I decided to make another component to my blog for MHAW 2015.  I’m bored out of my mind, and I wanted to bust a lot of myths so that there’s no stigma related to schizophrenia in the presence of my blog.  So, let’s begin, shall we?

Myth 1: Schizophrenia = Multiple Personality Disorder/ Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Nope. Schizophrenia means “Split Mind.”  Yes, I know, now you think that it does equal MPD/DID for this reason. It does not.  Its literal meaning actually refers to the psychosis part of the illness. It’s a split from reality, and has nothing to do with MPD/DID.

Myth 2: Most people with schizophrenia are violent.

Once again, that is incorrect.  Those with schizophrenia are as violent as, say, someone with depression or bipolar disorder.  Not many of them are violent, and when they are, it’s usually because they’re afraid someone may hurt them (paranoid delusions, anyone?) so they may strike at them.  But, like I said, not many people with schizophrenia aren’t violent.

Myth 3: Schizophrenia is caused by bad parenting.

Oh, my gosh.  My mom was the best parent ever, and I still ended up with schizophrenia.  Anyways, it’s been proven that schizophrenia has a lot to do with genetics.  If I’m not mistaken, identical twins have a 60%-80% chance of having it if one of those twins has already got the illness.  So, it’s genetic, people. Genetic.

Myth  4: People with schizophrenia are stupid.

Did you have to phrase it like this?  No, not all people with schizophrenia have a lower IQ.  I have an IQ of 130, and I still have it.  Actually, mental illnesses have been linked with more intelligence.  That’s not at all saying that all people with schizophrenia have a higher IQ either.  I mean… It depends on nature and nurture.

Myth 5: You can’t hold a job if you’re schizophrenic.

Hello. Hi. Yes. I have a job.  In case you couldn’t tell, I have schizophrenia.  You just need to know that if you can manage and handle your symptoms with meds, therapy, and the like, you can do anything.  Just a friendly reminder.

These were pulled from WebMD, and if you want to read their responses, just click here.  Tomorrow, I think I’m going to talk about Bipolar Disorder or just Major Depressive Disorder.  Toodles.

Mental Health Awareness:Schizophrenia 

Hello, guys! Today, I’ll be talking more about schizophrenia. Since it’s mental health awareness week, I thought that I’d post about my illness and how it affects people in general. So, here we go.

Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder. That means people experience psychosis, which means that you lose touch with reality. This psychosis is chronic. You experience delusions (believing things that aren’t true), hallucinations, and other things according to that nature. Sometimes the hallucinations are visual and auditory, but they can be also experienced through taste and smell, and touch as well.

There are different types of schizophrenia such as the kind I have, which is schizoaffective disorder. I have some characteristics of bipolar disorder (which I will post about later this week) and schizophrenia. There are also others, but I suggest you look them up.

Personally, I experience a huge delusion: my life is a TV reality show. I know it’s a delusion because no one else believes it. I also have hallucinations. I used to see people, but now it’s just a feeling of someone touching me and voices. They can say mean things so I just try my best to ignore them.

Schizophrenia has genetic components, ranging from heritability to just being a relative of someone who is schizophrenic. There was a study done with those who had a relative with schizophrenia. They took this test specifically designed to see if any traits of schizophrenia shined through the participants. Those who had schizophrenia in their family did have one trait similar to those with schizophrenia.

It has also been said that if the mother has been under a lot of stress during pregnancy, there is a higher chance of the offspring getting schizophrenia. I’m not sure how true this is, but this is just another theory.

Schizophrenia can be treated with antipsychotics, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and education. It cannot be cured, only treated. Some examples of antipsychotics are Latuda, Risperidone, and Abilify.

Well, that wraps up with what I have to say. I had fun doing this stuff. I need to do it again. How about I do a series this week based on this kind of thing?

Update – March 27th 2015

It’s been a while, at least to me.  I’ve been doing good and I’ve seen to recover from that weight thing by myself.  I haven’t weighed myself in a couple of days, and I’m not as obsessive as it when I wanted to lose weight.  I want to lose it in a healthy way.

As for mental health things, I’m suddenly dealing with a lot of anxiety.  When my boyfriend said something about video chatting, I started shaking and couldn’t breathe.  I know this could be a side effect of Abilify, and I hope it could be treated with something more than a pill as needed (they make me tired and I can’t deal with it).

I’ve had no hallucinations so far, and that’s a great thing.  I also found out that I can adopt if my schizoaffective disorder is under control.  I would love to adopt a bouncing baby boy, and I have some names picked out for him.  I also might adopt a little girl as well, but I’ve got to be in check with my symptoms.

I’ve got my first job, and I’m really stoked about that.  I don’t think it’d be much stress, regardless of the fact that it’s fast food related.  I believe I’m going to be a cashier, and I’m totally fine with it.  I’m nervous because orientation is Monday.  I get to see who I’m working with, so that will be interesting.

But these are things that have been happening, and I’m happy where I am right now.  If you told me a year ago that things would be alright, I wouldn’t believe you.  But… I’m happy. Very happy.

Thoughts of a healing Schizoaffective – Hallucinations

So I was reading Schizo Serenity’s post and she was discussing how her medicine may take away one of her hallucinations and she would miss him if he went away.  It made me think of something that I’m going through.

I’ve been on 15 mgs of Abilify for about 3 weeks right now, and it’s been quite a while since I’ve heard Thayer.  Actually, the only things I hear are sound effect noises, and I hate to say it, but it’s lonely without Thayer.

I miss him teasing me about me and my boyfriend.  I miss him saying inappropriate things and making me laugh.  He was like the big brother I’ve never had, and now I can’t hear him.  So, I’m not going to lie, it stinks.  He really did help me out when I was hallucinating, and to lose him is kind of like losing a great friend.  Scratch that:

He was a great friend.

He knew me better than I knew myself.  So yeah, the point is, if I want to become better, I will have to accept the fact that he’s gone and I can’t hear him anymore.  I can only draw him if I want to see him.  He’s not real anymore.  He’s just a character.

And that is what hurts the most.

Anxiety and Sharing with the Class.

I have been going through a lot of anxiety lately.  Anxiety about my weight, midterm exams, eating, fighting between family members, the death…  And quite frankly, I’ve been having panic attacks.  Thank goodness I was able to disguise them (I am really good at hiding negative emotions; “bottling them up,” as you may like to call them).  So, these panic attacks happen for about 15 minutes or longer, and I told my therapist about it.  She thinks that if I find hobbies to help me manage this anxiety, then we may have a solution: healthy coping 101.  I don’t doubt that, but I can’t help but wonder if it runs deeper than that.

Anyways, I was lost and I didn’t know what to do for a project to do in my photography class, and I decided to do something that showcases my bipolar disorder.  I kid you not, I decided to tell others that I’m bipolar.  I figured that it’s nothing to be ashamed of, and I wanted to practice telling others that I have this mental disorder (aka, my boyfriend).  The reaction I got was that the whole room went dead silent.  That was kind of discouraging at first, but people were supportive.  My professor even suggested that I keep a picture journal of my experiences of being bipolar (well, schizoaffective).  I think I might do that and start some sort of photo journal and let that come to life for me.  It’d be kind of fun, actually.

Speaking of journal, I bought a new one today.  It has no lines in it, so I plan on writing stuff in there and keeping a record of the days I find important, information that I think is neat like astrology or herbal remedies, and pictures that mean the world to me.  It’s not exactly a journal, but it’s not exactly a book of shadows either.  I guess it’s my spin on keeping a journal.

But yeah, that’s all I can say today.  I think it’s because I’m getting much more manageable with these symptoms, and I like where I’m at right now.  Except for my anti-anxiety med.  That one makes me tired.

Twitter and other news.

I set up a twitter in case you guys want to contact me in another way, and I think I might make a facebook as well. You can find my twitter here, and I’ll post about life and stuff regularly.  It’s not all going to be about mental health. I may post about my boyfriend, or I might show my face.  I used to have a blog on here, whose username escapes me, and I know at least 1 person will recognize me.

I don’t mind that though.  It’s because I feel safe here and I trust you all with my secrets. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t tell you guys about my schizoaffective disorder, eating habits, and other things.

In other news, I am going out of town in 2 weeks.  I haven’t drastically hallucinated and I only heard 1 voice so far after getting switched off of the 3 mgs of risperidone to 1.5 mgs.  The abilify is working so good, and I’m glad I found a drug that does it all.  What does this have to do with going out of town?  I’m seeing my boyfriend, and usually, I hallucinate around him, especially when I leave him.  I want to see if the abilify has helped that.

I’m really excited about seeing my boyfriend though.  My heart skips beats just thinking about that.  I’ve decided to tell him about my schizoaffective disorder through the letter I wrote him.  I’m convinced he wouldn’t mind, but I also want to know how this changes our relationship.  Maybe it won’t.  I wouldn’t know.  I have to wait and see.

I don’t know what else to write about, so here’s what I’m thinking about doing: I’m thinking about taking questions about schizoaffective disorder.  Ask me about my moods, thoughts, paranoid delusions (trust me, I’ve had some), hallucinations, etc. I have nothing to hide, and I want to do this so that people can learn schizophrenia and bipolar disorder isn’t all bad. That’s just how I am.

So, that’s about all I have for you guys today. Sorry, I’m not all that exciting right now.  The worst is over, and I’m so relieved that it is.

A Brief History.

At the ages of 3-5, I was more interested in sex than most kids.  I kind of revolved a lot of things around sex, and I was convinced I was going to be an exotic dancer.  This is a symptom of childhood bipolar disorder, and I wonder if I had it way back then.  I also had temper tantrums, and I broke a cabinet by the age of 7.  It’s still broken; I don’t think it can be fixed, to be honest with you.

I used to self harm at the age of 10.  I believe I bit myself and began to pull my hair when things didn’t go right.  I hid it, and then by the age of 13, my friend at the time introduced me to cutting when she tried to harm herself in the middle of a class.  I wanted to understand why someone would cut themselves, and by the age of 15, things made sense.

When I was 15, it was a rough time.  I remember making my first cut on my wrist and sending a picture to the friend that introduced me to cutting.  She then sent me back a picture of a bloody arm and told me to try harder.  So I did.  I snapped and remember slicing my wrist 7 times in March of 2011.  I remember I was so sad and angry at everything that it became an addiction.  I got wiser and found a spot on my leg to keep the cuts.

At the same age, I remember hearing my friend calling my name, although I knew she wasn’t.  This was when I started having a mixed episode.  It caused hallucinations, and I thought it was me hearing things.  That was what the psychologist I saw said as well; he helped diagnosed me with Major Depressive Disorder.

I was unmedicated for about a year and a couple of months, and that was until my anxiety got really out of hand.  I was supposed to be on depakote, but that was a flop and made my anxiety more prominent.  I was put on gabapentin, and that was it until the summer.  In the summer of 2014, I was going through hell, and I managed to keep it a secret until my best friend at the time drove me into a panic attack.  So, I spilled my guts to him, and he said that I needed help…

So, I went and I got help.  I told the person prescribing me medicine about hallucinating and my experiences.  He told me that it was alright and gave me Risperidone.  It was the first anti-psychotic I was on.  It doesn’t help me, so I’m getting weaned off of that.

A month to 2 months ago, I was put on Abilify, and it works like a dream.  I’ve had no hallucinations, and it’s amazing.  It takes my depression away, and it puts me in an upbeat mood most of the time.  I have a personality on top of it, and I can focus in class…

Well, kind of.  I’m starting to daydream more often, but that’s alright.  As long as I’m not driving.  Anyways, I was diagnosed as bipolar as of a year ago, but now, I’m technically schizoaffective, which means, I’ve got schizophrenia at the same time.  Only 1 person knows this in my life. Still I don’t mind.

Psych Class + Ethics Class = Ugh. { Trigger Warning }

I was in psychology class today, and I learned about the various forms of bipolar disorder.  I also learned a tiny bit about schizophrenia, but we just only scratched the surface.  According to the behavior that my teacher had talked about today, I have characteristics of Bipolar I.  I’m not kidding, I spent a whole lot of money when I was diagnosed, and if I could, I would’ve drank alcohol and done other reckless things.  Like, the biggest thing for me would be impulses.  I am impulsive, and I admit that.

I also found out that I suffered from a mixed episode when I was in high school.  I hated myself, and I wanted to die, but at the same time, I was so energetic and it was scary.  I remember being very bubbly after showing friends my wrist from self-harming, and they said I needed help.  I didn’t care though.  It made me happy.

Come to think of it, before I developed schizophrenia, I went through mixed episodes when I hurt myself.  Those were scary times, and I don’t want to remember them.

Speaking of schizophrenia, it was brought up in my ethics class.  The teacher was very uninformed about hallucinations, or at least in my opinion.  He used an example of a purple elephant…

But not many people would see a purple elephant.  There’s far more disturbing things that you could see.  For example, a person getting their head cut off.  Or, at the very least, a hallucination torturing you because you have, oh, I don’t know, blonde hair or something.  I mean, I felt a little heated after the class talked about it in mixture with Utilitarianism, so I literally bit my tongue to prevent myself from talking.

Other than both of my disorders being brought up along with my reflection, I’m ok.  I mean, my head is hurting once more, thanks to the withdrawal symptoms.  I’ll have to get used to it until I’m off the risperidone.  I hope that’ll be soon.

Using a class to my advantage is pretty smart.

Yep, I took a class to learn more about myself.  What class is that?  Abnormal psychology.

I have to write a paper, and now, I’m choosing to write about schizophrenia.  I’m doing this to gain a better understanding about my new disorder.  I was told it wasn’t my fault and that my brain can’t turn a certain switch off.  It’s my brain’s fault, basically.  Well, I want to see what makes me tick.  I want to know what is affecting me.  What parts of my brain don’t work all that great?  What part of my brain is different compared to another person’s brain?  I want to know.

So, I think it’s good that I’m doing this research project.  I want to do this so that I can share this with my boyfriend and have some evidence to say, “Listen, it’s totally my brain and not me.” I also don’t want to be ignorant about my mental health.  The more I know, the more I can feel what’s happening with me.  Yeah, I’ve thought this out.

More about Tristan. {Trigger Warning}

I’d like to say that Tristan is related to Thayer, but I’m not sure if it’s true.  I’ve never asked Thayer before.  They look similar — chocolate-colored eyes, thick black hair, the tan complexion, but there are some differences.  Tristan has a more feminine face, and he has shoulder-length hair; sometimes, he ties it up into a ponytail.  He’s also shorter than Thayer and more of my height, which is 5’9″.  His voice is like mine as well, but it’s a higher register for a male.  I would say Tristan is about 20.

Tristan was scaring me in the past.  He urged me to self-harm by talking, and when I self-harmed by slitting my thigh deeper than I wanted to, he would congratulate me, and then he would leave me alone for a couple of days (a week if I was lucky).  He would yell at me, calling me stupid, worthless, a fat disgrace…  Any hurtful thing you could think of, he would call me that.  He was like every single person that bullied me into one being.  It was bad.

One day with medication, he left.  His last words came to me when I cut my deepest and when I got my first scars from hurting myself.  He told me that he “was proud of me.”  He wanted me to hurt myself.  If he could, he probably would’ve pushed me to suicide.  That was how strong he was.  He was extremely abusive towards me, and that’s what made me scared.

So you see, I hope Tristan doesn’t come back.