Schizophrenia.com

The "OK" scale... still a problem of insight?


#1

Continuing the discussion from Shaken not stirred:

I try to work and maintain my insight and accept my diagnosis. (I do accept it)

It’s hard when I’m not doing Ok and I think I am. Other people see that I’m having a hard time before I see it.

To me… I remember the panic of when I was at my very worst… I do remember a few of the hallucinations and that amping up feeling.

Then my brain is beginning to spin, my words being the opposite of what I try to say, my fingers not doing what I tell them too, all the while those few little whispers in my head get louder and more clear and start talking right too me. It feels like I have to concentrate on catching my breath and I can’t trust my eyes because every thing is suddenly too bright. Even the air around me is heavy.

So if I’m not that bad, I think I’m Ok. It’s hard for me when I feel fine. I’m not panicking, my words are working, my fingers are working, I’m not getting lost in my head… I think I’m doing really well.

But then other people start to get concerned.

It’s hard sometimes for me to see when I’m not OK. Because to me, I feel I have to be really bad off to not be OK. This is when I have to stop being irritated with my family and listen.

I guess I’m still having problems with insight.


#2

I think insight is a major stepping stone to recovery. It’s hard to know when to exert the push or pull in terms of when to pull back from an idea or thought, or when to focus on what is in front of you that needs to be recognized. You seem very insightful to me.

If I’m getting overwhelmed I take a nap, or meditate, read an easy book or just jot down notes. My blog really helps too. Just take a breather, remind yourself that life situations are always evolving, but that there are some things permanent. I remind myself that the world will always be here, or that life will always exist because I believe it will always be here.

I am a temporary person in the world, but there is something that tells me a part of me is not temporary that something in me is eternal. That I just need to stay grounded, not even worry about belief because I have faith and strength. It’s difficult. I understand sickness is just that, sickness. Sickness is the most temporary. We are all on a path to somewhere.


#3

I don’t think that ever goes away for us, we just have some weeks where we manage it better than others. Insight is my Plan A, but Plan A doesn’t always work. For those of us with this condition it is important to have a Plan B, or a support network of trusted individuals who can point out to us when we need help at those times when we ourselves don’t see it.

This problem isn’t unique to schizophrenics. The organization Alcoholics Anonymous makes a point of seeking out guidance from non-alcoholics on their board of trustees. 14 trustees are AA members, 7 are not. After all, who would handle the money if all of the AA members got drunk at once? :wink:

10-96


#4

I always thought that not being psychotic was actually being ok. But when I stopped running from one place to another, when I chose a town, a country, a husband and a sense of belonging to a family, I realized (very slowly) that it was not the case. Before my son was born I still fought with my husband when he said "today you are talking weirdly and moving awkwardly and speaking in a very strange manner, with no logic and with an equal tone"etc. I thought everybody had these days. I thought I was normal. I wasn’t.

When I had a psychosis in the last term of my pregnancy and had to have an emergency c-section in order to not affect the child’s development I felt devastated. Then, I realized I needed a person of trust who would tell me these things so I could have the insight that was missing. I chose my husband for that, then I started opening up to my closest friends and family, so they would tell me if something was wrong.

The more I read and listen, the more I learn, the more I realise that all the things that had been said to me were true, the things I had been running from ever since I was 19. The good part is that I’m beggining to get out of my head and engage with my peers, I have to make tremenduous efforts to do so, but it’s all worth it. I started realizing that not looking people in the eye was not cool, that not being able to read facial expressions correctly was not cool, that always thinking someone is out there to get me was not cool, etc.

This forum has helped me a lot and, as I mentioned before, reading your acccounts of your own symptoms and work to get out of them, @SurprisedJ and others, has made me more attentive to what my own symptoms are, more aware of the fact that I did not have an acute transitory psychosis but full blown SZ. I found it hard to accept that, as I have no hallucinations of any kind, but yet again I’m in the 30% of those who are in this situation.

I started writing again on this forum recently because I finally accepted my diagnosys as it is, and I want to do everything I can to alleviate the symptoms. I thought afterwards that I’m lucky to not have hallucinations but it’s not true. The subtility of my symptoms worsens my ability to fully understand and recognize them. As you said, if faces came out from the wall for me too, I would know they are not real and I would look for help immediately. WHen I was pregnant and was having delusions I didn’t realize I was having them. Now, that I’m medicated, I do not always realize when I’m about to fall back in my head. I have a wonderful family, though, and they tell me all that. So I’m on the good path towards insight, but struggling.


#5

I’m in the same boat. What you just said is exactly it for me. When I’m not actively psychotic, I think I’m OK. If it’s not a full on panic attack or a full on hallucination I think I’m stable.

But to my family… I’m racing with my talking, I’m jumping topic and I’m… as my sis says… getting highly dramatic and emphatic.

But I still feel fine… and it hurts my feelings when my sis or my parents try to tell my I’m not doing well.

Then, when I get back to my sort of… baseline I guess you would call it… then I realize that … yeah, maybe my very passionate lecture on whole grain bread vs white bread and how it relates to the evolution or man… might have been a sign that I needed some decompression time. (yes, I was standing in the bread isle… holding two different loves of bread, lecturing my sis on evolution. I wasn’t loud, I was just passionate about the bread choice that week.)

As far as I’m concerned… as long as kidnappers aren’t involved… I’m doing great. I have to realize that just because I can recognize the huge brush strokes… I’m still learning the fine tuning.


#6

Haha, this is definitely something my husband would do, actually I think he already did lecture me about the types of grains vs evolution several times. He is not mentally ill, of all I know, just passionate. I don’t think being passionate about a subject is a symptom, on the contrary, I was reading the book you reccomended me on social skills and the authors seem to think that SZ’s are unable to find relevant information to make up a topic of conversation because they do not read the news or have a limited array of information they are interested in.

Again: I don’t think this is a symptom, as well as I don’t normally think my husband is mentally ill. It can be annoying yes, but it might just be a trait of your personality, getting excited about very dense subjects and tending to lecture people about them.

If there was an illness associated with that I would call it Da Vinci syndrome, for obvious reasons (encyclopedic interests in knowledge). But happily there isn’t and people like that can be around and talk about the origins of current day processors and grains and evolution and medicine and cooking and…whatever rises their interest more at the time, thus making our lives richer. :smile:


#7

That would have been epic to experience, actually. :smiley:

Question: Do you maintain a blog or Web site where you publish your writing? If you don’t, you should. Your writing is superlative.

10-96


#8

I think insight is a tricky one,especially if ‘lack of insight’ is short hand for not getting on with/disagreeing with the pdoc . That is quantifiabIy different from totally not seeing you have a problem. I have been described at various times ,according to my notes(up to 2007), as having both good and poor insight.
Last mention was about poor insight into my then schizoaffective only for them to change the dx a few years later. That begs the question of how you can have poor insight into something they later decide you don’t have?!!


#9

Insight is included in my education. Im in school studying psychology, so I kill two birds with one stone when I go to class, read, take exams. I had piss poor insight when I was 19. It was debilitating to be unaware of my illness and to be functioning despite that- it was unimaginable hell, it traumatized me, it made me an alcoholic chain smoker. But I recovered.

Just remind yourself that you are experiencing symptoms of an illness when they happen. Remember that there are 1.5 million schizophrenics in the US.

Ive heard of people getting used to visual hallucinations. Im sure you can gain insight by reading Elyn Saks’ memoir, it gave me lots of insight.


#10

Lol. I needed a good laugh. If you don’t mind.


#11

I laugh at myself a lot more then I used to. Sometimes I look back on a small incident and realize… that was pretty funny. :smile: