Problem Solving


Since I’ve been having increased hallucinations, voices, and therefore delusions, I wanted to write about problem solving as it relates to schizophrenia.

I often find it easier to look for the processes, systems, methods, or even just outlines for just about anything that involves thinking, especially when it comes to the chaotic nature of schizophrenia.

First, I’ll start with a collection of common problems related to schizophrenia, then some problem solving methods, which I use and find beneficial.

  • Self-esteem issues
  • Few or no friends
  • Drug/Alcohol addiction
  • Being depressed/Suicidal thoughts
  • Insomnia/Mania
  • Not taking prescribed medicine
  • Side effects from medication
  • Violence/Abuse/ Unsupportive Living Arrangement
  • Unemployment/Financial problems/Difficulty with government assistance or social security
  • Disorganized thinking (budgeting, prioritizing, or planning ahead)
  • Not getting tasks or chores done—resulting in arguments
  • Arguments/Disagreements due to symptoms (e.g. paranoid of a loved one)
  • Not finding enjoyment in things once enjoyed
  • Hearing voices/Hallucinations existing for a long or longer than usual time
  • Delusions existing for a long or longer than usual time
  • Stigma

We all might have our own way of dealing with our problems, whether it’s avoiding them, passing them off, as “I just can’t do it,” overconfidence in the style that “Hey I’m in charge here,” to over-talking about the problems thinking as if a miracle will happen and the problems will solve themselves.

Some basic facts I have been learning from day to day, and which I find help me to understand the roots as to what problems really are:

  1. They’re inevitable. They just happen, to everyone. Therefore, I can then take the blame off myself for whatever problem is at the forefront.
  2. I try to consider them not as problems, but more as challenges, in order to not feel threatened at all by them.
  3. Every problem has a solution. At least a way to make them less of a problem and more of an opportunity. This tends to help me with confidence. “I can do it!”
  4. Acceptance that problem solving does take time and effort. Some are easier to resolve than others.

What I find works; I try to stay positive when a problem arises. The less stressed I am, and the more positive-minded and optimistic I am about a problem, looking ahead and not getting caught up in the past helps me deal better with the problem and the people involved.

With other people involved, the bottom line is I do my best to be respectful and take everyone’s opinions into consideration, even if I disagree.

Blaming others simply doesn’t work. “I” statements work best for me, and those involved—taking the emotion out of it.

Gathering as many possible solutions to a problem as possible then narrowing them down, using trial and error, and thinking outside of the box.

Compromising, especially when the problem is a relationship issue. Knowing that I might not get it “my way” 100% in the end. We all have needs and we must do what we can to meet each other’s needs as much as possible. If it’s a problem I’m working on by myself, besides meditation, I try to be flexible with myself, not getting “stuck” in one point of view.

Lastly I will create, whether writing it down or keeping in mind, a plan of action. The key word is “action.” Then if I don’t succeed, at least I tried.

I can then move on to the next problem, and I’m sure I could always think of something I want to make better or improve.


Jonathan Harnisch

Porcelain Utopia
Porcelain Utopia
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