Quick intro Schizophrenia
This post was written by my very own friend Isuru Abeysinghe stating his extire life experience with Schizophrenia and a step-by-step ways on how you can manage it, in order to overcome this disease. Enjoy!!
Schizophrenia is a disease that can affect people from all walks of life. It is a disease that can often be debilitating, requiring hospitalization and in some cases permanent care. People that live with the disease as well as the people surrounding them are likely to suffer immensely due to the destructive nature of the illness. Having once suffered from the disease, I can attest to the torturous impact that it can have on the individual. It seems completely at odds with my actual life, having graduated from university and engaged in a fulfilling career in information technology. I am also a person who is, under normal circumstances, social friendly and thoughtful. I have battled with the illness for over ten years and I am writing this to give people that have not experienced the disease some understanding into it's nature and characteristics (from the perspective of a layperson in some sense since I am in no way trained in psychology) as well as offer the sufferers some insights into possible pathways to improving the situation. Bear in mind that there are many types of schizophrenia, some being more severe than others, however the type that I have experienced at one point manifest is the following:
• Auditory hallucinations – but never visual hallucinations. It is similar to being forced to listen to the speech of others (multiple people) on a non-stop basis, the speech being antagonistic (chastisement) in nature.
• A perception of conspiracy of a wide an encompassing nature (“everybody knows”.)
• A sensation of panic, chronic stress and inability to sleep due to the nature of the bombardment.
• A feeling that I start to understand the material being dispensed through the auditory hallucinations which gives me inclination to act upon these beliefs.
• Feelings of “alternative” explanations for the symptoms being perceived.
This post is related to a set number of principals that I believe have helped me to cope and ultimately alienate the disease, allowing me to peruse to pleasant and peaceful life.
Anti-psychotic medication has been prescribed to me over the majority of my adult life. It is very important that such medications be taken since they actively help to reduce the severity of the illness. In addition to this, anti-psychotic medications often help to promote sleep, which is essential to maintaining the ability to fight the effects of schizophrenia. These medications can safely be taken on a long term basis and there are some that have minimal impact on the liver function.
2 SLEEP IS ESSENTIAL
The ability to maintain healthy patterns of sleep is essential to combating the disease. If the auditory bombardment succeeds to keeping the individual awake for the majority of the night, subsequently flowing over into the same state over successive nights, the combined effect of sleep deprivation will increase and strengthen the effects of schizophrenia. This may all seem very intuitive, however one must realize that the ability to sleep under such conditions is by the very definition of humanity a difficult feat. This is why, in combination of mediation, the sufferer must also be very mindful of some of the philosophical underpinnings of a healthy pattern of thinking regarding the disease.
Moderation is essential for combating schizophrenia with regards to most forms of imbibments. Personally I have found that alcohol in reasonable modes of consumption has little effect on my illness, however it has been known to severely trigger it in other people. I have heard tales of people feeling adverse effects from drinking three beers, however this is not something I have personally experienced. Having at one point indulged in the consumption of cannabis, I can attest that after consuming the drug I have indeed noticed a measurable effect on the severity of schizophrenia (in particular with regards to the volume of the auditory hallucinations.) I have abstained from the use of cannabis for over two years now and I have noticed a marked decline in the severity of my illness. It is best to abstain from hallucinogenic drugs altogether or drugs that have a powerful agitating effect such as forms of amphetamine
4 ACKNOWLEGE THE DISEASE
If the person suffering from schizophrenia does not acknowledge the disease then (speaking from person experience) no amount of abstinence or medication will be able to control the condition effectively. Schizophrenia is a disease that feeds off all the negative emotions. Your fear, hatred, anger and sadness will only feed this illness. The implications of acknowledging the disease is that by logic the content of the disease becomes fallacious: the most dangerous schizophrenic is the one that believes what they are “told.”
The disease is one of threats and enticements. A sufferer will feel the force of threats, perhaps upon their physical safety, perhaps upon their social status, perhaps upon their propensity to continue suffering the effects of the illness. They will often, as with my case, also be presented with enticement, such as some wonderful or magnificent outcome should follow taking a course of action as ambiguously prescribed by the “people” in your head. Examples can include a large amount of money or the love of a woman. In my condition, the disease always feels like an external thing – it is not part of myself or who I am. It does not “take control” of me but rather forms arguments that distort my perception of reality and causes one to believe that taking bizarre and extraordinary actions could or would have a positive result due to some strange and complicated circumstance.
• It is a disease.
• There is no good that comes of it.
• The bad that comes of it depends on how much power you give it.
• To acknowledge the disease is to refute the threats and promises. These can come in many contradictory forms.
5 SELECTIVE PHYCHOPATH
This notion that I have come up with “selective psychopath” seems like a very dangerous and threatening term. However, when properly explained the reader will understand why I have chosen this term “selective psychopath” as the term I'll coin to explain this concept. A psychopath is somebody that can be termed in the following properties:
• They show little or no regard to the feelings or wellbeing of others. They do not feel empathy towards others.
• They are extremely manipulative and will do whatever they can do to get their own way. They will use people and then find a way to get rid of them.
This is the actual clinical definition of a psychopath (not the Hollywood “knife-in-hand” shower scene definition.)
To be a “selective psychopath” deals with firstly removing the second requirement of a psychopath – that being to manipulate others without moral limitations in order to forward selfish advancement. It is only the first definition (which, does not necessarily make a person a psychopath because both properties need to hold to true in order to be pathological.)
In order to apply the notion of selective psychopath, you must first define the “selective” part. Here, it does not deal with regard to separating people (actual people in the real world!) into groups to either show empathy or not. You will and should demonstrate normal human empathy towards all your fellow human beings. But those voices in your head – that disease induced symptom – are not human beings. You should show no empathy for them. You should show no anger to them. You should not even bother to disagree with their ideas. Show no resistance nor any feeling to the concepts and notions these “people” are trying to attempt to make you believe. In fact, take a stance of complete neutrality to all the words they are saying, no matter how hurtful, factually incorrect, obscene or excessive they may be in the real world. If you truly accept this is a disease would there be any other stance to take that is not ludicrous?
Indeed, this will not happen overnight. It takes mental training, dedication and discipline to decouple yourself and form the duality between the real world and the fake one. However, it is not impossible. Eventually this duality, for reasons of obsolescence should be something that you no longer have to give any consideration to.
6 DON'T LOOK FOR EXPLANATIONS
Do not look for technical, spiritual or other forms of explanations regarding the content of your disease. One explanation that I had a lot of trouble with involved a mysterious technology known as “remote neural monitoring” which adherents had testified was capable of transmitting auditory noises and reading the thoughts of people that it was targeted at. Such forms of inquiry undermine the process of healing and will destroy the psyche and normal human emotions. Are you really “Hannibal Lector”? Are you really public enemy number one? Who should want to go to the effort and trouble of reading your mind and molesting it? Being an atheist, this concept of RNM technology was the most powerful and destructive harbinger of demise in my otherwise successful life. If people are more spiritually inclined there are many also who suffer from delusions involving spiritual entities and other such “explanations” for the symptoms of schizophrenia. It is the nature of the disease to forgo reasonable scenarios and try to convince the sufferer into believing outrageous ones.
7 NOT EVERYBODY KNOWS YOU
People who suffer from schizophrenia often feel a sense of social pressure that comes from being in crowded places because they feel the sensation that their situation, however the individual may perceive it, is somehow known to the large majority of society. People are not talking about you! You will live in relative obscurity and safety unless you yourself destroy the sanctity of your own image by indulging in these paranoid delusions.
8 MAKE FRIENDS AND HAVE HOBBIES
Try to engage in an active and healthy social life. The feeling of “stir crazy” can start to creep upon you when you start to feel socially isolated. Do everything you can to repel the notions of Principal 7 and conduct your social life in earnest and at face value. Being socially included and accepted can do a large deal to improve your overall mental health. Also, consider taking up hobbies (such as writing) to occupy your mind and keep yourself distracted by thinking about many and varied things.
References and additional research:
This post was inspired by
with all thanks to @himal
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Thanks For Your Time!!