Archive for acceptance

The Stages of Grief After a Mental Illness Diagnosis

In the ten years that I’ve lived with schizophrenia, I’ve seen good days and horrible days, I’ve had successes and I’ve had failures but nothing can compare to the despair I felt in the first few months and years of living with the illness.

They say there are five stages of grief when you lose a loved one. I can tell you from personal experience that those five stages also exist and are just as intense when you’re told you’re crazy.

Instead of losing someone you loved you’ve lost yourself or at least your conception of yourself.

First there’s denial, in my case I didn’t believe my diagnosis, I thought “they’re all playing a trick on me to make me think I’m crazy, it’s all a ruse” I thought the psychiatrists office was a set up and I was so reluctant to accept the diagnosis that I couldn’t even make it through a therapy session without storming out. Read More →

What to Do About Persistent Delusions

I’m sure I’m not the only one who experiences this. I think most people with schizophrenia have that one delusion that they keep going back to that, no matter how hard they try to get rid of it, always sticks around. For me it’s the notion that people are making fun of me.

I don’t know why this is such a hang up for me as it really doesn’t matter either way but I’m constantly worried what people think of me and no matter how much therapy or how many antipsychotics I put into my body this delusion always remains.

It’s so persistent that there have been times I’ve succumbed to it and started to believe it as the truth. It’s caused me to be on my guard whenever any offshoot of the notion comes up and it’s caused me to be wary whenever I hear someone laughing or whenever I see someone whispering to their friend.

No matter what, I always think it’s about me and this is not a good thing. Read More →

How to Accept Your Mental Illness Diagnosis

I can remember when I was in the hospital. It was after a long week of hitchhiking along the east coast thinking I was a prophet and I had just gotten home and told my parents about my mission. I can remember breaking down completely, emotionally unable to process the fact that I was actually certifiably insane. It was a constant struggle between me telling myself that things I was thinking weren’t real and trying to come to terms with the notion I had always had of crazy people being dangerous and unhinged. I was one of those people. I was crazy.

The point is, it took me a long time to accept my diagnosis and to put in the work I needed to do to get better.

I’ve been there and I know what it’s like to lose yourself completely in the idea that who you are as a person is flawed.

I thought before I educated myself that craziness was a character fault but that’s not true. It’s biological, it’s chemicals and it has nothing to do with who you are as a person. That notion still stuck with me though and I was afraid for a long time about what people would think and why I had done the things I did.

My brain wasn’t working correctly and because of this I thought that I was a defect. Read More →