Monday, March 25, 2013

The Research of Schizophrenia

Being diagnosed with a schizoaffective disorder, I have not taken into account how much I have grown to learn about schizophrenia or its symptoms, both positive and "negative symptoms. As it stands, I was educated to understand I have positive symptoms, hallucinations and or delusions both auditory and ocular. Yet as I read this article "Mysteries of the Mind…" I find that there are negatives to the schizophrenic disorder as well, such as social withdrawal and or depression. As I took this into regard I also thought of other people who have the schizophrenic disorder and further reading I found that such people living with this disorder are not considered intelligent by any means yet having a high IQ and becoming ill with such the symptoms of schizophrenia, you may still be considered smart. There are brilliant people who suffer from schizophrenia yet many individuals were not given the chance to use their minds in any creative means to prove that they have a higher intellect, as opposed to others who are above the norm.
There are physical reasons stated as to why schizophrenics are as they are. There are neurons that don’t function within the brain, which are critical for the "thinking rhythm" though a schizophrenic has not the normal brain when living with such a disease.
As I continue to read about schizophrenics ability to think and learn, I begin to wonder what I would be like without medication, derisive, lost with the inability to solve any problems, the reading progressed, in time, I felt berated, underrated and inefficient at any of my own endeavors. I began to understand that as experiments proceed to help schizophrenics overcome malady, I learn that there is a lack of communication within the brain itself, which may cause the symptoms both positive and negative and the learning and memory of any patient disorganized.
These are physical symptoms and there may be no real physical cure for the disease, though scientists have hope as many people have that a cure can be found. Mental illness such as schizophrenia isn’t the only illness which may cause disruption of thought, yet it can be understood through many years of observation and research that it is harder for those diagnosed with schizophrenia to learn because of their mental distraction and the delusions they suffer from. There are new drugs which are in the trial stage which help control the depression and lack of energy in such the mentally ill , yet as researchers stated, it is a complex illness "which affects the most complex biological organism in the known universe…".

Written By Donald S.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


That is the title of a movie I watched this week.  It is about a couple who met while drinking and continued drinking during their marriage.  The wife is a school teacher and is on a hangover and ends up throwing up and telling her students that she is pregnant.  Also told her principal and had them all believing she was.  Finally after one night of drinking she has no more booze and goes to convenience store to get more but it is to late it’s after two in the morning.  She tries everyway she can to talk the store clerk into giving her the wine because the doors to the beer are shut with a chain.
She finally distracts the clerk you have to watch to find out how and steals a bottle of wine and wakes up the next morning in a park.  I do not like wine.  Although when it was two in the morning nothing in the house was safe that had alcohol.  Even my dad’s saved bottles of wine.  Wine coolers my brother saved anything I could continue drinking with.  In the movie that was her bottom that night she stole the wine.  She was talked into attending a small group of AA.  She found a sponsor and talked in group.  Her husband continued to drink.
We all have a bottom that finally makes us change.  Mine was the night I was sent to the state hospital and the state hospital.  One day to life in there and I saw people do ten years in there without getting out or even trying.  That was enough to make me want to change.  To become sober and do without drugs or alcohol and I did try talking to the judge like I usually did when locked up.  I was sent to the county and he did not even see me.  The only way for me was to stay sober and start a new life.
In the movie she relapses and again tries to drink everything she can find.  She finally tells her husband you are my problem, you bring me down.  Either she leaves him or continues to drink.  I will not tell you the ending.  My problem is my old friends.  When you realize what your trigger is it is way to finally understand.  They do not know how they make me drink and also commit crimes when drunk.  Only I can see that and see why.  They picture me as something different than what I picture myself as.
It was a good movie and it made me think.  My old friends never did understand me and did not know what to do with me the times that I did try and quit.  I always relapsed until I went to the state hospital.  In their groups they tell you have to give up your friends to make it.  I did not believe it.  Though when I was released and finally made it back to my old neighborhood.  I knew that I had to do without them.  I told my best friend that we could no longer be friends.  He said “they are making you” I said that is just the way it has to be. 
My other friends came to my apartment building and called my name I just waved and kept walking.  Two other friends came into the apartment building and left a message that they came to see me.  The receptionist thought I would be happy to see them.  At the time the building was mostly elderly.  I never called the number they left.  Now that I have had time to think sober and look back and what transpired in my life.  I do not want to see them.  I do not know if in more time I will forgive.  Although I do know they were my trigger to drinking.  That life is gone.  I do not miss it.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Response to Handling Criticism

I wrote a blog last week entitled, Emotional Strength: Handling Criticism. In that blog I stated that “Remembering that being defensive, we are closed to what’s most important to be learned and that “feedback”, “criticism” is not always easy to give just as well as receiving, but it brings about change…” In Recovery we as consumers are always subject to criticism, especially self-criticism, in our relationships to others; as we may be drug addicted or alcoholics, we spend our time, even free time in delving in criticism. Therapists are inclined to use constructive criticism to guide clients to better understand situations which warrant recovering truths or ferreting out negative characteristics.
What is criticism? “Criticism is the practice of judging merits and faults of something or someone in a sometimes negative, sometimes intelligible or articulate way.” Criticism can be directed toward an idea, a relationship, a condition, a process, person, place or thing. It can be personal or impersonal. Criticism in all is the result of critical thinking. There exist a psychology of criticism both cognitive and emotional with behavioral means of criticism and there is also an influence on how people react.
“There is the Psychology of criticism: a) motivation, b) meaning, c) effect, d) response, e) quantity and quality, f) form, g) learning, l) subliminal, repression or denial.”
In all, people want to use criticism to achieve some kind of improvement, in other words there is a positive reason in creating a criticism. Criticism is a formidable weapon which can create difficulty of respect for someone, causing disrespect and surfeiting equality. As a recovered drug addict and alcoholic, I met with criticism most of my life, though my self-esteem was not much to think about, neither was my attitude towards other people, who saw my way of life as being such a heathen, albeit a degenerate in some respects. This gave me many negative feelings towards other people without regard to what the positive constraints might be at the time. There is a balance to criticism and it’s always important never to overdo, nor be timid, keeping thoughts always consistent. It’s important to be neither overtly critical nor without being uncritical. People who are to critical, are looked at as being too negative, with no constructive attitude. There are those persons who are uncritical and they are known as na├»ve or superficial.
“Psychologist concerned with human communication, such as therapist, therefore recommends that people should choose the right words to express their criticism”. I made my mistake in using the word “feedback” instead of criticism. Where feedback can be both positive and negative, so can criticisms; they can be mistaken for one another. In response to a comment made, there exist a psychopathology of criticism which is a study of unhealthy forms of criticism and also responses to criticism. They are found in the US Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. In this Manual you may find; Low Self Esteem (being sensitive to criticism), Paranoid Personality Disorder, Avoidant Personality Disorder, Hypercriticism (fault finding or nagging) and other disorders. To understand pathological criticism and responses, situations must be created to bring out the good or bad side of peoples with such illnesses, in order to bring them into an understanding state about the illness and how it can be controlled.

Written by Donald S.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The News & Recovery

As far as mental health in the news all I have seen is people trying to get the insanity plea.  I guess I would too if I was facing life in prison.  You can go to the state hospital and walk the grounds and see women. Eat at the cafeteria there.  What I cannot believe is what makes them think they can be found guilty by reason of insanity.  I have been to both prison and the state hospital and I know what awaits them in both places.  Although I only had small time to do at both, I was not facing life.  Although that is the sentence they give is one day to life in the state hospital.  Unless you have a high profile case like these people do, you only do at least five years before you get a second chance at society.  I also know what being insane is like.  I will not forget as I do not want to be that way again.  I now take my medication and enjoy my grandkids.  There is too much life to throw it away by committing a crime or becoming insane again.
 I’d rather be free out here taking a walk and enjoying life even if it seems hard sometimes.   The only thing I miss about the old days is my uncles.  I wish they could see how my life is now and see their grandkids.  It is more enjoyable going and watching my grandson play football.  Then just looking to get high and try and forget your troubles. I cannot wait for spring to arrive.  This winter I have not been able to walk as much and as far as I want.
Until last week I usually rented movies that are close to my apartment.  Now I am getting them as far away from my apartment as I can so I can get in my walking.  I want to lose a lot more weight this spring and summer and keep it off next winter.  My grandkids are growing up and I want to be around to see the youngest grows up.  Last week was pretty good I was able to walk for a half hour a day.  I know this winter instead of losing weight I gained a couple of pounds.  I have not weighed myself although a person knows.  Have not felt like going to the fitness center to work out just think of the cold and put it off.  
 I am taking losing weight slow and know I will lose and be at the weight I want to be in the next couple of years.  I have time out here now.  I can be a little more patient than I used to be. I am free and that is what I always wanted all those years of being locked up.  I enjoy life now and it goes on real nice. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Emotional Strength: Handling Criticism

Have you been the kind of person who admires or envies people who accept criticism? I myself was never the kind of person to accept any kind of critical remark or feedback for that matter, even if it was truth. Even as I might sit before my own boss who might critique my work or attitude, I would begin to have negative thoughts, and then I would become defensive with rationalizations of my actions. Anger is the worst of anyone’s reactions’ to taking constructive criticism which may involve even a physical altercation.
We can go beyond the negative acceptance of criticism and identify our weaknesses and how to bolster our strengths, being able to handle criticism with calmness and doing so professionally helps to maintain not only our mental health yet also working relationships both on the job and personal.
Before you react to any sign of criticism, don’t! Just stop any reaction you are having and let yourself know you must stay calm. Know that feed back is constructive criticism which is meant to help you improve your skills and relationships and to also help you meet certain other criteria expected of you.
Listen wisely and do not interfere with the person who is giving you this criticism. Do so without interruption. When they have completed what they have to say, let them know you have heard what they have said and let them know you are understanding what has been said and the perspectives they have shown you.
When we face Constructive Criticism we often times forget this is a learning experience about our weaknesses and we should remember that without it we do not grow or improve. Remembering that being defensive, we are closed to what’s most important to be learned and that feedback, “criticism” is not always easy to give just as well as receiving such, but it brings about change and with that comes the knowledge of becoming a better and more learned person.
Written by Donald S.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Thinking Positive

This is a follow up to Donald’s blog  Optimism we all need it.  I like to think I have it after reading positive books for quite a few years.  I bought and own at least thirty six positive books.  I know that things will always get better.  To me it is when will they  get better. I have a lot of things although one is not patience.  Or maybe I do because I remember telling a friend that was having problems that if she read positive books in years she would work out her problems.  She said “I do not have ten years” I thought well what else you would be doing in those ten years.
It is better to start and try and change things than to not and just hope things get better.  I know that work on themselves is not what a lot of people want to do and it is the same with me.  I remember the state hospital and all the work and time why could they just not let me go.  If they had I might have been one of those revolving people in and out never getting the message what real freedom is.  There are some things we can change and if it takes time is it not better to do something than nothing?  I do not get to feeling as down in the dumps these past years not as bad as I used to before I read positive books.
I really was a negative thinker and nothing could go right.  I wrote to the positive book magazine when I was in the state hospital and started getting the magazine and I shared them when I was done.  They had stories of people succeeding and that is what a person needs when you are locked up.   They helped the time go by and know that things would be better.  When I was released I started buying Norman Vincent Peale’s books.  When I start collecting I really collect.  I even mediated back then.  If you would have knew me I was always thinking that nothing could go right.  I was just a negative thinker.  The books really helped.
I did not become a millionaire and get everything I wanted.  Although if it worked that fast I would be bored.  I get by and know that I keep working on myself I will get better and things will always get better.  Like they say just take it a day at a time.  Know that things always do change for the better sooner or later.  Just think positive and keep pushing forward.  Right now I have everything I need.  My health is the most important thing with that I can get anything else I need.

Monday, March 4, 2013


My job counselor tells me she has a good prospect for a job I might be interested in. I must do a short interview, so I agree after not having the success I would have liked for searching for a job. Having skills I just learned, my counselor tells me it’s for a data entry position and that I be at my best, because the employer has a PH.D in statistics. I lowered my eyes; I only have a General Education diploma and I am not at this moment feeling so good about this interview. I filled out the application took the interview and thirty minutes later, I am told that I am hired.
This kind of scenario happens to many people in the United States. There are people who assume things get worse not better. A pessimist tends to see things negatively or they tend to blame themselves for what they are lacking or for what goes wrong and they try to pull everyone else into the same boat. There is another side to the coin, the optimist. Optimists are resilient when things are all wrong and are more the content about their lives. Optimists cope well because they have learned to cope and share with others and support others in their endeavors.
If you are thinking negatively or pessimistically depression or anxiety can set in the mind yet if you are using “cognitive restructuring” instead of being pessimistic, you may rationalize if there is a reason that any negative thought would exist, and at this point you begin to have control – “you have begun to succeed”. To become more optimistic, you can learn to meditate, staying in touch with the present without having distracting thoughts. Write your thoughts down; keep a journal about the good things that happen and explain them to yourself as reminders that good does happen in your life. Focus on the good things and you will see your way through depression or those anxious feelings you have been having.
Being positive can improve the way you feel, your emotions can become clear and being optimistic can help you to become resilient and keep you feeling a connectedness with other people. Exercising you mind to become an optimist not only helps you mentally, yet can help you both physically and emotionally.

Written by Donald S.