Schizophrenia.com

What recovery means to me


#1

I was called the name “schizophrenic” in 1999 but did not experience florid psychosis until 2002 at the age of 33. I was an active member of this forum until December 2010; around that time I was forced off medication due to loosing my insurance. I was going through an enormous amount of stress during that period and based on some reactions I received from people on this web site I decided to stop coming here. But I am here to tell you now my recovery from psychosis is at an even greater level than when I was involved the first time here.

I currently take a third of the recommended level of the drug I am on with no problems. I have survived yet another divorce and a death of a good friend \ former band mate. I am also making a move across the continent of America from one extreme to the other. I work part time and have a business on the side. On this lower dose of medication I was able to compose music from scratch to finish product for the first time in 15 years. 3 songs in one month. All of these things I have done while on a modicum of medication and with no distressful or disabling psychotic experience. I have had health scares from the medication however.

I learned during my last psychosis that my issues, although they have a biological presentation, are not essentially biological … my problems are of a psychic nature and by that I mean that my problems have to do with my psyche. I have been screened for biological disease of all sort … to no avail. I know now that psychosis can be caused by a myriad of things: from heavy metal poisoning and all sorts of chemical intoxicants, to lab reported biological disease processes – the list is quite long for what can cause psychosis.

My psychosis was caused by abuse and some traumatic experiences that I had and my coping strategies to deal with them.

My home life was rather liberating and loving. My parents believed in me and supported me to a great extent. However, my experience with people outside of my family was horrible, from neighborhood relationships to my experiences at school – most of which were very damaging. I was molested as a preteen which added injury to insult. All though my high school years were relatively normal, after graduation I gravitated toward technical computer related work in competitive environments. I was usually the “go to” guy and on the front line taking abuse from frustrated clients, co-workers, and bosses in an industry that still has yet to really define itself as reliable or really required. The constant upgrades and version changes and short time that things go to market – all of this hostility towards me in the above environments contributed to my psychic crisis.

My first marriage was really bad for me, my wife emotionally and occasionally attempted to physically abuse me through most of it. I found out (in an interesting way 7 months into the marriage) that she had gotten involved with a man from her work a month into our marriage. I loved her deeply and was destroyed. That was the beginning of my downfall.

My coping strategy started out with religion, which involved a lot of guilt for a young man like I was. To deal with my inability to “meet the mark” both with religion, society and women I began to self medicate soon after my my first marriage ended. First it was cigarettes, then it was booze, then it was pot all along with dabbling in pornography to quell my sex drive. I experienced my first taste of psychosis on pot after few experiments and quickly gave it up. By age 30, in 1999 I actively sought after psychological help. Unfortunately, the therapist that I end up with was a distant and “cold as a cucumber” analyst that diagnosed me and referred me to a psychiatrist with the sole intent of putting me on medication for the rest of my life.

When I actually became psychotic 3 years later, I spent some time looking around for help and none was to be found except medical model psychiatrists so I got on drugs. The drugs stopped the psychosis, but also stopped a whole lot else as well, that defined me as an artist and individual. I joined NAMI and became what they call a “consumer” and came here to learn and contribute. I spent 8 years on the maxium dosage of the drug I was prescribed. I do not recall whole sections of my life, no memory of many years of it during that time or prior, but I had no psychosis so I was content.

In 2010 I was forced off my drug too quickly because I lost my insurance; titrated in 6 weeks instead of the recommended 2 years for the level of drug and length of time on it. Because of the upheaval of my brain chemicals I became a full blown alcoholic, porn became a huge fascination and I smoked enough cigarettes to kill a platoon of soldiers. The psychosis came eventually and in exactly the same manner it had developed, in distinct stages with the same themes. It was like I was reliving the last psychotic experience over again. Of course the psychosis came back, because it had never been dealt with, it had been bandaged over with drugs for those 8 years. Something else came back too though, the memories.

I started to recall events in my life. Events that had weight and were pivotal in the development of psychosis. These were not false memories like others report, for the most part they were verified by people that were still in my life or from journals that I had kept through the years. I began to realize that my psychotic experience was not some random misfiring, or uncorrelated disease process. I realized that it was key to everything, it was a a reaction of my psyche to life I had experienced and all the things I was told to believe.

I resolved at that point to encounter both my psyche and life, but on terms I could handle. The psychosis was at that point so great and I had so many responsibilities, I decided to get on medication, but on terms that would ensure that I would not be on it for the rest of my life. I found a county program and entered it and go on medication. I asked for talk therapy and was told “we do not do that for schizophrenics”, I so I created my own therapy with the help of close friends and family. Mostly it was more me doing the work than them, all they did was listen and make reasonable and rational comments, that was the agreement we made. Eventually I enlisted the aid of a real psychologist and the work took a deeper level. Over the course of two years I went from a full dose of a anti-psychotic medication to a third. After this next move with my family, I will be dropping again with the help of my family and a psychologist there.

A pastor that officiated my first wedding said to me and my wife prior to marriage: “slow and deliberate wins the game”. That advice has stuck with me past my rejection of guilt oriented religions. I have hope and I know that if I live long enough and I work on it and get the help I require… I will not be taking drugs and I won’t be experiencing disabling psychosis, because in stages I will have encountered my psyche and resolved each issue along The Way.

I can not tell you what you should do, I have given up that role for the most part. All that I can do is do The Work that is at Hand, relay my experience and hope and offer a Kind Word. It is not easy living, its not meant to be, but it is worth it despite the name calling, bullying and torture on the School Ground.


#2

Good to see you back. I doubt you remember me, but I remember you from the old forums. I remember when you had a psychotic break due to having to be forced off meds too quickly. You’re a good person who has had some really shitty things happen to you. I was just wondering about you yesterday. I hope you stick around this time. Your wit, common sense, and good nature are much appreciated and are an asset to these forums. Welcome aboard sir!


#3

Hi Mister-lister. Good to hear from you and it’s good to hear you’re doing so well. You sound ten times better than you did a year or two ago. It was realy scary for me to watch your downfall on these forums. For selfish reasons and to just objectively watch someone crumble after they were doing so good was quite disheartening. Anyway, you were always a more ‘no-nonsense’ kind of person than me but it’s good to see someone come back like this. Good luck.


#4

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. From your words, I can see your wisdom, strength, and compassion. And I feel hope after reading that.

Please stick around. And keep us updated on how you’re doing.

Blessings,

Anthony


#5

I do remember you from the old forums. If my memory serves me right, you were on Geodon at some point, then you had to stop taking it, and got derailed. I hope you you are doing better. I can sympathize with you on divorce - I went through it


#6

Thank you for coming back and opening up and sharing your experience. You have led a vast life. It’s nice to meet you and I look forward to learning from you and laughing with you.


#7

Thank you all for your warm welcomes. I recognize some of your nick names.

I had to get over a hump in 2010. See when I went through the psychosis after forced off drugs, I had some break throughs in a number of areas that I had to do a lot of research on. I was definitely not getting the help I required since 2002. Essentially my recovery was just drugs and fifteen minute drug assesment meetings with a psychiatrist for almost 8 years. I was fairly high functioning, but I was deluded into thinking that I was recovering and rejected all information about real recovery meant.

See before I left I had been one of the top contributors on this forum. My mission was to get as many people on drugs as possible that had the profile of a “schizophrenic”, because I was working and going to school and I thought that was a miracle in comparison to sitting in my room listening to voices 24\ 7 and trying to figure out the religious delusions I had.

Scientologists attacked this site religiously back then, I don’t know if they still do. They sent troll after troll into disrupt. In addition to those trolls, we had people come in with every single kind of cockamamie idea about how to “cure” chronic psychosis. I virtually assumed that anyone that talked bad about psychiatry was one of those folks.

What I did not realize is that there is typically a reason why people hold extremist positions with religious ferver, some seed of truth may be at the core of it that gets warped into an ideaology or cult like fixation in opposition to the “main stream” way of thinking. I still do not like fervent anti-psychiatry activists, in their zeal to get away from drugs they seem to loose there bearings and not really appreciate the fact many of us are on drugs because we have no access to real help. Even with real help, drugs can be an aid to the resolution if managed properly. In addition I have met some people that would not benefit from anything but drugs. On the other hand the “main stream” is not really taking the majority of us anywhere except the pharmacy.

I spent 8 years getting sicker with a sizable dose of what was essentially a banddaid. On the drug porloined surface I was a high functioning schizophrenic. Underneath the surface of the drug, is psychic wound that is quite terrible. I realized this when I was forced off meds by loosing my insurance. Initially I thought I was indeed recovered, but as time went on, as I described in my initial post, all this damage that was dormant or barely there flared up like a jack-in-the-box in my face.

I spent the last 4 years re-examining and critically thinking not only about my psychosis, but what approach would generally be the safest, sanest, and effective approach. I have spent countless hours in research pouring over videos, articles, books, pod casts, and in emails with the leading figures (those that are still alive) that made even the barest mention of psychosis, psychedelia, or belief systems. I researched both extremes of the arguements and everything in-between. I have digested a lot, a lot of it I threw out, but buried in the minutia of what was left is a stunning reality. The next revolution in psychosis treatment is not going to be a new drug, it is going to be a new form of social\talk therapy that takes from all of the past successes and builds on what works. Already there are components in place around the globe. Lots of people are talking and working in the same direction.


#8

Lister, I’ve seen you when you weren’t doing so well. It is good to see you clear headed and rational again. Stay safe.


#9

Malvok;

You have seen me here and in the chat room “The Village”, you actually have no personal or in person relationship with me. I have found that e-centric relations, whether it is facebook, schizophrenia.com, or The Village are extremely limited in scope and there are a ton of things going on in such virtual environments that prevent any sort of assesment or real judgement of what is “REALLY” going on. It is mostly the limits of media or mediums. Maybe that is why we like them.

From what I know of you, I would definitely like to play one of those fun games we both like, but not online, maybe at a game shop near you or me. I think you have a Character and I have DM screen LOL. Whip out your dice bag and pencils (just be sure they have erasers, you will need them).

Take care brother. I think we really need to meet in the “FLESH”. The dice never roll my way, I have to put a little “English on the Ball” to make it interesting and challenging as a game master. On the level of drugs I am on now, I have imagination it takes, just wait when I am off the drugs completely… thats a date to set for a convention of us table top RPG nerds.

Nice picture by the way, how do you like my icon? does it resemble the star of david in a weird way … lol? I chose the ghetto default symbol that came with signing up.


#10

I once had a pair of d10s that were absolutely amazing. My players hated them. We played Rolemaster most of the time and my dice would roll 90+ much more often than they should have. I lost those dice during some chaotic times. It’s funny but I miss them. They represented a time in my life when I had a lot of fun and some deep friendships.

I picked my avatar because I used to have the same beard, it’s kind of dark, and because it looks somewhat wizardlike. You should get a good one to replace that generic one of yours.


#11

It looks kind of like Jesus.


#12

Double Tablets… back in the day when I first started they didn’t have dice they had these weirdo things called chits… whenever some player wanted do something that required a dice roll they had to grab from the Hat, a chit with fingers of course, because everything requires 10 and at least one at time. Digital says the naked ape. “thou” shall not murder but it is fine for “me”. Don’t do what daddy does, do what he wishes he did instead … mommy just cried out loudly in the other room. I bet you remember your younger siblings creation point. I do, It started with an arguement and ended in making love not war.Interesting way to end Rush for things. Mommy seemed satisfied at some time. Now she lost her memory as well as her mammary. What do you expect? Daddy will come tumbling after jill up this hill, because up the hill we go and it aint pretty, it is all a lesson four.

Buckets of water.

Cool picture though Malvok, makes you look like you are sitting cross legged in some desert, when in realitiy … we both know what that means.