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Tiger
01-29-2016, 11:40 PM
Hello everyone!

So this is something I wanted to do for a while, but never had the courage to do so until yesterday and today. Yesterday I made a blog/online diary about my life living with schizophrenia. You can find the blog here: http://schizotiger.tumblr.com/

I wanted to start talking to people to find out how I could help them understand and accept this disorder more. My Facebook friends have been very supportive, but haven't come forward with any questions yet, nor has anyone on Tumblr. I want this to be an interactive and educational blog; one that caters to both my needs as a writer and society's needs as consumers of information.

So feel free to either a) ask me a question here on the forums or b) ask me anonymously through Tumblr. The forums will get you a quicker answer since I'm very new to Tumblr and the world of blogging, but either way, I will answer as promptly, honestly, and thoroughly as I can. Any question is fair game, I just ask that all questions fit within forum rules and no questions that are above PG-13 in nature.

If you want to know about particular symptoms, when it starts, how it's treated, how to deal with symptoms, etc. I'm more than willing to share that information with you guys. So, ask away!

Thanks for reading!

Noxid
01-30-2016, 12:45 AM
how often does it happen that you get some kind of manifestation of the symptoms?

Tiger
01-30-2016, 06:16 AM
how often does it happen that you get some kind of manifestation of the symptoms?

Pretty much daily. What differs by day is the severity of the symptoms. Some days I might have slight hallucinations that don't really bother me, some days I might hallucinate so bed I lay in bed for hours trying different ways to get a grip on reality. The same goes with delusions; some days I may have an unrealistic thought or two but easily dismiss them, other days I have many delusions that I obsess over as real facts. The entry in my blog titled "A Simple Task? Nope." goes through how delusions spring up in my day-to-day life. But almost every day since this disorder started developing (a little over a year and a half ago) I've experienced some sort of symptom.

CoffeeCat
01-31-2016, 10:14 AM
How did you first come to understand that your symptoms were the product of a mental illness, and not an accurate perception of reality? Were you ever in denial about it?

Tiger
01-31-2016, 10:33 AM
How did you first come to understand that your symptoms were the product of a mental illness, and not an accurate perception of reality? Were you ever in denial about it?

To be honest, even after a year and a half of going through this, I still sometimes don't recognize I'm having symptoms and perceive them as the real deal. My psychiatrist, therapist, and boyfriend have been the main three people that taught me how to realize when I am hallucinating or delusional. And I was very much in denial about it when I was first diagnosed in October of 2014. I desperately wanted what I thought was real to be right, and often found myself thinking "I'm right, I know the demons are real, everyone else is just wrong." I still think like that occasionally but not nearly as much as I used to. When I'm questioning whether or not what I'm thinking, hearing, or seeing is real, I talk to someone (usually my boyfriend, sometimes my mom or my boyfriend's sister) and try and figure out what's really going on. I've gotten a lot better at dealing with hallucinations and delusions, but they do still get to me at times.

Wolf-Bone
01-31-2016, 10:23 PM
What constitutes a delusion as opposed to just really grandiose, powerful ideas? And for a schizophrenic, do delusions change over time, or does one tend to be stuck with the delusions they start out with?

Tiger
01-31-2016, 11:17 PM
What constitutes a delusion as opposed to just really grandiose, powerful ideas? And for a schizophrenic, do delusions change over time, or does one tend to be stuck with the delusions they start out with?

Good questions! So a delusion is a false belief in reality, something absolutely not real. A few examples of delusions I've had, for example, are:1) believing that because there were two white cars next to each other on a road I was driving on, that they must be working for the government and were tracking me and wanted me dead 2) that my classmate sitting next to me was controlling my mind and body and using me as a way of saying her answers to the class 3) a specific type of delusion, called a Capgras delusion. In my Capgras delusion, I woke up next to my boyfriend and thought someone had replaced him with an identical clone. So I quizzed him to make sure he was the real Matt. A grandiose, powerful idea might be something like "I'm going to start a company and become a millionaire by the time I retire!" It's a kind of outlandish idea, and not gonna happen for most people, but not entirely a false belief.

As for the changing over time thing, that can be true. I know some schizophrenics who have a certain set of delusions and that has stuck with the for years, or other people, like me, can have constantly changing delusions based on the environment and circumstanes around them. I have some delusions that have stuck around longer than others, but mine do have a tendency to change quickly based on where I am, what I'm doing, who/what is around me, and so on.

Skylar_Husky
02-01-2016, 11:58 PM
I have a silly question. My situation and yours differ greatly. I suffer terribly from allergy induced migraines. Some migraines bring with them visual hallucinations, auditory hallucinations (I sometimes hear weird things) and I can have incredibly confusing thoughts.
My question for you is multi-pronged.
Do you (A) Suffer from another affliction which can exacerbate your current symptoms with Schizophrenia?
Do you (B) Suffer from auditory hallucinations as well as visual hallucinations?
Do you (C) ever have confusing thoughts as result of Schizophrenia or other affliction you may or may not suffer?

I hope my question wasn't too silly.

Tiger
02-02-2016, 06:05 AM
I have a silly question. My situation and yours differ greatly. I suffer terribly from allergy induced migraines. Some migraines bring with them visual hallucinations, auditory hallucinations (I sometimes hear weird things) and I can have incredibly confusing thoughts.
My question for you is multi-pronged.
Do you (A) Suffer from another affliction which can exacerbate your current symptoms with Schizophrenia?
Do you (B) Suffer from auditory hallucinations as well as visual hallucinations?
Do you (C) ever have confusing thoughts as result of Schizophrenia or other affliction you may or may not suffer?

I hope my question wasn't too silly.

I don't think your question is silly at all! To answer:

a) I also have been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and we are working on figuring out if I have Bi-Polar disorder. The MDD can really mess with the Schizophrenia, more than the GAD does. Depression makes it a lot harder to deal with the symptoms have schizophrenia.
b) Yes, I do, but the visual have always been more severe and frequent, it's been this way since I was a teen.
c) Absolutely. This is a symptom known as "delusions" and I talk a little more about them in my post responding to Wolf-Bone. In addition, sometimes I have thoughts that are just strings of random words or phrases chopped up and put together to make a sentence. This is known as a "word salad".

I hope I answered your question, feel free to ask more if you'd like. :)

BerryBubbleBlast
02-02-2016, 12:22 PM
Not sure if this is the "right" type of question to ask, but have you ever gotten inspiration for anything from your schizophrenia? Apart from writing your blog that is, although I'm not sure that can be classed as inspiration.

Tiger
02-02-2016, 01:21 PM
Not sure if this is the "right" type of question to ask, but have you ever gotten inspiration for anything from your schizophrenia? Apart from writing your blog that is, although I'm not sure that can be classed as inspiration.

Yes, I have several times tried to draw my visual hallucinations but I have difficulty transferring their forms onto a canvas. I've got many unfinished drawings that started as a result of a delusion, hallucination, or difficulty coping with them.

BerryBubbleBlast
02-03-2016, 02:04 AM
How fast can the delusions manifest? Is it like an "on, off switch" where nothing is wrong at one moment just for everything to be wrong the next? Or do they gradually get worse the more you think about them? Is it the same for when they subside, if they ever dissapear completely or if there's always a lingering "what if" thought which you can't completely deny, just in case it actually might be true (for some reason)?

Tiger
02-03-2016, 08:24 AM
How fast can the delusions manifest? Is it like an "on, off switch" where nothing is wrong at one moment just for everything to be wrong the next? Or do they gradually get worse the more you think about them? Is it the same for when they subside, if they ever dissapear completely or if there's always a lingering "what if" thought which you can't completely deny, just in case it actually might be true (for some reason)?

Delusions can be triggered very, very quickly. It just takes one small thing to happen and suddenly the most bizarre thoughts come to mind. In my post here (https://forums.weasyl.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?8382-Ask-Me-Anything-About-Living-with-Schizophrenia&p=97586&viewfull=1#post97586) you can kind of get an idea of how little things make delusions happen. Making eye contact with someone, seeing cars of the same color, and raising my hand in class to speak are three examples. They do gradually get worse the more I think about them, but sometimes I eventually recognize I am delusional and pull myself out of it. Usually when they subside, I don't think about them until they get triggered again. They only really stay in my mind as long as I am in the situation that caused them. If I get myself out of that situation, the delusions usually stop pretty quick.

Ibuuyk
02-14-2016, 11:41 AM
You've mentioned how you cut yourself a few times during particularly severe delusions, but have you ever physically harmed someone other than you? And if not, how do you think you'd react afterwards if you did?

Tiger
02-15-2016, 09:11 AM
You've mentioned how you cut yourself a few times during particularly severe delusions, but have you ever physically harmed someone other than you? And if not, how do you think you'd react afterwards if you did?

I have never harmed anyone else. If I ever did, I'm sure that once I got out of the delusion I'd be massively ashamed and apologetic. It's kind of disturbing, but I don't really hesitate all that much when I'm delusional and think about harming myself. But I've never had a delusion that involves me bringing harm to someone else in order to do something about said delusion.

sushy
02-16-2016, 06:20 AM
Very interesting. It fascinates me.
How does it affect your work? Are you able to have a job with this? Or complete an education?

How does it affect your relationships? I mean the relationships with your boyfriend, parents/family, friends and are you able to make friends easily? (maybe that last one is not very related, I am not sure)

Tiger
02-16-2016, 06:57 AM
Very interesting. It fascinates me.
How does it affect your work? Are you able to have a job with this? Or complete an education?

How does it affect your relationships? I mean the relationships with your boyfriend, parents/family, friends and are you able to make friends easily? (maybe that last one is not very related, I am not sure)

Right now I do not have a job, and am on disability payments. I would like to find a part-time job sometime soon, but I am unsure of how well I will do at this point. School is incredibly difficult, I have not taken an on-campus class at my school for over a year and last semester I dropped both my online classes due to complications from the schizophrenia. I do plan on finishing my bachelor's degree as I only have 21 credit hours left, but that will probably take me at least 3 more years to complete. I probably will not achieve my dream of having a doctorate degree in Art History.

As for relationships:

Boyfriend: he's very, very supportive of me, probably the most supportive person I have in my life right now (though I do have a strong support system in general). He is always very willing to help me when my hallucinations scare me and is always willing to help bring me back to reality when I am delusional. I think if anything, me having this disorder has strengthened our relationship rather than weakened it.

Parents: My parents are divorced, so I'm in a very weird position with them right now. My mom is understanding and supportive, as she has a mental disorder herself (panic disorder). My dad...does not understand it at all and I'll give him credit, this time he's really trying, but for years I've felt he never really wanted to bother getting an idea of what I go through.

Sisters: Neither of them acknowledge I have this disorder and both refuse to talk to me about it.

Friends: My friends all care very much, and have been there for me through the tough times. My two best friends are both psychology majors so they know a fair bit about how this disorder works and such. I have not lost any friends since this disorder developed.

As for making friends, it's not -terribly- difficult, but it's not something I'm very keen on. I took a neuropsych exam in 2014 to see where my strongest and weakest skills are, and I scored "superior" on every verbal communication test, which means that unlike many people with schizophrenia, I can hold a conversation usually quite easily and am better at making myself appear more stable on the outside than I actually am on the inside.

wakor
02-16-2016, 03:08 PM
Hello! I think it's really cool you're doing this. A lot of people are afraid to ask questions (you don't know who is and isn't comfortable answering them), and a lot of online resources give a very clinical description that doesn't really help anyone understand.

My question: Do you have any grounding techniques that help break you out of delusions or hallucinations? And have you ever interacted with a hallucination, knowing that it's not real, to see what would happen?

Tiger
02-17-2016, 12:27 AM
Hello! I think it's really cool you're doing this. A lot of people are afraid to ask questions (you don't know who is and isn't comfortable answering them), and a lot of online resources give a very clinical description that doesn't really help anyone understand.

My question: Do you have any grounding techniques that help break you out of delusions or hallucinations? And have you ever interacted with a hallucination, knowing that it's not real, to see what would happen?

Thank you, I'm glad you're enjoying it so far!

And yes, I have three techniques that I use for both delusions and hallucinations: 1) Sense activation. If I'm visually hallucinating, I'll close my eyes and listen to my favorite band. If I'm having auditory hallucinations, I'll take a warm shower (not too hot, because the answer is not to cause pain, just stimulate the senses enough to be relaxed). The point is to avoid paying attention to hallucinations (or delusions) and focus on the senses that are experiencing something real. 2) Factual observations. I stop paying attention to whatever is causing me problems and just focus on what I see, hear, and feel in my surroundings that is real. For example, I see my cat, I can hear him purring, and I can pet his soft fur. 3) Talk to someone who is grounded in reality. I often ask my boyfriend or my mom questions about things that I am experiencing that I'm not sure are real or not.

For more info, see this blog post: http://schizotiger.tumblr.com/post/138921296559/how-to-handle-hallucinations-282016

And I have interacted with hallucinations, but I thought they were 100% real at the time. I've punched them, kicked at them, and talked to them to try and get them to leave me alone. Nowadays I'm much better at knowing when I'm hallucinating, and I'm not even that scared of them anymore. I can just casually point at my visual hallucination and say, "Yeah Matt, I'm pretty sure that demon over there is actually a hallucination." and just shrug my shoulders and not really care.