I’m from Missouri, USA, and I have experienced mental illness from a very young age. I had lots of sadness even as a young boy. I was a very picky eater, had all sorts of strange bodily discomfort wearing clothes, and was treated like somewhat of a weirdo in elementary and middle school, though not in high school at least.
But in all of those schools I was stressed out about school work much of the time, as I was always afraid of being punished for not having my homework done. I also hated doing homework, part of which might have had to do with feeling that much of it wasn’t contributing to my learning, that it was just busy work. More importantly, I had cognitive deficits that caused me to require enormous amounts of time to finish my work. I couldn’t play outside that much because of that, and my life was pretty dull.
I did well in grade school (National Merit finalist, good grades etc.) and started off well in University, but my mental issues caught up with me and I failed out of school. Later, after treatment for schizophrenia (medications), I returned to a different school, got a couple of degrees (associate in Electronics Engineering and bachelor of Computer Science), a job, which I left, but might be going back to, and I’m returning to school for a Master’s Degree in Computer Science.
I still struggle with cognitive issues though. I have trouble concentrating, memory issues, anxiety, and the imaginary people still bother me sometimes. Memory and concentration are the biggest ones, and in fact those probably trigger the anxiety because I can’t remember instructions from my boss or parents. I do use a voice recorder but it’s a pain to have to search through the recording just to be reminded of the instructions they gave me.
The hardest part of it is that because of my good academic performance people don’t seem to understand when I complain that I have trouble remembering things. My mother is always trying to disprove that I even have memory difficulties. Every time I remember something that seems difficult to remember (and I am good in remembering dates of trips we went on plus various other things) she points out that I have a very sharp memory, as if the problem doesn’t exist. Or she mentions that she sometimes has trouble remembering certain things, as though there’s nothing abnormal about my memory deficits, or like she doesn’t want to acknowledge that schizophrenia causes this problem.
I have a psychiatrist and he just tells me to take notes. Totally useless. I have trouble taking notes because I struggle to write and listen at the same time, as I have trouble multitasking. I told him that, and he just says to practice taking notes. He doesn’t seem to understand that it is the illness that causes the problem, and that practice won’t make it go away. He thinks I’m complaining that I have to look at the person while listening and then look down at the paper and write, and that I can’t do both at the same time because I’m not used to it, which is not at all what I’m saying. I’m just saying I can’t do both because my brain has trouble coordinating writing and listening simultaneously.
Anyway, any suggestions on what I can do to deal with these issues? I just started brain training at brainhq.com. Has anyone tried such training and is it effective? Other suggestions? Thanks, I appreciate it.