Schizophrenia, Rachel Star, Jason Jepson discussed on A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast
I'm Rachel Star here with my co host Gape Howard last episode. We discussed how schizophrenia affects women and this episode. We are focusing on the gentleman exciting. We have Jason Jepson. Who's GONNA join us? He is a mental health advocate. Also a veteran. Who HAS SCHIZOPHRENIA? And Dr Finch will return to help us understand the medical side of things that are going on Rachel. I'm looking forward to a great show. I'm excited to gave last month. Rachel we learned how schizophrenia impacts women. You know things. Like motherhood and pregnancy and menopause and aging and. I don't think there's a lot of people were surprised that any illness would impact a female differently than it would a male but we sort of want to open that up because there were some big differences in how schizophrenia presents in males over females and I think that was surprising for us during the research because we just assumed that an illness hits women differently because I think society is conditioned to believe that women go through everything differently. The fact that we hear mentioned over and over is that men tend to get diagnosed far earlier in life than women. Do with schizophrenia. However as we talked about last episode that's not always true especially in families who have a history of mental illness and even amongst like different ethnic groups but due to being diagnosed younger age men often have not attained the same degree of social development as women. Do at the onset of schizophrenia and that can contribute to poor social outcomes during our research. We learned that the reason that menor often diagnosed earlier because men are showing more emotions or boehner abilities and when seen in women as we learned last month. They're just like oh well she's a woman so of course she's being emotional. Where when the exact same symptoms seen in men that like oh? This is a problem but as you pointed out getting diagnosed earlier isn't necessarily the advantage that we think it is in males because stereotypically they're looking at you for all kinds of issues as we're GONNA learn from our guest. One of those issues is violence or rage or anger. My question to you Rachel is. Do you think that men have an easier time with schizophrenia? Or is it just a different time? I would definitely say a different time being diagnosed earlier that in itself and we talked about mini episodes ago where it comes to diagnosing children where that has a huge impact on you. You know if you know earlier that you have a major mental disorder that can change just how other people view you yourself. How your parents view your future? I know that's definitely come up just in my own life. But I can't imagine. Had I gotten the diagnosis in high school. My parents probably immediately would have started wearing like while she can't go to college. Just assuming things so just like being diagnosed sooner. I think is really scary. And then the flip side not being diagnosed until your mid twenties like many women. Are you probably been dealing with this for a while? Had not been able to get help so it's definitely a different situation. I don't think either side is going to be easier anytime. You're dealing with schizophrenia. It's going to be intense across the board. Rachel do a refresh real quick and talk about symptoms that tend to impact men more than women. Men tend to have more serious cognitive deficits more the flat effect we have a monotone voice very dull expression. You don't really react the way that people would normally react in situations blunted emotional responses where it's just kind of. I don't WanNA say chill but you're just kind of you know straight across the board when things happen. Speech reduction and men tend to be less active than women. And of course just because you're male or female doesn't mean that you fit in a nice tidy box right it just just because you're male doesn't mean that you will have all of these and just because you're male doesn't mean that your family will not notice or will notice. We're speaking in generalities when we talk about stereotypically. This is how schizophrenia presents in men. Yes absolutely and Rachel. Of course we love you very much. But you're a woman living with schizophrenia. So you thought it would be appropriate to bring on a male who is living schizophrenia. And that's why we have a great guest who you spent some time with Jason. Jepson as you said. He's a veteran. He's awesome. He's living with schizophrenia. And you did a great interview. You're ready to roll it absolutely here. We go today's guest. Is Jason Jepson? Who also has schizophrenia? Thank you so much for being with us today. Jason Thank you for having me so right away. I what you to tell our listeners about yourself okay. Sure I'm a writer. I started journaling when I was in the seventh grade. I have two books out. I'm also a veteran. I'm a part of the Vet Council at McGuire. Veterans Hospital remained. Sure that veterans don't fall through the cracks and we dragged him to mineral services. It's awesome well. Thank you so much. Thank you very much for serving for US. Thank you so much. So what age were you diagnosed with schizophrenia? I was the diagnosis of schizophrenia. When I was twenty three I was diagnosed in the army. The thing is. I don't know how your schizophrenia is. But my I knew the voices the voices in my head board the other soldiers that fought in California where I was stationed in also friends from Richmond. Virginia because I saw my heaven hear their voices. It took me a little while to Except my illness. Did you have signs that you noticed earlier? Age Not really in high school. I'd mild depression. I saw a counselor for short time but I still was social. Had Friends and I've played Lacrosse in high school. Now do you have visual hallucinations. Also are yours mainly audio then in my twenties it was mainly voices that I couldn't figure out. Where were they will coming from? Stow our episode. Today is focusing on. How men experienced schizophrenia. Different than women? Do you have any thoughts on that? Do you feel. There's much of a difference Well I think everybody's experience for Schizophrenia. Is Different in general. I think we hear voices delusions but the specifics of a different. If that makes any sense okay. It's just important to find the right treatment plant for men and women you know. Find the right medication. Maybe have therapy. How does someone to trust like your parents or your friends and all that takes trial and error for both men and women. I want to ask you this because I think it has like two sides that you see. A lot of men with schizophrenia ended up homeless and I know with you also working with veterans. You hear that a lot too when you have a lot of people coming back with post traumatic stress disorder. What are your thoughts on that? Yes what kills me makes me when attack. This mental health thing for veterans is out veterans actually committed suicide in the parking lot of the. Va Can you believe that? I mean there's gotta be an answer to that. I mean. It took me a while. Ask for help myself. How do we get there? How do we combat that? You know it's just I hope. Veterans Council can reach out to them. we were still a new organization. But that's just need to ask for help and it can be take awhile but be patient. I would say men are typically known for not wanting to ask for help and I can imagine it's been doing you're talking about like soldiers you know the idea of masculinity it being even harder for guys like that exactly what you know one thing. That's helping. There's more athletes coming forward to Lesson to stigma for men. I'm sure you for that. Dwayne Rock Johnson has come out saying he gets depressed. I mean that guy's a famous actor and that's going to do great things for men in my opinion is huge. You think masculinity he's just giant muscle. What has been your biggest struggle as a man with schizophrenia? Well it's the Saudi expectations. The stereotypes gave does this wonderful on the social network but but know why kids job. I used to avoid social situations because the question. What do you do? What do you do for a living? Because I didn't have an answer then. I realized I would make a house advocate and I'm proud to be a mental health advocate when you say you're a minute health advocate that opens the door for education. What is it one in? Four people have some kind of mental illness. You know so if you open up. A mental health advocate well. My my sister has bipolar. My uncle is a schizophrenic. You know it opens it up and talking about it. Like we're doing now is the most important things to bus stigma. What advice do you have for men? That are listening. Right now with schizophrenia. Except your diagnosis is probably one of the most important things I can say when he accepted you. Get on the right medication. Be Patient with medication and It's okay to ask for help you know ask for help. It's it's okay to ask for help so with our veterans that are out there. Do you have any advice for loved ones who worry about like different people coming back from their time military wise. Do you have any advice for loved ones? Let let them know about the options like A. My mom resource my illness before I came home. She she resorts schizophrenia. She was before I came back. And you know how me with the V. A. And everything like that. She won't let me fall through the cracks I would say be patient but you you know you should offer your help. I guess and do your research on if they come back with a mental illness or whatever does support groups caregivers can take it. Just Nami dot org the Pie. Shell you something there or you know if the VA.