i'm 45 and was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1984. My mother suffered from severe paranoid schizophrenia and was generally non-compliant with her medicines. Because of this -- and also my own experiences -- I know how important it is to follow the advice of your doctors and take those nasty pills.
What bothers me most is my terrible work history and my dependency on government aid for both medical and material needs. I'm not sure, but I continuously feel like people are saying that I'm" no good and lazy " or that " I have not worked a day in my life." (Actually, I worked summers while I was in high school and off and on since then with poor results)
I don't think people get the frustration that many of us have. I really have a lot else to say but I'll get to that later.
My sickness is making me feel guilty for not working. I am being harassed by the devil because of not working. I guess you have to solve the problem yourself for yourself (whether you're allright with not working) and then other people's opinions (or the "devil's") won't matter.
First off, I'd like to say thank you for your supportive comments about the guilt thing. But there is a problem I have that I think could destroy my health and I guess it's really my own doing. I enjoy waking up in the middle of the night -- about 1 AM -- and drinking coffee to stay awake as long as I can. I like the quietness and muted darkness. I'll just sit there, think, drink coffee, think . . . etc . . . until I've drank 4 - 5 cups of joe and stayed up about 4 hours. I do get 7 - 9 hours of sleep in a 24 hour day, but my periods of waking and sleeping are divided. I really like quiet, dark places, they seem magical and intensely spiritual to me. Don't get confused here; I'm talking about physical darkness not spiritual darkness.
I'm mostly concerned about my physical health if I keep this up. Note that I also drink about 4 cups of coffee during the day -- that makes a total of about 8 cups.
You need about 8 hours of continuous sleep for it to be the most effective. I mean, you're not going to seriously harm yourself doing what you're doing, but you will be more susceptable to illness, harder to recover, etc.
And the coffee is the same thing, not gonna seriously harm you, but in the long run, not the best idea.
I kind've have the same problem, I'm definitely a night person. I would love to stay up until 3 every morning and sleep until noon. But I am a student so I can't, and I've had to adjust my natural schedule.
Is there a way you could build in some quiet dark time during the evening before you go to bed? Know what I mean? A dark room or (I don't know where you live) a nice time in the evening, the sun goes down here around 6 pm now so it's easier for me.
Good Suggestion About Sleep, Let's Get Back to Guilt
Yeah, your suggestion about having my quiet time before I go to bed is a good one. In fact, I kinda came to the same conclusion by myself and drank my coffee in the evening before I went to bed. I got the same relaxed response and more continuous sleep.
About feeling guilty: I think the stigma of being mentally ill and guilt of being on welfare messes a lot of sick people up. They go into denial and desperately try to work -- which messes up their benefits -- then they aren't able to afford the help they need -- and then they get sick and break down. I've read blogs by people who are desperately trying to measure up to someone else's standards while being terribly sick and neglecting their illness. It's a sad thing.
I totally agree. Sometimes the harassment in my head (about getting a job) is so bad that I swear that I'm going to get a job the next day. But the next day I'm too ill to do anything. Another thing is that I'm not really allowed to work part-time. Well I am, but the calculations the welfare makes are so complex that I never know how much money I have so in effect I can't work part-time.
One thing I do to get over that worthless feeling I have is the part-time volunteering I do at a local food bank. The atmosphere there is really supportive -- and hey you're helping people. I've taken those surveys on the computer about the kind of work that is appropriate and they tell me that I need to work in a predictable, supportive environment with gentle encouragement. The situation at the food bank seems to fit these criteria.
The social worker can help you get a job, but if it's a part-time job (not enough to support you) the welfare starts calculating each month how much you made, how much they sent you, and how much you owe them back. Since you're getting very little to start with and you're getting two different cheques, one of which you have to partially reimburse the whole affair gets too complicated. I tried it once and I couldn't sleep I was so stressed.
Volunteering is good, I did it last Saturday at a local ecological centre.