Positive vs. Negative Symptoms for Me

strengthThe positive symptoms (in addition to reality) of schizophrenia are: hallucinations (see and hear things), delusions (false beliefs that defy reasoning), paranoia, disorganized thinking,and grandiosity (believing that I have supernatural powers),

And the negative symptoms (lacking from normally considered behavior) are: lack of emotion, slow speaking, poor hygiene, impaired memory, poor concentration or decision making skills, limited social functioning, lacking motivation, and inability to experience enjoyment in things I once found pleasurable.

I’ve highlighted the ones that I experienced. In addition to those, I experienced sleeplessness, OCD, depression, and high anxiety. All of my symptoms have been treatable. I do still experience hallucinations when the stresses in my life are too great. Things haven’t gotten easier for me; instead, with the aid of medication, psychotherapy and my support structure, I’ve learned what is and isn’t real. I can control my emotions but I still have trouble relating to other people because I fear that my symptoms may arise in their presence. But the key is that I am in control and feel empowered.

Contrary to myths, as a person with schizophrenia, I don’t have developmental disabilities, violent tendencies, or a split personality. Not being in contact with my birth family, I don’t if genetic susceptibility or environmental factors (nature or nurture) played a role. I was diagnosed with PTSD years back due to physical and emotional trauma as a child; but I believe those are irrelevant at this point in my life as I’ve gotten over and forgiven all responsible. I truly hope they are as happy as they can be in their own part of this world.

At this point, the medication works but isn’t without side effects. The worst of all is the tremors. However, restlessness comes in a close second. All in all, I prognosticate that I will be in full remission (symptom free), with the aid of medication, within six months time.

Suicidal Tendencies

Hi, my name is Angie Grey and I attempted suicide at the age of seventeen while I was pregnant. It was within six months after being released from the psychiatric ward. I jumped off a train bridge in Bismarck, North Dakota and was rescued by a boater in the water beneath me. I didn’t realize how lucky I was for him to be there that late at night because I didn’t know how to swim and was sure to die. For a long while, I was okay with living up until May of 2009. At that point, I had a suicide date in mind. Fortunately for me, I found Pathways Health Crisis Center in Minneapolis. At that time, my next door neighbor, Angela had committed suicide and I was in full blown delusion. For years, the dead woman living in my home urged me to take my life just as she did my neighbor. My grandiosity was that I could see through walls to the adjacent townhome. I saw my neighbor laying in her bathtub, with pill bottles and a bottle of wine in hand. All the while, the dead woman who lives inside my home was telling me that life wasn’t worth living. Most recently, during my psychotic break, the dead woman said my new neighbor is planning on taking his life too; but this time it will be with a gun and due to the constant hip pain he is experiencing. She (the dead woman) continued to tell me and show me how obvious it is that life isn’t worth living. Look at all the suffering. Thanks to my medicine, I see this isn’t real. Fortunately for me, I have a strong support network and Pathways as well. I feel bad for the others that don’t!

Grandiose Symptoms

drowning help

At the height of my break from reality, I believed I could see, hear, and walk through walls. In one instance I thought I saw my neighbor kill herself in the adjacent townhome. When we found out that she actually did follow through with the suicide, I thought I had proof of my abilities. Little did I know it was just a chemical imbalance in the brain. It all seemed so real. For that I’m grateful to my Higher Power for helping me when I was drowning in delusion. I believe that I was helped to safety by a greater force which sent me down the route of medication, exercise, therapies, and group work.

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