Schizophrenia Articles

Siblings with Severe Mental Illness: An Evolving Relationship

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

Siblings with Severe Mental Illness: An Evolving RelationshipThere is an undeniable connection between siblings. You came from the same family and grew up in the same environment. There will always be a shared past between siblings, whether they are close or not. But when your sibling is diagnosed with mental illness the personal history and the things you had in common can seem to disappear.

Life seems to stop and be consumed by their illness. An intangible connection can be seemingly swept right off the page. Something that therapists never told me was that one day I would just be happy to take what I could get.

Psychology Around the Net: January 24, 2014

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

Fear

Ever wonder what makes you — and keeps you — a loyal customer? How about ways to strength train your brain? Oh, and speaking of your brain — where does all that fear and anxiety come from, anyway?

We have it all and more in this week’s Psychology Around the Net.

Fear Pinpoinited: Scientists Discover Exactly Where Anxiety Resides in the Brain: Tests on mice have helped New York’s Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory researchers pinpoint the area, or “circuit,” in the brain where “fearful memories and behavior” are controlled. Could this lead to new anxiety treatments?

Introducing the new Blog, Of Two Minds

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Introducing the new Blog, Of Two MindsAuthor Mike Hedrick has been writing for us since May of last …

How to Deal with Mental Illness Stigma

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

How to Deal With Mental Illness StigmaI’ve seen the worst of it. I’ve been asked if I’ve ever killed anybody and I’ve seen the disgust on people’s faces when I disclose the simple fact that I have schizophrenia.

Nine years in and this illness is so much a part of who I am. I imagine it’s the same for others in my boat, that not disclosing feels like I’m leaving a major part of myself out of the conversation. It’s become such a defining characteristic that I feel like I’m lying to people if I don’t eventually tell them.

The thing with me, though, is that I’m so practiced in social interaction that you would never be able to tell that I have schizophrenia.

Coming to Terms with Your Delusions

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Coming to Terms With Your DelusionsI’d be lying if I said I haven’t thought some pretty outrageous things in the course of my illness. I’d also be lying if I said I don’t think about outrageous things still. Even with a good amount of stability, delusions can still persist.

Sometimes it’s about what people think of you, maybe just an offhand notion. Other times it can be so bad that you think you’re a king or a prophet or Jesus Christ himself. I’ve seen every part of the spectrum.

Nine years on, I still deal with whether people are making fun of me. This is a delusion which, no matter what I’ve tried, I can’t stop.

Dealing with the Side Effects

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

Dealing with The Side-EffectsHaving lived with schizophrenia for almost nine years I’m no stranger to the myriad things that can happen when you’re on a course of antipsychotic medication.

Many times these side effects can be disruptive to everyday life. Sometimes they come on slow and have a lasting impact, such as gaining a significant amount of weight. Sometimes they can be dull, such as drowsiness or a dissociative feeling.

The important thing to remember in all these cases is that side effects are negligible compared to the benefit of the drug.

How to Put the Brakes On

Monday, December 29th, 2014

7 Ways to Navigate Self-DoubtA lot of people run through their lives going from one task to another without taking time to stop and smell the roses.

Our society is overworked, and as result, overstressed.

I know what it’s like to get so overwhelmed on something that you slowly start to lose your grip on reality. That’s just one of the many things I have to deal with while living with schizophrenia.

The point is, it’s important to put the brakes on when you start to feel overwhelmed. This is just as important for regular people as it is for people with a major mental illness. However, these two types of people don’t react to stress the same way.

It’s OK to Say No to Opportunities

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

how-to-say-noWe’re all faced with choices every single day of our lives. We’re also faced with numerous opportunities. These choices and opportunities come in questions from our friends, loved ones and colleagues. Some opportunities have incredible potential to take us places we never could have imagined. Some are just everyday opportunities, such as going to the bar with some friends.

The problem with a multitude of choices is the fact that to some, we’re inevitably going to have to say no.

Gone but not Gone: Robin Williams’s Legacy of Love, Not Sadness

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

robin-williamsRobin Williams died long before the winter chill settled in, but there is a new movie coming out this Christmas that will feature him once again.

When I saw the trailer for “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” with Robin Williams playing Theodore Roosevelt and being his usual funny, exuberant self, I had to wonder how many wonderful, new moments we had left with him on film before he was gone forever. Someday explaining to my kids who Williams is will require me dragging out a bunch of movies they’ve never heard of.

You Can’t Please Everyone

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

a lightbulb on a book showing ideas from inspiration and educationI’ve had an interesting couple of weeks. I’ve been talking to an agent about a book proposal. The book is already written, but in talking to the agent I’ve come to realize that in order for him to take me on as a client, I would need to entirely rewrite the book. I gave his suggestions a shot with a few pages the other day and he still wasn’t happy. This is after a series of rejections about another book proposal with the same agent.

I kind of have the feeling that no matter what I do, no matter how I rewrite the book, there’ll be parts of it he’s not satisfied with.

Designated Caregiver: Holiday Drinks and Mental Illness

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

holiday stress man bigstAlcohol is a staple at the holiday table despite widespread tales of family dysfunction. The truth is social lubrication makes it a lot easier to deal with some of the more difficult people in our families. But when you add mental illness to the mix, you run bigger risks than a shouting match about politics or someone going home wearing the stuffing.

My older brother Pat was diagnosed with schizophrenia eight years ago this December. Drinking alcohol is not advisable on his medication. It makes him extremely drowsy. A few beers after taking his medication in 2007 and he passed out in the bathroom, slamming into the toilet and sliding it clean off the floor — and he’s not a big guy.

The Power of Music

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Music and EmotionsI’ve known the lows of depression, I’ve known the terror of delusions and paranoia and I’ve known the itchiness of anxiety. In every instance, I know I need to calm down. Most times this means going home pulling the covers up and putting on soft music. I do it so much that it’s become something completely natural. Feeling bad? Put on music. It’s almost automatic and because of that I’ve started to take this simple technique for granted.

Music is something magical. It’s salve for all of life’s emotional wounds and I would be remiss in talking about coping techniques if I didn’t talk about music.

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