You're right about that, Shanabanana09, one day we will be in a better place. I was in a better place last Monday...
Last Monday I was one of 6 storytellers telling their stories to a standing-room-only crowd in a cafe (with a line outside the cafe as well). It was an incredible experience that I never dreamed of. The audience was really great. Some friends came, which made it more special--They said I got a standing ovation. I was too blinded by the stage lights to tell.View Thread
I'm certain I've been depressed all of my life, but I wasn't diagnosed until I had a psychotic break. It's been a long time now, but I just passed another anniversary--. As usual, there's no joy in it. Some years are harder than others; this is another hard one. It all revolves around the death of a beloved family member. It doesn't help that Sunday I was at a memorial service for someone I knew.
I've been out of hospitals now for...13 years now, but I still actually physically and mentally feel the anniversary every spring.
My friend doesn't really want to leave his apartment, either. Whenever one paranoid scenario in his head is proven false, he already has another one in its place. My friend won't talk about anything over the phone, either. He looks at the walls all day, too. I've encouraged him to take up hobbies, or watch tv--At least he's watching television now, though without the volume on.
The television was a hard thing for me to watch when I was not feeling well myself.
A case manager should understand that people with mental illnesses have many different problems that recur. I hope the CM has not washed his/her hands of him.
I had a doctor who didn't listen to me when I was trying to avoid hospitalization--After I got out of the hospital, he apologized to me for his inattention. Then he blamed me. (This doctor didn't know about answering machines--He was really old-fashioned and thought he got a wrong number because he didn't hear a woman's voice on the message announcement. In effect, he never returned any of my urgent-but-unanswered calls.
A relative would call me and act out on the phone until I finally said in a calm voice that I couldn't help him; that he needed to see a psychiatrist. I had to say that each time he called until I had to change my phone number. He did get the help he needed when he finally hit rock bottom. I realized that there wasn't anything I could have done for him. He had to do for himself.
I don't know if PROS is all over the country. It stands for Personal Recovery Oriented Services.
If he's in a day treatment program and actively participating, that is very good, because it means he's serious about recovering to whatever extent that might be. If he goes to a day treatment program and just sits in groups, well, that's okay--At least he's getting something out of it and adds structure to his life. It doesn't sound like he's able to work right now, not with blockading himself in the apartment, not wanting to talk on the phone, etc.
It took 10 or 11 years before they finally got the right combination of medication for me. They are still trying to find my friend the right kind of medication.
www.NAMI.org has support groups for people with mental health issues and their families. www.reintegration.com was a good resource for me for awhile. I don't know if it still exists.
It's late and I'm tired, but I want to add that you might feel responsible or guilty about not being able to help him. I hope you won't do that to your self.
Sorry you are suffering so. It doesn't sound as if your medication is working. Are you going for therapy? It sounds like you need something very intense in therapy--a day treatment program, or a PROS program, and maybe even a supported housing or intensive housing.
I can relate to some of the issues you described. (I know of a schizophrenic woman who refuses to use her apartment and bathe herself--In her paranoia, she believes her artwork has been stolen from her in her apartment, which is not true. She therefore lives on the streets for all the seasons, and is quite funky.) I also have a friend with schizophrenia who wants a girlfriend, but won't clean himself up. He's in his mid-forties, he's paranoid and won't leave the house most of the time. His paranoia makes him do things that impede his normal functioning--Therefore, he might have to be put into a supervised living unit with 24-hour watch.
My friend eats or drinks fatty, salty, soda, and starchy food or drinks and has diabetes, high cholesterol, and has a fatty liver. He's got heart trouble. He obsesses about symptoms and his death from symptoms. He says voices tell him of his impending death and they always set a new date when he survives the last one. No matter how many times the voices are wrong, he still chooses to believe them.
Why won't he choose good mental health? He'd rather believe his delusions and hallucinations and paranoia, than his friends, his mental health team, and what is rational.
He avoids his life. It's unfortunate--He won't even do simple things related to his own well being. His teeth are rotting, but he won't go to the dentist and he won't brush and floss his teeth. His clothes are smelling but he'd rather continue to wash his clothes in the tub. Of course his clothes don't get clean. He might occasionally take a bath, but most likely he won't. He smells. He'd rather get mad at anyone who tells him he needs to clean up than to clean up.
He's got all sorts of elaborate paranoid conspiracies going on is his head that keep him a prisoner in his own home. He calls his friends obsessively, 10 or more times a day, if they allow it. He writes his friends dozens of letters in a very short amount of time, demanding that they read them immediately. He listens to the voices in his head that always lie to him. This keeps him in the mental health system, which is where he should be right now, because he is almost no longer able to take care of himself.
I'm beginning to think my friend is self-absorbed in a way, because he is always the topic with the paranoia. He's going to lose everything he has, and will probably never have the things he wants because he's unwilling to relinquish the paranoia, no matter how ridiculous it is, no matter how it isolates him from his own life. I think he's chosen the paranoia over having a girlfriend.
His psychiatrist thinks he should be in a state psychiatric hospital, and his caseworker thinks he should be in a round the clock residence.
The thing is suspending belief in things that haven't worked for us and that don't work for us (paranoia), and believing instead in those who can help us. For me, that's my mental health team and support network.
A Beautiful Mind is a good movie that gives an example of how a man with schizophrenia learned to understand and deal with his disorder. Have you seen it?
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