What’s the saddest part about having schizophrenia, is that while you’re in the midst of your own little reality, which is considered by others as delusional, is the fact that you yourself are totally unaware that you are delusional. There is a term for that called:
For more information, see wikipedia on this term…This is the reason why so many people with scizophrenia are determined not to take their medications. They simply do not feel like anything is wrong with them or their way of thinking…for when you’re in the throes of a psychotic state, everything you feel, think, and believe feels SO real that no matter how hard a friend or doctor may try to tell you that you need medication, you are quite bitter and angry at the possible suggestion that what you believe is false.
So, the first step in getting better is to simply take medication. At first, you are like the “lab rat” in that every person has a different brain chemistry and that what medication works for one, may not work for the other. What I’m so thankful for is the fact that under the circumstances of being criminally insane, my Judge ordered that I have to take medications. So early on, when I refused my medications, the nurse and security guards would simply come, hold me down on a bed, reveal my ass to everyone and give me a shot. Eventually, I accepted the pills.
For example, the very first anti-psychotic I was placed on was haldol. Back in the 1970s, the doctors called this drug a “tranquilizer.” Truth is, that’s exactly what it did to me…it slowed my speech down so much that even though my thoughts were racing ninety miles an hour, I could only speak or communicate in a slow manner. After a while, I started having other side effects, with the primary one being called “tongue thrusting.” I literally would slowly stick my tongue out, repeatedly.
This first medication did absolutely nothing for my delusions or paranoid ideas. Now granted, some people take it and it helps them; however, I am not one of these people. So after about a month, another patient at the hospital, (yes, the workers didn’t seem to notice my odd behaviors) told me I needed to be on a side-effect medication called cogentin.
The next time I approached the psychiatrist and asked for it, she took me off haldol and put me on risperdol. I literally was doing cartwheel three days later out in the yard, for my muscular system was no longer “tranquilized.” I was also put on valporic acid, a mood stabilizer for I had extreme mood swings of laughter one minute to crying the next.
Once I received my “insanity diploma,” I went back to the institution and further adjustments were made. The medications changed through out the years as I had one minor relapse during I want to say my third or fourth year in the institution: I thought my parents were sexually abusing my daughter as they had done me as a child…(They [my parents and doctors] claim it to be a persecutory delusion; however, it feels more like a repressed memory that floated to the surface. Either way, I have learned to live with the knowledge that I may never know the truth in regards to that type of abuse…I have forgiven and moved on).
As a result of my relapse, I refused to talk to my parents for three months and the doctors increased my anti-psychotic medication to the point that I’m now on two different ones, one in the morning and one at night. But enough about all that, my point is, the first step to recovery is finding the right combinations of medications and then learning to accept the fact that no matter how much you hate taking them, they are a necessity for the continuation of sanity.
To conclude: the first step is to find the right medications and to become aware of your illness instead of taking the “denial trip.”