Medical Questions > Mental Health > Schizophrenia Forum

Is There Any Way Out of My Schizophrenia?

Hi, I'm Kaylyn. I have been suffering from depression since I was young, was always the quiet girl in school who kept to her books and a few friends.

My mom used to beat and cane me for any subject and activity for any given day that my grades were anything less than the given full score since kinder-garden It wasn't particularly her fault, for my relatives and extended relatives were nothing short of spectacular, snobbish, holier-than-thou, and full of knives. My mom and I were never really communicative even at a young age. Our relationship seemed so grounded on a work basis, and she avoided talking anything about her (she asserted that it was her business and no one elses, not even mine), to the extent that even to today, at the age of 28, I don't really know anything much about her, except what others have said.

My grades were average for my Secondary school (middle school), and I was aiming for a medical school degree. Practically, my enitre childhood to teenage life was held in restraints so that I could do well in a career in adulthood. I fell into depression due to failure from unable to being in normal relationships. (until I'm not sure what a relationship means anymore). My grades fell drastically for my A levels, and I graduated with mediocur grades (removing all possiblity for me to enter medical school).

I started working right after in a hostile work environment, fell short of social skills necessary, and left the job. I felt so inadequate, only compounded when a relative of mine and his family snubbed me, hassling me (a very big understatement) for my lack of grades and my lack of appeal. I became anti-authoritian against their reasoning, and tried to strike out on my own. They found an excuse to throw me into ECT. I developed a high fever during a session. They stopped treatment, and sent me to a general hospital to be treated for the fever. A few days later, people (which I know now as delusions and hallucinations), ballooned until I couldn't work, study, socialise, feel, think or otherwise. (everything I think, do or feel, results in more hallucinationary assaults). Anything that anyone tells me or says about me, is automatically right, and disagreeing even on the mental level results in hallucinary attacks.


(the above are only some of the reasons why I think I developed schizophrenia)


Everyone was attacking me, visually, auditorily, even the vibes. People were assaulting me even over the media, television, radio, everywhere, for me for my lack of capability.

Medication never really worked. I was either sleeping or crazy, or inbetween both. Neither did warding. And I have not been working ever since for literally 10 years now. I just can't. Doing anything that is worth any amount of effort, to garner any significant success (because I'm not good enough, its never good enough), only results in more delusional harassments.


Examples of obvious irrational delusional harassments: (which avoiding them results in even more harassments)

1. Having my own opinions is wrong unless I have a PhD in that area. (which then makes me qualified to interact on a daily basis in that area)...

2. Real people don't lie. (White lies and other forms of deceptions count as lies as well)

3. I would never make it in life or relationships. And I'll make a useless girlfriend, wife, and mother.

4. Everyone hates me.


Generally, I've become autistic over the years. I haven't been interacting normally with people for so long, I don't even know what vibes or body or facial expressions (when they are normal (I can't tell anyway), mean anymore. Nor can I "get into a person's head"... Years of daily schizophrenia have led me into a state of oblivious ignorance, and my lack of progress in any given area, especially academic and career success, which my entire life up till my late teens, have been dedicated to, have led schizophrenia to belittle me even more. Certainly my lack of emotions to know what love is anymore.

I'm in a constant state of having panic attacks, because I'm almost always beening assaulted by delusions. Either that or being in bed asleep. Both of which are bad choices.

I've been seeing various psychiatrists, but none have really helped so far. The only medium that is more stable for communication would be the words on the internet.


What's wrong with me?

Is there any way out of this?

~Kaylyn
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replied December 25th, 2007
hi Kaylyn. i used to get assaulted with criticism for every single thing i did too even if it was a really nice helpful thing then they would say it was for some selfish reason. i never experienced visual hallucinations other than dark flashes or white flashes acc ompanied by voices which would slander and accuse me and horrendously threaten me(i would turn green on the verge of passing out my heart would beat out of my chest and my balls would shrivel even if i didnt actually feel fear leading me to believe that people had things inside my body controlling these things.). i went to hospitals where no1 cared about me at all and meds never did anything to make me better. i would sleep maybe an hour a night with "hell hell hell; running through my head. i abandoned all hope and believed them that i was in hell and would sure enough begin physical torture and rape at any moment forever and ever at any possible moment and that they were really god and were just toying with me and that my whole existence was to suffer and that for us to even exist made no sense at all. WHEW glad thats all over. i have been off meds for 7 months and i never hear a peep. i lead a totally normal life. i did it by talking to a pastor who told me that the devil was attacking me. i thought something was wrong with me or people were conspiring against me because i had poor social skills and just couldnt talk to people and got filled with anxiety so they all hated me and wanted to torture me. not only did the pastor tell me it was the devil totally calmly and what to do (use the Word of God against their lies) but told me exactly the steps they would go through. first he said they would continue to lie and it would get worse. then there would be no point in lying since i knew the word was true, then they would proceed to harrassment, then i would say thank god that my presnet sufferings are nothign compared to the glory that will be revealed in us in Christ JEsus, then they would tempt, then they woudl justleave me alone. it ahppend exactly like that it has been 7 months i go back to college in Jan. there is an intelligent evil force with the intention to torment and murder you behind this it isnt coming from your brain. if it is a "brain disease" then why do mris reveal our brains are the same as people withotu schizo? and why cant they fix us with their meds? the links they go through to believe their materialist atheist godless bull all becuz they love their sin and if god was real theyd have to give it upl. the doctors would talk to me for literally 25 seconds a day then walk away go throw a dart at a dartboard to decide a med and go cash their fat check and play some golf. but jesus cares and so do i and there is hope for you i love you please hang in there ill get people to pray for you
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replied December 25th, 2007
btw you are not useless God has a special plan for you and i dont hate you i love you and would do everything i could do to protect you and comfort you and these things are keepign you from school and then criticizing you for being dumb cuz you cant go to school with them slandering you. i hate them theyll burn in hell. ect is another owrd for we dont know what the heck is wrong with you so were gonna electrocute the crap out of you now. it clearly made u worse. i love you im sorry that happened. dont agree to that crap every again please.

*Chris hugs kaylyn*
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replied December 27th, 2007
Well, your post was sort of chilling to me, though I do not have schizophrenia (though I do have ADD inattentive). Your childhood and education are similar in many ways (though more harsh), I too had many frustrations in getting treatment, and we're about the same age; your writing is very clear and intelligent so I felt enough pangs of empathy to register and reply.

First of all, I should post a disclaimer that I am not a doctor, none of what I say is a substitute for medical advice, and the best course of treatment is to discuss things with a medical professional.

But, my opinion is as follows...

Your past

You had a very hard childhood, clearly with little emotional nurturing. In a related disorder, schizoid personality disorder (which is mostly the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, such as flattened affect and social withdrawal), the primary cause identified in medical studies is a lack of emotional nurturing during childhood. I believe those factors may have predisposed you to experience some of the negative symptoms you have today.

Next, your emergence of positive symptoms was preceded by great stress and possible trauma via the ECT and fever. Emergence of the positive symptoms of schizophrenia tends to be after a period of great stress, and it is possible that the ECT/fever contributed additionally.

The nature of SZ

In twin studies, schizophrenia only occurred in both a little over half the time. That means that genetic and childhood environment factors certainly do not doom you to SZ, and that behavioral causes can be significant as well. So I do believe there is a way "out" of your SZ-- you did not always have it, and many treatments are effective.

In SZ, the structure of the brain and activity changes (which isn't to say these changes are permanent-- the brain constantly changes structure based on what we do and experience, and constantly makes new neural cells). For an example of neuroimaging in SZ, see: http://www.amenclinics.com/bp/atlas/ch8.ph p

My understanding of this is that there is regional hyperactivity in the limbic system of your brain (the "reptilian" brain controlling respiration, movement, etc) and regional hypoactivity in the frontal cortex, which is the most evolved region of the brain and considered to be the "seat of consciousness"-- it receives inputs from the limbic system and striatum. Generally, hyperactivity in the limbic system is associated with impulsiveness and increasing the strength of perception, and hypoactivity in the frontal lobe is associated with the loss of ability to suppress impulses, plan things, etc. A specific region in the frontal cortex implicated in suppressing activity in other regions of the brain is the orbitofrontal cortex.

The causes of SZ

There are many theories as to why this is. Most of them involve the neurotransmitters dopamine and glutamate, which are excitatory neurotransmitters and stimulate activity as a whole. With low dopamine levels in the frontal lobe, your higher brain functions are disrupted, and high DA levels in the limbic system mean you have overwhelming input as well. Glutamate is what is chiefly implicated as communicating between different regions of the brain, and in SZ disruption of the glutamate system results in a disruption of synchronized brain activity. One study I read showed wildly different EEG results in various sections of the brain in SZ patients, and yet, relatively consistent EEG scores in normal controls.

Other theories, especially those focusing on the negative symptoms (not hallucinations) involve overactivity of the opioid system due to increased levels of beta endorphin. Beta endorphin is released in response to pain, physical or mental, and sustained levels slow down neurotransmission (creating "mental fog"), inhibit the normal release of catecholamines during exercise (making it very difficult and fatiguing), and also blunt emotion and empathy.

So, what causes the DA/GLUT abnormalities, and what causes the increased BE levels?

Pain causes the rise of BE, and one theory paper I read suggested this was due to negative avoidance-based coping strategies. Basically, giving up, feeling helpless, running away and isolating yourself, that kind of thing. This creates lots of mental pain, and will spike BE levels in anyone. Social defeat stress has been shown to increase BE levels significantly in studies, which in turn has been shown to decrease empathy and increase pain tolerance.

This sort of coping strategy also has negative consequences for the dopamine system. In the striatum and frontal lobe, dopamine generally governs executive control/planning, impulse inhibition, and motivation/goal-directed behavior.

Interestingly, these dopaminergic pathways develop or atrophy with use. In people who have to take on the role of a parent at an early age and really, really use these abilities that dopamine supports, they develop very strongly. Yet in learned helplessness, depression, ADD, or when people are not engaging in these behaviors, these pathways atrophy.

Further, stress plays into this as well. Long-term levels of high cortisol bind to GR/MR receptors in the pituitary gland, which have a direct relationship with the brain's dopamine system. With excessive stimulation, the GR/MR receptor density in the pituitary increases, and this is followed by diminished ACTH secretion. This is turn lowers dopamine release. Conversely, dopamine decreases GR/MR density in the pituitary and this results in greater ACTH secretion. In cases of post-traumatic stress disorder these changes are especially noted.

SZ treatments

You appear to have both positive and negative symptoms of SZ. Typically, antipsychotics or atypical antipsychotics are used here, but it seems like from your description-- and you could only truly know this with a SPECT scan, I'm just guessing-- you may have not that exaggerated of activity in the limbic system and suppressed activity in the frontal lobe, so as a result these drugs just suppress neural activity as a whole too much. It is possible that a lower dose or different antipsychotic may work for you. Another possibility for negative symptoms is a psychostimulant like those used in ADD, but these run the risk of making the positive symptoms worse. If you do explore this route with your doctor, make sure you are carefully monitored and only slowly increase your dosage upwards.

Next, another treatment of SZ used for a very long time before antipsychotics is DHEA, a neurosteroid that reduces both positive and negative symptoms with very few (if any) side effects, and is sold OTC. However, the effects are relatively modest, but I would give it a try if I were you.

Stress reduction and meditation are effective interventions in many studies for SZ, as are social skills training and group therapy. These all help diminish some of the stress and social factors underlying the cognitive dysfunctions and symptoms. Do not underestimate the importance of behavior therapies. A product (I have no vested interest with btw) you might be interested in is [edit for advertising].. METT/SETT trains you to recognize facial displays of emotion and is produced by the very well known and respected Dr. Paul Ekman who pioneered that field of research.

Finally, nicotine is known to be beneficial for SZ, but I would recommend not using tobacco products due to the cancer risk. A nicotine patch or something might be helpful, but like other stimulants, take care it does not worsen positive symptoms.

My advice

Try different medications, do therapy and behavioral work. Isolation and avoidance will only make things worse.

Having opinions is not wrong, it's natural, and without opinions you could not function or survive.

Real people lie and are honest. The natural of man is dualistic, even if the ideal is not.

You probably can make it in a relationship, even if not today, consider that your experiences have probably made you appreciate good social connectedness more than normal, as well as being emotionally available for your child.

Some people may have hated you, but most people in the world do not know you, and most people would not hate you if they did. The only emotion I feel towards you in writing this is compassion.

Write down the negative and delusional thoughts you know are wrong, then challenge them and write down something optimistic/true (like I just did). Or rephrase them in the form of "X happened and I felt Y, but I would have preferred Z instead."

I hope this post didn't overwhelm you, but you seem very intelligent so I suspect it may give you new directions to explore. Your intellect and writing are tremendous assets to you, and with them you can understand and change things for the better.

Some books you might like are "Emotional Intelligence", "Social Intelligence", and "Destructive Emotions" by Daniel Goleman, though they are not about schizophrenia per se.

Remember, compassion begins with yourself. You as a human being alone are of equal value and worth to all others, no matter their accomplishments or crimes, and just as deserving of happiness. And I for one hope you can overcome this and be well and happy, for you deserve no less.
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replied December 27th, 2007
Active User, very eHealthy
I hate to tell you this, your probably just intelligent, and or good.
Who in their right mind would not be depressed, not a disease. Sociality, you've got to be kidding me if you think that that is important.

I hate to tell you this also, it's a good sign that you don't meld with this world, it's tough i know, but it will be so worth it.

People that do well here are very messed up in the head, simple as that.

What you are going through is an age old problem, people like you have always been down trodden beat up, and the so called normal people that are actually able to have a good time here(dumb) get on to you, they just don't see why a person could be depressed or not enjoy this or not be social, do they?

So, shocking the hell outta someone will fix it, it's a cryin shame.
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replied December 27th, 2007
I'm not sure why someone removed the METT/SETT CD link from my post, as it isn't advertising and I have nothing to gain from it nor any association, but anyway, if you are interested just Google for Dr. Paul Ekman and click on "products" on the site. This is used more in academia than for consumers, but is mentioned in Goleman's "Social Intelligence" and seems an effective way to help train recognition of facial emotions along with greater social skills training and exposure. It also gives you a metric from which you can judge your current skills, which I'm going to guess probably aren't as bad off as you think. It's sort of like the Nintendo DS title "Brain Age" for facial emotions. Which are an important cornerstone of social rapport and communications, and is something you can train. No, you don't need the METT/SETT CD to do so, but it provides very rapid feedback which is nice. There was also an article in "Scientific American Mind" about 6 months back written by Ekman that has a lot of examples of facial emotions, so picking up that might be another option.

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I hate to tell you this, your probably just intelligent, and or good.
Who in their right mind would not be depressed, not a disease.


It is in everyone's best personal interest and true nature to seek happiness and avoid suffering. Therefore, someone in their right mind would endeavor to be happy and not depressed, and although unlikely to attain any one state permanently, through experience and effort be happier overall most of the time. This is reflected in studies that show greater left prefrontal cortex activation correlating with happiness.

Interestingly, did you know anger and most emotions categorized as "negative" showed strong right prefrontal cortex activation, and both hemispheres of the pFC cannot be strongly activated by emotion at the same time. Anger, hatred, sadness, etc prevent you from being happy in a very real and neurologically objective way.

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Sociality, you've got to be kidding me if you think that that is important.


Socializing is very important to well-being, and in turn, mental and physical health. The largest factors for risk of heart disease are not smoking or obesity-- they are actually social isolation and anger. Social connectedness indeed makes people happier, have less stress, and thus, a stronger immune system, and lower risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease in studies.

Also, one other thing studies have shown is that a strong contributor to happiness is doing good deeds and helping others. The happiness of others is the happiness of ourselves.

Out of pure self-interest alone, even the most selfish man after studying the latest scientific research on these topics would have to conclude it was only in his logical best interests to be social and kind.

But remember, all of that starts with you. You have to be compassionate and kind towards yourself before others. And you must see yourself as being of equal worth to others before seeing others as equal worth to themselves.

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I hate to tell you this also, it's a good sign that you don't meld with this world, it's tough i know, but it will be so worth it.


How is isolation and feeling you don't fit in "worth it"? It will not bring you happiness, it will only isolate you and make you suffer greatly. In avoiding the traumas of the past, you can make yourself hurt far more now and in the future than those things ever hurt you. At some point, you simply have to choose to do things that make you happy, and part of that is being social.

There is no "this world" as any singular entity anyway. What is this world? The planet and everything on it? Then you are a part of it as much as anyone else is, equally. And like them, you were born from elements on the planet, and to them your body will return upon death. You were always part of and in harmony with it, for you could not exist and be anything else, that's just the laws of physics and biology. It is only the illusion that you are not that makes you feel otherwise.

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People that do well here are very messed up in the head, simple as that.


Some of them are lucky, but most simply plan to be successful and work hard to attain that goal. Success is the result of doing certain activities in the right environment. It is the natural outcome of such a thing. That does not make someone "messed up in the head", it most often just means they planned well and worked hard. True, there are some exceptions to this, and some hurt others to get ahead, but in the end generalizing the actions of the few to everyone as a whole only hurts you.

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What you are going through is an age old problem, people like you have always been down trodden beat up, and the so called normal people that are actually able to have a good time here(dumb) get on to you, they just don't see why a person could be depressed or not enjoy this or not be social, do they?


Auditory hallucinations are not an age-old, common problem... they are a very uncommon one. Yes, suffering is a fact of life, as is depression, but in most people depression lasts no longer than six months, and most people have some degree of social connectedness.

Do you really think the cause of not being depressed or schizophrenic is a lack of intelligence? The actual data shows higher intelligence actually lowers the risk of mental disorders as a whole.

The cause of any mental disorder is a complex interplay of behavior, genetics, and the environment. Ultimately, it is through understanding the cause we can find treatment. And that is very important, because it helps to grant people freedom to make choices, and the freedom to find happiness.

Being trapped in your own mind, unable to choose, pounded by relentless torrents of overwhelming thoughts and voices is neither freedom nor happiness.

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So, shocking the hell outta someone will fix it, it's a cryin shame.


Sometimes it does, though ECT should only be used rarely and when all else has failed. I find it barbaric in general, but I can't dismiss the accounts of people who were significantly helped by it when all else has failed.
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replied December 28th, 2007
This will likely be my last post here unless someone poses a specific question, but I wanted to include links for further reading that may be of interest to other posters in this thread:

Happiness 101 (New York Times)

The Science of Happiness (Harvard Magazine)

The Secrets of Happiness (Psychology Today)

I chose these specifically as they are more accessible and easier to read than the medical journal articles they are based upon, and the full texts are freely accessible online. Perhaps some of this information may be of benefit to you.

Once again, I would like to reiterate that this tangential discussion, while an important component of behavior, is secondary to treating the core symptoms of schizophrenia, which is most effectively managed with a combination of medication and therapy in partnership with your doctor.
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replied December 28th, 2007
Active User, very eHealthy
hmm, so I'm completely wrong then?
Perhaps. Perhaps not.
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replied December 28th, 2007
Active User, very eHealthy
But seriously, happiness? C'mon. Happiness?
It just doesn't mix well with a bunch of people dying, sorry.
And it takes a certain immaturity and un knowing to undergo happiness.
It just isn't a happy world, do you understand that? And to be happy, well, simply put, you would be wrong.
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replied December 28th, 2007
Yes, death is suffering. The nature of life itself imparts suffering, and there is much in the world you can grow attached to or dissatisfied with that make you unhappy. Even Freud described the goal of therapy as not binging people happiness, but rather a return to the "general unhappiness".

But there is also happiness in the world. Happiness is not something random. It occurs in the brain in response to a lack of anger, hatred, fear, etc and by being grateful, helping others, having hope for the future, and working towards it.

It does not mean you are immature-- rather, happiness is difficult to develop and requires tremendous maturity, discipline, and knowledge.

It would be quite nice if that would not require effort, maturity and knowledge, but as at least several studies have shown, happiness is the result of doing certain things (and avoiding some others) with consistency after a lot of thought and introspection.

Does that mean you must be blind or ignorant to the negative, to the suffering in the world, in your own life and the lives of others? No. It does not. What it does require is that you do not develop excessive negative emotions in response to those things. It requires that you do have hope for the future... not in a religious or even a global for mankind sense, but that by your actions you can transform your will into reality. It requires you are grateful for what you have.

In that, you can see the duality of this. We can be grateful for what we have, or disappointed in what we do not have. Both are absolutely, objectively true. And we really only focus on one at a time.

People who focus on what they do have, and develop being grateful for that, are happier. They are not blind to what they lack, they simply do not become emotionally involved or obsessed with it.

People who focus on what they do not have, and develop craving, jealousy, etc are on the other hand not quite so happy. They are not blind to what they have either, they simply do not feel grateful about it, no matter how much wealth or how many possessions they have.

Unfortunately, the largest difference here is in the long-term effects. Someone who is grateful will continue to gain wealth and possessions, but will always be able to gain some degree of happiness by being grateful for what they have-- there is no limitation, no resource to exhaust for that. Whereas someone who is craving the next thing, jealous of others who have it, will feel pleasure and relief of these emotions for a short time after acquiring it. However, those feelings will not last, and the cycle will repeat itself.

And it is like that for many things. If someone has wronged you, you may feel vindicated to hate them. And many would agree with you. Yet hatred for them disrupts your life and ruins your mood and level of happiness. And you may or may not ever get revenge or justice, and see them suffer in return. Even if you did, the unfortunate truth is it never feels as good or makes it all seem worthwhile as you'd think. So the long-term effect is that you make yourself suffer greatly, perhaps far greater than that person ever did, and may or may not even get to make the other person suffer-- mostly likely not. And even if you do, it does not make up for the suffering inflicted upon yourself.

Does that mean we should let the guilty walk free, and that people who hurt others should be forgiven and not brought to justice? No. It does not. It simply means that we do not allow those things to consume us, and to drag us down.

So why do we have these emotional responses if they don't make us happy? Why is being happy so much damn work, and require so much knowledge and introspection? It comes down to survival. In the case of being dissatisfied with what you have, you acquire more, and this can help you survive in earlier times in human history when others did not. In hating someone who has wronged you, you remove a threat from your environment, and in earlier times there was no justice system or police force.

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And to be happy, well, simply put, you would be wrong.


Or perhaps you are simply overriding instinctive and emotional responses to things that were great and useful when people lived in caves and got chased by bears and tigers, but actually make us suffer in today's life, for little (if any) benefit.

And that takes discipline, knowledge, and effort.
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