Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ageing: Live faster, die younger

That is the title of this article it talks about people with schizophrenia dying younger than the rest of the general population.  “For decades, evidence has suggested that people with schizophrenia have shortened lifespans.   In the early twentieth century, doctors observed that these patients tended to die younger and seemed less healthy than other patients in the same psychiatric hospitals.  And today, schizophrenia patients appear to suffer from heart, lung and metabolic problems at a disproportionate rate – and at startlingly young ages.”  I understand how they can have metabolic problems since that it from the medication we take.  Since I started antipsychotics my body had not worked the same.  I remember a guy telling me you don’t gain any weight.  Then I stopped smoking and did I gain the weight.
The only way I was able to lose any weight was to cut back on the portions I ate and walking that helped me lose twenty pounds.  Although it seemed like I plateaued at the same weight even though I am still walking.  The only thing I do not do the same is lift weights anymore.  The only reason I stopped is because I wear a ring and when I lift weights it always smashes and they told me at the jewelry store and will cost next time to fix.  I always forget to take it off so it is easier to not lift weights than to remember to take it off every time.  “There are plenty of potential culprits: suicide, for example, along with the negative side effects of antipsychotic medications, substance abuse, smoking and poor health care – any one of which could explain why people with schizophrenia die 15-25 years earlier, on average, than those in the general population.”  That is one of the first things I did was get a primary care doctor. I have been in good shape except the weight.
I am not too bad although I will never see the weight I was at for thirty five years of my life. They do say they found a reason for this dying younger. “But some researchers believe that these external factors do not fully account for the reduced longevity. They point out that the increased mortality among schizophrenia patients predates the widespread use of antipsychotics, encompasses diverse causes of death, and has been documented even among patients who are receiving high-quality medical care.  These observations have led several investigators to propose a new explanation for the early deaths of those with schizophrenia: the ageing process itself speeds up. ‘Our hypothesis is that one of the reasons that they die younger is because they get old faster than the general population.”  Well it looks like they have found out why hopefully they can help us live longer!
It is strange how life changes I remember when I was young I did not care if I lived to an old age.  There was some crazy stuff I did than it is a wonder I am around now a lot of my friends and family are not around.  Then I had my grandkids and daughter and now I want to see them grow up. I still eat my small portions and walk I am never hungry and I do enjoy the good weather when I am walking.  A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog about solitary confinement and there is an update they have passed a bill not allowing mental ill patients to be put in solitary confinement for as long.  All we need is the governor to sign this bill and make it law.  If it could save one more person from developing a mental illness it is great.  That is where I had my first signs of mental illness in solitary confinement.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Crime Rarely Associated with Mental Illness

That is the title of this article I am writing about. I was going to write about how people with mental illness die younger then I found this article and I think it is a better article I will write the other next week.  I can attest to the article since I had my mental illness and was released from the state hospital I have no contact with the law.  This is from a person who they always stopped and even my friends would get stopped thinking they were me.  You hear about the crimes that are committed usually shooting’s that make the news.  They do not happen all the time.
What the article is saying is that they are arrested and it has nothing to do with the mental illness symptoms. Last week’s blog talked about the people that were incarcerated.  Here is some news about solitary confinement there is a bill in the house .It is bad for people with mental illness to be locked up with people who committee crimes.  The last time I was locked up was in the state hospital.  I believe that I had to prove myself that I wanted to be free.  I was on something called conditional release.  You see my sentence to the state hospital was one day to life.  To be free I had to do five years conditional release and that included UAs every month for five years.
If it had been prior to my mental illness I could not have done five years conditional release.  I could not even do one year parole without be locked up for parole violation.  Although being in the state hospital I had a chance to change my life around and I did it.  That meant giving up alcohol and drugs because with them you have no chance of turning things around.  If you take all the people locked up with and without a mental illness most are in because of alcohol and drugs when they committed their crimes. If you ask am I satisfied with my life today I would say yes.
I would not have known my grandkids except through pictures and stuff because I would have always been locked up that was the way my life went back then.  To not watch them grow up would have been hard. As I said last week people and mental illness do not need to be locked up in prison or jail they need the state hospital.  It feels good knowing that I can walk the streets now and not worry about being stopped or walking on the wrong lawn and getting arrested. It feels good getting to see my grandkids and know they can come over to visit.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Are we Torturing the Mentally Ill

That is the title of this article about solitary confinement in prisons. I can only give my experience on the matter.  I was in prison in the nineteen eighties and it was a lot different back then it is now.  I was at Buena Vista prison and was on South wing and there is only one more wing to go to that is east wing where a person can wear street clothes and have more privileges.  I was happy in south wing as far as prisons go.  I had a gambling house and we watched the broncos and had burritos whenever the game was on.  So I was set in my ways and really did not want to go to east wing.
They made me go.  Also on south wing I had a partner with my gambling house.   He did not go to east wing just me.  I kept on gambling was having problems on the streets with my ex.  Finally one of the guards busted me for gambling.  I was angry and went to the hearing not understanding what was going on. They sentenced me to three days in the hole or solitary confinement.  I was very angry going to the hole.  I remember being locked in the cell and that is as far as I remember.  The next thing I knew I was in another cell not knowing what was going on and also insane. I know I was paranoid and not understanding what was going on. I could not comprehend what was going on.
I cut myself with a razor it did no damage but it got the guard attention and they put me in a cell with cameras so they could watch me and there is nothing worse than being watched all the time.  A doctor I knew came by and looked in at me.  The next morning they took me to Canon city where they had an infirmary and the psychiatrist asked me questions. He though I was just sleep deprived.  The two times I been in the hole this time I did not remember anything.  It is just a jail in a jail.  Although you do not see your friends also you eat in your cell so you do not get any company at all.  It can play with your mind.
After a while in canon after they started giving me sleeping pills I settled down and was not so paranoid the doctor asked where I would like to go and I said here in canon city.  I was not the same though.  I went back to the hospital one more time before I won my appeal and was freed. It wasn’t fun back then as it is not fun now to do time in the hole.  You have to be very strong to make it in the hole and come out sane.  It does play on your mind only seeing guards and not inmates while you are in the hole.  When I was doing time there were not that many inmates that were mentally ill at the time and in jail.
I hate the state hospital although it is a better solution when you are mentally ill than prison.  They can treat you and others like yourself are in there.  You cannot be in general population when you are mentally ill because your mind plays to many tricks on you and there are people who are going to do life in prison and they will not put up with someone who is mentally ill.  They really need to separate the two.  Here is an article on a new drug for schizophrenia that is successful in reversing schizophrenia.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Life is Hard

Well last week I was off for a few days and I thought I would be able to blog anyway although my computer went down just as I was trying to write something. Isn’t that the way it usually goes?  Here is an article to also read about mental illness I think it is interesting.  Why do I say life is hard when I now use positive thinking? If I say that than what I go through now is not as tough as some of the stuff I went through just to make it.  Whenever I am walking in the cold all I have to remember is the time I was at the state hospital and I had to walk in a blizzard to and A.A. meeting just so I could get released from the state hospital.
It was cold and I was frozen but I did it. I prove I would do anything for my freedom. Life is a lot easier than my past although that does not mean everything is roses. I have bad days where everything goes wrong.  I know that those days will pass and everything will turn out OK.  It’s not very easy believing that it will turn out right when it looks like your world has turned upside down.  Just like when I was at the state hospital you take every day on its own and plug through until it changes and it does sooner or later.  You just have to keep trying until you find the answer.  It is easier said than done.  My computer was acting up as I am trying to write this blog.  I went to another computer and the same thing.
The only way I was able to fix it was to rewrite and that is not right when you have what you want to say and then you cannot write it because you’re having problems with the word program.  Although I found a solution and now I am back to writing this blog and it seems to be going better.  What I am trying to say is that there is always an answer to all problems you just have to keep tinkering to you find the right solution. As I wrote two weeks ago it is called being resilient.  We all have that and can use it.  We all been through a lot and came out better people for it.  I know when I walk in the cold now it is not as bad as when I was at the state hospital.  I just remember that night and I can do anything.
This illness does rob you of who you were before although I think it gives back a better person who has to realize that they have to take a different road than the one they were on.