The symptoms of schizophrenia can be divided into two main types: positive and negative. The positive symptoms are more associated with craziness. Talking to yourself. Laughing inappropriately. Delusions. Paranoia. The negative symptoms are more nefarious and insidious. Anti-social behavior. Impulsiveness. Loss of drive. Poverty of thought. I have always suffered from the negative symptoms for the most part. I tend to act most impulsively when the going it at its best thus my urge to be homeless again now that I have a home. My biggest positive symptom is paranoia -- thinking others are out to get me and to cause me harm, and delusions about social situations.
For years, I didn't know what was happening. I knew something was wrong -- I actually knew something was wrong when I was a child, but psychiatry was still in the stone age then. I left home and college found me exhibiting bizarre behavior. Laughing inappropriately in public. Shying away from human contact. Drinking incessantly. The drinking was the hardest part because I thought I had found a magic elixir that cured all that ailed me. I felt empowered and "normal." I discovered deserted country roads, bottles of Budweiser, and years of Joni Mitchell albums and talk radio. I was content until my aberrant ways caught up with me and I started to fall out of college.
The Homeless Guy recently came out on his blog that he is capriciously schizophrenic. I wasn't surprised, but I was sad it took so long for him to reveal it. I do not feel shame for having schizophrenia just as a person with cancer should not feel shame. I believe he thought it would stigmatize him -- just another crazy homeless person. It would have answered so many questions and criticisms he endured over the years of writing his wildly popular blog. People can better understand black and white and not the shades of gray he obfuscated with for years about his condition.
One of the biggest symptoms I am dealing with daily lately is apathy or the loss of drive. I start out very strong, but degrade into a situation where I am afraid to go out of the house. For example, I had grand plans to attend a lunchtime Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, but sat here spinning my wheels in indecision. I dreaded getting ready and the long drive. The abhorred social contact made me shy away. I tell myself that I will never get better sitting in this house whiling away my time listlessly. I need to get out and experience things and life to get better and to overcome my fears.