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When talking about paranoid schizophrenia, we must remember that everyone has a different experience with the illness. Some people live with few or no symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia, while others live with significant symptoms. I had one period in my life where I lived symptom-free for almost a decade. During that time, I held a full-time job, completed training programs, was involved in hobbies, and was more independent than at any other period in my life. But I haven't had a day entirely symptom-free in the past 10 years.
My birthday is coming up this week, and I've been writing and reflecting in preparation for it. When I reflect on my last year, so much change has happened, but those changes aren't obvious or visible from the outside. This is the reality of going through recovery from eating disorders like binge eating disorder (BED). There are so many emotions, habits, thought patterns, and behaviors to change, and these massive internal changes aren't easy to see from the outside.
In our society, people are shamed for not having a positive outlook. In fact, I just read a comment on LinkedIn that said, "Maintaining a positive outlook, ALWAYS, is so very important. Always look for that silver lining. Trust me, in the end, everything is exactly where it should be." And that sums up how many people feel about a positive outlook: it's critical, and something's wrong with you and your line of thinking if you don't have a positive outlook.
No matter how much someone covets mental illness recovery, some part of it feels scary. My struggles with mental health started when I was very young, and there were years and years when I was desperate for recovery—but I was also terrified of it. From what I’ve seen, my experience and feelings are not uncommon, so I want to take a closer look at that.
"Snap Out of It!" is honored to have spoken with Saskia Lightburn-Ritchie, the Chief Operating Officer (CEO) of My Cheshire Without Abuse (My CWA). Saskia lives with bipolar disorder, and she is proving every day that it's possible to be successful even with a serious mental illness.
Recently, a report by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended that every adult under 65 be screened for anxiety by their primary care doctors (family doctors). When I first saw the headline, my initial response was, "Well, that's stupid. You go to the doctor when you're sick, and people know when they're sick." But, upon second thought, I realized this was wrong. Screening for anxiety in general doctor's appointments does make sense.
Self-harm is not avant-garde. Depression is not mysterious. I know these two statements to be facts, so why do some forms of media want us to believe otherwise? On the one hand, maybe I should be grateful. Maybe I should be grateful that topics such as suicide are even portrayed on television or in movies. Why, then, is the predominant emotion not gratitude but sheer anger? (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
As a victim of verbal abuse for many years, I am no stranger to feeling like running away. This stress response will typically appear after I've hit the point of burnout and feeling that the only way to escape unfavorable circumstances is to leave physically. As a teenager, multiple times, I left my home and sought refuge with a friend, only to return again and face the consequences of my actions. Unfortunately, this pattern followed me into my adult life. 
“You are not alone” is a common phrase within the mental health community. I suspect it means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but here’s what it means to me and my schizoaffective disorder.
Many of us dream of the day we are completely self-harm free. But does such a thing as a self-harm cure exist?

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Comments

Darby
Same here. Two months and I’m torn between being worried about him and not wanting to impose to say I m here to support however he chooses.
Michelle
I'm shocked AND elated to hear of such a service being offered as an Assistant Shopper! .. I'm literally a dizzy & fragmented mess during and after grocery store trips. My head spins with the combination of way too much motion around me, far too many items invading my focus when attempting to locate things on my list. The bright lights, the store music and intercom announcements, trying to learn the deli ordering 'technology' had me standing there in tears one day (when finally some lovely customer very patiently helped me through the process). I have CPTSD and brain injury, significant hearing loss in left ear and my eyes don't work well together. I wear glasses for reading and have to put them on/take them off during the entire shopping experience. The migraines that come on and disorientation that ensues, even on a good day, can shred the week sending me to the ER or straight to bed when I get home. I drive with both hands on the wheel and try to maintain a fixed gaze on the road en-route home but obviously still have unloading and storage of groceries ahead of me. Recently, I asked for help from an employee in locating an item. After we'd spent about 10 minutes looking together I asked another passing employee for her assistance.. She said, "He can help you just as well as I can!" as though I had a personal problem with my first 'helper'. I then had to explain that he couldn't locate it either and that I'm certain the store carries heavy cream. Emotionally, trips to the grocery store can take days to recuperate from. I like my therapist and feel as though the frustrated pitch of my voice in our sessions has calmed over time. Most people aren't skilled in dealing with folks with disabilities nor do they know how to even recognize a struggling individual or want to intrude on the space of another, especially if they appear to Need some space. Overwhelming is a word that only touches on the actual experience of individuals with CPTSD and other disorders. I'm going to check with my regular store today to see if they offer Assistant Shoppers. Thank you, Rob, for speaking of your experience.
Jim H
I'm sure the numbers are higher.I live in upstate N.Y. in one of the cloudiest cities and every year I am affected.This year's weather has been really good so far and I still have it....
Gem
My daughter get allowances, sweets and still steals them. All the positive can be blown with her lies and stealing. We are completely at a loss until she is medicated.