Questioning our diagnosis
This seems to be the norm for someone who is
disabled, particularly someone with a mental illness. And particularly a person with Schizophrenia. We have a disease. A
disease that falls into predictable patterns-those which he or she will
share in common with almost every single other person who has the
disease. This is not a matter of chance. Nor is it a matter of
exposure and assimilation. I do not act like a person ill with
schizophrenia because I hang around with similar people and I've learned
or imitated their behavior. No. My behaviors were established long
before I ever met another person with the disease...and it wasn't really
until two years ago when I began to make friends on a forum for people
with the same disease as I --and learned then that there were thousands,
millions of people who struggle with the exact same things as I
do....things which I'd thought were individual to myself. Things which
I'd thought were just my own "oddities" or strange characteristics;
things for which I had no explanation....And they were things for which I
hated and disparaged myself.
'Why can't you manage to hold down a job and just get yourself together?" Why is it so impossible for you to keep your room and home clean for longer than five minutes? Why do you have so much trouble getting into the shower??? Why is it that there are no thoughts in my mind anymore...? That I will find myself staring into space for hours at a time thinking absolutely nothing? That my formerly boundless creativity has taken a walk? That I can't remember anything? Why, why do I lose control of my thoughts and they take off on wild excursions, believing wholeheartedly the strangest things...being convinced of them--and then a couple of days later I can look back and think "That was nuts, What was I thinking to believe that?"
Why is it that I constantly make a fool or a spectacle of myself
because of having these strange beliefs.? Why is I spent so many years,
when I had not a single other ambition but to smoke a cigarette and stare into the space several inches above my cup of coffee? And why why do i have thoughts that I literally can HEAR and why are these thoughts profane, disruptive and domineering? Why do I sometimes actually believe these thoughts? Thinking that these demons that have infiltrated my brain, or that the people who have overtaken my mind and planted these thoughts inside my head, their thoughts, not mine,
have this power over me to affect and influence my behavior? And why
do malls and security guards and policemen send me into terror? And on
and on it goes.
And yet I would completely disagree
with the diagosis of Schizophrenia.. No, this is just a bad
phase,...things will right themselves...and I'll be okay again. After
all, I was "okay" for the years of my daughter's young life. If I can
just exert some self control I 'll once more be able to do what I used
to do. After all I used to be a unit secretary in a local
hospital...That is tons of responsibility...It's a hard job...if I could
do it then, I can do it now. If only those nurses hadnt' turned
against me and corrupted the mind of my boss to think I'd done something
out of line, then I'd still have that job. Right? And schizophrenics
are CRAZY they are never in control of themselves, they speak and
nothing they say makes sense...I've never spoken a nonsensical thing in
my life.........I've never believed anything crazy or out of line.
No . Wrong.
If my friends and family
are to be trusted, there were long periods of time when I muttered to
myself under my breath, and spoke irrelevant CRAZY things... that I was
suspicious and paranoid. That it was my own delusions which had made me
report that nurse and THAT's why they all hated me and I got asked to
leave. That I will never EVER "get myself together " and be back where I
used to be, regain my mentail accuity and the intelligence which seems
to have flown right out the window.
I watched and listened to the people on this forum. Hundreds of them.
All of them --JUST LIKE ME.
Struggling with the same things.
encountering the same prejudices and misunderstanding of family ,
friends, and society that I have faced. The same mockery and hatred.
The same lack of comprehension.
They have all lost themselves and their potential and their former successful lives...just like me . .for the very same reasons.
Can it BE that I really have Schizophrenia?