Following Up: Schizophrenia

Restored Post from July 27, 2011

As I have been quite busy putting together my Complete Porcelain Utopia Series, as one novel, in itself, and even planning to post might-I–call-it, the rough draft of the final draft for the public to read as a PDF prior to it’s actual publication, and once I can get an editor on it to really clean up the odds and ends, I’m looking forward to putting this project to rest, at last.

My memoirs will be the more commercial and readily accessible novel. That will likely take a year or so. We’ll just see how everything goes.

While enjoying these recent days and evenings of work and meditation, reading and listening to audio, I felt inclined to share more about where I left off on the last Real Me episode. I was kind of cut off by the hail storm under which I had recorded the Getting Out episode, but I had brought up the topic of seeing yourself through others, and how wonderful that can be. Helpful, fun, interesting and otherwise an unavailable way of looking into your own mirror.

Through my wife, mostly, I love hearing her unbiased, non—judgmental view of different aspects of myself, and it’s wonderful, especially since she and I are both writers.

Not much to add to this except to emphasize how important I believe it is for those of you with severe mental illness to be able to and be allowed to sometimes bring someone who knows you, in a different way than you might know yourself, or specifically any difficulties or issues that your doctor might not be able to hear from you, yourself, into some appointments. As schizophrenics, we often have a feature of the illness called Lack of Insight. I encourage and recommend that you do all that you can to give your doctor the most information, from medical records, to journals, to different perspectives, as you are able to.

The consumer is treated better, and gets the help that she or he needs.

One other idea I wanted to bring up, and I don’t really need expand on this all that much, I think, but just to mention that sometimes, when perhaps caught off guard with stress, essentially, I wanted to emphasize that it can be extremely difficult to bring yourself out of a really negative space as quickly as possible, and so to feel better, but in order not to induce a relapse of any kind. Besides taking an as-needed pill, perhaps, or calling your doctor or a loved one—sometimes none of these options are available, and so to make a point that I believe in the idea that we all have the “diseased” part of our brain, but we also have the healthy part, and while there are times while under stress, we might have no other option but to “think or way out.”

I know this can be easier said than done, but it is possible, even if one of the thoughts you have to encourage yourself back to feeling better and less stressed is something, perhaps related to a grateful thought, like, “I like the shirt I am wearing.” Anything! For me, it can take a series of thoughts to slowly get my body out of the feeling of angst, hurt, and the like, but even to give yourself 10 minutes—time—that you can rely on to feel even slightly better.

You can do it, so keep trying. You’ll get there. There is hope. Just hope itself works. And that can actually make all the difference.

You’re doing terrifically. Keep it up. You’re all perfect just the way you are. Even Buddhist monks endure tremendous suffering, all the time. There’s no cure for schizophrenia but there are treatment options. So be sure to stay on your medication, especially if you are diagnosed with schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder, and especially if you are feeling well. The medicine could very well be a lot of the reason why you are feeling better.

Thank you so much for being an integral part of my experience.

Jonathan Harnisch

About Jonathan Harnisch

Author | Mental Health Advocate | Schizophrenia | Artist | Blogger | Podcast Host | Patent Holder | Hedge Fund Manager | Film & TV Producer | Musician
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