Monthly Archives: August 2014

I thought that love would turn this thing around

You are not aloneWhen our son was ill, both my husband and I thought that our love would turn this thing around, but love was not the answwer; neither were my tears, but I was as powerless to stop them as I was able to stop the waves breaking on the shore. At seven o’clock every morning, my husband left for work and on his return, he spent as much time as he possibly could with our son, while I searched and researched the cause of paranoid schizophrenia.

Had we been responsible? Had we done something terrible? Had I contracted some illness or other during my pregnancy and forgotten about it? I read everything I could get my hands on but all that effort shed little light on our predicament.

The sun set and the light faded while I sat on our patio and merged with the darkness. Winter was around the corner and the smell of woodsmoke was in the air, reminding me of happier times. I felt a passionate desire to cling to the last days of the fall, afraid of what might be waiting ahead, ready to pounce.

Then, I went indoors and turned on Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. My son’s lonely figure was always hovering nearby and prevented me from enjoying anything. My husband joined me. “I used to be so happy,” I whispered, “but now I’m afraid to have any fun as that would take me out of myself and re-entry into the real world would be far too difficult to contemplate. Do you know that only this morning, an acquaintance crossed the street when she saw me approaching? Her child had played in our house, spent hours with our David doing all kinds of things together. It was so hurtful, you know! I did nothing to her, nothing at all. The only thing that has changed is that our son was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Is that a reason to ignore me when I need more support, more affection and more love than ever before?”

It isn't big to make others feel small

 

 

 

 

 

Friendships count

a dreamThe youtube clip below is entitled Friendships Count.

Click on the link below ….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CMAeg8D52c

In an article in the Star-Telegram, Diane Smith writes about Layne Lynch who sat at her piano inspired by a feeling until a tune emerged. This was followed by the lyrics. She tried to find words to tell why she acts the way she does.  No limitations, but she felt restricted. ‘All those thoughts in my head collide’ sang Lynch, a 17-year-old senior at Colleyville Heritage High School in the United States.

This song is asking teenagers to be understanding of classmates, friends as well as siblings struggling tith mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder as well as bipolar disordr. It was inspired by a family member’s experiene with a mood disorder. Lynch said; ‘It’s so cool to see people realize that it is okay to go get help.’ The song is part of Friendships count, a new anti-stigma campaign produced by Mental Health Connection and Community Solutions of Fort Worth.

Defining mental disorders and how they affect teens can help reduce te stigma associated with illnesses. An adolescent alone can make you feel like; ‘No one understands me.’

Even though people are more comfortable discussing mental disorders today, there are still many who don’t understand why the words weird, crazy or unstable are negative labels.

A little understanding and support from a friend can make life a lot easier for these people.

 

Newspaper headline screams schizophrenia

schiz 1I opened my newspaper and saw the following headline sceaming at me – Schizophrenia in two state solution. Until then, I’d always thought that the place for an article on schizophrenia was in the Health section of a newspaper and not when reporting a political debate.

I’LL TELL YOU WHAT SCHIZOPHRENIA IS. i WILL ALSO TELL YOU WHAT SCHIZOPHRENIA IS NOT.

Is schizophrenia a split personality? No, it is not. It’s a split from reality.

Is schizophrenia a rare condition? No, it is not rare. The lifetime risk of developing schizophrenia is widely accepted as occurring in around 1 in 4 families.

Are people who have schizophrenia dangerous? Although the delusional thoughts and hallucinations of people with schizophrenia can lead to violent behavior, most people with this illness are neither violent nor a danger to others. Of course, if untreated, the person can get out of control.

Can people with schizophrenia be helped? Yes, they can. While long term treatment might be required, the outlook for schizophrenia is not hopeless. In fact, when properly treated, many people with this illness are able to enoy life and function within their families and communities.

And how does she know all this, you  might ask? Well, I did  not get it from textbooks nor from the internet. I did not get it from attending lectures nor from psychiatrists. I know this because our son suffered for many years from schizophrenia as well as from the stigma attached to it. To top all that, he proved to be medication resistant as well.

Eventually, after fighting his demons for approximately 16 years, he gave up, and I would like to think that he has gone to a better place where he has found the peace of mind he was unable to find on this earth.

 

Written by children on the day they were sent to a gas chamber in 1944

for a blog girl watching sunsetOn a purple, sun-shot evening Under wide-flowering chestnut trees Upon the threshold full of dust Yesterday, today, the days are all like these.   Trees flower forth in beauty, Lively too their very wood all gnarled and old That I am half afraid to peer Into their crowns of green and gold.   The sun has made a veil of gold So lovely that my body aches. Above, the heavens shriek with blue Convinced I’ve smiled by some mistake. The world’s abloom and seems to smile, I want to fly but where, how high? If in barbed wire, things can bloom Why couldn’t l? I will not die! 1944

Anonymous (Written by the children in Barracks L 318 and L 417; ages 10-16 years)   in the Terezin Concentration Camp on the outskirts of Prague. If those children had been able to remain optimistic until the end,  how dare I give up, ever?

After Tragedy Strikes

tulips growing

Have you ever wondered what you should do or how you ought to behave when visiting a relative or friend who has experienced tragedy in his/her family?

How about putting your arms around that person a bear hug and saying: ‘I love you.’ When someone said that to me after one of the tragedies that befell my family, it was both heartfelt, caring as well as healing  – whereas Time Heals or Most tragedies happen for a reason even if it was not meant to sound that way, had a hollow resonance to it.  After losing a loved one, there was not a single reason that I could grasp that could make me believe that something so tragic could happen for a reason. I heard: ‘When do you think you’ll get over this loss?’ OR ‘You’re young; you’ll have another baby soon.’ OR ‘You’ll make a new life,’ failed to help me understand what they were getting at. After losing my adult son to schizophrenia as he was medication resistant and could no longer bear the voices

 

Schizophrenia … and solitary confinement

There was a hearing on the subject of solitary confinement in prisons with testimony from federal and state law enforcement officials, academics and advocates with Anthony Graves, an exonerated former death-row inmate who spent  the majority of his 18 years in a Texas Prison in solitary confinement.

Quote: ‘I lived under the rules of a system that is literally driving men out of their minds,’ he said. The conditions were inhuman, my cell was small without access to human interaction or decent medical care. No one can begin to imagine the psychological effects that isolation has on another human being.’

Surely governments all over the world should give more time to this issue.

images

Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill ….

Jill's Experiences with Mental Health , Stigma, Alzheimer's Disease, Grief & Grieving & serenade2seniors

In a lighter vein:

Geroge Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill.

I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend, if you have one.”

Winston Churchill’s response;

“Cannot possibly attend the first night, will attend second …if there is one.”

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