Saturday, April 28, 2007

Schizophrenia Revisited

Had a discussion with my father last night of my recent experiences with schizophrenia. I was over taking my medications and he once again checked my hand and under my tongue for errant pills. It can be rather humiliating.

“I think everyone is watching me and laughing at me,” I told him as we sat in his den. “It is so discouraging and drives me crazy.”

“That must be so tiresome,” My father replied with a worried look upon his face.

“I was sitting in Rodger’s eating lunch and thought every burst of laughter was about me and that every prying eye in the restaurant was focused upon me. I wanted to jump up and run out screaming.”

“You didn’t, did you?” He asked, worried.

“No,” I replied. “When I am on my medications I know it is happening and can temper the crazy impulses.”

“You seem so much better now that we have your medications on a regular schedule,” he said. "You look better."

“Oh, I have lived with this since the early nineties,” I replied. “I am better. It is just worse sometimes than others. It comes and goes.”

“I feel the same way,” my mother chimed in sitting in the chair across from me. “I think everybody is talking about me and watching me.”

“You two must think you are pretty important,” My father said kind of facetiously.

“It’s not that at all,” I replied. “It is self deprecating to be exact. We think something is odd with us or that we look funny. We think we are being made fun of.”

“We need to talk to your doctor about this,” he said. “This worries me.”

I tried to tell my father that we can only manage my schizophrenia to a certain extent. It will never leave me nor will I ever be cured. I will always have symptoms and through my medications the symptoms are greatly reduced to where I can live with them without becoming psychotic. My father, the pharmacist, thinks we will find some magical combination of pills and I will become the next Nobel peace prize winner, a doctor, or person of great accomplishment. I long ago quit living in that kind of fantasy land. I will always live a simple and low key life to better manage my schizophrenia and its symptoms. I just wish my father could understand that. He puts so much pressure on me to live an orthodox and successful life. It is all rather alarming and disturbing.


fiwa said...

Good morning. :) I couldn't sleep, and I just figured you might have a post up already.

Maybe it would be good for your dad to talk to your doctor "about this". Because maybe hearing what you said from a doctor would help him internalize it better.

I hope you have a good day today. I decided since I'm awake, I'm going to give another shot at making biscuits. Wish me luck!

bonnylass said...

I look forward to your posts each ad every day

Summer said...

I want a biscuit.


In no way am I condoning your dad's worrisom ways..but as a parent of three little boys I can understand his constant need to feel like he has to 'make better.' as a parent it's easy when they're children,.you can 'control' pretty much everything..their entire life is still ahead of them,...but when they are adults, it's hard to let go, to stop enabling, to allow them to live their life.
He only wants what's best, and I think his thoughts of hoping for a 'nobel successful son' is only due to the fact that deep down he probably feels he could have 'tried' harder when you were can't prevent what's happened..but it's a fathers nature to want to fix things.

It's good that you can talk to him about what it's like to have your challenge..the trick is, to show him that just because he's expressing to you the general symptoms, doesn't mean that it warrents a call to someone else.

when a patient has cancer the doc is aware of the different side when the patient experiences them, you're aware that this is part of "cancer." Instead of alarming yourself over something that's just apart of the disease itself.

make any sense?
i'm extra crusty today, and have only had about 5cups of coffee and about my littlest one has been sick the past four days and up at all odds of the started at 4:15am,..yesterday 4:45am

Always crusty,

Patty said...

Always try to remember he speaks from his love for you. Maybe it would help if you gently remind of how you feel. You are so good with words I'm sure you can explain how it makes you feel.

Patty :o)

Dorid said...

Ah, after reading this I have to share this story about Chewy.

Once I thought I'd try something different... food we don't usually get, so I bought a big loop of Kielbasa. I put it in the fridge to thaw (it was covered with frost) and didn't think much of it.

A short time later, Chewy came downstairs and opened the fridge door. He then slammed it, then opened it again, then slammed it. I at first didn't know what was going on. He looked terribly upset. Then as he opened the fridge again, I realized. "That's Kielbasa" I said. "It's a kind of sausage." He was releived. He hadn't been sure if it were really there.

The problem with reality checking is that there isn't ALWAYS some previous experience that matches. Because Chewy can also "feel" his hallucinations, there is very little he can do but ASK if something is real.

I've come to understand that no matter how well he is functioning, he is ALWAYS aware of his illness. I wish there were times he could just feel "normal".

I also have to add her that I admire him (and you!) for how far you've come, how well you manage your illnesses, and how truly "normal" both are!

Someday your dad will have more faith in your ability to handle your illness. It takes time. And sometimes it's hard for parents (take it from me!) not to think somehow that their kids should be "cured" and that the meds should work SO WELL that we never have to worry about schizophrenia again.