.  What the results of the study tells us is that adults with schizophrenia who are socially withdrawn, quite likely displayed those same attributes when they were children and that not wanting to socialize with others is a common occurrence in people with schizophrenia. The study considered withdrawn children to be those who frequently refrained from joining in social activities with their friends and was measured by using the Childhood Behavioural Checklist, which is widely-used psychological questionnaire that assesses a number of behaviours and is filled out by either parents, teachers or the child themselves. I mostly read books when I was a child.  I had a few friends did not make a lot until high school.  The shyness in adult life was offset my alcohol that is why I am an alcoholic. I drank to talk to women or anybody.
The article finishes up saying: “The encouraging new from the study is that children who scored high on the Child Behaviour Checklist for social withdrawal who also received an intervention such as social skills training were able to modify or overcome their tendency to withdraw.  Helping a child to overcome any difficulties they may experience-whether it’s learning to play a sport to improve motor skills, developing better social skills or sorting out any behavioural problems- is going to be of benefit, whether the child develops schizophrenia or not, says Ms Matheson.  Children with at least one first-or second degree relative (ie. Parent, sibling, or aunt, uncle) with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were not considered by the study to be as vulnerable to developing schizophrenia as children who displayed the three risk markers mentioned earlier, but were more vulnerable than children who were considered to be typically developing. Previous studies have found that social skills competency in people with schizophrenia is associated with better functioning in the community and predicts positive vocational functioning, regardless of cognitive abilities, and or social skills training is an effective way to improve social interactions.” I know one of the questions to ask is can it help an adult.  I read and know a lot of schizophrenics would like to socialize more than they do now.  It would also help them find employment.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Collaborative Efforts Help Mental Health Patients Quit Smoking

That is the title of this article and blog.  It is not worth it to smoke anymore.  I am glad that I quit fifteen years ago. “Persons with mental illness account for more than one-third of adult smokers in the United States and despite a decline in tobacco use during the past five decades, there has been no change in the smoking rate for patients with poor mental health.  To combat reliance on tobacco in mental health populations, experts agree that mental health services and government-sponsored tobacco control programs must work together to improve education and access to smoking cessation programs.”  It is time to quit that is what I felt when I decided to quit.  I could not have done it before than because I enjoyed it too much.  I always carried cigarettes on me.  When I quit I had four packs on me that I gave to a friend besides the two cartons.
I cannot say that I quit with smoke aid.  The wellbutrin I took to stop smoking just made me so upset that I quit in a month.  I just did not want to take it anymore and I wasn’t craving so I quit. “Historically, mental health care has operated separately from general medical practices where collaborations exist to strongly encourage smoking cessation in typical patient populations, said Jill M. Williams, MD, professor of psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.  The result of this disconnect, according to Dr. Williams, has left smokers with disparities to become dominant group of smokers in the United States. This includes smokers with mental illness, as well as other addictions and the very poor. Disparities research indicates we need tailored strategies to effect these remaining populations of smokers, she said.”  I had to ask my doctor when I wanted to quit.  A lot of people with mental illness do not have PCP’s.  I believe you have to have a reason to quit.  It was not that I would die young that made me quit.  It was the reason of having my granddaughter in a smoke free house.  I was not even supposed to quit that was supposed to my ex-wife.  She did not quit.
The article says: “Williams said partnerships between mental health providers and state or county tobacco control programs benefit patients, providers and programs.  For patients, smoking cessation improves their health be reducing the impact of smoking-related illnesses.  This in turn lowers costs in treating those illnesses.  The paradox is that we still pay for the heart disease and cancer that these smokers develop so it makes more sense to help them stop smoking, explained Williams. Likewise, tobacco control programs, already leaders in advocacy, can emphasize the need for smoking cessation programs and policies that focus specifically on underserved populations, including individuals with mental health illness. Ultimately, coordinated efforts can strengthen and expand treatment programs, control healthcare costs, and improve the well-being of individuals with mental illness and other disparate populations, which have limited access to smoking cessation options, said Williams.”  If you can quit why not if it means you will be here longer with your loved ones, I enjoyed every minute I had with my granddaughter when she was a baby that I would not trade to this day for a cigarette.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Hope & Recovery

I am writing about hope and recovery again it has been awhile since I addressed this subject.  I hardly get down in the dumps.  I will for a while then I realize that things will always get better that you just have to keep trudging along.  You have to help things move along in the right way also you cannot just sit back and think things are go to get better on their own.  I have a hard habit since I was young of forcing things to work.  Sometimes they do not like my ex-mother in law said you cannot force things.  She was right about my marriage.  Although I still keep trying and if I did not when I was in the state hospital, I might still be there.
When I received a pass to visit my family I not only visited them but I also registered for college hoping I would go and change my life.  I was released two months before college started to a boarding home for dual diagnosis.  Life has a funny way of happening.  I have faced a lot of obstacles in my life where the worse could have happened and I would not be here writing this if it all happened.  Sometimes you just have to believe no matter how bad things seem to be that it will get better and it always does.  I once face twenty four years and did not make a deal and if the judge would have gave me the law the way it was written I would only been found guilty of a misdemeanor.  Instead of doing two years until my appeal was approved.
I knew I would get out.  It keeps getting better as time goes along.  That is the same with recovery.  You just have to keep pushing forward.  There are going to be relapses along the way although you find out what is going wrong and you fix it.  Just like when they first put me on Geodon it kept making my fall asleep during the day until I switched it to night time.  I take it when I want to fall asleep now.  My life I believe is going on the greatest time it ever has. I write it in hopes it will rub off on other people.  I do get down but not overnight or anything.  I usually just get angry that things are not going right.  Although even if I do not wish things to get better they do.I believe it is rubbing off on my daughter usually when things go wrong she will be upset I noticed this last time she did not.  She weathered the storm and now things are a little bit better for her.  I only hope that my grandkids see things as I usually do not preach to them but show them through my actions.  They would not understand now anyway that life is a trip.  Things are not perfect but I cannot complain.  I am free and that is what I wanted most of my life as I was always locked up. Just keep pushing forward and know that hope & recovery can and will happen.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Changing into a Smile

I have traveled partially around the world as a child, later settling into Colorado with my family, I noticed I was saddened by all the friends I had made while I was growing in child hood that were suddenly left behind, and just as perplexed as to making new friends in neighborhoods which carried no décor of ancient history, no space of hills or streams, no enchantment.  The fantasy of childhood became a lackadaisical definition of growing years older when you could not; the confusion of being older to live and survive was denying adolescence.  I sit around these days living memories, and trying to keep up with society surrounding me and fearing failure, being all a matter of time and need, home, energy food, transportation, water, and all the necessities which were never necessities when I was a child.  The world carries on, and I too wonder how far does a person go in order to maintain their life without resiliency and all the more a lack of motivation.  I can feel the indifference in my shoulders, I no longer hold my world above me for the moment, and my esteem is shallow.  I feel like this some mornings, not throughout the day, just long enough to tell myself that I need to carry on.  Going to the mental health clinic gives me determination to keep my inner strength and my faith grows with the understanding of others whom have met with similar emotions and scenarios of livelihood anymore holding on to those smiles which say everything will be alright. 
Focus is the motion of maintaining the emotions, the ideas, and energy of our lives.  Knowing how we will achieve reaching those boundaries and crossing them so that we have succeeded in being what we choose to be.  We can choose to be healthy, or we can choose to be morose, even mentally ill.  Some people don’t have a choice because their illness may be more than mental, being physical, it may be harder to smile, but when you focus on reality, knowing what you want, how you want to feel, and what you want to understand, life means something more than hardship and you are not at a loss to overcome the negatives in your world.  Crossing into a new world, changing ideas, means challenging not only yourself, yet building your strength, so that you mean to be yourself, surrounding yourself with others whom have the same strength and character as you want for yourself, with the ideology that you can believe in something great and maintain your future with such the belief that you will always be a part of the world you see.
Written by Donald S.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Obesity 4 Times More Likely in Schizophrenia Patients

That is the title of this article that talks about obesity in schizophrenia patients. “The risk for abdominal obesity is more than four times higher in patients with multi-episode schizophrenia compared to the general population, according to new meta-analytic research. These individuals are also at greater risk for other cardio-metabolic problems- such as low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, hypertriglyceridemia and diabetes.”  I already have a stomach.  Which I wish I could get rid of it because I was doing that and it stopped working and I fear I have gained some weight that I lost but not all.  I always get my labs checked when I go to the doctor.  The only thing I ever cared about is the diabetes number.  I go next Monday to check again.  My other numbers are usually ok.
The article says they checked a lot of people for this study.  “For the study, researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 136 studies involving 185,606 patients with schizophrenia – 28 of which provided data on nearly 3,900,000 population controls matched for age and gender.  This study is one of the largest ever conducted on people with schizophrenia. The findings reveal that patients with multi-episode schizophrenia were 4.43 times more likely to have abdominal obesity than controls.”  They studied a lot of patients.  People with schizophrenia are more likely to have obesity than the regular society.
The article goes on to say: “Furthermore, the risk for low HDL cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, and hypertriglyceridemia were more than doubled, at 2.35, 2.35, and 2.73, respectively.  The risk for diabetes was nearly double in these patients, and the risk for hypertension was increased 1.36 fold. With the exception of diabetes and hypertension, the risk for these conditions in multi-episode schizophrenia patients was also significantly increased versus that for first-episode or drug-naïve patients. Schizophrenia researchers have warned that weight gain occurs in up to 40 percent of patients taking medications called second-generation or atypical antipsychotic medications, which have been found effective in controlling major symptoms of schizophrenia.”  I do not know why it is so hard to lose weight I am doing the same things that I did when I lost twenty pounds so why did it come back.  I do have high blood pressure controlled by my medication. I really cannot remember if the weight came on first or the high blood pressure.  I was sick with something else and it all was happening about the same time gaining weight. Also at that time I had quit smoking.
According to the article: “Given the high rates of metabolic problems, the researchers propose that schizophrenia patients should, at the very least, have their waist circumference measured regularly, and, ideally, also their fasting glucose, triglyceride, HDL cholesterol, and hemoglobin A1C levels.  The also suggest routine screening of cardiovascular risk factors at key stages to create a risk profile for patients that takes into account their personal and family history.  This risk profile should afterwards be used as a basis for ongoing monitoring, treatment selection and management, wrote the researchers in World Psychiatry.”  They are all things I always check with my PCP.  I just want to see where I am at so I can make more changes if needed to make sure I am losing and not getting diabetes.
In closing the article says: “Lead researcher Davy Vancampfort, Ph.D., of the University Psychiatric Centre KU Leuven and collegues believe it is important to educate schizophrenia patients and their family members about the increased risk for cardio-metabolic abnormalities and ways to lessen it.  According to the researchers, many schizophrenia patients are either unaware of the need to make appropriate lifestyle changes or do not possess the knowledge and skills to do so.  The findings support guidelines from the World psychiatric Association recommending physical health screenings and monitoring in patients with schizophrenia. And further emphasize the need for patients with schizophrenia and their family members to be educated about the possibility of cardio-metabolic risk.”  I am already thinking about the changes I am going to have to make. It will be good because I want to do it for myself.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Living with Dual Diagnosis

Being dual diagnosed and having to maintain sobriety is something like climbing a tree with leather shoes on.  You can’t make mistakes in keeping up with your symptoms as you realize what your mental illness is about and you can’t backslide when it comes to relapsing when it comes to drugs and alcohol.  With the 12 steps of A/A and N/A to guide you, you must also look into the guidelines of psychotherapy and how you want to continue to grow beyond the misery you have lived in.  I look into my own life right now and feel slightly down trodden as to how my survival will continue, how I will live without fear or remorseful feelings. My problem is common with many people through the world, and that is looking for work and having not very much in order to live on or provide for loved ones.  Depression is a part of dual diagnosis, as well as schizophrenia and manic-depression, how well many consumers have felt the grasp of these illnesses, yet not so much when having to live on only so much because you are lacking an income or even worse a home to live in.  I began to see that those on social security or other means of an income provided by the government are much more the better off than those struggling without any source of income or housing.  I must maintain, obtaining my medications, seeing a therapist, gain employment and maintain a place to live besides other necessities in order to say, I am living.  I see other people slipping into other worlds, using drugs and alcohol because they could not find their way back into society by working, often times living in resentment because they cannot find peace nor do they have resilience.  Living with a dual diagnosis is virtually the same, having to climb a slippery tree and not look down from where you are, such as crossing a street and not looking back, the feelings the same, trying to overcome the hurdles which are boundaries before you.  I want to feel as if I have overcome my mental illness, yet as long as I know that I could lose my motivation in keeping my strength, I know I will be dependent upon the system to keep me climbing with some success.
There have been some intense feelings about my dilemma of  losing my job and having to search for another, or live off unemployment for a short while and those feelings are the very ones I have been diagnosed with.  Yet the smiles and laughter I once had seem to have highs and lows as well with me as well and all that I perceive makes me that much more closed about what is right in maintaining not only being my mental strength but my self-esteem as well.  
Written by Donald S

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Walking in the Woods

This is a blog about walking and an article to relieve stress and boost your immune system.  I am always trying to get healthier and today I am going to get weighed.  I came across this article and it fits what I wanted to talk about today. “Work, home, even in the car, stress is a constant struggle for many people.  But it’s more than just exhausting and annoying.  Unmanaged stress can lead to serious health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.” There are a lot of things that can lead to stress.  When it becomes hard to sleep then it is a problem.
The article says: “The American lifestyle is fast-paced and productive, but can be extremely stressful.  If that stress is not addressed, our bodies and minds suffer, said Dr. Aaron Michelfelder, professor of family medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.  Our bodies need sleep to rejuvenate and if we are uptight and stressed we aren’t able to get the rest we need.  This can lead to serious physical and mental health issues, which is why it’s extremely important to wind down, both body and mind, after a stressful day.”  After a stressful day it is important to not keep being bothered by a problem or whatever else makes you stressed.  I need my sleep.  I do not have a hard time falling asleep.
The article says: “According to M|ichelfelder, one of the best ways to wind down and reconnect after a stressful day is by taking a walk.  Though any walking is good, walking in the woods or in nature has been proven to be even better at reducing stress and improving your health.  When we get to nature, our health improves. Michelfelder said.  Our stress hormones rise all day long in our bloodstream and taking even a few moments while walking to reconnect with our inner thoughts and to check in with our body will lower those damaging stress hormones.  Walking with our family or friends is also a great way to lower our blood pressure and make us happier.”  While I do not get to the woods to walk, I do walk.  If I have a problem it does make sense to walk and reason the problem out.  It feels better.
Here is an interesting fact: “Research out of Japan show that walking in the woods also may play a role in fighting cancer.  Plants emit a chemical called phytoncides that protects them from rotting and insects.  When people breathe it in, there is an increase in the level of ‘natural killer ‘cells, which are part of a person’s immune response to cancer.”  That makes person want to walk in the woods as much as they can. I walk also to lose weight and in the last two weeks I have changed my lifestyle again to better lose the pounds.  Today I get weighed and if I lost at least two pounds I will know that my lifestyle changes are working.  This is not the big test in two weeks I will have my labs taken and that is the big test to see how my blood sugar is doing and hopefully low number for diabetes. It also says: “When we walk in a forest or park, our levels of white blood cells increase and it lowers our pulse rate, blood pressure and level of stress hormone cortisol, Michelfelder said.  He also suggests reading, writing, meditating or reflecting to help calm the mind after a long day.  To help calm the body yoga and breathing exercises also are good.  If you want to wind down, stay away from electronic screens as they activate the mind.  Electronic devices stimulate brain activity and someone’s post on Facebook or a story on the evening news night might cause more stress, Michelfelder said.” I am going to have to try walking in a park as I have no woods close by. I also had been meaning to start reading again. I’m going to have to see what is out now that I would like.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Life’s Tribulations

I have been writing about psychological behaviors, symptoms, how to find faith, hope and determination during Recovery, now I am at a lost as to how to feel as I am frustrated in finding work.  I have had pep talks, and compliments about my abilities, yet I find that in searching for a means to keep what I have gained, my own sanity, I find I have both positive and negative options for decisions.  I think this shouldn’t be, everything is not everything when it comes to peace, and I have no peace of mind in my endeavors.  I have tried walking, talking to acquaintances, strangers as well and I have the same compliments, yet I have nothing to show me proof that I will succeed in what I truly want to do.  Determination slips and slides with each contact I make, and my faith builds itself on trust, yet I look at myself and wonder if I am missing something when it comes to trustworthiness.  I can hope all Iwant to, but without working towards a goal, my hope is only a word and my faith is only a story to tell.  Thinking these things as I do makes me wonder how much can a person perceive in themselves to remain consistent in their Recovery.  Can being resilient lend to personal strength and belief in what a person wishes to overcome?  Does worry carry over to frustration, lending over to backsliding and even worse, relapse?  I thought of the negative directions, its flight time if I turn my back on my personal Recovery and this is another fight I must win to keep my strength.  If you believe you can succeed, someone else will believe with you and the battle is nearly quite won, if you turn your back on the mirror, you will not see the light of your beliefs and that is when you begin to know you have reached another reflection in error.  I feel somewhat better in the last two days, my mental strength comes in surges, yet I am holding on to the believe that even though I am not the only one going through trials and tribulations, there are others who can wield faith and keep me building upon my hopes and aspirations.  The one word exist to me which carries me forward as many know thereof…BELIEF.
Written by Donald S.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Recovery Story

I had my first bout of mental illness in prison in 1987.  I had just finished a computer programing class but I was also running a gambling house in the east wing of the prison.  I had money and street clothes as the allowed us to wear street clothes in the east wing even though I did not want to be in the east wing.  I liked the south wing.  There I had a partner to run my gambling house.  Things were not going good for me in the east wing.  My ex-wife was bothering me they asked me to up the limit on my gambling house and I did. One of the guards that I knew previously from south wing when I was there a few years earlier wrote me up for gambling.
Everything that was going on it made me mad and of course I fought it the charge of gambling and was found guilty.  I was sentence to three days in the hole.  I was still angry when I went to the hole and the next thing I knew I was on another wing.  I did not know what was going on.  I broke open my razor and tried to commit suicide.  All it did was scratch me.  The guard that wrote me up said he did it for my protection because I had raised the stakes in gambling and he thought one of the players would hurt me.  I did not know this when I fought the case.  I told the guard on this new wing that I had tried to commit suicide.   They sent me to Cannon City to a doctor.  He asked some questions and at first was going to say I had a mental illness then he changed his mind and just thought I had the breakdown because I was not sleeping. He put me on Halcion to sleep.
I was there in the infirmary and he asked if I would like to go back to Buena Vista or where I would like to go and after watching inmates there behind the walls I said here.  Now my friends back at Buena did not understand what happen to me they thought it was because of someone on the streets and they still would stick by me.  Although I had to figure out what happened to me.  I did not feel the same way I did before.  I wasn’t the same person.  I stayed behind the walls until my appeal came through.  I told my lawyer on the streets that I just wanted a deal where they would leave me alone and I would plead guilty.  It was only supposed to be a misdemeanor if I took it back to trial although I had already had done two years.  I just wanted to be left alone.
I was going to leave the state and go back to Portland, Oregon although a computer class came along that was accelerated.  So I signed up all went well until it was time for finals and then I had my breakdown and ended up at the state hospital.  I did not know where I was at.  I had sat in the county jail without medication for six months.  I was insane.  I finally received medication when I was at the state hospital.  After a while not going to groups or understanding mental illness I talked the doctor into taking me off the medication.  They transferred me to another ward after three months and there is where I had my last full breakdown into mental illness.  The doctor there put me back on medication but my arms shook or something would be wrong with the medication.  He was ready to give up on finding me a medication and he tried an older drug called moban with a side effect medication called kemidrin.  The worked as I got better I started thinking about my future.  When one of the people who worked there asked what I would like to do with my life I said I wanted to learn computers.  She introduced me to somebody in vocational rehabilitation and he taught me computers on his computer and I was going to school and learning typing from scratch and math and all the subjects I needed for college.
I was being sent back to the original ward where I asked the doctor to take me off medications when I was there I asked to be sent to the Circle program for drug and alcohol abuse. He sent me there and then I was able to get passes to stay at my mom and dads and I enrolled in college.  I was able to go to school half time.  When I first started college I had a relapse because my medication was too low.  I have had no problems since then.  I received my bachelors and my masters.  I was finally taken off moban and put on Geodon and now I work and the only problem I have is stigma

Monday, October 7, 2013

Changing Life styles

I have reached the age where everything in life counts towards my existence.  Relationships and family, employment, self-esteem and faith all matter when a person must rely not only on the self, yet others understanding where you have been and where you want to be as well just to name a few.  Just a short while ago, I received news that my job position was being discontinued; I am being phased out of my data entry position.  I was shocked somewhat to learn this, and as I began to listen a bit more intently, I found out that I was not qualified to continue to do the work which was now changing from clerical to programming.  I realized I have no computer programming experience, but I felt a bit more relaxed when the program manager told me that I had at least 6 months to find another position in the company that I may be suited for or the opportunity to find employment in another company.  I was confounded at first, yet to hear that the company I am working for wanted me to continue working for them if I have other talents to put to use was a reprieve.  I have to admit that I was worried at first very intently, and I still am almost feeling anxiety due to such a lay-off and what to do after 5 years of service and was counting on even more time with the people I had grown to respect.
I did not lose my respect for anyone, though I was a bit fearful as to whether this change in employment was some kind of ruse or get-back or ploy to undermine my being.  I am still scared somewhat in that I will have to probably search the realm of business, in order to find work, being out of touch with associating with those I have never met and making impressions in order to be found worthy of employment.  When I think of where I am at this present time, my mind spins, nothing seems satisfying and the road seems even more distant to walk down after what took 5 years to gain.  I feel this is judgment day and the world and the many people I have grown to know are the jury while I am awaiting a verdict.  It’s not really that way, work is the backbone of every person’s livelihood and I know I cannot give up or quit to become what I once was, a vagabond, a transient without any intellect or a fool to my own delusions.
As a consumer, I have about as much reason to wonder if I will make it in this world as any normal person does.  I thought that I should not use the excuse of being with a mental illness as a means to gain pity, yet showing I am stronger in knowing that I should know what to do and rely on others who can help is as beneficial as gaining respect of those who do not know that I am a consumer of mental health.  I cannot hide from what I am, I can only become better with a working faith and hope and the determination that I can succeed without looking down on any one or searching for pity.

Written by Donald S.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Research Attributes High Rates of Smoking among Mentally Ill to Addiction Vulnerability

Well this article talks about how smoking is not self-medicating when the person is mentally ill. “People with mental illness smoke at much higher rates than the overall population.  But the popular belief that they are self-medicating is most likely wrong, according to researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine.  Instead they report, research indicates that psychiatric disease makes the brain more susceptible to addiction. As smoking rates in the general population have fallen below 25 percent, smoking among the mentally ill has remained pervasive, encompassing an estimated half of all cigarettes sold.  Despite the well-known health dangers of tobacco consumption, smoking among the mentally ill has long been widely viewed as ‘self-medication’ reducing the incentive among health care professionals to encourage such patients to quit.” It has been fifteen years since I quit and I do not miss it.  I do not spend all my money on cigarettes.  I buy more food now.
The article says: “This is really a devastating problem for people with mental illness because of the broad health consequences of nicotine addiction, said R. Andrew Chambers, M. D., associate professor of psychiatry at the IU School of Medicine.  Nicotine addiction is the number one cause of premature death in the United States, and most of that morbidity and mortality is concentrated in people with mental illness.  In a report published recently in the journal Addiction Biology, the research team lead by Dr. Chambers reported the results of experiments using and established animal model of schizophrenia in which rats display a neuropsychiatric syndrome that closely resembles the disease.”  I for one want to live as long as I can.  I have said before that I want to be there when my youngest grandson grows up.  As I have said before I took wellbutrin to quit because of the side effects of taking it for a month I quit smoking and I quit the wellbutrin. I just put both out of my mind.
It goes on to say: “Both the schizophrenia-model rats and normal rats were given access to intravenous self-administration of nicotine.  The mentally ill rats acquired nicotine use faster and consumed more nicotine, Dr. Chambers said.  Then when we cut them off from access to nicotine, they worked much harder to restore access to nicotine than did the normal ‘control rats.’ In additional testing, the researchers found that administration of nicotine provided equal, but minimal, cognitive benefits to both groups of rats when performing a memory test. When the nicotine was withdrawn, however, both groups of rats were more cognitively impaired, so that any cognitive benefits to nicotine administration were ‘paid for’ by cognitive impairments later.”  When I smoked I can remember waking up I would have to have at least three to four cigarettes right in a row.  A friend from college would say as soon as we have a break Charles is smoking.
The article says: “These results strongly suggest that what has changed in mental illnesses to cause smoking at such high rates results in a co-morbid addiction to which the mentally ill are highly biologically vulnerable.  The evidence suggests that the vulnerability is an involuntary biological result of the way the brain is designed and how it develops after birth, rather than it being about a rational choice to use nicotine as a medicine, Dr. Chambers said.  The data, he said, point to neuro-developmental mechanisms that increase the risk of addiction. Better understanding of those mechanisms could lead to better prevention and treatment strategies, especially among mentally ill smokers, Dr. Chambers said.”  When you are mentally ill you smoke like a train.  That is what I used to do.  I do know I suffered those thirty days trying to quit.  I do not know to this day what made it so easy to quit besides the thirty days.  Having my baby granddaughter come over on weekends and anytime I could babysit or was it the wellbutrin.  In which the side effects were bad. I do know I am better off having quit.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Could Stem Cell Transplant ‘fix’ Schizophrenia?

This article says that maybe in the future. “Experimental work on rats suggests transplanting stem cells could be a permanent cure for schizophrenia, University of Texas researchers say.”  I know myself and a lot of people with schizophrenia would love it if this actually works.  It would be a permanent cure.  Would not have to take pills every day and worry about your weight or whatever else these pills do to a person. It makes a person wonder how the future might look if schizophrenia was cured.
The article goes on to say: “In a study released Monday, a team at the Health Science Center in San Antonio said cells removed from rat fetuses and injected into the hippocampus of adult rats restored normal functioning.  Schizophrenics lack cells called ‘interneurons’ that govern the dopamine system and the hippocampus, which plays an important function in learning, memory and executive functioning such as decision-making.” Well they haven’t tried it out on humans yet so we will have to wait and see.  Although it would be real nice if it worked and I know everyone is waiting to see if it does.
The scientist say: “Daniel Lodge, an assistant professor of pharmacology in the medical school, said current treatment for schizophrenia, including medication and deep-brain stimulation, works only temporarily.  In rats, the cell transplantation appears to work a permanent cure.”  One day we will figure out how the brain works and maybe the future is getting closer than we think.  All I ever took for my schizophrenia is medication. If this does work will there still be stigma for mental illness that is the only thing I hate in having this disease is the stigma.
How would they do this? “You can essentially fix the problem, Lodge said.  Ultimately, if this is translated to humans, we want to reprogram a patient’s own cells and use them.  Stephanie Perez, a graduate student in Lodge’s lab and lead author of a paper on the research using cell transplants to restore motor deficits.”  They would use your own cells.  If this works we have to acknowledge that someone thought of this idea and maybe it will work.  It would be nice if this works.  Would it work for other mental illnesses?  There are still so many unanswered questions about this.  We will just have to wait and see what comes of this study.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

How Schizophrenia Affects the Brain

That’s the title of this article that I am writing about for this blog.  This is well studied article that starts off: “It’s hard to fully understand a mental disease like schizophrenia without peering into the human brain.  Now, a study by University of Iowa psychiatry professor Nancy Andreasen uses brain scans to document how schizophrenia impacts brain tissue as well as the effects of anti-psychotic drugs on those who have relapses.”  I only had a relapse once when my medication was to low that was a hard time because I had just started college and had to miss a week.  I had to change my Spanish class because he only allowed three missed days and I had already missed three.
How did they do this study? “Andreasen’s study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, documented brain changes in MRI scans from more than 200 patients beginning with their first episode and continuing with scans at regular intervals for up to 15 years.  The study is considered the largest longitudinal, brain-scan data set ever compiled, Andreasen says.  Schizophrenia affects roughly 3.5 million people, or about one percent of the U.S. population according to the National Institutes of Health.  Globally, some 24 million are affected, according to the World Health Organization.  That is a lot of people that have schizophrenia. She did this study for fifteen years.  That should have told a lot about the brain.
What did this study find? “The scans showed that people at their first episode had less brain tissue than healthy individuals.  The findings suggest that those who have schizophrenia are being affected by something before they show outward signs of the disease.  There are several studies, mine included, that show people with schizophrenia have smaller-than-average cranial size, explains Andreasen, whose appointment is in the Carver College of Medicine.  Since cranial development is completed within the first few years of life, there may be some aspect of earliest development—perhaps things such as pregnancy complications or exposure to viruses – that on the average, affected people with schizophrenia.  Andreasen’s team learned from the brain scans that those affected with schizophrenia suffered the most brain tissue loss in the two years after the first episode, but then the damage curiously plateaued—to the group’s surprise.  The findings may help doctors identify the most effective time periods to prevent tissue loss and other negative effects of the illness, Andreasen says.”  It is a drag not knowing why and how this happens.  All of us with schizophrenia would like solid answers.
The study also found: “The researchers also analyzed the effect of medication on the brain tissue.  Although results were not the same for every patient, the group found that in general, the higher the antipsychotic medication doses, the greater the loss of brain tissue.  This was a very upsetting finding, Andreasen says.  We spent a couple of years analyzing the data more or less hoping we had made a mistake.  But in the end, it was a solid finding that wasn’t going away, so we decided to go ahead and publish it.  The impact is painful because psychiatrists, patients, and family members don’t know how to interpret this finding.  Should we stop using antipsychotic medication? Should we be using less?”  It is hard not to take your medication because it makes a person almost normal.  I know when I was in jail for those months being psychotic just because the psychiatrist did not like me and told me that and would not put me on medication.  That was hard being punished because I was not liked.  At least the jail guard understood my position and helped me out. 
The study also studied relapses: “The group also examined how relapses could affect brain tissue, including whether long periods of psychosis could be toxic to the brain.  The results suggest that longer relapses were associated with brain tissue loss. The insight could change how physicians use antipsychotic drugs to treat schizophrenia, with the view that those with the disorder can lead productive lives with the right balance of care.  We used to have hundreds of thousands of people chronically hospitalized. Now, most are living in the community, and this is thanks, to the medications we have, Andreasen notes.  But antipsychotic treatment has a negative impact on the brain, so we must get the word out that they have fewer side effects than some of the other medications we use, they are certainly not trouble free and can have a lifelong consequences for the health and happiness of the people and families we serve.”  I could not live without my medication. I’ve been there.  Hopefully they put more into research for the future people who get schizophrenia so they can also lead productive lives and have medication that does not harm them.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Worry or Anxiety

If you are feeling anxious when facing any kind of situation in which you feel challenged which could be any sort of interview, a school test or even a date and your worries seem to be overwhelming, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.  There are different types of anxiety disorders and there are many treatments including medication, and self help treatments.  When understanding the type of anxiety you are suffering from, you can find the steps to overcome your symptoms and once again control your life.
I have been living with worry for the past two months because of an ignorant mistake I made at work.  Not only have I been worried, my responsibilities have slackened and the fear factor of my maintaining my position at work just will not alleviate itself.  I keep thinking the worst of the situation and I noticed I turn corners and refrain from eye contact when approached.  In short I am losing sleep because of a mistake I made.  I can’t sum this up to be a panic attack, or that I am suffering from anxiety, yet many people do worry and cannot find the conscious time to consult a therapist or other professional to sort matters out. 
Anxiety disorders are a group of conditions not just a single disorder and can be different from person to person who may suffer from anxiety.  Suffering from anxiety disorder for one person may be intense, striking without warning, another person may panic at a simple gathering or someone else may struggle with the fear of walking alone at night or have uncontrollable thoughts.  Fear and worry are symptoms shared in anxiety disorders and along with fear there are others known as emotional symptoms of which you may find eight different kinds of emotional symptoms.  There are physical symptoms which a person suffering from an anxiety disorder may mistake as a medical illness.
What can you do to see yourself through anxiety?  Write down your thoughts, your worries mainly.  Create a time where you can concentrate on your anxiety, focusing on the negative aspects, then writing them down and learning to accept uncertainty and not think of immediate solutions.  Practice relaxation techniques with deep breathing which can alleviate your anxiety symptoms and help you relax and find well being.  Don’t drink or use drugs or smoke tobacco products, these add to more anxiety.  Exercise and get good rest, a lack of sleep can cause anxious thoughts or feelings
Written by Donald S