Thank you for writing to Psych Central with your questions. I will address each of them below:
- Sex drive: the desire to have sex once a day is not abnormal. Inequality in sexual desire is also common in relationships. It’s only a problem if one person in the relationship considers it to be a problem. You desire to have sex more often than your wife does but she may be all right with this in an effort to help you meet your needs. A couple has to agree on a level of frequency that is comfortable and acceptable to them.
Some medications can affect sex drive. I would suggest speaking to your psychiatrist about this possibility. Your psychiatrist may be able to make modifications to your medication regimen. He also may not be willing to adjust your medication, fearing that it might endanger your psychological well-being.
- Negative thoughts: I would suggest talk therapy to help with your negative thoughts. Medication can be helpful for treating psychotic events but it may not be effective for negative thinking. Talking to a therapist can help you learn how to find happiness. Finding happiness is a journey and everyone needs to find what makes them happy in life. If you continue to struggle with negative thinking, consider talk therapy in addition to medication management with your psychiatrist.
- Anger issues: Talk therapy could also help with anger management. Anger management techniques can be very effective. Your anger issues may have nothing to do with your psychotic disorders. I would highly recommend talk therapy for this issue.
- Books: There are many books about schizophrenia that you may find very helpful. I would also recommend books about bipolar disorder or other serious mental illnesses. Below are six books that are highly rated:
- Schizophrenia For Dummies by Jerome Levine and Irene S. Levine
- An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison
- Welcome, Silence by Carol North
- Five Lost Years: A Personal Exploration of Schizophrenia by Christina Alexandra
- The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music by Steve Lopez
- A Beautiful Mind: The Life of Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash by Sylvia Nasar
- Social interaction: A therapist can help to determine whether or not there’s a problem with your social interaction. He or she could point out social mistakes and help you to correct them in an effective way.
- Smoking cigarettes: I do not believe that you should attempt to stop smoking without the assistance of your psychiatrist or other mental health professional. Your fear that you may relapse if you quit smoking may not be unfounded. It’s not that smoking cessation could cause a psychotic relapse per se. It may be that it could elevate your stress level which might in turn increase the likelihood of an illness relapse. Should you decide to quit smoking, there are medications that your psychiatrist could prescribe that can assist you in this process. A therapist can also help monitor your mood and behavior. Both your psychiatrist and therapist would monitor changes in behavior, changes in thinking, or any other affective changes that may occur during the smoking cessation process.
I also want to add that you seem to have a great level of insight. In addition, you’re open to correcting problematic behaviors, you consistently take your medication and seem dedicated to treatment. All of these factors can help you remain psychologically stable and prevent psychotic relapses.
I hope that I’ve adequately answered your questions. Good luck and please do not hesitate to write back if you have any additional questions. Please take care.