Friday, August 01, 2014

Valuable Insight From Someone With Schizophrenia

After my post yesterday about wishing I could understand Thomas' moods, page member Heather C. left this message to me and to all of you. It helped me immensely and I thought it might help you too.
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I cant speak for Thomas about how he feels but I often get exactly the way you describe Thomas and for me it is usually the illness that causes this anger and not wanting to talk and it is almost impossible to put into words what is causing it. we often don't know. it is just one of the things schizophrenia does to us. When i give the curt one word answers it is almost always because that is the best i can do at the time. There are times when I am just absolutely incapable of having a conversation with anyone. It is physically and mentally impossible. The anxiety is so high when that happens so when people ask me a bunch of questions or how i am feeling it is just overwhelming and anxiety provoking. There have been times when I think if even one more person says anything to me i will just implode.

I know in my heart that when people constantly ask me how I am and what is going on that it is because they love me and care and are frightened but I just cannot talk sometimes. It is not personal. it is purely a schizo thing. we dont handle sensory input well and there are times when we are just completely overloaded and even a simple conversation for me can be harder than the most herculean task. when i am like that i dont always understand what people are saying to me and often everyday, normal stuff that other people talk about, though it is important to them, just seems so trivial and unimportant compared to the constant turmoil going on inside me. For me to talk when i am so overloaded and anxious and really unable to do so, depletes every last shred of reserve I have in me. It is very stressful to be like this and have people constantly analyzing me and asking me how I feel. Like I said I dont know why and it is often impossible and draining to come up with answers for people.

Going out into the world for work or shopping or whatever is also completely draining. We have the turmoil going on inside and from all the stimulus we are receiving plus we have the added pressure of trying to appear normal in public and for those around us. sometimes after being out for even just a few hours I need downtime by myself with no one talking to me or demanding anything of me. I have to build those reserves up again.

As I said I am only speaking for why I get like that sometimes. It may be something completely different with Thomas. I hesitated to write this because I know you do so much for Thomas and are so great with him and my parents are the same. I only wrote because I can tell you are scared and not knowing what is going on and it is possible thomas is going through the same thing I go through, and maybe this will give you or someone else some answers. I just hate to see people get so worried. I also want you to know it is never anything personal it is just that some days or weeks living with this illness just takes every ounce of strength and will we have just to get through and there just isnt anything left over and we are not capable of more than grunting out one word answers. It doesnt mean we are any sicker just that we have hit the wall in coping that day or few days.

I hope this helps and didnt offend anyone who is a caregiver. Also if you are a caregiver or parent please know that we know and appreciate how much you all do for us and we know we couldnt live without you. I feel guilty when i feel like that and cant talk but I am just simply not able to at times. I often think it must be harder to be the parent or caregiver than the person with the illness.

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