Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Beware the misconceptions, when it comes to mental illness.
If it's one thing that I hope to convey, by keeping this blog, it's to help end the misconceptions people have about mental illness. Of course, I can only do so much, when it comes to educating people about my illness (Paranoid Schizophrenia) and I'm hardly an expert on other mental conditions. I can only share my experiences and allow anyone who cares to read this blog, an opportunity to walk in my shoes, so to speak. Firstly, since I've been diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia, people have treated me a lot different. The difference mostly is unwarranted fear. They think that I'm going to hurt them physically, so they are immediately standoffish. Secondly, people tend to have the idea that Paranoid Schizophrenia means that you have multiply personalities, which isn't the case. People with Schizophrenia tend to withdraw from society. This is true in my case because the thought of being open and honest with someone about my illness, in the past, as always lead to disappoint. The fear of the unknown makes people assume the worse I suppose. For years, I was left with no option but to lie and keep my illness a secret. However, living a lie isn't sustainable, in my opinion and the truth eventually comes out. Currently, I don't have any friends. It's a hard pill to swallow because I yearn for companionship with others. Unfortunately, my illness comes with conditions, like any friendship would. I can't always be there, for a friend. I have bad days that could lead into weeks and sometimes months of depression. Somebody who would want to befriend me would have to understand that although I'm super nice and have a lot of empathy toward others, I'm sometimes ruled by my illness. Currently, I have my illness in check, with medication and occasional therapy, however, circumstances can quickly change my outlook on life. Day to day concerns that most people take on can be debilitating to me. The stress of a bad day can cause my symptoms to materialize. These symptoms are sometimes auditory hallucinations, as well as visual hallucinations. The thought of growing close to someone and worrying about what my illness will bring in the coming days or weeks scares me. It isn't that I'm going to hurt anyone. The fact is, I'll withdraw and become extremely depressed. Who wants that from a friend? It takes someone special to be my friend and their aren't many takers. I have to believe my lack of friendship is also my fault because I don't have much faith in people anymore. I'm not saying everyone is bad and I'm the only good person out there. No, not at all, I just have had a lot of life experiences with people who hurt me emotionally and I'm afraid to be hurt again. So, if you are out there and you make assumptions when people disclose that they have a mental illness, it wouldn't hurt to find out the truth about such an illness before you hold onto your own misconceptions.
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