Overcoming Schizophrenia

Mind-Body-Spirit

Spiritual networking, movement exercises, and peer group work are some of ways that I’m handling my schizophrenia diagnosis. In addition to spirituality and resilience group therapy, and as well as qigong and yoga, I’ve also signed up for the following classes:

The Art of Centering

Beyond Aromatherapy

Nutrition and Cancer

Crystal Singing Bowl Sound Bath

Integrative Wellness

WarmFeet Intervention

Writing from the Body

Soul Journeying and Drum Circle

The nutrition classes aren’t just for me but my family as well. My daughter was diagnosed with MALT lymphoma a few years back and is undergoing immunotherapy maintenance (Rituximab). Centering and Journeying are more spiritual in nature and WarmFeet is because I am pre-diabetic. The sound and aromatherapy is simply peaceful and relaxing while the writing is therapeutic and helps with cognitive setbacks.  I’m often socially withdrawn because of my schizophrenia and medication side effects so these classes keep me communicating with others. The others in the groups all experience different illnesses or are caregivers to someone so it helps to know how others cope with unfortunate illness or life’s setbacks.

Managing Schizophrenia with Atypical Anti-psychotics

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Abilify vs. Seroquel: for me it’s a toss up. While Abilify controls hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia, it doesn’t work as well during stressful experiences. Seroquel does work during chaotic times, however, the downside is that I have extremely negative side effects with the Seroquel, such as agitation and anger. I’m not talking rage but more disorderly conduct like getting kicked out of the library because I had a fit when my books on hold were misplaced. The bad side effects from Abilify for me are akathisia (restlessness) and tremors (hands shaking). Quetiapine (Seroquel) also sparked weight gain for me which the aripiprazole (Abilify) does not. All in all, I prefer the Abilify because it doesn’t cause cognitive issues in me the way the Seroquel did. That being said, I keep Seroquel around to subdue myself during the worst of moments. Both drugs side effects bring about social withdrawal because I don’t want outsiders to see the tremors or anger. On the horizon, my psychiatrist says there is Latuda, should things turn downward with my current regimen of Abilify, Gabapentin, Zoloft, and Wellbutrin. He holds out great hope for that one…and it’s nice to know there is always hope.

Resilience throughout Recovery: A Memoir of My Journey through Mental Illness by Angela Grey

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Distraction can be a good thing up until the point of denial. Regarding my delusional disorder, I figured that if I wrote it off as something else (social anxiety, PTSD, or chronic depression) then I’d be more normal. Plus, my denial protected my immediate family (custody of children); but at what cost. My partition delusion and both auditory and visual hallucinations weren’t simply the result of past abuse or cultural idiosyncrasies: misconceptions by my immediate family which delayed the diagnosis for years. However, I appreciate that time I had with some of my hallucinations for they comforted me in ways that I will try to relay. In the end, it was cognition, memory, and confusion problems which led to psychosis that took me down and brought me to the emergency room, where we sat riverside trying to figure out where it all began and what was or wasn’t a cause.

Hello world!

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Author Images

I’m an enrolled member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate. Thanks in part to fantastic foster parents, sassy social workers, and outstanding teachers, I’m a family-focused parent of four wonderful young adults. I’ve self-published four fiction novels under a pseudonym, Peyton Mathie. Those accounts were based on my life stories. Although I’m a native of the Lake Traverse reservation in South Dakota, I  lived in Brooklyn, New York off and on throughout my childhood. Currently, I reside in Eden Prairie, Minnesota with my family. My hobbies include yoga, MBSR, camping, budget travel, and painting.

Note: The pseudonym was derived from the first name of my daughter’s childhood friend and the surname of a coworker at approximately the same time frame. In one I saw signs of my past and the latter, hopefully, my future.

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