The way I have to kick Sz to pieces

I’ve been thinking about this nearly all day when I hit the water…

How I see SZ and what I think it is. I know that no one knows exactly what triggers it, where it originates from, how to cure it… So I just have to sort of cope with it the best I can. I know this NOT scientific, but I have to see it as something in little pieces that has stacked up to make big pieces.

I look at my most troubling symptoms as individual things that build.

For me, the most immediate symptoms that knocks me down is the big bad number one for me.

  1. Disorganized Thinking- This is the first and worst that just makes my day hard, defeats me, makes me doubt myself, and I feel is the largest piece of the dragon that I’m trying to fight. It creates my delusions great and small. It makes me try and justify stuff that upon further inspection doesn’t make any sense.

  2. Negative Symptom- This one used to be the number one bad boy and I still cringe when I think of how much this took from me, how many years this sucked out of me. The lack of motivation, the lack of empathy, the lack of speech, the inability to relate or communicate to anyone, the depression… Now that I’ve busted out of my wax build-up, I’ve been working not to let it get me again, so severely.

  3. Anxiety/ Panic- I hate the feeling of my world slipping out from under me and falling into a panic, sometimes for no reason. Panic strengthens my voices and hallucinations.

  4. Cognitive problems- This has killed my memory, my ability to learn things quickly and some of my understanding of situations. I end up in very upsetting situations because I misread the whole thing.

  5. The positive symptoms- These are bad, the manic phases are nice, the hyper energy is nice sometimes with in reason, I don’t mind the few voices I’ve got left, I’m getting used to coping with the hallucinations so this is no where near as terrifying to me as the negative symptoms.

  6. The paranoia- This one I think I’m getting better at knocking down. It usually travels with anger, stress and lack of meds.

So I have to look at this as little sections that can be broken down and kicked little by little.

Which symptoms are your worst? How do you kick them?


depression…i imagine it is a big fluffy bunny and i give it a big snuggly hug…
and then it smacks me in the mouth…and then i give it another snuggly hug…and then it smacks me in the mouth…this goes on for a while…and then i turn into the super hero ’ psychotic sith '.
fun times.
take care


I had all these symptoms…

I think this is what helped me in each:

  1. Disorganized Thinking - I started writing a lot and more importantly editing and re-editing what I wrote. I also cut way down on TV watching since commercials and shows often cut to different scenes way too quickly for my mind to take in. I spent a lot of time in support groups like Recovery and in advocacy groups talking to quite a few people who were in different stages of coping. I had an awesome friend with a great sense of humor who I met through a local volunteer organization that matches up healthy people from the community with mental health consumers.

  2. Negative Symptoms - I became a list maker. I keep both a To Do list and a Done list. I learned to give myself a pat on the back when I accomplished even the most trivial task when I didn’t feel like it. I still have some low functioning days, but they are not as frequent.

  3. Anxiety/Panic - I cut down on sugar and caffeine. I take 0.5mg of Ativan for an occasional panic attack. I am also better at discriminating between a real physical danger and only a remotely possible one. I used to have really bad hypochondria but I made some changes that have given me a little more confidence: quit chain smoking, changed diet, exercise more. Cautious always, fearful seldom.

  4. Cognitive Problems - Making mistakes is pretty normal. I try to question and challenge my assumptions as much as possible and change my beliefs about a situation if the evidence supports another idea. I try a lot less to try to argue for my point of view with others in everyday life. I still sometimes jump to conclusions but I now have a tendency to look before I leap :smile:

  5. Positive Symptoms - Pretty much taken care of by my meds. If my imagination misinterprets something from my senses I try to at least not accept it at face value or be frightened by it. I channel my mania into doing something productive like writing or exercise.

  6. Paranoia - Still get a little paranoia now and then… but it almost seems fashionable these days and I think enhances my ability to be a more cautious driver :slight_smile: I cut down on reading and listening to news. I have learned to love to listen to slow, quiet music on headphones without lyrics. I am somewhat of an agnostic but praying the rosary helps me calm down quite a bit probably mostly because that was the culture and environment I was raised in.

Plus, learning to see some of the ironies in the illness and in daily life is the best thing. I am somewhat of a giggling idiot, but I think laughter has been extremely powerful and healing in my life. ( I now even try to joke about when I had Cotard delusions: when I was in the hospital I was in the common room and I believed they were playing Bingo in hell :slight_smile: )


I love the idea of a DONE list. I have TO DO list, but I didn’t think to make a done list and then maybe look back on that and see what I’ve done that day.

I also try and keep my sense of humor and see the irony of all this. I know there are a lot of people who get really upset when Sz is painted with a pretty brush, but I do try and look at some things in the vein of… “If I didn’t have Sz, I wouldn’t be on this path, and example a and example b wouldn’t have happened.”


I like how you have broken it down. As a whole things can seem pretty daunting but in pieces it can be dealt with on an as needed bases. I don’t think of SZ as one thing but a combination of normal/average things that happen more frequently.

I’m glad you are kicking Sz’s butt piece by piece :clap:


my worst symptom is lack of motivation and irritability and sometimes depression. The voices have practically gone because I’m on good meds, so they don’t bother me anymore. My meds are kicking butt!


My irritability increased when I stopped my medication for about a week. I loved the high I got from feeling in tune with everything, but then I started to get paranoid and it just it’s so painful. I feel like I project too much.

Right now I need extra help because the negative symptoms are getting me down.

1 Like

These are my symptoms - delusions - hallucinations (visual and auditory) - mania - depression - mixed episodes (mixed states) - paranoia - anxiety -agoraphobia - negative symptoms I think that the paranoia/anxiety and negative symptoms are my worst now in my life, this could change later and a different set of symptoms could be an issue for me. Its constantly fluctuating

1 Like

I kick them by focusing on one each day. The one u hate most and is giving you the most problem. I kicked so many issues I lost count but. There always appears to be more issues just as there are different days.

1 Like

Humor innoculates people from a lot of mental problems… I don’t see a lot of people who are decompensating and laughing at the same time ( there may be a few rare exceptions, but I know a lot of my problems are caused by taking things way more seriously than they need to be)

1 Like

I suggest finding the life that works for you and finding out what your brain and body needs. I get a little out of it, testy and not right but not psychotic when I dont lift for more than three or four days. I hit the gym today because it was all I could think about. Now I feel much much better, ready to tackle finals and finish what I have been doing so well in since January. I also talked with a friend yesterday and today, I talked with my parents while having a relapse yesterday.

Meds are my pet peeve. Meds meds meds. Tell the doctor if they do or dont work, we are their real work, the people who check in for more ADHD meds or antidepressants hardly require an education to treat, but I can see my docs education when he talks to me. He knows exactly what he is doing to my brain. Its impressive.

Caffeine and nicotine also play a large role in our mental health. Too much or too little can be bad. It’s basically a given that a schizophrenia is addicted to caffeine and nicotine from my studies, i’ve given a presentation on our caffeine habits and it’s effect on our meds- basically, if you are well-medicated and not psychotic, coffee is like water. I myself had 260mg of caffeine before lifting weights and now I feel calm and relaxed, like someone gave me a little drop of heroin or something. I think im super addicted to lifting weights.

But anyways, I tell myself that I am stronger than schizophrenia, I hold on to good memories, to mantras, “what doesnt kill me only makes me stronger”, for example, I listen to music that makes me feel determined to endure my illness, sometimes its Slipknot, screaming bloody murder and singing about insanity, sometimes its very not slipknot, friggin Paramore, singing about having a crush or something, sometimes its some alternative stuff that is just pleasant and upbeat, sometimes its some grunge, just going with the flow, thats the vibe Nirvana and Soundgarden give to me. Japanese rock is on my ipod.

heres a good song that I listened to alot when I was getting my life back together, I found it in the ending credits to a movie about a reformed wandering samurai who used to be an assassin (im weird :stuck_out_tongue: )

its good to be productive and also to NOT be productive at the right times. We have a serious disability, my parents know that being a full time student and making nearly perfect grades while keeping my full ride to school is enough, they dont tell me to get a job. I take time off, on the weekends I set aside time to just not give a ■■■■, which is good for me, otherwise I give 20 shits then cut off a butt cheek and try to give it too. LOL

Last semester I gave a lot of shits. This semester I also gave a lot of shits. I signed up for two back to back summer classes with labs. I was told by my shrink not to try to get a 4.0, that it will damage me and its not worth losing my mind over. He also said that a 4.0 is suspicious to grad schools, that it usually means that the kid has no life and has very poor social skills and/or doesnt do anything extracurricular (I am going to compete in powerlifting and get a rank this fall)

Mortimermouse-- Do you do anything special with your diet? I was intrigued by the story that Jack Lalanne flipped out as an adolescent and nearly burned his parent’s house down and then he found out about changing his diet. Up until about a year ago my diet was pretty awful: hardly any vegetables, way too much sugar and sodium. I think I was harming my liver and kidneys with too much protein too.

I eat a very high protein diet. I dont do anything else very remarkable, I do get a lot of vitamins from my weightlifting supplements though.


I have gotten used to having symptoms of SZ. They’re all there. Best not to spend all your energy fighting with them. Accept them. You are going to have to live with them. Let the drugs do their work. Trust your basic function. In Recovery we learn to take the danger out of our symptoms. Trust your basic function. Enjoy life.There’s a lot more to it than SZ!

1 Like

I learned quite a bit by going to Recovery meetings and reading the books… One of the things my wife and I did after we stopped going to meetings was type out 4-step examples every week about some problem we each had. Her therapist would take a look at it and it would be a really good talking point every week. Getting trivialities under control really helps me to relax and improve my sz symptoms… as they say you can’t be relaxed and tense at the same time :slight_smile: It’s nice to see that Recovery (aka Low Self Help Systems) has online forums now too.

The only thing I didn’t like about Recovery meetings was that a lot meetings were dominated by people who felt they had to give an example every single week and didn’t give newcomers much a chance to try the method out for themselves. There were also some struggling leaders that were always late for meetings or didn’t even show up at all. The most disciplined leaders were great though.

I thought Dale Carnegie’s books were good also… I’ve worked out a lot of worries on paper using his method.

I’ve noticed with some self-help books you really have to read them over-and-over again to absorb and consider the material. Some of Dr. Low’s writing was harder to understand than my college Physics books!

The symptoms of Paranoid Schizophrenia that bother me the most.
(Please forgive the lack of technical terms for these things as I am not very educated in matters of Sz, I just live with it)

Complete loss of reality(episode): These are delusions or hallucinations that started out mild but I was not able to let them go… like a tiny snow ball at the top of a hill that starts to fall and grow as it travels… These end up in me loosing grasp on reality for some period of time.

Hallucinations(bad): These are the hallucinations that I have a hard time convincing myself are not there.

Paranoia: Constant fear and distrust of those around me.

Social Anxiety: Panic attacks and extreme anxiety when around large groups of people, or men, or when I am touched.

Constantly on edge: I survey every room I enter for escape routes, defensive positions, weapons that could be used against me. I judge the people in the room on their emotional states and calculate the likelehood that they are carrying weapons, I mentally mark the ones I feel are a threat based on size, demeanor, dress, gender, age and level of concealment. I listen to everything and try to watch everything.

Lack of sex drive: Enough said.

Friends that others can’t see: Frank and Sarah, I like them but I don’t like having to keep them a secret.

The Glimpses: Flashes of my death or serious injury as the effect of a decision I could choose to make. These are sometimes not about my decisions and rather strangers who I sometimes see as if they are something else… like monsters disguised as people that only I can see… sometimes I will feel people who pass me are the monsters and i will feel them reach out and grab my throat or stab me or whatever, the things they do and places they touch me are cold after.

Gang Beatings: Voices or Visual hallucinations will surround me and yell or put me down and tell me things I don’t want to hear. Sometimes wake up in the middle of the night to them molesting me. Or sometimes they touch me inappropriately in public. I assume the two latter instances are some result of the trauma I faced as a kid.

Voices that Comment and Convince: The voices that pick up on certain parts of a conversation then try to tell me things I shouldn’t know about the person I am talking to… For example I am having a conversation with a friend face to face and this friend says something like “I am not feeling mexican food today, lets have burgers” they voices will start in on telling me things about why he doesn’t like mexican and how it has something to do with me or drawing some conclusions that are crazy but they keep going at it until I start to question if they may be right.

These are the symptoms that have been the worst for me.

That sounds tough hun. I have had a lot of those different symptoms at different times. I’m on respiradol at the moment and I do feel much better on it.