1.TELEVISION: Watching too much TELEVISION is a PITFALL. Watching too much crime, horror, sci-fi, news, drama, .. shows may worsen paranoid symptoms for paranoid schizophrenics. When my mind is paranoid, the television always stops me from recovering. These experiences are common in schizophrenia, and have yet to be fully explained. Our personalities may have a problem when we watch TV too often. I have learned when to SWITCH OFF so that the issues on TV programmes do not affect my mood significantly. TV can sometimes contain paranoid idea’s that can impact on our lives compounding our paranoia, through a type of hypnosis.
2.FALSE BELIEFS: Relying on instinct (subconsciousness) and being too aware of REALITY is a pitfall. For example I believed in the power of thought too much, and believed that the future could change with my thoughts alone, even though I may not have been wrong (spiritually). I went too far with this belief and started to believe in many obscure things, and false religions or beliefs such as numerology.
Now I write a number of my false beliefs down, so that when my mind appears to be healthier, the correct belief can be stored into my long-term memory, and is not hidden by my subconscious mind. Create a false perception diary and make notes as to why that belief is true, or why it is now proven to be false. This works well with pitfall number 1. Many instincts and beliefs are wrong especially when we see the mistakes made by misunderstanding the opposite sex, older generations, younger generation, politicians, and religious misinterpretation. These issues have basic levels of thought, and very high levels of thinking. It’s very difficult to attain high levels when we are unwell. These are high-level practices, but simply being aware of these pitfalls is a great start. Time changes and so should practices and beliefs through science.
3.HOME: The following pitfall is about not having our own home (space) or proper place to stay. If the home, or hospital where a person lives is a negative or depressing experience, that person must change the place to become a more positive home, or find somewhere else to stay. When I started to recover I found a place of my own, away from people in my own ‘castle’. This may seem impossible at first, because we all get ill sometimes, and we need to stay in places where we don’t wish to live (hospital, social housing, foster home, family home), or maybe we live in poverty, and it’s hard to move. However these changes may also be sentimental like having great posters, or flowers, or learning a new way to make the best of where we live. A simple change like where we live is sometimes essential in the recovery period, and if we are ready to move out.
4.MEDIA: Relying too much on the media. This is a similar to my experience with pitfall number 1. It can be a mind trap for many people even people who have never even heard of paranoid schizophrenia. In my experience we must realise that information itself is a DANGER sometimes.
Many generations have believed, on mass many prejudiced and biased views, only to not believe them to be true in the future such as the injustice of blacks, and the reasons for the inequality against women. This blog in itself may contain many errors but I am not meaning to mislead anybody. All IMPORTANT INFORMATION should be cross referenced. The Bible even states that having faith, does not mean we should not doubt the existence of God. One beautiful prayer sums this up by asking “Lord I do believe, please help my unbelief”.
5.EXERCISE: Not doing enough EXERCISE is another of my major pitfalls. There are many exercise machines for people who cannot get out of the house nowadays,like leg exerciser’s, using computer consoles such as the ‘Wii’, ‘Xbox Kinect’ which are very useful for people who cannot leave the house. It goes without saying that if we do not eat properly, and we do not exercise then will stand a good chance of being less healthy than if we did. There’s no need to join an expensive gym, there is leg, and arm exerciser’s on Amazon, and Google, which are very cheap and do the job.
I know first hand, how much exercise is needed as I have sport and physical education degree with honours (BSc) from University of Bedford and it has helped me dramatically in my recovery. We need to eat fruit, and vegetables, and the body makes use of what we put into our bodies. Simple Exercise machines are very good for me as I become paranoid at gyms, and public leisure centres. I got a leg and chest exerciser from Amazon for less than £16. Green area’s such as parks and gardens are to me amazing at helping me recover.
The pitfalls of schizophrenia, either due to abuse or an inaccurate diagnosis, can lead to fatal consequences. Professionals who are relied on to explain and decipher these situations need experience and the right education, like a forensic psychology online degree, in order to properly do their job. These jobs are arguably the most important during these difficult times so preparation is absolutely key.
6.ANGER: Becoming too aggressive is a massive pitfall for schizophrenics and the people who are receiving that anger. I am obviously a male paranoid schizophrenic, and I know my aggression is usually a defense to real and sometimes false threats. However when a schizophrenic gets angry people usually behave very badly to that perception of malice, and intent. It’s not true that people with schizophrenia are angry or bitter. They have brain damage or cognitive deficits in the frontal lobes of the brains. They are individuals and most stories involving angry schizophrenics are rare, and more often than not is a case of poor treatment from a mental institute, or misuse of recreational drugs. Anger not aggression is a healthy and normal emotion, and is necessary for coping with life. It’s sometimes the case that when we keep it bottled up that problems can occur. Anger is used here as emotiOnal anger and the aggression I suffer from is an emotion.
SCHIZOPHRENIAPOETRY.com is dedicated to releasing tension and using poetry and creative words to cope with the stress of life, and to encourage others to do the same spreading love.
7.TEAMWORK: Relying on yourself and not asking for help in order to solve life’s problems can be a problem. ASK FOR HELP! Do not be too proud or afraid to tell the right people. Most people need help, from their families. Read books, ask friends for advice. Do not rely solely simply on religion or the ‘magic ether’ from the ‘universe’. We humans are in my opinion essentially weak. We are gregarious people who like other people’s company. This has many advantages such as team work. Admit it, we all need help, so ask somebody who knows how to help you for advice. When we realise this we become stronger not more dependent on others. A paranoid mindset does not like to make friends, or share ideas because it has been laughed at or ridiculed. So we must trust the right people.
However when we are around negative people we can sometimes be too guarded. At college my philosophy drastically changed when I learned to ask for help. Instead of trying to be a genius I discovered that most most of us rely on others, need constant help and reassurance and many ‘maths teachers’ for example don’t know how to add up, or even subtract properly, and this is not necessarily a reflection on their intelligence. This is how humans communicate
8.STIGMA: Letting people think we are lazy is major pitfall. Schizophrenia is an illness with different types, and each person is different with overlapping symptoms of mental illness. I have paranoid schizophrenia but also have symptoms of disorganised schizophrenia. Still my original diagnosis has not been changed. But some people confuse disorganisation and sleeping too much as laziness, and folly. Even Dr’s and parents and friends, can make these false assumptions.I don’t know if this has been said before but in my own words,” I realise there are many good Dr’s in life, however I am constantly being affected by all the bad ones”. HOWEVER we must accept that we are human, and sometimes being encouraged to be more organised, and less messy is not a bad thing. It’s simply that some people have prejudiced schizophrenia and are not willing to change their minds, or have been affected by out-dated research and bad Hollywood movies or the media.
9.GROOMING: Poor hygiene is a pitfall. As we recover we should try to presentable. If we want to have self-pride, or we want other people to be our friends, attract the opposite sex, and even receive respect from family members. We need a grooming regime. This may only include a shower/bath or to brush our teeth and wash our hair. When in hospital this was impossible for me because I was too confused, and my medication had not been prescribed. Not looking after our appearance and hygiene is a pitfall, and when we ‘get better’ we need to take care of it, or people will be put off, even when they are friends or partners. On the hand forgive yourself if you cannot cope because you are psychotic. You require exoert medical assistance instead.
10.SLEEP:Sleeping Why is skeep a dangerous pitfall? Too much sleep leads to weight gain. Also when our medication is low and we are not sedated sleeping too much can deprive the body of fresh air, vitamin d, and make us irritable and moody. However it does depends on how old the person is, because some age groups like young teenagers may need more sleep than others! I have found that at 31, my body needs about seven hours of sleep a night. I do not tend to be awake in the morning, so I get up at around 11 am-12 pm. It may sound lazy, but it isn’t. My meds. make me sedated, and that’s all it is. Still I am much healthier when I do not sleep too much. I realise that depression means, we may spend much more time in bed during the day than other people, but I no longer suffer from depression. This may be because I am older and more able to change my mood, and have been on the right medication for over nine years. A simple SAD light box from Amazon will help with the symptoms of depression. I use a £50 light box for SAD and I recommend it to everybody who has schizophrenia or depression.
These pitfalls are my own hazards, and may or may not apply to other schizophrenic’s. Thus if these do not apply, then it can be said that the illness is very personal for every person who suffers.
Top 10 Pitfalls: Television, Beliefs, Home, Media, Exercise, Grooming, Teamwork, Stigma, Sleep.