I know this probably sounds silly but I can't help noticing how people treat me differently to others in a social situation. Whenever it's been a long time since I've seen a group of people, eg. family, friends, work collegues, I can't help but notice they always make a fuss of and joke with other people before me, I am almost last in the priority list. I find I'm often left out in a group situation and noone makes the effort to personally talk to me. If I try and speak to someone, they will often be polite and talk for a while. However, if I'm a good day and say I've got to a social quiet gathering - just a few soft or alcoholic drinks over a bbq or something (raving and partying not my bag) then if I'm having a good day then I can maybe talk to someone I don't know for half an hour, but then when I ask for their phone number or email they are really hesitant or sometimes not so at giving it to me and they will never make contact with me after we have left the social gathering. I find it difficult to make close bonds with people I don't know and only really have friends that I have known for years. I'm finding it difficult making new friends.
I'm not sure if my schizophrenia is visible to the naked eye, an everyday person in the street, as I think this could be contributing to me finding it hard making new friends. When you tell people you have mental health problems or schizophrenia as I often do tell people, they often do not know how to react and just listen to your story. Then I find my story often lasts for a bit of a time, then they stop listening, conversation dies down and then we stop conversation and talk to someone else in a social gathering. This is the story of my life sometimes, rarely do people enjoy a gaging conversation about schizophrenia and I think sometimes it puts people off talking to you altogether. Some people appear to be very interested and find it almost like a new science. But at the end of the day I want to stay in contact with people and make new friends, close friends and not just a passing friend or an aquaintance. Does anyone else experience this when talking to people?
If you are being properly treated then schizophrenia shouldn't be seen on the naked eye, so your main problem seems to be that people already know that you are schitzophrenic... Solution: don't tell them! People are not well informed about the condition and they tend to stigmatize the people who have it; also, talking with someone that you barely know about your mental problems can be quite anoying, and people dont expect that kind of behaviour from someone they've just met, so dont tell it to anyone. If you still want to talk about it then wait until they are close friends of yours, dont even tell it to your girl/boyfriend until you are deep into the relationship, this way people will feel bad about ditching you just because you have schitzophrenia and try to inform themselves a little more since it is a loved one at stake...
Also, if you have some kind of therapist, you could ask him to help you with your social skills, this can be quite helpfull for people with and without schizophrenia to get more and better friends.
Thanks for your thoughts towards this really appreciated. Yes it has helped and makes sense too. I find people are often somehow prejudiced against you, when you tell them a specific disorder, eg. schizophrenia. I find it better to be more subtle like use the odd joke like I was paranoid about it, which most people throw in as a joke to describe something. Then they may get the jist that you're a sensitive person rather than schizophrenic so they can adjust to your moods and quietness/behaviour a little better.
Yes I agree that if you are being treated properly you shouldn't be able to notice. However I managed not to see a psciatrist for about 4 years, well I saw one privately a few times in Spain for that duration when i was out there. Now I have returned to UK I was referred to the psciatrist as my gp put me on half the respiradone, now 2mg but the psciatrist I saw said she could not find any problems with me and to be signed off again. I would only see someone again if the gp thought it necessary. In a way I'm very pleased however I could really do with some help developing my social skills practically and everything. Oh well. I don't have enough money to seek a private psciatrist or anyone to help. I just see the gp often and he helps me a lot.
As for telling your partner or new people. I will play that one by ear, some people naturally pick up that I'm rather nervous and will ask something like are you ok? and everything. Only sometimes though and again most often amongst people I know well. However, it's down to my judgement if I trust people enough not to hurt my feelings once I have told them. I haven't told my partner and he asks no questions. He's a bit quiet himself and doesn't pick up on anything luckily. But I don't live with him I live alone and to be quite honest he goes for a week without making contact and claims he's been sleeping or forgotten to ask me. So I might be ready for a change. So thanks for your advice about meeting new people and not to tell them. I'll try it.
Your welcome. Still, a psychologist (rather than a psychiatrist) to improve your social skills would be helpfull, it's one of those things where it's worth to invest in... If you ever go back to Spain, I believe you can get one for free (I realy have no idea of how public health goes in the UK...). There are also a lot of books about the subject but I dont realy know wich ones are better or if they can be easily misinterpreted; the best thing for you to do would be to post a doctor question asking the titles of some good books.
No I don't think I'll be returning to Spain as I really like being back in the UK. I feel a little hesitant at seeing a pscycologist because I just don't want to get back into being dependant on a health specialist again. I am good at languages and don't really have any basic communication problems. I think it's my confidence and opinions of people that need changing. I also am quite biased sometimes in many ways such as who I speak to, the opinions I form of people and the respect I feel I am being given by people. All these seem to cloud my judgement sometimes and stop me from forming a clear opinion of people. This makes my communication awkward at times.
Could you tell me more about you? Do you also have schizophrenia or how come you seem to be able to know how I'm feeling and be able to give me a sensible answer? It's just I remember the only person who could do this was a psciatrist before when I was seeing one? Are you trained in this area? Are you a guy or a girl - really can't tell your gender from what you've written would be interesting to find out - gut feeling female but really no idea!
I am a guy, recently diagnosed with "probable" schitzophrenia and a medical student; not exacly trained in this area, I've just learned how to talk to patients from practice and the rest from my experience in the matter; I have also experienced what you seem to be experiencing about 2 years ago, at the time I read Dale Carnegie's "how to make friends and win/get? influence on people" and it helped a bit, recently after a 2nd episode a psychologist recomended me another book: Conquering Shyness from Jonathan Cheek; I never read it tough, after a few weeks of treatment I got my confidence back and I didnt get to do it, still, being the only book that has been recomended to me by a psychologist, I think you should read it.
Ah right, I just wondered as you seem to have a natural talent for making me feel good about myself! I'll try reading that book any idea who it's by? Are you finding the stress of studying maybe a factor in you getting "probable" schizophrenia. As I was doing extra A Levels at a 6th form college, away from home and found it all a bit stressful. But I still got into law at hull afterwards based on my lower grades I did previously. I kind of regret getting stressed out at college as it was definately the environment that caused it. However, it was too soon after my illness to get through the first year, the clipoxal (?) made me really tired and I'd fall asleep at like 8pm at night instead of studying so I had no chance of passing. Now I'm doing an OU course in computing which I can basically do blind folded! Hope your course isn't stressing you out though, but very interesting course!!!!
Oh, right, sorry, it's "conquering shyness" from Jonathan Cheek, Jonathan Cheek isn't part of the name of the book.
And no, thankfully I dont find my course TOO stressing, now being away from home, new place, new people, that yes, that and being friends with the wrong people can literaly drive you crazy...
Hope the book works, and if it doesen't you can always go to the GP and tell him that you find it difficult to find friends and how this is affecting your life and how this might even affect your underlying condition... being so sensitive has they are about keeping us compensated I'm sure he would get you a psychologist through public health (I mean, if there are psychologists in public health they are there for something no?); I believe the treatment for this can be made in 10-15 sessions (2 months?) so you wouldn't quite be depending on him...
hi how do you mean keeping us compensated? Do you mean GP's are there to find appropriate health professionals for us eg. pscycologists, that underlying schizophrenia might get worse if you don't treat the bad at making friends bit or do you mean that the gp will do anything to make you feel better = compensated?
You're lucky if you don't find your course too stressful I was literally trying to stay up half the night when doing a levels trying to remember everything did my head in to be honest, how do you manage to remember all the medical terms, the biology and chemistry you must be very intellegent To me computers and law is just about knowing your stuff dont have to have a flare for facts just a good memory
Yep, everything a good doctor wants regarding a schizofrenic is to keep him stable and responding to medication (compensated by medication). So, anything that may contribute to alter our condition is to be treated immediately; that includes drug problems, sleep problems and mood problems; that's why they have absolutely no problem on giving us sleeping pills, antidepresants or any of those things. So, if you tell your GP that you are having a rough time in what comes to friends, and that a psychologist would be of mutch help, he would, or at least he should get you to see one, in order to prevent stress or future depression.
You don't need to be that intelegent to get through medicine, it's mainly memory and work, gigantic memory and work, but still, mainly just that...
Right ok well I was maybe considering either doing a medical degree after my computers degree or doing a post graduate diploma in nursing. I'll probably do both eventually but my main aim now is to carry on doing charity work, get my course done and see where that leads to. The thought of doing a medical degree though absoloutely scares me as I know the amount of learning you have to do, I recently bought a second hand book, biological pscychology by frederick toates - and to be honest if you had to memerize a book like this for every topic - my head would come out of uni pounding! Perhaps not the best thing to do to myself! LOL
I still feel hesitant at asking my gp for a pscycologist. The reason is I truts my gp to make decisions regarding my health because I really don't know much about it and even if I did, he's my gp and you have to trust what they say. He said I have the reminence of schizophrenia and there's no point in sending me to someone for me to always say everything ok and for there to be nothing seriously wrong! I have also been refferred to a dietician as I'm about 17 stone and need to loose weight as I also have diabeties but i'm on tablets possibly getting dose halved if sugar come down, went for blood test yesterday so results in 1 week (yipee!). So I have other problems too, I don't really want to be sitting around waiting for doctors appointments either, personally only want to see one if necessary. However, next time I see the GP I will mention to him that I have read that you can see a pscycologit for social skills eg; making friends and see what he says. I tried to suggest to him that I possibly had autism but he said no remenence of schizophrenia - (my cousin works with people on the autistic spectrum and suspected it slightly in me! So they you go.
I don't know what it is about me, might be my weight at the moment, but often when I walk into somewhere, say a fish and chip shop or a pub people will often kind of say something immediately to each other and then look at me - they might or might not have said something about me but it's behaviour like this that makes me anxious inside and feel very uncomfortable in this environment. It was a very similar environment on my full time uni course - I was concerntrating what other people were doing around me and found it difficult what they were trying to say in lectures and there's no way I could get any down properly on paper.
How do you manage to cope? Do you know the stuff already anyway ? With my computers degree I know everything already so it's really only a revision so hence easy!
How are you able to know instinctively what's wrong with a patient by just looking at them? That always fascinates me coz I need a lot more practice in doing this. Do you look at their physiology and work out how bones have grown and body developed to know what organs are funactioning better, eg. someone overweight might have a less good heart or something or is it much much more complex than that - how?
I'm glad you trust your GP, it's the wise thing to do, and I'm also glad that you will mention him your interest on learning social skills.
Has for the rest it's a little complicated; you don't usualy know what's wrong with a patient just by looking at him, I mean sometimes you do, but usualy not. To put it in a few words, first you study a disease to the very last symptom. At the interview you start by asking the patient what is the reason he has come to see you, you ask him to describe each and every symptom, their chronology etc. and you start narrowing your search to a specific number of conditions, you begin to wonder if he can have this or that, and so you ask if he has had this or that symptom knowing his past medical history you will also find it relevant to ask him one or another thing since it could be related to the present problem. Eventualy you will come to one condition that shares all these symptoms in witch case you have your diagnosis or, and more frequently you will come to a group of conditions that share those specific symptoms. Once you get here you make him a physical exploration in hope to find signs of a specific conditon, and again you might or might not narrow your search to one or more conditions and finaly, if you still haven't got a diagnosis you to complementary explorations (blood tests, chest plates, CT, MRI, etc) that are relevant for sutch conditions hopefully now you can properly diagnose the patient.
Well that's about it, sorry if it's a bit confusing...
I just wrote out a long reply and it had troubles going through so here's another one.
Yes I'm lucky I trust my GP, there were times during my illness that I didn't and then it was tough as I did not really believe I had schizophrenia and thought there was some kind of conspiricist theory to get me out of college as I was doing really well there. I did not trust people around me , i thought people were hurting ne, chasing me I was scared to even leave my bedroom at home to go to the shower, I wasn't taking care of myself, I thought I was going to get attacked just going downstairs to eat. I basically spent all the time in my bedroom really stressed out and scared not really a nice experience. The psciatrist could guess what was wrong and hardly asked me any question. But another psciatrist was more thorough and asked me loads of really intense questions which I was really scared of asking, I kept on singing "welcome to the house of fun" in my mind coz I thought it was one big joke and the doctors were out to get me. Not a nice experience really. But I'm much better now though.
Thanks for your help in the diagnosis bit. Really interesting. I'm waiting until it's 100% theory on medical courses, I know nursing is 80% theory 20% practice, what's it on a medical degree? Do you ever get any rivalry or clash in personality and people saying stuff like I'm not doing a smear on that patient because I'm interested in pscychology or I'm not doing an operation on that patient coz I don't like her, or anything like that? Can you refuse to take part in something you're not keen on, or skirt out of it?
Can you talk happily to your GP and are you seeing a psciatrist/pscycologist?
I'm going to send this off now, incase it doesn't work again - hope this works this time!