Monday, January 05, 2015

Switching Gears

 Follow Me--@UnderstandingSZ
I wanted to begin today by talking about something some of you may have noticed. I have begun to follow my Twitter account more and I have got to say that there is a WEALTH of information out there about schizophrenia and mental health that I think is relevant to this page/blog.
I really can't see all of the things that I do and not pass them on to you. I, personally, have learned so much in the past two days and my horizons have broadened quite a bit. My goal with all of my newfound knowledge, thanks to Twitter, is to pass that on to you (via my Facebook page) throughout the week so there will now be more articles for you all to look through. As it stands, I have about 3 articles a day set up to post for you for the next 2 weeks and I imagine it'll go on like that into perpetuity. My question to you is this:

What do you think about having this new influx of articles presented to you here?

I have tried very hard to be thoughtful about what I pick to post so that they are pertinent to my goal here on Understanding Schizophrenia. I'd like to hear from you about what you think. I will also ask you to please 'like', share, and even comment on the articles because doing so releases the articles to more of my blog members. I have said this before but I'll say it again, Facebook not-so-kindly only initially releases my posts to 10% of my followers, that's only 534 of you out of my 5,340 followers. Then Facebook sees that what I am doing is popular to my followers when people start to 'like' and share and they will release more things to more people. It's an annoying game that they play and it's even more annoying to me because this page is for education, not fluff, and what I post needs to be seen by as many people as possible. So, please, if you could, 'like' and share as much as you can and commenting helps too though I know a lot of you don't like to comment because you want to keep your anonymity.

Outside of that I wanted to do what I always do and that's fill you in on what's going on with Thomas and I. Something has changed in the past couple of days for Thomas and as usual I don't know what turned things around to the place he is at now.

Once again he has been asking for more hugs, A LOT more. I ask him every time if he is okay because he just looks so beaten down and he tells me he's fine but he doesn't look it. I actually thought, for the few days prior to this switch, that his anti-depressant might have caused a low grade mania in him. The chances of him being bipolar are higher because bipolar runs rampant in my family and I also have it. Anti-depressants can take a depressed bipolar person and flip the mania switch on and begin to cause problems. It's pretty much a given that if you are truly bipolar then anti-depressants are your enemy. A clear example of this is that I am taking Wellbutrin right now and since a few weeks after I started it I have been rapid cycling between depression, mixed episodes of mania (agitation etc. for me) and depression and then full on mania which never manifests in a truly "happy-go-lucky" kind of mania. The truth of the matter is, I shouldn't be on it at all but my psychiatrist isn't convincing me to stop it because I seem to have gotten it into my head that I need it to function during the day. "Functioning", though, is a mixed bag. I'm awake, which is why I take it, but I am dearly paying the price for that wakefulness. Right now, though, my being awake is more important to me than getting rid of the cycling I'm doing. It's probably a poor choice on my part but it's one I'm sticking to for the time being.

So, the point of all of that explanation is to show you that Thomas is at risk for that. Back when he was first showing signs of schizophrenia, Dr. K. thought he was developing bipolar instead of schizophrenia so that's always in the back of my head.

At any rate, that (low grade mania) is not what I am now seeing in Thomas. I see a subdued kid who is isolating himself again, who still doesn't shower more than every 4 days and whose interests seem to have fallen off. He's still playing his video games but when I look in on him he turns to look at me and he looks so tired and beaten down. I know I should be used to the changes in him by now but I'm still caught off guard when things do change because I tend to latch onto each change as gospel, meaning that once he changes to a mood state etc. I think to myself that it will ALWAYS be this way. Then, BAM!, he's a different kid again. That's probably a quality of mine I should work on but it's so automatic for me that I don't think to see it any other way than I do in the moment.

So, right now, it appears that it's a time for switching gears. Between my new endeavor to share more information with you gleaned from Twitter and Thomas's changed demeanor, things look very different around here. Hopefully the Twitter stuff will be appreciated and as for Thomas, as always, I have hope that things will change back to that lit up young man that I'm already missing.

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