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Uniquely Wired: People With Schizophrenia

Updated on December 1, 2014

Schizophrenia . . .

Some of the clients I work with are diagnosed with Schizophrenia. I've learned so much from them about their experience of first getting symptoms, and then living with them.

I've learned that Schizophrenia is a family matter. It alters the lives of the parents and siblings, other relatives and friends. It's especially frustrating for all involved because a cure has not been discovered and medications only mask the symptoms. There is also the risk of serious side effects when taking anti-psychotics or other medication.

BUT, Schizophrenia is not all darkness. Some of the most courageous, funny, compassionate, intelligent people I know, have this diagnosis.

Schizophrenia Is . . .

Schizophrenia is almost always considered a chronic brain disorder, affecting more than one percent of the population. When active, symptoms may include delusions, hallucinations, difficulty thinking and focusing, and lack of motivation. However, when these symptoms are treated properly, a large portion of those diagnosed will greatly improve over time.

Your View On Medications

There are pros and cons to taking psychotropic medication, according to people I know with Schizophrenia. What are your thoughts?

See results

A True Story of Hope

One of my co-workers at the community mental health center has Schizophrenia. From her early twenties to her mid thirties, Tara was considered a "hopeless schizophrenic." She was on and off medication, estranged from family, and in and out of hospitals during those years.

As Tara tells it, "One day I decided I could get better by doing one small everyday thing at a time. So I started by making myself a cup of tea and drinking it."

Today, Tara is on a medication combo that works for her. The medications slow her thought process but she says, "I need the meds if I'm going to function in this world." Occasionally, she misses a day of work due to her symptoms.

Tara is married, and right now has a 3 year old dog, and a puppy. Its important to remember that her story happened because Tara made the decision to change her lifestyle, and was committed to making that happen.

The Coin's Other Side

I know people with schizophrenia that choose not to medicate. Many become/are homeless, go from one hospital/haven to another. Others stay with family.

Some with Schizophrenia say they'd rather have their mind be "weird," than to dull their thought process with meds.

Would I choose differently?

Video: Schizophrenia

Excellent overview of what Schizophrenia is and its effect on those diagnosed with it.

The Card Project - Handcrafted Greeting Cards

Spreading the dream of recovery to those suffering with mental illness . . .

What Are Delusions?

Delusions are personal beliefs that are not rational, and they are believed to be true even when proven false or are contradicted. They can't be explained by a person's cultural background (i.e., religious practices).

A person's delusions may revolve around a theme, such as grandiosity, or persecution. A grandiose person believes they are someone famous or powerful. Those with delusions of persecution may think people they know, including family, are trying to poison them, that they are always being cheated or conspired against.

Some delusions experienced by people with schizophrenia are rather bizarre. A person may believe people on the radio or television are giving them special messages. They may think others can hear what they are thinking, as if their thoughts are being broadcast.

Its important to remember that to someone with Schizophrenia, the delusions seem real, and likely, not at all bizarre.

Profiles: People with Schzophrenia

No one's real name is used

JON'S STORY

I knew Jon for nine years. He was diagnosed with the disorganized type of Schizophrenia, meaning his thought and communication processes were confused (by "normal world" standards). His affect was flat. That is, his face was without expression, unless he heard a good joke. Then he'd break into a light-up-the-room smile. Even with medication, Jon heard voices constantly, making it difficult for him to carry on a conversation.

As with many other schizophrenics, Jon blamed himself for the illness. As a young adult he experimented with drugs, and talked about committing minor infractions of the law. In the time I knew him, Jon never let go of his guilt over that, believing the drugs and misbehavior caused his Schizophrenia.

After graduating high school, where he was a star wrestler, Jon became a licensed pilot. To make money, he had a vending machine and sandwich cart business. He remembered both accomplishments, and especially grieved over losing the ability to fly planes.

Jon was kind and showed compassion, and had a sharp, quick wit. His one-liners were hilarious. His family was devoted to his care, making Jon one of the lucky ones. A year ago, Jon died from a physical illness. He was 60 years old. He's one of the dearest people I've ever met.

Update - June 2010: When Jon's mother passed away he moved to another state to live with a sister. Shortly after the move he was diagnosed with cancer and died a year later./b>

ERIC'S STORY

I worked with Eric 5 years. Recently he moved, with a friend, into the city of Chicago, and is looking for part time work.

Every spring, Eric went off his medication, the first 4 years I knew him. He would then experience a 4-6 week "high" before "crashing into the darkness." For a few months, Eric would manage his symptoms as best he could, but eventually went back on medication. Eric would say, "The high is wonderful, the crash is horrible, and I end up in a dark, painful place I can't see out of." This past spring he did not go off medication, saying he wanted to try "staying in the world."

Eric started getting symptomatic during college. He talked about getting into exploring "other states of consciousness" during that time, but its impossible to say if the exploration is the chicken, the egg, or neither.

Besides composing songs, Eric plays the guitar and sings in a band or solo. He paints fascinating symbolic pictures using acrylics, and likes writing poetry and short stories. He is extremely insightful, and turned to spirituality to help him manage symptoms and come to terms with Schizophrenia.

People sometimes call Eric "the Buddha" or "guru" because he has a compassionate and wise way of talking to people. He's a natural counselor. If you sat next to him on a plane, you'd have a fascinating conversation and wouldn't guess Eric had Schizophrenia. Chances are he wouldn't tell you due to the stigma attached to the diagnosis. I'm thrilled he's moving on with his life, but I miss direct contact with this amazing person.

Update - June 2010: Eric successfully shared an apartment with a friend for several months and found a part time job. Then he went off his medication and eventually had to move back to his mother's house. Once he resumed his medication he was writing songs and painting again. I haven't seen Eric for several months. I heard he moved out of state with his mother but I haven't verified that.

WENDY'S STORY

I first met Wendy 11 years ago. She was angry and volatile, making conversation with her difficult. Delusions dictated much of her behavior, such as not using any food or product with sodium chloride on the label (like some shampoos), because salt was poisonous.

Wendy is now in her forties. Until I met her, she'd spent most of her adult life living like a dandelion seed riding the wind. She can remember many times "bumming a ride" and ending up "wherever I ended up."

After a couple years of mixed results on different medications, Wendy and her doctor found a medication combination that changed her life. She never has lost her "wild child" aura, but her anger diminished and she was/is able to think more clearly. Wendy likes who she is now, has a long-time boyfriend, and lives in her own apartment (with one roommate).

Wendy still dresses like she just came from Woodstock, but on her its charming. There is still some delusional thinking, but it doesn't run her life. She's a wonderful poet, enjoys art, and a good philosophical discussion.

Update - June 2010: About a year ago Wendy began having side effects from her medications that put her health at risk. She was switched to different medications however she has, over the past months, become more reclusive, delusional and angry. She recently qualified for subsidized housing and will be in her own apartment soon.

Life in the Shadows

by Martica King

There are those of us who live in the shadows, never being seen in the true light because we are coping with mental illness. I am sorry for congresswoman Giffords and those who were murdered and injured in Tucson Arizona, and yes, it appears to those in the profession, Jared Laughner has mental issues, but don't lump us all together and assume every "lunatic" should be locked up, put away, or at the very least be mocked and scorned.

The point is Laughner is a person and he does not represent the vast majority of those persons who suffer from mental illness. Isn't everyone who murders someone deranged at least during that act or, as in so many murder cases, deranged premeditation? Statistics show the mentally ill are far more often the victims of crime rather than perpetrators. I do not agree with the verdict, Innocent by reason of insanity. If you do the crime, you should serve the time, regardless of your state of mind.

Do you realize 1 in 5 Americans cope with some form of mental illness each year and in the course of a lifetime 49%? It is very likely in your family. We are your sisters, brothers, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, neighbors and fellow workers. To paint us all with one broad brush is grossly unfair. That creates a false and distorted impression about the truth of mental illness. Such attitudes perpetuate fears that are totally unfounded. Because of stigma many suffer great mental anguish being diagnosed with schizophrenia, severe depression or bi-polar. Many are those who are homeless, in nursing homes, or jails for their own protection. You, the reader, the public in general must learn to look at us above the media frenzy and panic peddling against the mentally ill. Look at us with the eye of the "Golden Rule. The fact is, by and large, the vast majority of the mentally ill population is filled with good hearted, honest, gentle and intelligent folks who are less likely to be violent than the so-called "normal" population.

In spite of the negative perception many have of the mentally ill, there is a positive movement underway. It is called the Recovery movement. This is a clarion call to all: There is hope and evidence of success in treating severe mental illness. Many have been helped by medication and by lifestyle changes. Even more important is in believing that one can recover. The expectation is recovery, and not thinking we are condemned to a hopeless hapless life.

Community mental health Centers provide much of the solution by providing services that include psychiatric services, counseling, recovery education, outreach services, and peer support. They help the homeless by assisting them with benefits. They help keep people with mental illness out of nursing homes by helping them to live in the community. They also help keep people out of jail by providing alternatives. The community mental health center is also the most effective and cost efficient way to assist the mentally ill today. Currently funding is being increasingly restricted (so access to help will be reduced) and this was dramatically so in Arizona. We need government funding. And we need private funding just as desperately. We are, unfortunately, government's stepchild.

So as you look into the faces of those with mental illness, know that each person is unique. Just as you would not fear a person with cancer or assume all cancer victims are alike, do not assume all victims of mental illness are alike either. But just as you do with a cancer victim, show compassion and understanding, not hatred or loathing towards the mentally ill. You may find yourself dealing with it in your own family. We are all God's children. Please treat us as such.

Feb 2011

Martica works as a counselor in a coumunity mental health center

Video: Schizophrenia Gene Puzzle

FYI

PEOPLE WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA HAVE THE SAME IQ RANGE AS THE NON-SCHIZOPHRENIC POPULATION.

SYMPTOMS OF SCHIZOPHRENIA MAY HINDER SOMEONE FROM USING THEIR NATIVE INTELLIGENCE . . .

BUT . . .

DISORDERED THINKING, DELUSIONS, AND HALLUCINATIONS DO NOT INDICATE A PERSON'S LEVEL OF INTELLIGENCE.

Source

What is Recovery from Schizophrenia?

In repeated, confirmed studies* by the World Health Organization, it was discovered that those with schizophrenia in less developed countries do better, in the long run, than those in the industrial West. (The test results remain controversial).

One theory suggests that less developed countries:

~ Put fewer demands on their people.

~ May have greater tolerance of symptoms and limitations.

~ Have extended families providing support and more opportunities for useful work.

~ Alcohol and drug abuse could be less a factor.

However, more developed countries have extensive resources, ongoing research, easier access to medication, and more treatment services available.

In a different schizophrenia study, (all participants had that diagnosis) recovery was defined by the participants as "freedom from symptoms," by only 14%.** Most participants gave a different definition, which they called, "Psychological-recovery."

They said that psychological-recovery is:

~ Having self-acceptance.

~ Having a strong social network.

~ Being able to monitor and control their symptoms.

~ Taking responsibility for their health recovery.

The psychological-recovery list is similar to "less industrial" list. The obvious difference is that psychological-recovery is less tribal, focusing on individuals coping with schizophrenia.

My thought is, the best "list" is a combined one.

*The WHO studies included China, Czechoslovakia, Colombia, Denmark, India, Nigeria, the Soviet Union, Britain, and the United States.

**The same as studies done with patients who had physical illnesses.

What we perceive is our reality

What we perceive is our reality
What we perceive is our reality

What Are Hallucinations?

Hallucinations (and illusions) are quirks in the perception of people with schizophrenia. When hallucinating, a person's sensory experience does not match what others pick up with their five senses. Hallucinations can be auditory (sound), visual (sight), tactile (touch), gustatory (taste), and olfactory (smell).

The most common hallucination is hearing voices that others do not hear. The voice(s) might converse with the person, give commands, or warn them of danger (often where there is none). A voice may keep a running account of the person's activities. Voices can also be comedians.

Illusions are a little different. The senses are stimulated by something verifiable by others, but the sensory experience is misinterpreted by the individual with schizophrenia.

The Precepts of Recovery from Mental Illness

THE 10 FUNDEMENTALS OF RECOVERY FROM MENTAL ILLNESS

SELF-DIRECTION: Consumers lead, control, exercise choice over, and determine their own path of recovery by optimizing autonomy, independence, and control of resources to achieve a self-determined life. By definition, the recovery process must be self-directed by the individual, who defines his or her own life goals and designs a unique path towards those goals.

INDIVIDUALIZED and PERSON-CENTERED: There are multiple pathways to recovery based on an individual's unique strengths and resiliencies as well as his or her needs, preferences, experiences (including past trauma), and cultural background in all of its diverse representations. Individuals also identify recovery as being an ongoing journey and an end result as well as an overall paradigm for achieving wellness and optimal mental health.

EMPOWERMENT: Consumers have the authority to choose from a range of options and to participate in all decisions-including the allocation of resources-that will affect their lives, and are educated and supported in so doing. They have the ability to join with other consumers to collectively and effectively speak for themselves about their needs, wants, desires, and aspirations. Through empowerment, an individual gains control of his or her own destiny and influences the organizational and societal structures in his or her life.

HOLISTIC: Recovery encompasses an individual's whole life, including mind, body, spirit, and community. Recovery embraces all aspects of life, including housing, employment, education, mental health and healthcare treatment and services, complementary and naturalistic services, addictions treatment, spirituality, creativity, social networks, community participation, and family supports as determined by the person. Families, providers, organizations, systems, communities, and society play crucial roles in creating and maintaining meaningful opportunities for consumer access to these supports.

NON-LINEAR: Recovery is not a step-by step process but one based on continual growth, occasional setbacks, and learning from experience. Recovery begins with an initial stage of awareness in which a person recognizes that positive change is possible. This awareness enables the consumer to move on to fully engage in the work of recovery.

STRENGTHS-BASED: Recovery focuses on valuing and building on the multiple capacities, resiliencies, talents, coping abilities, and inherent worth of individuals. By building on these strengths, consumers leave stymied life roles behind and engage in new life roles (e.g., partner, caregiver, friend, student, employee). Th e process of recovery moves forward through interaction with others in supportive, trust-based relationships.

PEER SUPPORT: Mutual support-including the sharing of experiential knowledge and skills and social learning-plays an invaluable role in recovery. Consumers encourage and engage other consumers in recovery and provide each other with a sense of belonging, supportive relationships, valued roles, and community.

RESPECT: Community, systems, and societal acceptance and appreciation of consumers -including protecting their rights and eliminating discrimination and stigma-are crucial in achieving recovery. Self-acceptance and regaining belief in one's self are particularly vital. Respect ensures the inclusion and full participation of consumers in all aspects of their lives.

RESPONSIBILITY: Consumers have a personal responsibility for their own self-care and journeys of recovery. Taking steps towards their goals may require great courage. Consumers must strive to understand and give meaning to their experiences and identify coping strategies and healing processes to promote their own wellness.

HOPE: Recovery provides the essential and motivating message of a better future- that people can and do overcome the barriers and obstacles that confront them. Hope is internalized; but can be fostered by peers, families, friends, providers, and others. Hope is the catalyst of the recovery process. Mental health recovery not only benefi ts individuals with mental health disabilities by focusing on their abilities to live, work, learn, and fully participate in our society, but also enriches the texture of American community life. America reaps the benefi ts of the contributions individuals with mental disabilities can make, ultimately becoming a stronger and healthier Nation.

article found at SAMHSA

Legal Rights

People with schizophrenia enjoy the RIGHTS OF ALL CITIZENS, i.e.:

Voting rights.

Participation in legal agreements: marriage, & business, etc.

Most states have a bill of rights for those with serious mental illness. These include:

The right to privacy.

Treatment with the fewest possible restrictions.

Video: What Schizophrenia Is Part 1

Video: What Schizophrenia Is Part 2

What Is Disordered Thinking?

Schizophrenia often causes a person's thoughts to rapidly come and go. It affects a person's ability to think "straight" and interferes with an individual's ability to concentrate and focus.

Thoughts can come to those with schizophrenia in illogical order, or in fragments. Their thoughts may not be relevant to the situation they are in (as far as others are concerned). Needless to say, this makes conversing a challenge.

Someone with schizophrenia told me his mind is like an old fashioned, manual, telephone switchboard, and his calls (thoughts) are routed to the wrong place.

Poem: Haunted

The poet's brother had Schizophrenia

HAUNTED

Do we haunt images

or do they haunt

us?

Is the chicken

the image

of the egg?

Or is the egg

the image

of the chicken?

And where

do we go

from there?

Are we haunted

or do we haunt,

as we play

hide and seek

with images?

~ Bob Crew ~

. . . we play hide and seek with images

. . . we play hide and seek with images
. . . we play hide and seek with images

Warning Signs of Relapse

Change in sleep habits (getting more or less)

Change in attitude about treatment (skipping therapy appts or doses of medication, apathy, etc.)

Tension, agitation or irritability

Change in eating habits, (or in appetite)

Gradual drift into depression or giddiness

Withdrawal from people

Your opinions, experiences, suggestions, etc.

Feedback Welcome!

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    • profile image

      Michelle 2 years ago

      "silkyegg..." --- Do your research...SCHIZOPHRENIA and MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER - ARE *NOT* THE SAME THING...IDIOT!This is from a dootcr. The question is asked about schizoaffective & not plain schizophrenia, but I think you you will get the differences:this info is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions that apply directly to you or your care, ask your healthcare provider(s). This may be more than you were looking for, but here goes:What is the difference between bipolar disorder with psychotic episodes and schizoaffective disorder? This is somewhat of a confusing distinction...• Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder characterized by depressive episodes with manic or mixed episodes. A person with bipolar disorder can have psychotic episodes during either a manic phase or depression phase. They key here is that the mood disorder is always present, the psychosis is not.• In schizoaffective disorder, both symptoms of mood disorder and schizophrenia are present. The patient experiences mood swings and at least 2 psychotic symptoms (delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking) simultaneously – but the psychosis is the dominant feature (the mood swings may come and go). Even if the mood episode(s) clear, psychosis is still present to some degree.What are the different types of psychoses?• Schizophreniao A person must meet 3 criteria to be schizophrenic:? Display 2 or more of the following symptoms, each present for most of the time during a one-month period:• Delusions (bizarre/illogical thoughts”)• Hallucinations (ex: hearing voices)• Disorganized speech• Grossly disorganized behavior (ex: dressing for a snowstorm in 90 degree weather) or catatonic behavior• Negative symptoms (decline in emotional response, decline of speech or motivation)? The above symptoms must significantly impact the person’s ability to function (maintain relationships, work, go to school, etc.)? There must be continuous signs of the disturbance persist for at least six months. This six-month period must include at least one month of symptoms• Shchizoaffective disorder – as described above• Schizophreniform – related to schizophrenia, with two differences:o The total duration of the illness is at least 1 month but less than 6 monthso Significantly impaired function is not required, though it may be present as well.• Brief psychotic episode: A person may experience psychotic symptoms that are of sudden onset, short lived, and followed by return to baseline function. Not associated with another illness, medical condition or medication/drug• Delusional Disorder: Person does not meet the criteria for schizophrenia (though may experience tactile/olfactory hallucinations), however, experiences delusions. Delusions are typically not bizarre (jealous delusions very common), person is usually highly-functioning.• Shared psychotic episode: Rare! Psychotic symptoms are shared between 2 individuals such as siblings/spouses.• Important to note that various medical conditions such as alzheimer’s disease, brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, lyme disease, electrolyte disturbances etc. can cause psychotic symptoms. As can many medications/drugs/alcohol.Is it possible to be manic and depressed at the same time?• Yes, this is referred to as a “mixed” state or episode, where symptoms of depression and mania occur simultaneously. HOPE THIS HELPS!EDIT: Please note that if you are ever diagnosed w/schizophrenia, do to your depression you will more than likely will receive the diagnosis of schioaffective instead -- the affective simply means that you some type of mood disorder along w/schizophrenia -EDIT: "matt" you did a good job at giving characteristics of schizophrenia, however, you obviously have no idea what psychosis is: "People experiencing psychosis may report hallucinations or delusional beliefs, and may exhibit personality changes and disorganized thinking. This may be accompanied by unusual or bizarre behavior, as well as difficulty with social interaction and impairment in carrying out the activities of daily living." SCHIZOPHRENIA & PSYCHOSIS ARE SYNONOMUS" --"COOKIE" has written a well thought out/well organized question -I HARDLY THINK SHE IS "WHACKED"!!! That being said, from my experience w/depression I would have to agree you - depression is a battle that must eventually fought internally -- MEDS & THERAPY, though can be a great comfort blanket for those waiting to realize this! Was this answer helpful?

    • profile image

      Johnk272 2 years ago

      I don't usually comment but I gotta admit thanks for the post on this great one cedckkfdgebe

    • JenwithMisty profile image

      Jen withFlash 4 years ago

      Awesome lens!! Thanks for all the information!

    • profile image

      schizlife 5 years ago

      This is easily the best lense on schizophrenia I've seen yet! Thanks so much for putting as much effort as you did into it :)

    • sageinacage lm profile image

      sageinacage lm 5 years ago

      A great comprehensive lens!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      I remember when it was thought that schizophrenia was caused by cold mothering. I am so glad that people know that there is a biological basis to it now, and that there are treatments. I think your clients are lucky. Pinned on my mental health and mental illness boards, tweeted and blessed.

    • TrishaCornelius1 profile image

      Trisha Cornelius 5 years ago from Gauteng, South Africa

      This is a beautiful lens, and increased my understanding of this mental illness that I know very little about. Thanks for your compassionate lens.

    • shauna1934 profile image

      shauna1934 5 years ago

      This is a fantastic lens!! Am linking to it here https://hubpages.com/health/mental-health-template - I'd also appriciate any feedback you have as to my mental health worksheet. I've been using it just for me, but would like to share it with others with SZ BP, etc - but would like to make it as beneficial as possible. So if you have ideas that would make it better for others, I'd love to hear them!

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      DMVAgent 5 years ago

      Thank your for sharing this lens. I am a psychology student and it gave me good insights. :)

    • JakTraks profile image
      Author

      Jacqueline Marshall 5 years ago from Chicago area

      @anonymous: I hope you write about it!!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanx for this lens, I have found it at the right time. I have struggled with Schizophrenia since 1965 - the year I was born. No, I do not have Schizophrenia, both my parents do and my sister was diagnosed about 4 years ago, she was in her 40s. You have given me the courage to write about my life and how Schizophrenia has impacted my life. Thankyou.

    • profile image

      JustOneGuy 5 years ago

      Very beautiful lens. Our minds are our connection to existence and our wings. When the connection is damaged, it's like watching a bird with a broken wing try to fly. There but for sheer luck go I. Thanks to all who try to help those who are hurt and damaged. Some day, perhaps, we will be able to fix this pain and relieve the suffering. Joy is our natural state and we should all be there.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks so much for this lens! Thanks for seeing the positive when there is so much stigma and shame.

    • CyberTech LM profile image

      CyberTech LM 5 years ago

      My late Wife had catatonic schizophrenia for 15 years. On her god days we had fun, we went camping, on hikes and were best friends all the way! As time went on she went downhill and had to be put into a home. To see her blank face, lack of anything was hard to see. A few times a small smile would grow and then fade away. As I said she was not only my Wife, but a very BEST Friend!

      I would write a Lens, but I can not bring myself to do this yet, maybe some day. I lost her in 2003 and it still hurts.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Excellent lens. Very informative and insightful. I hope it helps remove some of the stigma of this and other mental illnesses. I'm very close to someone who has schizophrenia and I agree with what you said in the last paragraph of your intro. This person is one of the most courageous, funny, compassionate, intelligent people I know. Thanks for the article.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      surely this will make peoples open-up their mind and stop the negative stigma!(about craziness) there's good info you've put here,and the contents are neatly arranged :) I'm bookmarking this..

    • profile image

      moonlitta 5 years ago

      Your stories are truly moving.

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 5 years ago

      Fantastic lens for anyone wanting to know more about schizophrenia. The personal stories especially help us to have compassion for what schizophrenics go through. Blessed.

    • OccultPriestess1 profile image

      OccultPriestess1 6 years ago

      This lens really rocks! The extensive information and your obvious compassion bring a fresh look at schizophrenia. You may like- http://www.youtube.com/user/bipolarorwakingup - I sure do. He mentions a non medicated treatment center in Europe that treats this dis-ease. Thank you!!

    • SerenityPrayerG profile image

      SerenityPrayerG 6 years ago

      Thanks for this informative lens! Best wishes!

    • JakTraks profile image
      Author

      Jacqueline Marshall 6 years ago from Chicago area

      @darciefrench lm: Thank you for the blessing and best wishes!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      Squid angel blessed- this is an amazing lens on schizophrenia. I am currently taking several 'mind slowing' meds for bipolar 2 that are also prescribed for schizophrenia and they don't slow down my creativity at all, just make me more comfortable to express that creativity more appropriately. It wasn't appropriate for my own health or my family for mom to be up all night writing for instance- meds have helped me sleep when it's supposed to be sleep time.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      Wonderful information and insight into this horrible disease. Featured this on Brain Matters

    • TillyMint LM profile image

      TillyMint LM 6 years ago

      This is an excellent lens and gives a very accurate and personal insight into what it is like to have schizophrenia.

    • JakTraks profile image
      Author

      Jacqueline Marshall 6 years ago from Chicago area

      @JeremiahStanghini: I hadn't thought about it but that's a good idea. I'm putting it on my Squidoo to-do list.

    • JeremiahStanghini profile image

      JeremiahStanghini 6 years ago

      I wonder if you've considered looking at schizophrenia from a transpersonal lens (no pun intended). Transpersonal psychology doesn't get enough love in the psychology community.

      With Love and Gratitude,

      Jeremiah

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Informative Lens. I will favorite it and come back later to read fully!

    • antoivo lm profile image

      antoivo lm 6 years ago

      this is a very useful lens about an unfortunate condition thumbs up

    • callinsky lm profile image

      callinsky lm 7 years ago

      My sister has suffered from Schizophrenia for a good number of years. Original they diagnosed her with Bipolar Disorder. She has good times and bad times. The problem is that the medicine that she really can't live without will cause her kidneys to fail at some point, Lithium.

      She switched doctors about a year and a half ago and they took her off a lot of the meds that she was on. It was a long process but she is a lot better than what she was. Understanding is the key. So many people don't understand mental illness, and they don't take the time to try to understand it. I think the stigma has gotten better because of the internet, though.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 7 years ago from Canada

      Very well written. Thank you so much for creating such a in depth article.

    • hotbrain profile image

      hotbrain 7 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      Thank you for this positive lens on Schizophrenia. I have Bipolar Disorder and I agree that wanting to change your life is a huge part of getting better. I think it starts with understanding the disorder, then getting help. I take medication and monitor my symptoms to try to catch myself if my mood episodes get worse. Great page! I'll lensroll it on my pages about bipolar disorder and depression.

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      RuthCoffee 7 years ago

      Very, very interesting and informative. Many years ago I had a co-worker/friend who I believe might have been schizophrenic, but I'm not really sure. She was very intelligent but drifted from job to job and I became concerned she would become homeless. She often told us about her life, but everything she told us was untrue. Everything from being pregnant, to marrying a famous musician...all of it fabricated or imagined. Her life was filled with a lot of tragedy and drama (at least so I believed) Her apartment was filled to the brim with little nicknacks and she had cut out pictures of this musician from magazines and had them framed like family photos. Knowing her was like a roller coaster ride, shocking that after knowing her for a year and half, I really knew nothing about her. Anyway, I can understand how hard this is on families.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 7 years ago

      Excellent lens, thank-you.

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      Great lens have found it very useful !!

    • jjj1 profile image

      jjj1 7 years ago

      An informative lens about a stigmatised topic. Well done and 5 stars!

    • JakTraks profile image
      Author

      Jacqueline Marshall 8 years ago from Chicago area

      [in reply to glockr] I agree. It is devastating for families, and having a loved one with Schizophrenia is like having a death in the family. I see that all the time in my work. My heart goes out to your family.

    • glenbrook profile image

      glenbrook 8 years ago

      Nice lens with lots of good information. I disagree though with your assertion that schizophrenia is not an illness, merely "different wiring." My son's onset of the disease was almost like a death in the family. In fact, in a way it really was because the person who is my son now is not the same person who was my son before. I never used to worry about dieing myself, but now I worry constantly about what will happen to my son after my wife and I are no longer here to take care of him. Even on his medication (Abilify) there is no way he can provide for himself.

      Ken

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      juliasofia44 9 years ago

      Informative lens.

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 9 years ago

      Great lens - though perhaps the 'how to live a healthy life' bit belongs on its own lens?

    • SerenityPrayerG profile image

      SerenityPrayerG 9 years ago

      Excellent Lens! Thanks for sharing! :-)