20 Episode results for "Schizophrenia"

Interview with a schizophrenic - Test01

Interview with a schizophrenic

01:44 min | 1 year ago

Interview with a schizophrenic - Test01

"My Name's Duncan and this is a test episode of interview with a schizophrenic. Why intend to do is to create a series of podcasts. where I interview a person? He's been diagnosed with schizophrenia. And Make It interesting as your host. I have a diagnosis of schizophrenia India. As well which gives me some advantages as I'm able to access schizophrenic patients and the community as a service user myself and also be able to give you my insights and hopefully our ask interesting questions As a community grows I would definitely like feedback. And perhaps some ideas of what you'd like to ask in the future you'd like me to interview and we'll see how graze so this is my first ever podcast channel. Say I'm Kinda Megan Apas. I got along long really but I do. I do hope that it will be enjoyable interesting and An farm along the way See that's all.

schizophrenia Duncan
Bonus Content: Schizophrenia in Men

The Psych Central Show

40:55 min | 1 year ago

Bonus Content: Schizophrenia in Men

"Hello Psych Central podcast. Fans this is your host gave Howard and I've got some bonus content for you. The latest episode of Inside Schizophrenia. A psych central podcast. Please enjoy welcome to inside schizophrenia. Look into better understanding. Living well with schizophrenia hosted by renowned advocate and influence or Rachel Star withers and featuring gape Howard Burton listeners. Could it change in your schizophrenia treatment? Plan make a difference there options out there. You might not know about this at once. Monthly DIFFERENT DOT com to find out more about the benefits of once. Monthly injections for adults with schizophrenia. Welcome to inside schizophrenia. A psych central 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 going to 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 got are going on Rachel. I'm looking forward to a great show. I'm excited to game. Last month richer. We learned how schizophrenia in packs. Women things like motherhood and pregnancy and menopause and aging and. I don't think there are a lot of people. Were surprised that any illness would impact a female differently than it would mail but we sort of want to open that up because there were big differences in how schizophrenia presents in males 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 one 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 with younger h 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 men are often diagnosed earlier is because it men are showing more emotions vulnerabilities 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 going to 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 how 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 I mean. It can be 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. Let's 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 of the flat effect. We have a monotone voice very dull expression. You don't really react the way that people would normally react 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 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 the 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 with 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 Jackson. Who also has schizophrenia? So much for being with us today Jason. Thank you for having me so right away. I want 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. We made sure that veterans don't fall through the cracks and we dragged him to mineral services. It's awesome well. Thank you so much and 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. But my new voices the voices in my head for the other soldiers at Fort Ord in California where I was stationed and also friends from Richmond. Virginia so because I saw my heaven hear their voices. It took me a little while to accept 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 a short time but I still was social. Had Friends and played Lacrosse in high school net. 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 would they were coming from stope? Our episode today is focusing on. How men experienced schizophrenia for any different than women. Do you have any thoughts on that? Do you feel. There's much of a difference Well I figure. Everybody's experience for schizophrenia is different in general. I think we have voices we get delusions but the specifics of our different. If that makes any sense okay. It's just important to find the right treatment plan for men and women you find the right medication. Maybe have therapy. How does someone to trust like Joe Parents or your friends and all that takes trial and error for both men and women? I WanNa ask you this because I think it has like two sides that you see. A lot of men with schizophrenia. End Up homeless and I know 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? Basically attacked this. Middle Health. Thing for veterans is that veterans are committing suicide in the parking lot of Va. Can you believe that I mean there's gotta be an answer to that? I mean it took me about ask for help myself. How do we get there? How do we combat that? You know it's just. I hope to veterans Kausar can reach out to them We were still a new organization. But that's just me to ask for help and it can be take a while but be patient. I would say men are typically known for not wanting to ask for help and I can imagine it's been talking about like soldiers you know the idea like 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 stay for man. I'm sure you've heard 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 like yeah masculinity. He's just giant hustle. What has been your biggest struggle as a man with schizophrenia? Well Sasaadi expectations. Stereotypes gave does wonderful on the social network. But but you know why Kids Job. I used to avoid social situations because of the question. What do you do what you do for living? 'cause I didn't have an answer. Then I realized Alma Mater Health 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 mental illness. You know so if you open on. Their health advocate well. My my sister has bipolar. My uncle is a schizophrenic. 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 okay to ask for help so no. Yeah WITH HIS OUR VETERANS. That are out there. Do you have any advice for loved ones who worry about like different people coming back from light their time military wise. Do you have any advice for loved? Ones let them know about the options. Like I'm my mom resource my illness before I came home. She she resorts schizophrenia. She was before I came back and you knows how many what the va 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 just Nami dot org the Pie. Shell you something there or you know if the VA has one. If your loved ones a veteran but just there's got to be loved there. You know I tell my parents. My Dad helps me out too. I loved them so much for everything they've done for me and you may not see that when I come home but it's a journey and you will see it eventually. That helping you out. And just don't give up on your loved one. That's incredible at the Veterans Council. Do even have a hard time talking with other vets about being schizophrenic. The Veterans Council main focus is mental health for veterans and. We will try to help them out best. We can now with a voice for veterans. And sometimes we're not a Va. Just Gimme medication. I'm talking with veterans and the mental health waiting rooms. And so what do you need? Well how do you feel about services here? And so far they they like to solve is that sounds awesome. Sounds like you're the perfect one to be doing that to be able to right when they joined the like. Look this is what I have. So they're not scared to admit I've always found with my schizophrenia. The minute I tell someone they'll start telling me some other random thing and it's like okay just gets so it's okay if I let her know. I have depression or it's okay if I let her know that my mom such and such so. I really think it's cool that you like. Open that door for them. Have you ever heard of the project Semi Colon? Yes I have. I have a Semicolon on my hand. And when somebody has that. Tattoo it's an instant bond is so cool. I mean I pick up my dry cleaners like a couple of weeks ago and the cashier girl said well. I got the same tattoo. Fist-bump INSTA- bond. You know tell our listeners. What the semi colon project is what it's Would you go through a mental health? Crisis is not the end. It's not a period of crusher mark. It's a sippy coins a pause. And then you keep on going. Keep right on living. Thank you so much for being here with us. Jason let our listeners. How how can they find the books that you've written it's on Amazon? One is a poetry book misfires from a little combined. It's I always wanted a poetry book. It was published through Amazon. It's free voice. In stream of consciousness. Poetry misfired from the oakmont on Amazon. And then my memoirs kind of based on journal Entries Seventeen to about twenty two and it's called when we were young when we were youngest pretty much time capsules of old friends and old experiences. There's some funny stuff in there and I think it's a good read. People seem to enjoy it. That's awesome and you have some articles up with PSYCH CENTRAL DOT COM. That we have a link to our podcast description will thank you so much jason for sharing your experiences with us and we can't wait to talk to you again sometime while well. I'd say you you two are doing great things for the minute hold movement. Thank you for having me and thank you for all that you do. I thank you Rachel. That was awesome aside from everything that we heard in the interview. What was your overall impression of Jason? And how he manages his schizophrenia. It's always exciting for me to get to speak with and meet other people with schizophrenia. It's not something that comes up regularly for me. You know like Oh hey you got skit. So too awesome. So it's really cool. Getting able to speak with him and I loved his outlook on life. I really love the way like. He is just so inspirational. I completely agree with you Rachel. He was very inspiring very honest. He has a great outlook and of course because he has treatment he has just normal life one of the things that he mentioned. Was You know a lot of people coming back from the military have mental health issues? And we have to be there to help them. Do they all have? Ptsd NO OF COURSE. Not just like they don't have schizophrenia. Or depression or any number of maladies but his work outside his own issues to make sure that mental health treatment is available for our veterans is very very inspiring and I. I wish we could have left more of that in the interview because he just does such incredible work from that. So Jason. Thank you again for being on the show we we really appreciate it and just like we said earlier that just because you're male or female it doesn't mean you're going to necessarily fit into these little boxes we talked about with me. I was diagnosed in my twenties. However my symptoms were flaring up as a child where Jason The opposite of what we said earlier. He wasn't diagnosed until pretty what she was in the military readiness twenties. So just because you're male or female and you don't line up with one of the things we're talking about today. Don't let that stress you out. Okay I think that was just the perfect example though of what are those key things that we started off saying almost always in the B. and Jason are contradictions to it. Just look at it this way Rachel. You're the exception that proves the rule out. Let's move onto lifestyle changes when it comes to the stereotypical male and schizophrenia. Males have higher cigarette usage and self medicating with drugs and then also tend to self neglect and have a reduced interest in getting a job which unfortunately can leave a lot of men homeless. We talked about in our last episode. That people are more open and willing to reach out to women who were homeless than they are men and I think part of that is just that men come office just scarier. You tend to worry more so you WANNA be more protective whereas if a woman's homeless a woman and her child you're like more sympathetic. Rachel obviously some of. This has nothing to do with schizophrenia. At all it just has to do with the way that our society is structured. Ever since I was a small child I always heard women and children I. It's a man's to protect. It's not even just that it's a hold open doors or the fairer sex and just on and on and on so I can see where if you are a man and let's say that you're a big guy and you're yelling you're radic you're screaming. You're not making a lot of sense. People would fear you whereas if you're presenting the exact same way as a female and your smaller person you just don't come off as scary and we see this a lot and the research shows that it makes it harder for men to get help. There are significantly more female shelters than there are male shelters and there's almost no male shelters and again we're talking across an entire nation doing averages. Your community may be very very different. It's one of the things to think about that. This really just has nothing to do with schizophrenia. This is just the social culture of our communities. I used to work in Homeless shelters many many many many many many many years ago but we had a male win in a female one and the males were constantly getting kicked out. It did not take much to get them in kicked out however most of the women on the women's side were there with their children and they could get away with so much. Because you didn't want to throw you know the child out you couldn't like kick the women out and the men on the other hand it's like a revolving door the littlest thing could get them kicked out of the homeless shelter. So I mean I think even just whether you're talking about mental health or not. The standards are different. I used to work in a homeless shelter as well and I saw the exact same thing and I think that anybody listening to this show if they searched deep in their heart they would realize the same thing they would tolerate a lot. More from you know like you said a a mom with a child and they would a single male. Unfortunately we do have higher expectations of men and that cuts both ways. It's not surprising that gender roles in society would impact how we're treating mental health issues. And also we WANNA touch on this as well. Women are more likely to ask for help and asking for help. Means you're much more likely to receive help. Men are significantly less likely to ask for help and therefore less likely to receive help and not just that whole stairs of goodwill minner prideful. Not Wine. Ask for help. You take that plus schizophrenia. Making you withdraw inside yourself and sometimes asking for help isn't even an option. It's not the person as well. I'm just too PRIDEFUL TO ASK FOR HELP. It's that's something that's too far gone to even be an option for the person and going back to what. Jason's stressed women are likely to ask for help for other women because women have fostered a culture where this is acceptable. Men unfortunately have fostered a culture where you must be tough. You must be strong so men are much less likely to ask other men for help. And I know that Jason's stressed repeatedly that this is a culture that has to change. Not JUST FOR PEOPLE TO RECEIVE. Help with schizophrenia but for all sorts of issues especially mental health issues from PTSD depression to anxiety. Men really half to change because our own biases are impacting. The way that we are being treated for and getting help for schizophrenia but it is not surprising that our society is influencing mental health. Care and schizophrenia. Care Rachel let's switch gears and talk about something that men have more of than women do and that's testosterone. How does having more testosterone affect schizophrenia? Studies that found that low levels of testosterone appear to be associated with more severe negative symptoms of schizophrenia. So negative which we've talked about before is lacking from a quote unquote normal personality. So your depression. Your speech deficits things like that testosterone deprivation which results also in low estrogen levels which we talked about the role that estrogen plays last. Episode has been related to increase psychosis so a lot with these hormones. That's completely out of our control. What's going on when you're talking about men or women the different hormones that are coming into play and it affects our schizophrenia. So much one of the studies showed that men with low testosterone levels. In the schizophrenia group had significantly worse face recognition results than did those with high normal testosterone. Can you explain that a little bit because I thought that that was very compelling information? This is actually a very interesting symptom that we have not talked about much in our podcast on schizophrenia. But yes being able to recognize. People faces it plays into our memory and yeah the low testosterone seems to for whatever reason affect that part of memory of being able to recognize people by their face. I always tell people but you know I teach modeling and acting and I have so so many students in the hundreds and I always tell them. I'm not gonNA remember name but I'm also not gonNA remember your face so if you see me like out shopping at Walmart walk up to me and tell me who you are and how I know you just putting it out there now that it will like you. I just I remember nothing and that I've learned over the years though is part of schizophrenia. How it affects your memory. That's kind of what that study was discussing. We'LL BE RIGHT BACK. After this message from our sponsor it can sometimes feel like another schizophrenia. Episode is just around the corner in fact a study found that patients had an average of nine episodes in less than six years. However there's a treatment plan option that can help delay another episode a once monthly injection for adults with schizophrenia. If delaying another episode. Sounds like it can make a difference for you or your loved one. Learn MORE ABOUT TREATING SCHIZOPHRENIA. With once monthly injections at once monthly difference DOT com. That's once monthly difference DOT COM. And we're back discussing schizophrenia. And how it affects men Rachel. Let's move onto Dr Hayden finch now for those of you who listen to last month's episode. You know that Dr Hayden Finch is awesome and she gave us lots of great information on how women present with schizophrenia. And of course this month he's going to give the information on. How men present with schizophrenia. She is absolutely lovely all right. Are you ready? Let's roll it? We're here speaking again with Dr Hayden Finch. She joined US last episode. That was about women who has schizophrenia. And she's joining us again to focus now on men. Thank you so much for being here with us again Dr Bench. I'm happy to be back especially to talk about the men who are neglected loss time. So let's dive right in. What issues do men with schizophrenia? Tend to seek? Help with men with schizophrenia. Tend to have more problems with substance use to. That's definitely something that will bring them into treatment. We also see more negative symptoms so in the last episode we talked about positive symptoms in things that are added to the experience like hallucinations. Delusions whereas negative symptoms are things that are missing the ought to be there. So men with schizophrenia will come to treatment for those negative symptoms. So there's just things like apathy or loss of motivation. Nothing really seeming fun or interesting decrease social drive or lack of social interest and just really not paying attention to social or cognitive. And are there therapies. That tend to work. Better for men than women with treating schizophrenia. Not Really Interestingly. Like even though the illness presents a little bit differently in men and women most of the treatments. That WE HAVE FOR SCHIZOPHRENIA. Are Equally effective in men or women or actually a little bit more effective for women on which we think is just because women tend to be a little bit better about adhering to their treatment. Plans than men are but in general most of the therapies that we have are equally. Effective men with schizophrenia tend to have higher homelessness rates than women. What's the cause of that? I think there are a lot of things that contribute to one. Is that because they tend to develop schizophrenia earlier in life than women do. They don't have opportunities to develop their full social skills and occupational skills and those skills can protect people against homelessness when you have really good social skills and really good occupational skills. You're more likely to be able to get a job and keep a job. So without those skills being slugged develop their at higher risk for homelessness but also women are more likely to be married and that domestic partnership can protect them against homelessness whereas men don't often have that protection is substance uses another factor with Raider substance use the risk for homelessness increasing as it affects job stability and security of housing but also there are slightly more resources available for women who are at risk for homelessness. There are domestic violence shelters. There are shelters for women and children and there are more opportunities for women than for men still really lacking in that area and we need more resources but men have your resources and even women do. Why a substance abuse much worse with men. We don't really know it's partly we think just the way that they are culturally conditioned or taught to deal with feelings. There's often a family history of substance use so that model for them. Their parents were struggling with alcohol addiction with you that a little bit more with them than is there a particular substance the most common of course the cigarettes which we don't really think of and substance use but the majority of people in Schizophrenia. Smoke cigarettes so that's most common and then after that with the alcohol and beyond that I really am not sure what the most common substance are. It's funny because he said women tend to adhere to taking their medications and following treatment. More strictly but then men tend to be more likely to add to the. Let's go rhino. And the reason that they smoke cigarettes is because it affects how anti psychotics work and I talk about this in my book but nicotine affects the way the medications work in the body and can reduce the side effects. So it actually gives you ultimately less medication. And then you're side effects. So some people are sort of medicating themselves against the side effects of the. Anti psychotics with things like nicotine. So it's sort of this very complicated interaction between seeking treatment and self medicating against the medication. That's interesting no one's ever ordered it that way. Wire men with schizophrenia. More likely to have trouble holding down a job in women and we talked a little bit about the negative emotions but going into that more so the biggest thing that predicts occupational functioning which is how well we perform our jobs. The biggest that predicts that are how good your social skills are how long you are sick before you ever got treatments. And how much support you have from people around you. And in all three of those areas men tend to suffer more than women so men social functioning is less well developed than women. They tend to be sick a little bit longer than women are before they finally get treatment and they have less support unfortunately from friends and family than women do so all of those things that men at more of a disadvantage than women and the other thing is that because women aren't usually diagnosed until mid to late twenties now. They have more of a chance to complete their education before the illness starts. And that's another factor that can make it easier for them to get a job than men. Do we actually did an episode about violence and schizophrenia. But men are seen to be More violent than women and I think more people if you have a woman who's having a psychotic break I having a man people get a lot more afraid. Can you talk to us about that? Dr Finch sure so. It's true that men tend to show a bit more verbal and physical aggression than women do but also we know from some research that came out in two thousand sixteen that the relationship between psychosis and violence is explained by free. Things one is paranoia. Another is substance use in a third is not sticking to your treatment plan and so we talked earlier in this episode about how men tend to you substances more than women do and so that can increase risk for violence and also that women are better at adhering to their treatment. Plans than men are. Those are are some factors that can affect violence and men with schizophrenia. And that's a very good point. Yeah it's a lot of factors is not just schizophrenia. And of course all that being said we know. I'm sure y'all cover this in your earlier episode. That people schizophrenia are far more likely to be victims of violence. Then perpetrators yes. If I'm a loved one who has a man whether it's a son husband cousin? Good close friend with schizophrenia. Knowing all this can be a little overwhelming sure. How can I help that person? That man in my life was the most important thing is usually the relationship and relationships can become very strained when a person is in the depths of the owners that they haven't received any treatment yet and they're really experiencing some pretty significant symptoms that compromises relationships with the relationship. You have with. A person with schizophrenia is super important. That's going to help you get the person to treatment and get them to go to appointments. Take the medicine sue. Preserving relationship is the most important thing but that is really difficult but it's critical so doing anything. You can to make sure that the person is feeling supported rather than alienated. That is where I would focus my energy and we talked last episode that there were some options that women tend to have more of that they can contact as far as dealing with homelessness and different things. Like that getting help when it comes to children. What about men? What type of options are there for men? Many options are are similar. Communities are all different in terms of what services are available. That's a lot of services are available to men and women's or things like transportation services in home services when they will come to your home to teach you how to cook or how to mend shirts that needs fixing there's respite care that's available for men as well if they need a break from their roommate. They need a safe place to stay for a night and of course there are clinical services who are people with mental illness. We were talking last episode about mothers with Schizophrenia. But of course there are Fathers Schizophrenia. And so all of the services that are available for parents are not just rems. They're often afford dad so support our parents parents with mental illness and the specialized clinical thermostats were appearance with mental. Illness would apply to DADS as well. And that's something we spoke about in the show as I was doing research for these episodes. It was frustrating for me because I found an article after article about motherhood pregnancy dealing with children and having schizophrenia and I couldn't find anything on fatherhood being a schizophrenia so I definitely it's something that's not addressed as much. Yeah absolutely unfortunately a lot of women who get pregnant. The pregnancy as unplanned unwanted sometimes from a sexual assaults and so often they don't know who the father is when they do. Sometimes the father just chooses not to be involved into the woman is there are left to raise the baby on her own. But you're right. We don't have many services for dads with schizophrenia. We don't know much about them. And as difficult as it is for a mom would schizophrenia. They're probably different factors affecting fatherhood hated. Now you have a book coming out if you WANNA tell us about this. Yeah I wrote a book. It's called the beginner's guide to understanding schizophrenia. It is my take on all the latest information on symptoms of schizophrenia. What causes it? What it looks like in the brain and how to treat it. I've written it in the plainest language possible. Just wrote it and I so I went through all the research. That's available right now to write it but my goal was to give people the real technical information all the details. We know but in language that is super easy to understand so it's called the beginner's guide to understand schizophrenia. You can find it on Amazon. Ultimately it all linked to it on my website at Hidden Bench Dot. Com SLASH SCHIZOPHRENIA book. And it also be the show and this book. Is it more geared towards loved ones friends? Family or people with schizophrenia. I root for both actually so the person I didn't write it for is any sort of clinician or researcher. It's not for them. It's people who don't know anything about mental hall or treatment of no scientific knowledge. That's why I wrote it for so I wrote it for people who are just trying to understand schizophrenia. Whether that's because you have it or you have a loved one. Who HAS IT? Or you're just GONNA curious to know more about it. That's awesome. Thank you so much Dr. Fitch for joining us once again. Very very interesting. And thank you for shedding light on these subjects and we definitely gotTa Check Your Book. Out Rachel as always incredible interview now. I know that you talked to Dr Finch for a couple of hours. And obviously we edit down. Did you learn anything about men with schizophrenia? From her that you didn't know before this interview I learned so much from her and I'd like that she's able to explain kind of that medical side and the way she's able to just explain it so I guess simply unlike a level that me and you can understand gave you know. We're we're not doctors but being able to break that down and I really liked that kind of explaining the homelessness and then of course the substance abuse and all of that playing in more so with the males the she's incredible once again. Thank you Dr French for being here and please if you have a moment pick up her book. She helped us with both episodes and she does it free of charge. She's a great advocate for people with schizophrenia and mental health general so once again hats off to Dr Finch yes Gabe I want to ask you. First as someone who does not have schizophrenia. What is your takeaway from these past two episodes on the gender differences? I was surprised and I. I don't know why I feel like I shouldn't have been surprised. So I feel a little guilty but knowing the way that society treats the genders so heavily. Impacted the outcomes and the treatment for schizophrenia from diagnosis to treatment. Asking for help to getting care that really. Kinda put me on my on my rear little. Because it's just so sad. Both men and women have the same illness and yes. There's variants and the presentations etcetera. But the thing that made me I'm GonNa go with saddest is that the outcomes were different based on how society effectively sees men and women. And it's like. Wow just just wow no. I agree with that completely. We obviously all know the society and you know we have these different ideals in our heads but yet to see how it can really affect people who are dealing with serious mental illnesses. It's definitely eye opening. I say the past two episodes for me have been very fascinating because there are so many factors that are out of people's control and where you're talking about form hormones that the body creates like to how your body actually processes the medications. Learning to thrive with schizophrenia is not as simple as take your pills every day. It's not as simple as make sure you're going to the doctor. You can be doing everything right. You can be doing everything correctly. Be Taking your medication on time. Be going to the doctor religiously and the deck is still stacked against you. And that's frustrating. It's a depressing. Say The least situation to be in in those times. That's when it's time to change the game. I love how Jason hit on how he used to hate it when people would ask him what he did work wise and then he came to the realization. That wait a minute. He's a mental health advocate. He works with veterans. He's leading a council for veterans and he's an author public speaker and it just goes on and on and that's like so much that's amazing like he does all this incredible stuff and I don't know that gave me so much hope gay. It's easy to just kind of look at the negative. What maybe someone isn't doing and not pay attention to all of the amazing incredible things that they are and to your point when you say that it's easy to look at all the negatives in somebody's life and ignore the positives we have to put that on ourselves right. It's it's easy for us to ignore our own positives and only focus on. The negative is much as I would. Love to say that. Stigma and discrimination against people with schizophrenia is. All External. There is an internal components and I agree with you when Jason realize that he was doing all of this volunteer work in his community and Jason was using his experience for so much. Positivity is specially in the veteran community the fact that he can work with veterans and understand both the mental health aspect and the veteran aspect. It makes him a hot commodity and him realizing that obviously paid huge dividends for him so I would put a challenge out to everybody listening. Find the thing that you and you alone are uniquely good at and powerful and and keep that in mind. That's awesome absolutely gave. Well put very cool. Thank you so much for listening. Please likes share subscribe? And we'll be back next month with another episode of inside schizophrenia. Psych central podcast inside schizophrenia is presented by Psych Central Dot Com America's largest and longest operating independent mental health website. Your host Rachel Star withers can be found online at Rachel Star. Live Dot com co host gave Howard can be found online at gape. Howard dot for questions or to provide feedback. Please email top back at psych central Dot Com. The official website for insight schizophrenia is psych central dot com slash. Gs thank you for listening and please share widely.

schizophrenia Rachel Star Inside Schizophrenia Dr Hayden finch Jason Virginia Jason Jepson depression Gape Howard testosterone menopause Jason Jackson Amazon Lacrosse visual hallucinations Alma Mater Health Advocate Veterans Council Fort Ord Howard Burton Psych Central Dot Com America
The Recovery Show (Trailer)

The Recovery Show

00:59 min | 8 months ago

The Recovery Show (Trailer)

"Hello, my name is Sharon Deniz. And this is the trailer for The Recovery show where we will be exploring or I will be expecting topics related to substance use and abuse mental health related issues and recovery and relapse prevention. There's already one that's interesting episode on what is addictions and why we well not used the word addictions. We were referred to what people say as addictions abstinence use related disorder. It's either of substance use misuse or abuse with regards to mental health issues. We will be looking at depression anxiety bipolar schizophrenia. What is it all about when we see a schizophrenia, why is it referred to as a thought disorder and

Sharon Deniz anxiety bipolar schizophrenia depression schizophrenia
Bonus Content: Schizophrenia in Men

A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast

40:52 min | 1 year ago

Bonus Content: Schizophrenia in Men

"Hey not crazy. Fans we've got some bonus content for you. Please enjoy this episode of inside schizophrenia. A psych central podcast. Welcome to inside. Schizophrenia a look into better understanding and living well with schizophrenia hosted by renowned advocate and influence Rachel Star withers and featuring gay powered listeners. Could change in your schizophrenia treatment. Plan make a difference there options out there. You might not know about this at once. Monthly DIFFERENCE DOT COM to find out more about the benefits of once. Monthly injections for adults with schizophrenia. Welcome to inside schizophrenia. A psych central 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 has one if your loved ones a veteran but just there's got to be loved there. You know I tell my parents. My Dad helps me out to. I love them so much for everything they've done for me and you may not see that when they first come home but it's a journey and you will see it eventually that will help you out and just don't give up on your loved one. That's incredible at the Veterans Council. Do you even have a hard time talking with other vets about being schizophrenic? The Veterans Council main focuses is mental health for veterans and. We will try to help out best. We can now with the voice for veterans. And sometimes we're not a Va. Just give my medication. I'm talking with veterans and the mental health waiting rooms. And so what do you need will? How do you feel about services here? And so far they they like the offices that sounds awesome. Sounds like you're the perfect one to be doing that to be able to right when they joined be like. Look this is what I have. So they're not scared to admit I've always found with my schizophrenia. The minute I tell someone they'll start telling me some other random thing and it's like okay. She has schizophrenia. So it's okay if I let her know depression or it's okay if I let her know that my mom such and such so. I really think it's cool that you like. Open that door for them. Yeah have you ever heard of the project Semi Colon? Yes I have. I've a semi colon all my hand and when somebody has that Tattoo it's an instant bond is so cool. I mean I picked up my dry cleaners like a couple of weeks ago and the cashier girl said well. I got the same tattoo fist. Bump into bond you know tell our listeners. What the semi colon project is what it's Would you go through? Middle Health? Crisis is not the end is not a period of question mark. It's Sippy coins positive. And You keep brought on going. Keep right on living. Thank you so much for being here with us. Jason let our listeners. So how can they find the books that you've written it's on Amazon? One is a poetry book misfires from Lille combined. It's I always wanted a poetry book published through Amazon. It's free verse in Stream of consciousness. Poetry misfired from the oak mine on Amazon. And then my memoirs kind of based on journal Entries Seventeen to about twenty two and it's called when we were young when we were youngest pretty much a time capsules of all friends and old experiences. There's some funny stuff in there and I. I think it's a good read. People seem to enjoy it. That's awesome and you have some articles up with psych central dot com that we have a link to in our podcast description. Thank you so much Jason for sharing your experiences with us. We can't wait to talk to you again sometime while well. I'd say you two are doing great things for the mental health movement. Thank you for having me and thank you for all that you do. I thank you Rachel. That was awesome aside from everything that we heard in the interview. What was your overall impression of Jason? And how he manages his schizophrenia. It's always exciting for me to get to speak with and meet other people with schizophrenia. It's not something that comes up regularly for me. You know where you just like. Oh Hey you got so too awesome. So it's really cool. Getting able to speak with him and I loved his outlook on life. I really love the way like. He is just so inspirational. I completely agree with you Rachel. He was very inspiring very honest. He has a great outlook and of course because he has treatment he has just normal life one of the things that he mentioned. Was You know a lot of people coming back from the military have mental health issues? And we have to be there to help them. Do they all have? Ptsd NO OF COURSE. Not just like they don't have schizophrenia. Or depression or any number of maladies but his work outside of his own issues to make sure that mental health treatment is available for our veterans is very very inspiring and I. I wish we could have left more of that in the interview because he just does such incredible work from that. So Jason Thank you again for being on the show we we really appreciate it and just like we said earlier that just because you're male or female it doesn't mean you're going to necessarily fit into these little boxes. We talked about with me. I was diagnosed in my twenties. However my symptoms were flaring up as a child whereas Jason. The opposite of what we said earlier. He wasn't diagnosed until pretty what she was in the military already readiness twenties. So just because you're male or female and you don't line up with one of the things we're talking about today. Don't let that stress you out. Okay I think that was a perfect example. Though of what are those key things that we started off saying almost always in the B. and Jason are the contradictions to it. Just look at it this way Rachel. You're the exception that proves the rule. There we go. Let's move onto lifestyle changes when it comes to the stereotypical male and schizophrenia. Males have higher cigarette usage and self medicating with drugs and then also tend to self neglect and have a reduced interest and getting a job which unfortunately can leave a lot of men homeless. We talked about in our last episode. That people are kind of more open and willing to reach out to women who were homeless than they are men and I think part of that is just that men come off as just scarier. You tend to worry more so you WANNA be more protective whereas if a woman's homeless a woman and her child you're like more sympathetic Rachel. Obviously some of this has nothing to do with schizophrenia. At all it just has to do with the way that our society is structured. Ever since I was a small child I always heard women and children I. It's a man's responsibility to protect. It's even just hold open doors or the fairer sex and just on and on and on so I can see where if you are a man and let's say that you're a big guy and you're yelling your erotic you're screaming you're not making a lot of sense. People would fear you. Where is your presenting the exact same way as a female and you're a smaller person. You just don't come off as scary and we see this a lot and the research shows that it makes it harder for men to get help. There are significantly more female shelters than there are male shelters and there's almost no male shoulders and again we're talking across an entire nation doing averages. Your community may be very very different. It's one of the things to think about. This really just has nothing to do with schizophrenia. This is just the social call. Sure of our communities. I used to work in homeless shelters many many many many many many many years ago but we had a male win and a female one and the males were constantly getting kicked out. It did not take much to get them in kicked out however most of the women on the women's side were there with their children and they could get away with so much. Because you did want to throw you know the child out you couldn't kick the women out and the men on the other hand it's like a revolving door. The littlest thing could get them kicked out of the homeless shelter. So I think even just whether you're talking about mental health or not. The standards are different. I used to work in a homeless shelter as well and I saw the exact same thing and I think that anybody listening to this show. If they searched deepen their heart they would realize the same thing they would tolerate a lot. More from you know like you said a a mom with a child than they would a single male. Unfortunately we do have higher expectations of men and that cuts both ways. It's not surprising that gender roles in society would impact how we're treating mental health issues. And also we WANNA touch on this as well. Women are more likely to ask for help and asking for help. Means you're much more likely to receive help. Men are significantly less likely to ask for help and therefore less likely to receive help and not. Just that whole stereotypical will minner prideful. Not Wind. Ask for help. You take that plus schizophrenia. Making you withdraw inside yourself and sometimes asking for help is an even an option. It's not the person as well. I'm just too prideful to ask for help. It's that's just something that's too far gone to even be an option for the person and going back to what Jason stressed women are likely to ask for help for other women because women have fostered a culture where this is acceptable. Men unfortunately have fostered a culture where you must be tough. You must be strong so men are much less likely to ask other men for help and I know that Jason stressed repeatedly that this is a culture that has to change. Not JUST FOR PEOPLE TO RECEIVE. Help with schizophrenia but for all sorts of issues especially mental health issues from PTSD to depression to anxiety. Men really have to change because our own biases are impacting. The way that we are being treated for and getting help for schizophrenia but is not surprising that our society is influencing mental health. Care and schizophrenia. Care Rachel let's switch gears and talk about something that men have more of than women do and that's testosterone. How does having more testosterone affect schizophrenia? Studies have found that low levels of testosterone appear to be associated with the more severe negative symptoms of schizophrenia. So negative which we've talked about before is lacking from a quote unquote normal personality. So your depression. Your speech deficits things like that testosterone deprivation which results also in low estrogen levels which we talked about the role that estrogen plays last. Episode has been related to increase psychosis so a lot with these hormones. That's completely out of our control. What's going on when you're talking about men or women the different hormones that are coming into play and it affects schizophrenia. So much one of the studies showed that men with low testosterone. Levels in schizophrenia. Group had significantly worse face recognition results than did those with high normal testosterone. Can you explain that a little bit because I thought that that was very compelling information? This is actually a very interesting symptom that we have not talked about much in our podcast on schizophrenia. But yes being able to recognize. People faces it plays into our memory and yeah the low testosterone seems to for whatever reason affect that part of memory of being able to recognize people by their face. I always tell people but you know I teach modeling and acting and I have so so many students in the hundreds and I always tell them. I'm not GonNa Remember your name but I'm also not going to remember your face so if you see me like out shopping at Walmart walk up to me and tell me who you are and how I know you just put it out there. Now that it'll like you I just I remember nothing and that I've learned over the years though is part of schizophrenia. How it affects your memory. That's kind of what that study was discussing. We'LL BE RIGHT BACK. After this message from our sponsor it can sometimes feel like another schizophrenia. Episode is just around the corner in fact a study found that patients had an average of nine episodes in less than six years. However there's a treatment plan option that can help delay another episode a once monthly injection for adults with schizophrenia. If delaying another episode. Sounds like it can make a difference for you or your loved one. Learn MORE ABOUT TREATING SCHIZOPHRENIA. With once monthly injections at once monthly difference DOT com. That's once monthly difference DOT COM. And we're back discussing schizophrenia. And how it affects men Rachel. Let's move onto Dr Hayden finch now for those of you who listen to last month's episode. You know that Dr Hayden Finch is awesome and she gave us lots of great information on how women present schizophrenia. And of course this month's he's going to give us the men formation on how men present schizophrenia. She is absolutely lovely aride. Are you ready? Let's roll it? We're here speaking again with Dr Hayden Finch. She joined US last episode. That was about women. Who Have Schizophrenia? And she's joining us again to focus now on men. Thank you so much for being here with us. Dr Finch. I'm happy to be back especially to talk about the men who are neglected last time. So let's dive right in. What issues do men with schizophrenia? Tend to seek help with well. Men with schizophrenia tend to have more problems with substance use. So that's definitely something that will bring them into treatment. We also see more negative symptoms so in the last episode we talked about positive symptoms being things that are added to the experience like Hallucinations and Delusions. Whereas negative symptoms are things that are missing the ought to be there. So men with schizophrenia will come to treatment or negative symptoms. So there's things like apathy or lost motivation. Nothing really seeming fun or interesting that decrease social drive or lack of social interest and just really not paying attention to social or cognitive input. Are there therapies? That tend to work. Better for men than women with treating schizophrenia. Not really interestingly. Like even though the illness presents a little bit differently men and women most of the treatments that we offer schizophrenia are equally effective in men or women or actually a little bit more effective for women which we think is just because women tend to be a little bit better about adhering to their treatment. Plans are but in general most of the therapies that we have are equally. Effective men with schizophrenia. Tend to have higher homelessness rates them women. What's the cause of that? I think there are a lot of things that contribute to it. One is not because they tend to develop schizophrenia earlier in life than women do. They don't have opportunities to develop their full social skills and occupational skills and those skills can protect people against homelessness. So when you have really good social skills and really good occupational skills you're more likely to be able to get a job. Keep a job so without those skills thing is slow develop their at higher risk for homelessness but also women are more likely to be married and that domestic partnership can protect them against homelessness whereas men don't as often have that protection. The substance uses another factor with Raider substance use the risk for homelessness increasing as it affects job stability and security of Housing. Would also there are slightly more resources available for women who are at risk for homelessness? Their domestic violence shelters there are shelters for women and children and there are more opportunities for women than for men still. We're really lacking in that area. And we need more resources but men have Europe those resources and even women do why substance abuse much worse with men. We don't really know it's hardly we think just the way that they are culturally conditioned or talked to deal with feelings. There's often a family history of substance use so that model for them. Their parents were struggling with alcohol or addiction with you that a little bit more with them than is there a particular substance the most common of course the cigarettes which we don't really think of as substance use but the majority of people in Schizophrenia. Smoke cigarettes so that's most comment and then after that would be alcohol and beyond that I really am not sure what the most common substance are. It's funny because he said women tend to adhere to taking their medications and following treatment. Strictly but then men tend to be more likely to add to no end heart and the reason that they smoke cigarettes is because it affects how the Anti psychotics work and I talked about this in my book but nicotine affects the way the medications work in the body and can reduce the side effects. So it actually gives you ultimately less medication and then your side effects. So some people are sort of medicating themselves against the side effects of the Anti psychotics. With things like nicotine. So it sort of this very complicated interaction between seeking treatment and self medicating against the medication. That's interesting no one's ever ordered it that way. Why are men with schizophrenia? More likely to have trouble holding down job women women and we talked a little bit about the negative emotions but going into that more so the biggest thing that predicts occupational functioning which is how well we perform our jobs. The biggest thing that predicts now are how good your social skills are how long you are sick before you ever got treatment and how much support you have from people around you. And in all three of those areas men tend to suffer more than women so men social functioning is less well developed than women. They tend to be sick a little bit longer than women are before they finally get treatment and they have less support unfortunately from friends and family than women do so all of those things man at more of a disadvantage than women and the other thing is that because women aren't usually diagnosed until mid to late twenties now. They have more of a chance to complete their education before they illness starts. And that's another factor that can make it easier for them to get and Peop- job than men do. We actually did an episode about violence and schizophrenia. But men are seen to be more violent than women and I think more people if you have a woman who's having a psychotic break I having a man people get a lot more afraid. Can you talk to us about that? Dr Finch shares sue. It's true that men tend to show a bit more verbal and physical aggression than women do but also we know from some research that came out in two thousand sixteen that the relationship between psychosis and violence is explained by three things. One is paranoia now. There is substance use. A third is not sticking to your treatment plan. We talked earlier in this episode about how men tend to use substances more than women do and so that can increase risk for violence and also that women are better at adhering to their treatment. Plans men are so those are some factors that can affect violence and men with schizophrenia. And that's a very good point. Yeah it's a lot of factors is not just schizophrenia. And of course all that being said we know we cover this in your earlier episode. That people are schizophrenia. Are Far more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. Yes if I'm a loved one who has a man whether it's a son husband cousin? Good close friend with schizophrenia. Knowing all of this can be a little overwhelming. Sure how could I help that person? That man in my life was schizophrenia. The most important thing is usually the relationship and relationships can become very strained when a person is in the depths of the owners if they haven't received any treatment yet and they're really experiencing some pretty significant symptoms not compromise relationships but the relationship. You have with. A person with schizophrenia is super important. Dot is going to help you get the person to treatment and get them to go to appointments. Take the medicine so preserving the relationship is the most important thing but that is really difficult but it's critical so doing anything. You can to make sure that the person is feeling supported rather than alienated. That is where I would focus my energy and we talked last episode that there were some options that women tend to have more of that they can contact as far as dealing with homelessness and different things. Like that getting help when it comes to children. What about men? What type of options are there for men? Many options are are similar. Communities are all different in terms of what services are available but a lot of services are available to men and women are things like transportation services in home services when they will come to your home to teach you how to cook or how to mend shirts that needs fixing. There's respite care. That's available for men as well if they need a break from their roommate or they need a safe place to stay for a night and of course. There are clinical services who are people with mental illness. Talking last episode. About mothers with schizophrenia. But of course there are fathers schizophrenia. And so all of the services that are available for parents are not just rems Austin Afford Dad so support groups for parents with mental illness and the specialized clinical services for parents with mental. Illness would apply to DADS as well. And that's something we spoke about in the show as I was doing research for these episodes. It was frustrating for me because I failed. Article after Article About motherhood pregnancy dealing with children having schizophrenia and. I couldn't find anything on fatherhood being a fire with schizophrenia so I definitely had something. That's not addressed as much absolutely unfortunately a lot of women who get pregnant. The pregnancy as unplanned unwanted sometimes from a sexual assaults and so often they don't know who the father is an when they do sometimes the father just chooses not to be involved in so the woman is there left to raise the baby on her own. But you're right like we don't have many services for DADS schizophrenia. We don't know much about them. A hand as difficult as it is for a mom would schizophrenia. They're probably different factors affecting fatherhood hated. Now you have a book coming out if you WANNA tell us about this. Yeah I wrote a book. It's called the beginner's guide to understanding schizophrenia. It is my take on all the latest information on the symptoms of schizophrenia. What causes it? What it looks like in the brain and how to treat it. I've written it in the plainest language. Possible I just wrote it and I so I went through all the research. That's available right now to write it but my goal was to give people the real technical information all the details. We know but in language that is super easy to understand. So it's called. The beginner sky to understand schizophrenia. You can find it on Amazon ultimately linked to it on my website at heathen bench dot com slash schizophrenia book. And also be in the show notes and this book is it more geared towards loved ones friends. Family or people with schizophrenia. I rooted for both actually so the person I didn't write it for is any sort of clinician or researcher. It's not for them. It's for people who don't know anything about mental hall or treatments of no scientific knowledge. That's why I wrote it for so I wrote it for people who are just trying to understand schizophrenia. Whether that's because you have it or you have a loved one. Who HAS IT? Or you're just GONNA curious to know more about it. That's awesome. Thank you so much Dr. Fitch for joining us once again. Very very interesting. And thank you for shedding light on these subjects and we definitely gotTa Check Your Book. Out Rachel as always incredible interview now. I know that you talked to Dr Finch for a couple of hours. And obviously we edit it down. Did you learn anything about men with schizophrenia? From her that you didn't know before this interview I learned so much from her and I'd like that she's able to explain kind of that medical side and the way she's able to just explain it so I guess simply unlike a level that me and you can understand gave you know. We're not doctors but being able to break that down and I really liked that kind of explaining the homelessness and then of course the substance abuse and all of that playing in more so with the males. Yeah she's incredible once again. Thank you Dr French for being here and please if you have a moment pick up her book. She helped us with both episodes. And you know she. Does it free of charge? She's a great advocate for people with schizophrenia and mental health general so once again hats off to Dr Finch yes Gabe I want to ask you. First as someone who does not have schizophrenia. What is your takeaway from these past two episodes on the gender differences? I was surprised and I don't know why I feel like I shouldn't have been surprised. So I feel a little guilty but knowing that the way that society treats the genders so heavily impacted the outcomes in the treatment for schizophrenia from diagnosis to treatment to asking for help to getting care that really kind of put me on my on my rear a little. Because it's just so sad. Both men and women have the same illness. Yes there's very ends and the presentations etc but the thing that made me I'm GonNa go with saddest is that the outcomes were different based on how society effectively sees men and women. And it's like. Wow just just wow no. I agree with that completely. We obviously all know the society and you know we have these different ideals in our heads but yet to see how it can really affect people who are dealing with serious mental illnesses. It's definitely eye opening. I say the past two episodes for me have been very fascinating because there are so many factors that are out of people's control and where you're talking about form hormones that the body creates like to how your body actually processes the medications. Learning to thrive with schizophrenia is not as simple as take your pills every day. It's not as simple as make sure you're going to the doctor. You can be doing everything right. You can be doing everything correctly. Be Taking your medication on time. Be going to the doctor religiously and the deck is still stacked against you. And that's frustrating. It's depressing say the least situation to be in in those times. That's when it's time to change the game. I love how Jason hit on. How used to hate it. When people would ask him what he did workwise and then he came to the realization. That wait a minute. He's a mental health advocate. He works with veterans. He's leading counsel for veterans and he's an author of public speaker and it just goes on and on and that's like so much that's amazing like he does all this incredible stuff and I don't know that gave me so much hope gave it's easy to just kind of look at the negative of what maybe someone isn't doing and not pay attention to all of the amazing incredible things that they are and to your point when you say that it's easy to look at all the negatives in somebody's life and ignore the positives we have to put that on ourselves right. It's it's easy for us to ignore our own positives and only focus on. The negative is much as I would. Love to say that. Stigma and discrimination against people with schizophrenia is. All External. There is an internal components and I agree with you when Jason realized that he was doing all of this volunteer work in his community and Jason was using his experience for so much positivity especially in the veteran community the fact that he can work with veterans and understand both the mental health aspect and the veteran aspect it makes him a hot commodity and him realizing that obviously paid huge dividends for him so I would put a challenge out to everybody listening. Find the thing that you and you alone are uniquely good at and powerful and and keep that in mind. That's awesome absolutely gave. Well put very cool. Thank you so much for listening. Please likes share subscribe? And we'll be back next month with another episode of inside schizophrenia. A PSYCH CENTRAL. Podcast inside schizophrenia is presented by Psych Central Dot Com America's largest and longest operating independent mental health website. Your host Rachel Star withers can be found online at Rachel Star. Live Dot com co host gave Howard can be found online at gay power dot com for questions or to provide feedback. Please email top back at psych central Dot Com. The official website for insight schizophrenia is psych central dot com slash. Is Thank you for listening and please share widely.

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Bonus Content: Schizophrenia in Women

The Psych Central Show

54:52 min | 1 year ago

Bonus Content: Schizophrenia in Women

"Hello Psych Central podcast. Fans this is your host Gabe Howard and I've got some bonus content for you. The latest episode of Inside Schizophrenia. A psych central podcast. Please enjoy welcome to inside schizophrenia. A look into better understanding. Living well with schizophrenia hosted by renowned advocate and influence or Rachel Star withers and featuring gape Howard Burton listeners. Could a change in your schizophrenia treatment? Plan make a difference there options out there. You might not know about this at once. Monthly DIFFERENCE DOT COM to find out more about the benefits of once. Monthly injections for adults with schizophrenia. Welcome to inside schizophrenia. I'm Rachel Star withers here with my wonderful co host. Gabe Howard this episode. We are exploring schizophrenia. In women next episode going to focus on the men but this whole episode is for the ladies often. We don't really consider gender dynamics in treatment or medication and this is a chronic across. All health. Not just schizophrenia. A lot of medications etc are only tested on men because of risk they don't want to impact a potential pregnancy etc and on one hand. This sounds good. We're projecting pregnancy but on the other hand. This means there's whole drugs that have made it to market. That may not have ever been tested with women so I think that it's exciting to consider how schizophrenia impacts the genders differently. Obviously we want to state unequivocally that if you meet two people with schizophrenia. You've met two people with schizophrenia. Tends TO BE THIS IDEA. That all people with schizophrenia are exactly alike and and we hope that this show has done a lot to dispel that misinformation. If I meet two guys named Gabe. They're probably both different. Probably probably repeatedly you hear the difference between men and women with schizophrenia. The biggest thing is the age of onset. Women are said to develop it later than men on average they say four to six years later than a man would be diagnose. Let's go be diagnosed with schizophrenia. And that's one of the things. They've noticed repeatedly in research across the years. Is that women get schizophrenia. In life later sometimes you know late twenties. They'll even say it's interesting because as you said it's diagnosed with we know from research. That people are born with schizophrenia. So the question becomes and we don't know the answer to this because research is ongoing. Do Men and women become symptomatic at the same time but men get the diagnosis faster or do women not develop the symptoms of schizophrenia. Until later and it's difficult to discover that and some of it is social engineering if a woman is behaving erratically. Well of course she's a woman and this is the kind of thinking that we have to prevent and get over to make sure that everybody gets the best care but it's on one hand it's interesting to think about when we're diagnosing people and how we're diagnosing people but on the other hand it's kind of sad if men and women are showing symptoms at the exact same age but it takes women an extra four to six years to be diagnosed. That's also scary. Yes they do say however that it's less detectable in women which I could totally see because I grew up having hallucinations but I didn't even realize myself that that was weird until my late teens than I that I stopped talking about it so I didn't get a diagnosis either until my twenties so I could easily see. You know yeah. Women tend to be more social. They tend to be more active than men. Who Have Schizophrenia? So yeah probably fly under the radar much longer. It's interesting how you put that Rachel. You said that as soon as you notice that you were having these hallucinations and issues you hit them but you remained social. You remained engaged in talking to the people around you whereas men when they notice them. They tend to retreat. It's that retreating that I think makes people realize that. Perhaps something is wrong you know. Why is this person? Stay in their room. Why does this person not have a job? Why is this person talking to themselves whereas because you remained social people? Don't say well. Hey we like it when Rachel comes over Rachel is Funny Rachel is Nice. She must be hearing voices in her head and experiencing psychosis and elucidations. And and all of the other symptoms of schizophrenia. I I can see how it could mask. It is especially to our friends and family who are not trained psychologists or psychiatrists and the flip side of. That coin. Is FAMILIES THAT SCHIZOPHRENIA? Tends to run in. There actually is no difference in the onset of age between men and women so brothers sisters. And that's because yeah grandma had it if mom has it you know so cousin. Has you tend to be looking for those symptoms and recognize them earlier. Whether it's a boy or girl growing up you send notice that. They have acknowledged that if the family and friends are aware that there could be a potential problem on the horizon. They are noticing it and much much sooner. There's also a study out of India that is found no difference in the average age of onset between men and women and I think that really does speak to the social dynamics between cultures because if people in India are all having the onset of schizophrenia at the same time it would really be unusual to think that there's some sort of genetic difference between Americans and Indians. It's it's sort of speaks to this being a social construct and again research is ongoing. We're not one hundred percent. Sure of any of these things. In a lot of countries having a mental disorder is looked down upon even more so than I would say the Western world. They don't have statistics on those kinds of things because unfortunately it will go. No one is diagnosed until much later in life where they can't function at all so it is interesting when you look like how people grow up. What's expected of men and women? I do think women could fly under the radar longer. Sometimes just because you're not like well a guy eighteen. He needs to get out. He needs to get a job he needs to at. Yeah I feel like my family. They're going to be little softer on the girl in the family and the boy so I can easily see like that flying under the radar to your point Rachel when we talk about the social differences between men and women Which there's a lot I really think of. People who have battled schizophrenia for a long time and when I work with those people they say hey look. I haven't had a job in five years and all of the men very much want to know what to do about their resume. They've got a five year gap of five year gap five year gap and many of the women are like well a five year gap. No problem I was raising kids. I was a caretaker for family. It just nobody is questioning their five year gap whereas people are questioning a male's five year gap and and all of. This is just a tie in that. In some cases the differences between the treatments and the symptoms of schizophrenia have considerably more to do with our society than it does with the actual disease. Now all that said there are disease processes and symptoms processes that work differently in women versus as as we get into the symptoms. The fine saying this you know like well Rachel. I'm a woman and I don't experience it that way or I'm a man I totally have. No no no just like across the board which symptoms tend to flare up in different genders women actually like we said are more sociable so different things like the flat affect pretty much where you don't experience emotion. You have a very dull. Expression is not seen as often in women. Women tend to even have more emotions and I know that's like Oh of course we've been emotional but with schizophrenia. A lot of times people have blunted emotional response so they don't really react the same way quote unquote normal people do but women we come off a still acting more emotional to those around us inside. We might not but we're able to kind of fake it much better. Our speech isn't reduced and I found this interesting. Gabe women with schizophrenia are actually more physically active than men across the board and also under that it can be more hostile. You know past episodes where he's talked about violence and schizophrenia. If you were to picture a violent schizophrenic I don't think anyone pictures of woman not only do I not think that anybody pictures a woman. I think that the way that society response to a male who is being aggressive and a female. Who is being aggressive is very different. And there's a plethora of reasons for this. Listen I weigh two hundred and seventy five pounds. I'm six foot three if I am being extremely aggressive and loud. That's going to look a lot scarier than if Rachel who is considerably smaller than Gabe is yelling. Also people tend to be more willing to de escalate a female than a male and again a lot of these things fall under social constructs and our whole society is set up this way right. It's not just in schizophrenia. Where this is important. We see this in policing we see this in jobs. We see this in you know I could never scream at a server in public. But you know there's a whole Internet trend of calling women who scream at servers Karen and everybody thinks that that's funny but sincerely the humor comes from somebody yelling at somebody in public and because that person's a woman it's considered funny you could never change the Karen memes to John Well Jaundice stands up and starts screaming at a server. People that's not funny. No that's like yet so everyone turns around and it's like robots call the police thinking he's GonNa start swinging. The perception is very very different. And because schizophrenia is an illness that is based on self reporting based on observation based on behavioral patterns so obviously society's perception of what they're observing is going to determine the diagnosis that you receive and to that end because of the different ways that we perceive the genders. Women are often misdiagnosed with schizophrenia. More often than men are when it comes to self reporting. I feel that men and would probably also report different symptoms more often. I don't think I ever went and was reporting. You know I just don't want to go out with my friends. Oh I just want to like stay inside. I talked about depression and that was the initial diagnosis. I got repeatedly was just that I had depression and I was too scared to even bring up hallucinations and delusions. I kind of you get used to just okay. You're just overreacting. Oh you're overthinking so. That never occurred to me certain things. I was having was a delusion it was just Oh yeah. I just soon. I'm over thinking things so I think across the board. It's easy to see. The women would be diagnosed with different things. I do wonder if doctors are quicker to Label Min- schizophrenic that women it's important to point out how difficult it is to research and study this when we exist in a culture that is an actively discussing it and as we've been talking about this whole show culture and society impacts our outlook so when a male is looking at a female patients some of those biases are bound to creep in. I do think that we have made great strides now that more women are in psychiatry because while they have biases to they at least have interjected more understanding of women and I think that's very very good now one of the things that's interesting to me is when we plotted out this. Show Rachel. I was shocked at how much was just society. How did you feel about that? What were you thinking when you were researching the show it made me look back on my own life and kind of think You know how I like self reported you know certain things and then like the way they were responded to and I think back the more physically active in hostile thing. I was very very hostile towards my father specifically when I was in high school and I don't mean I was like trying to hurt him or anything but I would have these breakdowns and he would try and restrain me which just made it worse. You know not necessarily going. What's the best way to deal with someone having a psychotic breakdown and he was still much bigger than me in able to kind of like grab me and control me but I think now had it been my brother who was bigger than my father? There wouldn't have been any controlling. It definitely would have escalated to police or we can't deal with this on our own situation much quicker than it did with me and it just makes you think though. Wow all heck. Yeah if if I've been guy or even just more physically different. My life could have played out. I don't WanNa say worse but it would have had a different impact. Rachel Wallace is an awkward question. Do you think that a female menstrual cycle has anything to do with schizophrenia? And why or why not? Oh I think it absolutely does. I've long thought that menstrual cycles and the woman type stuff definitely affects my schizophrenia. It frustrates me to no end that at least once a month I know for three days my schizophrenia is going to get a lot worse. I'm going to lose touch with reality. I'm going to kind of get more spacey. I have to really be very careful. I get more delusional. I know my hallucinations get worse. I pretty much have to anticipate. These days are coming enduring these days. I need to live in my room as much as possible to avoid potential issues. And it's right before my period and this has happened over and over and I brought it up to multiple doctors and it's not like you can just okay. Well you know up your medication for three days. It doesn't work that way you know. They'll just be like well. You know make sure you track it and do your best. There's never been like a way to deal with this and it's been frustrating because talking to other women with schizophrenia mental disorders. They agree that the exact same thing will happen to them and jet. Doan really has an answer for us and to put it. Another way half of the schizophrenia population is having this issue or has had this issue at some point and there doesn't seem to be a big push to do anything about it or resolve it or to come up with a plan other than hunker down. This is just part of womanhood. I imagine that it is extraordinarily problematic because it three days out of every month. Ten percent of your life between the ages of sixteen and forty five on average. That's a lot of time. Yeah and I'm not saying that. Three days for all women with schizophrenia is just me? I know there's going to be three bad days and it's not just okay women thing. Hey I think this is happening. No it's been observed that schizophrenia symptoms in women get much more severe during the low estrogen phase of their menstrual cycle. That women go through once a month. If they're in those certain ages that yeah it's been observed. The symptoms are much more severe like okay. We're not going to deal with this though. And I'm not trying to put down anything but I'd say most of the Times that I've been lucky enough to get to speak with researchers and that side of mental health people who were like the scientists it does tend to be predominantly men. I could see this not being on their radar as much. Just kind of like yeah. If ninety percent of the guys are researchers it doesn't even occur to them to look into that Rachel along those same lines. You've been schizophrenia. Advocate for well over a decade advocating for others. But of course you had to advocate for yourself really. Probably since the beginning. What advice do you have for women who are experiencing this so that they can advocate for themselves and have a chance to be heard? I've said the so so many times about so many different things on this podcast but track your symptoms be able to actually prove in. This sounds bad but proved. I'll have like my little APP. It's a menstrual APP. Track ministration but let's put down symptoms so you can actually like hand it to the doctor and be like no no look see this week right here. See this again. I've never gotten a good answer on how to deal with this particular situation but it has helped to be able to be like look no. I can see that these are the main three days and I can usually pick out the week where those days are going to hit. And just kind of all right. Let's do my best to work as little as possible. You know if that's an option for me and that kind of thing Rachel continuing the discussion of symptoms. That only impact. Women Women with schizophrenia are diagnosed much later in the process with breast cancer than women without schizophrenia. Yes and there's different reasons why they think this is one is that women tend to ignore their physical health more so than the normal population of women okay and it could be partly because of psychosis not actually realizing something is wrong for me. I can easily see that a lot of times. My physical health just takes a backseat to my mental hill. It's like I'm already doing so much trying to keep my brain on track. I can easily just not worry about physical stuff because I'm already on like six different medications for my brain. Do I really need to do other things and I go to the psychiatrist so often my therapist so often and then I got to go to a normal doctor too when I was reading the different stats as far as what women with schizophrenia. Ten to knock it treated for until the later stages osteoporosis. Also thyroid conditions diabetes. Yeah I could see that I totally could see that too busy worrying about your brain falling apart half the time to worry about your body also as we discussed in. Last month's episode people with schizophrenia are much more likely to have more co Morbid issues of schizophrenia. And something else so in that line of thinking for a woman. It's not too far of a stretch to consider that one of those co Morbid conditions of course would be breast cancer. Yes gave that makes perfect sense Rachel. Let's move over to dating for a moment. Now men and women culturally in society date differently. So it's not too much of a stretch to assume that women schizophrenia. And men with schizophrenia would also date now. What research did you find because I was really surprised that there was any research at all on? How people living with schizophrenia date but you found a wealth of it so much and on that note throughout my years of being open about schizophrenia. I have repeatedly got messages. All the way down from teenage males to significantly older all the way to like their seventies eighties males and one of the main thing. They always bring up to me is issues with the opposite sex romantically. When I've even had some very angry comments left on many of my videos that'll be like well. It's easy for you to say you know you're not overweight male and I'm like you know. Get that or what are you say to that? Yeah I can see. There's a how I met your mother if you've ever watched that show where Barney has like a chart saying that women their hotness in their craziness like can't be off so hotter woman is the crazier she can be. But you don't want to date a woman who's like really really crazy but she's not that hot and it's like a TV show and it's a joke. But I do think women can get away with. Yeah guys will overlook a lot of things to still date certain women women kid just be seen across the board like. Oh Yeah. They're a little bit crazy or wild at it. Not Be a bad thing then still be able to date and Mary whereas the guy there's more red flags. It's also easier to hide your schizophrenia. As a woman if I'm on a dating APP and I talked to a thirty four year old guy who lives at home with his parents in their basement. That's like a dealbreaker. Yeah even though you're old woman lives at home and your parents basement. Yes it's more easy to be like. Well you know okay. It's okay for her but yeah guy immediately. I think it's like Oh. No that's unfair. I agree it is totally unfair. Rachel no-show about women and schizophrenia can be complete if we don't discuss pregnancy. What did you learn about schizophrenic? Women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. I I feel like we should hit on that. That is a touchy subject. Should women with schizophrenia. Even get pregnant. Should that actively seek out to be like yes? I want to have my own children. I've had people just out of the blue. Come at me being like. So what are you GONNA do and regardless having Schizophrenia Schizo? Gross let me stress that they're just growth. Oh I had not big like but even that said. I think it's important to point out as much as you don't want to have Children Rachel. You still think that it would be wrong if somebody passed a law. That said women with schizophrenia cannot be mothers yes. I agree by own personal beliefs and I think this is going to be different for everyone with schizophrenia and different during a parts of your schizophrenia mine has gotten incredibly bad at times. Where no me being pregnant would not have been. I mean an option nor holding down a job. You're like driving a car you know. That's just being certain psychotic episodes right now if I were to get pregnant and it would not be the end of the world. Yeah wouldn't be great again but I really don't think that anything you do horrible. I'm not in a really bad mental place so I still have episodes. Yes but I feel like I honestly could have a baby right now and be fine again. That's a touchy subject across the Board. And it was shocking. How touchy it was. I mean with everybody weighing in men women mother even even politicians weighed in. The research was frankly shocking. As to the number of people that had an opinion about a woman being a mother and I'd like to point out a woman that nobody knows. We're not discussing whether or not Rachel just like a whole swath of women based on a medical diagnosis and all of the sudden. A large group of people decided that their opinion was strongly relevant. And this is something that has happened repeatedly throughout history. I live in South Carolina and just north of me in North Carolina. There was a big issue where not even that? Long ago the sixties seventies and eighties women who had mental disorders were sterilized if they were in different asylums and things they were just forced sterilization across the board. Some of them who aren't even diagnosed correctly and that has just been kind of an ongoing thing that happened and it was also had a lot to do with ethnic groups were particularly pointed out also so this is like a real thing and I know I've gotten so many messages throughout the years. That have been like you need to be sterilized. And I'm like okay but it's funny though because yeah you'll have people who don't know anything about you who feel very very passionate about this subject probably in it doesn't affect them in any way and it's going to be a very personal issue. Let's talk though about some of the fears about a woman. Getting pregnant. Who HAS SCHIZOPHRENIA? One is that they might not realize recognize that they're pregnant. It could be due to psychosis it could be. They're in denial of the pregnancy. It could be that they're misinterpreting think about like how many medications cause weight gain. I could easily see someone gaining weight and you starting medication. Never even encouraged to you. Oh wait this isn't it. Isn't that type of wake game? So there's that is the worry about schizophrenic. Women not necessarily realizing quickly enough that they're pregnant and then there's the whole medication side of it. Of usually it is highly suggested that you stop and I- psychotics and most antidepressants and whatnot. If you're pregnant due to the safety of the baby and then there's the withdrawal action so also could have been stable before having to go off their medications to be pregnant. Might cause other issues. It's all just very interesting and there is no cut dry answer of all yet You should only get pregnant or you should. I do think it's a personal decision and situation that it's going to be yet different for every single human going through pregnancy. We'll be right back after this message from our sponsor. It can sometimes feel like another schizophrenia. Episode is just around the corner in fact a study found that patients had an average of nine episodes in less than six years. However there's a treatment plan option that can help delay another episode a once monthly injection for adults with schizophrenia. If delaying another episode. Sounds like it can make a difference for you or your loved one. Learn MORE ABOUT TREATING SCHIZOPHRENIA. With once monthly injections at once monthly difference DOT com. That's once monthly difference DOT COM. We're back discussing. How schizophrenia affects women. Obviously when we're talking about pregnancy Rachel we have to talk about motherhood so now. You're a woman with schizophrenia. And you have children. There was a plethora of research on that it was compelling yes and when we're dealing mental disorders homelessness. You have a lot of. I don't want to say sad stories but you do. You have a Lotta sad stories that are also factored in. You have a lot of sad stories dealing with rape and things like that. One third of women with schizophrenia. Lose custody of their children and whether the children are going to other family members ex-partners the foster care system and the others women was good spring. You had children very few maintain sole custody and that goes back to fear that they're unable to care for a child correctly that they might not recognize problems. Especially in infancy with the baby might need what the baby is going through. The mother might interpret it wrong and the get. It's all of. This is a touchy subject because every situation is going to be different. And I can't even imagine being in a situation like that. I said a few minutes ago. Like oh I feel like if I got pregnant that you know for the most part I would be fine. I still stand by that but I would need a lot of help. I would need a Lotta help. Hopefully there would be a partner but if there wasn't then with my parents because my parents already have to step in with me a lot of times and and I feel like I would even need more to make sure I was. I personally was seeing reality. The correct way if there is a little another life in my hands. What are the interesting things that I saw when I was reading this research? Is this idea. That mothers with schizophrenia. They don't have a lot of Leeway. One of the things that you just said is that you would need a lot of help. I would really defy you to find a mother on this planet. That doesn't need a lot of help. Now I understand that if you're managing any illness any not not meant to own a if you have an illness then obviously you're going to need more help. That is understood. Do you think that the bar is just significantly? Lower for women with schizophrenia. That if something happens if a mistake occurs if an illness symptom pops up just like. Oh well you're schizophrenic. We gotta take your baby whereas with other mothers like oh. Will you just made a mistake? Mistakes are part of parenting. Everybody does do you think that. That is a factor in some of these stats absolutely in. I think if someone has some sort of even genetic disorder very few people are like. Oh you shouldn't have a child you shouldn't be over. You know another person's welfare but when it comes to mental stuff it's like Oh you have depression. Oh yeah bipolar. Oh you have schizophrenia. Like no you shouldn't be around children and not even like you shouldn't be a mother. It's you shouldn't be around children so there is definitely a double standard with that. All where anything mental freaks people out. There's just so much stigma discrimination and misinformation that it makes it very difficult and it's interesting because you know Rachel I love you and I think the world of you but I know what it's like to be sick and I can't imagine having to care for a baby and I can't imagine you caring for a baby when you're that sick and it part of me is like Oh Jeez I don't know maybe that's not a good idea but my mom broke her wrist. When she had three children she she was not doing well. That six weeks i. My father lost his job when we were younger. Well that's not a good idea. Either I just think of all of the adversity that my family faced growing up but everybody was like hey band together. Work it out. You can do it nobody said Yeah. This is proof that people named Gary Howard shouldn't be fathers. Oh this is proof that people named Susan. Howard just can't Hack Motherhood we just got through it as a family and a community and I think that more often than not women with schizophrenia. They just don't get those benefits and I think it's worth pointing outs. Because it is another layer that makes it very difficult for women with schizophrenia to lead the lives that they would like and I did want to put a little note on this over and over I could find so much info about women having children as far as like pros cons mostly cons in just lots of people with opinions and yet next to nothing about men with schizophrenia. Being father's nothing really there was nothing I don't know just interesting. How Society we view people with mental disorders having families like it was just Kinda like women obviously? Yeah they're going to deal with this but not men that is incredible and obviously something that will discuss. More next month on men with schizophrenia. Rachel Shifting Gears from Motherhood we have to talk about the aging process. What's the difference between men and women with schizophrenia? As we get older this is fascinating. We talked about earlier. Age of onset. That women tend to get schizophrenia. Later another thing though is that women have a second peak of schizophrenia. Is What they call it. And it's usually women age forty five fifty who have not been previously diagnosed with schizophrenia. It suddenly comes on and it has to do with pre menopausal stage hitting and they think because the estrogen drops. There's something about estrogen that keeps schizophrenia. More in control and Harkening back to what we talked about earlier with periods estrogen shopping. But men don't have this. There is no second part of life where suddenly a man who hasn't had schizophrenia. Will develop it in his fifties sixties. It's just not sane. In fact men with schizophrenia. As they age tend to get more of a handle on it and women. It's the opposite because you have for some women suddenly schizophrenia develops and there's a lot about that. I was wondering When I looked at the different research did these women already have schizophrenia? But maybe because they were so social. It just wasn't recognizable or did it really just come on at that moment and there is no answer for that but I did think it was very interesting and something that. If you've already been diagnosed with schizophrenia to look out for that it could get a lot worse. Hit around age. Forty five if you're a woman so you know I got a little over ten years. Their clock's ticking for the second round of fun and it's something else that women have to be aware of that may or may not be as researched or as disgust. Oftentimes I think society does forget. How much educated guesswork there is in a mental health. Diagnosis Schizophrenia is diagnosed by observation. It's treated by best practices and research and then more observation. There's a lot of self reporting from the person living with schizophrenia and all of that really allows our culture and our society and our bias to influence the end result. We have to be aware of it. Well it does sound scary and it is. I don't like the idea that men and women get different treatment. Obviously you don't like the idea that men and women get different treatment because it kind of sounds like women are getting the short end of the stick. It is what we have now and for the women listening to this show this is where advocacy is just so important along with education and Rachel. I'm GONNA ask you. Would you have known any of this information about being a woman living with schizophrenia? If it wasn't for your job do you feel more educated and more empowered today than you did before the research for this show? And what advice do you have for? Women living with schizophrenia. To make sure that they get the best care taking into account the fact that they're women. I would not have known a lot of the things that we've talked about today but especially the way. Estrogen is thought to affect schizophrenia. Did none of that's ever been brought up to me No doctors ever said anything. Like I said I'm in my mid thirties and you would think maybe. Hey just so you know Rachel. You know women with schizophrenia. It could get a lot worse here in the next few years. None of that's ever been said to me. And it makes me realize how important it is to do your own research and I'm not saying to diagnose yourself I'm saying to really know in research what could be on the horizon especially with the pregnancy and things like that. I'm like okay well. I don't plan on having kids. So whatever like research look into all that but then that's what led me to finding. Alabel all of this. Which leads the menopause thing and again? It's just not something you normally see on any of the little pamphlets in the doctor's office brought up at any therapists meeting Rachel. Were you surprised to find out? Just how separated physical health and mental health is because it it just seems to me like before we started the research for the show that it never occurred to really anybody that your physical health would drive your mental health outcomes and while this is a chronic problem just across the board and Mental Health Advocacy specifically for schizophrenia. The fact that what's going on with your physical body has been so far removed from your schizophrenia treatment. How does that make you feel last episode? We talked about the Co Morbidity. An end to go into seeing just how the hormones they do. Everything affects your schizophrenia. And it's all connected and yet having a hard time. Mental Health affects your physical and vice versa. Something else that we as people with mental disorders do need to be aware of and to kind of not be so hard on ourselves as I've done research and just kind of learned about different statistics. A lot of eggs are normal that I just didn't realize where it's like. Hey It's okay that I have this issue. It's not that I'm being super unhealthy. A lot of women or a lot of people with schizophrenia. Also struggle with this. It's good and bad. Let's go with that. It's good and bad gave Rachel. Thank you so much for your candor. Now you had the opportunity to talk to. Dr Hayden Fitch who is a PhD in a researcher and UNDERSTAND SCHIZOPHRENIA? From the clinical perspective. And you've got to ask her a lot of questions about the differences between men and women and specifically what? It's like to be a woman and getting treatment with schizophrenia. It's a great interview and we're going to go ahead and play that right now. Our guest today is Dr Hayden finch a psychologist from Iowa. Thank you so much for being with us today. I'm so happy to be here. Thank you for the opportunity. Our episode today. We're focusing on women who have schizophrenia specifically as a psychologist what issues have you seen? That women with schizophrenia tend to seek help with when interestingly tend to have more emotional symptoms with their schizophrenia than men do so often they're coming to treatment for things like relieving exile. Eighty and depression. See that more in women than in men. They also have a lot of trauma. They tend to be victimized quite a lot in their lives and do not often a focus of treatment and lots of things related to family. Planning and RELATIONSHIPS WOMEN WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA. Across the board tend to be more social than men who have schizophrenia. Why do you think that is? The symptoms of schizophrenia are divided into positive symptoms and negative symptoms and positive symptoms. Don't mean good. They just mean that something is there that shouldn't be there so for example police nations or delusions whereas negative symptoms are things. That aren't there that should be a lack of on motivation or lack of facial expressions to men tend to have more negative symptoms than women. Do they have a lack of social drive and a lack of social interest whereas women don't tend to have their symptoms as much but also women. Their onset of the illness tends to be a few years later than men. They have a bit more opportunity to develop their personality and their social skills in their twenty s and that will protect their social skills through the rest of their lives talking about the positive symptoms. You just brought up. Do Women tend to have a different type of hallucination than men experience? Not necessarily we see the same types of hallucinations and delusions. Sometimes with women the content will be a little bit different than you will focus on their children a little bit more. Were safety a little bit? More would offer very similar entitled just the content can vary a little bit. What are the biggest challenges for woman with schizophrenia? Who is pregnant? The most obvious one has to do with medication. So a lot of women with or without schizophrenia will stop taking most medications while they're pregnant. Just to err on the side of safety and so when it comes to a woman with schizophrenia who gets pregnant. A lot of them will discontinue their medications for the same concerns about potential effects on the fetus and sometimes those concerns are coming from the woman herself sometimes. We're families sometimes. Even from her doctor but stopping medications during pregnancy. For Women with schizophrenia increases. The risk for relapse so think about sixty five percent of women with schizophrenia. Who Don't stay on their medication. During pregnancy will relapse during your pregnancy. So then they have more problems with their mental health during pregnancy. The most women who don't have schizophrenia. Don't report major changes in their mental. Health during pregnancy but willis schizophrenia due in part again because of that medication being but then psychosis during pregnancy can affect seeking prenatal care not recognizing signs of labor or problems during the pregnancy. They might not even recognize that they're pregnant. Do there can be lots of negative on the pregnancy and on the fetus when the closest develops so. I am a woman with schizophrenia. Let's say I found out that I'm pregnant. What would you suggest being my next steps? It's a situation where you need to talk to your doctor. Especially the psychiatrist about what? Medications are safest during pregnancy. We do have some information about medications anti psychotics. Even that are relatively safe during pregnancy. But it's a balance between protecting yourself and your mental health and the secondary effect that has on the baby. It's a really difficult balance. It's an individual decision arm and it really depends on the particular woman her help her history her symptoms and all of that but the very difficult decision to make with respect to medications. What are the biggest challenges when it comes to being a mother with schizophrenia? All moms are overwhelmed right so you have that regular level of being overwhelmed with responsibilities but then on top of that you're trying to manage your own mental house. You're trying to get organized with postnatal checkups and Pediatrician Appointments Plus Your Own Medical Appointments and mental health appointments. They often don't have as much support as women without schizophrenia. So there aren't as many family members to lean on for emergency childcare on they don't have there's extra hands when they just need a break. I also symptomatically can have more difficulty reading accused that the baby is giving them so they might misinterpret what the baby is needing or wanting and that can interfere with the relationship. Developed with the baby and a lot of with schizophrenia mm-hmm during the postpartum will have a pretty significant exacerbation in symptoms. A lot of women are at risk for postpartum depression. But women with schizophrenia. Especially those women who weren't taking their medication during pregnancy are at especially high risk and that can increase the need for hospitalization when a lot of women than won't seek hospitalization really truthfully because the majority of women with schizophrenia loose custody of their children it my research. I found that so many of the women who have children. Who Have Schizophrenia? Also are single mothers and new very often lose custody due to either not being able to afford to provide for that child because the mother self is having a hard time working and being able to provide or having to be hospitalized. What would you say like if you have someone coming to you? Who's in that situation? The biggest thing I think is is asking for help before there's a problem if you're noticing that your symptoms are making it hard for you to care for the baby if you're getting extremely overwhelmed with caring for a baby or even a child. It's important to ask for help before a problem comes up. Those are the women who have the greatest likelihood of being able to maintain custody versus waiting until there is a major problem. The child is neglected. Or even abused. Then it's it's very difficult to make an argument to maintain custody. It's a situation where we definitely want to prevent problems rather than try to correct problems and most women if they have a family and they're going through treatment like you're just trying to juggle everything and I'm going to say everybody who has kids and whatnot are just constantly trying to juggle. Their lives with the schizophrenia added. What advice do you have for women? Beg thing we can all do. Really especially women with schizophrenia. Or women who are involved in mental health system is to find out exactly what services are available in your area. You can call two one one which is a public line where they'll connect you with services in your area but you can be looking for things like housing for mothers and their children today. Only services support groups for parents with mental illness. Respite care for when you really need a break. There are specialized clinical services for parents with mental illness. There in home services where a provider will come in your home and help you learn parenting skills or learn how to interpret with. The children are needing Even transportation services can be a big help for people who are trying to juggle it all so that's one thing is is making sure that you know what services are available and take advantage of them but also to the extent you came on? I think it's helpful to integrate your family into the treatment so look for providers who are willing to work with you and your child. Is there a lot of opportunities? Were skill development there or invite your parents or your partner do therapy and work on communication their opportunities for integrating it so that you don't have quite so much to juggle and you can actually build skills to make it easier to juggle all of that. Something that surprised me seems to be someone should have said it to me. Long before now but with schizophrenia and women a lot of women don't tend to get schizophrenia. Until they hit menopause or they are they have it and it gets a whole lot worse. Come menopause time. I had no idea what advice do you have? I mean if I'm already hit that age range and I haven't had schizophrenia yet. That's a lot to suddenly hit. You what is your advice for seeking help at that point you think that sort of in the back of your life. You kind of figured it out. You're kind of coasting for the rest of it and things should be easy from here on out and to get hit with. Something like schizophrenia. Around menopause is yet. That's a blow. We're still doing research on exactly what causes that in women on what causes first of all the later age of onset in the beginning and then that second risk time around menopause but we been get has something to do with maybe. Straton so one thing you can do is talk to your doctor about any medical treatments. That could be available to address it or protect it from getting worse. But certainly seeking health. Treatment is the most important thing to do is go ahead and get involved in treatment. Learn how to cope with the symptoms. Medicate them if that's something that is valuable to you and effective and fits with your personal ethic and then learn skills to protect the great life. You've already built for yourself. The good thing about if there is a good thing about psychosis after menopause is it. Those women have had their whole lives to develop good relationships. Good social skills could occupational skills and that is helpful in going through the illness at that time in life. You've got a lot of good skills. That are automatic and that keeps the illness from being quite as devastating. It can be earlier in life. Some women have had issues with doctors. Not taking it seriously where they're just kinda like okay. Well that's just your hormones that time of life kind of brushing off very serious symptoms. What would you tell someone who's kind of having that issue? They're worried it's something more definitely talk to your doctor more than once if you feel like they're not getting it. If you feel like you're not really hearing you go get a second opinion. If that's needed the assertive in some ways we need to sort of trust doctors. And they're telling us it's no big deal. We need to listen to that but also in your gut. It's not right to you. Then seek a second opinion. Bring it up two or three times. If multiple doctors are giving you the same opinion than that can be telling you might be making something out of nothing but if your gut is telling you that there's something missing that they're not really listening to you than the assertive orchid. Another doctor across the board. It's always that women get diagnosed schizophrenia. Usually many years later than men do you think. Is that just something with like? You said the estrogen or is it more that women tend to mature faster and it might not be as noticeable so women are diagnosed later in life than men are. Men are diagnosed usually in late teens early twenties whereas women are diagnosed more mid to late twenties and that is just part of how illness develops differently across men and women. We think that might have something to do with. Estrogen protecting women from the symptoms. A little bit more on whereas men don't have that but that's still being researched and we're still trying to understand that women are diagnosed a little bit later than men like. I said that's just a consequence of the onus win. They're diagnosed they tend to be diagnosed more quickly. Meaning that man will have untreated psychosis longer than women do so once women start showing symptoms. They tend to get diagnosed more quickly than men do would thank you so much for talking with us today and you actually have a book coming out soon. Don't you Dr Finch I do? I just wrote a book in part because a lot of the information that we're seeing on the Internet is either incorrect or it's so complicated. You can't understand it so I wrote a book giving you all the details. Everything you need to know about schizophrenia. And I tried to write it in the plainest language possible. So it's super understandable. But I talk about everything from what schizophrenia is. The symptoms are how it relates to Schizo affective disorder and all of the other similar disorders. We talk about violence talking about brain stuff. What parts of the brain are affected? And what's different about the schizophrenia? Rain versus the average brain and of course talking about treatment. A lot of things we talked about today or kind of downers brought by schizophrenia is treated wall and I do believe that people can recover from schizophrenia. As I talk about what recovery means with that looks like and how to get there in the book as well so it's called the beginner's guide to understanding schizophrenia. It will be available as not trying to book on Amazon and so I will have the link to that in show notes also on my website at Hayden finch dot com slash schizophrenia awesome. We definitely have to check that out. That sounds exactly like the kind of stuff we talk about your own. Our podcast inside schizophrenia. And absolutely as a schizophrenic I guess I would love to read some of that and especially in the easier to understand language even the the stuff. That's written for people with schizophrenia. Or their families sometimes been. They won't give you all the technical details that you want so I tried to strike that balance that you get all the details you feel like you really know the science in a way. That's relatively easy to understand. Awesome thank you so much for joining us here today and shedding some light on this topic. Thanks for having me Rachel. That was incredible. What were your takeaways from that interview? I love talking with her. I love how knowledgeable she was. I like that. She stressed how important it was for women to speak up and to make sure the doctors are hearing them and taking them seriously about things and she even mentioned jet and if once not listening you may need to go talk to a different one. I completely agree. Self advocacy is a thing in all of health care. And it's really a thing in mental health care and I think a major takeaway from this episode really needs to be asked questions because it really seems like doctors aren't bringing up some of the physical health components of schizophrenia. And I think that's a vital importance and seriously ladies take this to heart. Talk to your psychiatrist. Let them know. You're having any issues with hormonal type. Things with your periods chocked them. If you're planning on getting pregnant or even if that's just something that you know. Hey I want to talk about like future. What does that mean what? I have to go off my medication. Would I need to do it? Let's say a few months before like speak up about these types of things for me. It's interesting because we talked about co morbidity as last time and how important the physical doctors are and we really didn't even mention gynecologists but yes gynecologists are a major part of women's health and making sure that psychiatrists and our gynecologists are on the same page next time. We're going to be exploring how schizophrenia X. men so we're GONNA be hitting on. How symptoms affects men differently and also testosterone. So that will be happening. And we won't have Dr Hayden finch returning to talk to us. More about the clinical side of the gentleman's. Join US next month on inside schizophrenia. I'm your host Rachel Star withers here with gay powered and you've been listening to a psych central podcast. Please likes share. Subscribe with all of your friends. Family loved ones. The women in your life was schizophrenia. Thank you so much and we will see you. Next month. Inside Schizophrenia is presented by Psych Central Dot Com America's largest and longest operating independent mental health website. Your host Rachel Star withers can be found online at Rachel Star. Live Dot com co host gave Howard can be found online at gay power dot com for questions or to provide feedback. Please email top back at psych central Dot Com. The official website for insight schizophrenia is psych central dot com slash. Is Thank you for listening and please share widely.

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Bonus Content: Comorbidity with Schizophrenia

The Psych Central Show

47:49 min | 1 year ago

Bonus Content: Comorbidity with Schizophrenia

"Hello Psych Central podcast. Fans this is your host Gabe Howard and I've got some bonus content for you. The latest episode of Inside Schizophrenia. A psych central podcast. Please enjoy enjoy. Welcome to inside schizophrenia. Rhenium a look into better understanding. Living well with schizophrenia hosted by renowned advocate and influence or Rachel Star withers and featuring gape Howard the listeners. Could it change in your schizophrenia treatment. Plan make a difference. There are options out there. You might not know about this at once monthly different dot com to find out more about the benefits of once. Monthly injections for adults with schizophrenia. Welcome to inside schizophrenia. A psych central podcast. I'm Rachel Star withers here with my co host gave Howard in this episode. We will be exploring Komorowski having another health condition. In addition to Schizophrenia Co Morbidity is associated with worse health outcomes more complex complex clinical management and increased healthcare costs occupational therapist and host of the podcast occupied brock. Cook will be joining us to discuss sways that. He works with people with schizophrenia to manage multiple health issues. Rachel Co Morbidity is one of those things that it happens in all illnesses but but specifically we're talking about how it relates to managing living with an acknowledging schizophrenia. Can you give us a little more background. On Co Morbidity Come Morbidity is his the presence of one or more additional conditions co occurring with a primary condition and for our show the primary condition we are focusing. Focusing on is schizophrenia. How Co Morbidity is classified in mental health vogue gets like really confusing? So if you have schizophrenia and depression and is that two different things or is that schizophrenia. With a negative symptom of depression or is that schizo affective disorder. That's where things start to get like like a little bit hairy as what's a whole separate disorder and then what's a side effect. Others are like anxiety panic disorder post traumatic stress disorder obsessive obsessive compulsive. It's estimated that depression occurs and fifty percent of patients with schizophrenia. I personally have the diagnosis of schizophrenia. Yeah and depression. It's important to understand why we move through this episode that there is a difference between a symptom of an illness like for example. You can have a cold and a symptom of having a cold is a runny nose so you don't have the co morbid disorder of a cold with a runny nose. And that's that's a very bad example. And I know that every general practitioner who listens to our the show like Gabe no full disclosure. Didn't go to medical school but we're really trying to talk about the things that are vastly different from schizophrenia. We're not even necessarily talking about schizophrenia. And depression or schizophrenia anxiety. We're also talking about schizophrenia. And physical health traits and trends. That people with schizophrenia. More often than not have in higher rates than the general population schizophrenia has been described Bob. The life shortening disease and physical core morbidity accounts for sixty percent of premature deaths that are not related to suicide. In People's Oh schizophrenia. WE HAVE AN INCREASE RATE OF DEVELOPING GLUCOSE REGULATION ABNORMALITIES INSULIN resistance and type two diabetes and of course now some of that it's going to be attributed to lifestyle factors which will come back to but a big part is the side effects of antipsychotic medications. If you've ever been on different medications occasions you've definitely learned weight. Gain even with Diet and exercise is really hard to avoid my weight's going up and down throughout the years and I've have always been active to some degree whether it was fighting doing a mud runs like I've always been a very active person and I mean I weighed seventy pounds more than I do right now at one point and it's important to point out that for your career as a stunt woman being physically in shape is a requirement so when you say that you have always been active you've been active at a level different from the majority of the population. You're talking about a planet fitness membership. Here this is part of your career to earn a living and to be paid to do the stunts that you have been so successful at doing and it's it's not so much just even stunt just being on camera for different things unfortunately my looks kinda matter and you set yourself up whenever whenever you're doing Internet things for horrible commenters and that's been rough of just hearing the things people will send like all this fat you know on and on has been definitely really hard just dealing with other people's responses and while we're certainly not saying that it's more reasonable to have your weight commented on if you quote deserve deserve it. It's important to point out that your lifestyle change your medication. Did you were still eating the same working out the same exercising exercising the same. You're still just as active. The only thing that changed as your medication but your weight shot up and and again I want to be very very clear. It's not okay to insult salt people's looks or weights if they gained weight because they cake but we do want to point it out right. Your level of activity did not change you. You made no lifestyle changes. You made a medication. Change to manage schizophrenia. And as you stated gained seventy pounds even though. That's the only change that you made. Patients with schizophrenia are more likely to be obese than the normal population. And if you have long term schizophrenia you are three times more likely to develop diabetes than the general population. That's a lot three times more. I was like Oh wow when i read that it makes sense because like I said I it was so much of it was out of my control like I was doing everything I could and I was still packing on weight and that did not help the depression in part one of the things that I thought was interesting. Rachel as you talked about whenever you were given a new medication. The very first thing that you google was the name aim of drug and weight gain. That was your primary concern will why is that. Why is that your primary concern because there seems to be a lot more important things to worry about? You would assume that I should care more about my mental state but at the same time I fell and I still feel that I can only fight so battles trying to maintain a mental state of being able to go to work and live a life at same time. I don't WanNa be like gaining and gaining and gaining anyway because that affects those exact things me trying to live life me trying to. I don't WanNa say make friends dating things but it does it. Does it like like changes different things. And it's like I can only fight so many battles till the point that it just becomes overwhelming and of course because your physical health is important you gain the way because because of the psychiatric medications directs. 'cause it's Co Morbid obesity schizophrenia. You end up in a doctor's office and the first thing that a doctor tells you is oh you're Overweight your morbidly obese. You have obesity issues. You need to lose weight and you're thinking to yourself. This isn't my fault and the doctor is just looking looking at the chart and saying Oh you're five seven and you have this weight. You need to be this weight. So make better choices. Because they're trying to avoid all of the things you mentioned surly or diabetes and joint pain etc so Rachel you know that the weight gain is a side effect of your medication. It's the side effect of your treatment of schizophrenia. But the doctor is treating you like. Hey you just need to join a gym. That's gotTa hurt. That's gotTa Rub you the wrong way. That's got to feel bad. Yeah it's it's just beyond frustrating and it Kinda makes use be like why don't even WanNa try. I just I don. I don't even WanNa try in for me whenever I've had a doctor. Doctor prescribed an antidepressant. antipsychotic none none have ever warned me about weight gain and I get it. Because they're like their job is to to help me mentally and I guess maybe it's deal with the mental the physical stuff. We can deal with later but it's so interconnected I'd be like like they just play off of each other and I will sometimes actually tell by psychiatrists like Is there a better option because this quite a few people online are complaining about waking and they'll be like well maybe you shouldn't look looking it up right now just literally sitting there with my phone in my hand as we're discussing options like okay. Okay okay hold on. I think it's important to sidebar here in point that this is a tough choice for people with schizophrenia. They've got to decide if they want to be mentally healthy but have some physical consequences. This is or if he mentally unwell. It's important to point out that while that is a difficult decision. It's not right. I mean having full control of our faculties of of our brains of our bodies. It is very very important but I do WANNA provide hope there's new research and there's new medications and there's new drug trials and thankfully thankfully the medical community is aware that people are struggling with this decision and in many cases not taking psychiatric medications because the side effects are just so difficult and it's not just weight gain. It's a lot of things like cholesterol levels the insulin resistance. It's not just oh well I'm going to gain a lot of weight. There are like other health issues. One that I haven't really ever talked about is my cholesterol. I have to follow a very strict strict diet because my cholesterol is insane in and they've warned me about it so many times like you can't have fast food and I'm like I haven't half fast food in like five years and they'll be like you can't eat red meat. I almost never read red meat or anything with like I on such a strict diet but my cholesterol is still normally high and they think that it is due to some pass medications that I've been on kind of changed some chemistry so it isn't just for my people listening out there like oh you shouldn't worry about wake game. It's a whole physical situation going on sometimes one of the things that you're trying to point out Rachel is that people living with schizophrenia. And managing their schizophrenia. Well are often seen to be lazy because of this excess weight or because of the physical health conditions that they're having it's kind of like a combination punch you know. I you have schizophrenia. And that's difficult to manage and then everybody there's like Why are you overweight? You should go for a walk and then on top of that. You have accelerated rates of osteoporosis. You have higher incidences of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and you have so many stats to deliver and people are just looking at you like hey. Why don't you make better choices and the reality is you? You are making excellent choices for your situation as a person who's living with schizophrenia. And we can't blame everything on medication though tobacco. Smoking rates and people schizophrenia. Actually twice of the general population. That's interesting I've always found that people with mental disorders. I do tend to smoke a lot more the times that I've been at different mental health facilities. It'll be crazy. How many people there smoke? It's like everybody smokes and I'm I'm so I never grew up smoking. I just I really didn't grow up around it. No one I knew smoked. My parents. Don't smoke but whenever I meet other schizophrenics nine times out of ten most of them smoke folk obviously the individual reasons that people choose to smoke are just that they're individual reasons but if we're looking at people with schizophrenia as a whole it somewhat easy to understand understand why decisions are made like smoking. Cigarettes are easy to get. They are somewhat of a social activity. They provide a bump. When when you're smoking you are feeling better? None of these are good reasons to smoke. But they are understandable reasons and later on in the show when we hear from Mr Cooke. He's going to explain why it is a coping mechanism. It's not a good coping mechanism but in that moment people schizophrenia are trying to make a decision that makes makes them feel better in his job. He helps people make decisions that provide the same feel better without the negative consequences of smoking and I hope that people with schizophrenia. It's a funny Here that because like you said it it is a choice that they're making which gives them the power to make a different choice and we're not putting down anybody who smoke. Please don't be upset because I also think at other issues like when you look at things like smoking alcohol weed in some areas if it's legal and you're like okay. I Mardy dealing with this major mental disorder. Now you're telling me I can't even have a legal vice. It's not like I'm doing anything bad Rachel but unfortunately there are some things that having being schizophrenia. We're setting ourselves up to fail in some ways by doing stuff even if it is legal. It's one reason I never ever drink alcohol. It affects medications medications and I can't actively be saying Oh. I'm working really hard to maintain my mental state. If I'm drinking because I know that that messes with with the medications and is just going to continue to make things worse and my legally totally fine. I'm far far age. Twenty one to drink yes but it is something that I have to take into consideration. It's like an extra thing that I have to do to manage my schizophrenia is. To not drink we also have to consider that one of the reasons that people people living with schizophrenia. Don't get help for their physical co morbidity is because of their circumstances they're living situations homelessness money situation. It's expensive awesome to go to the doctor. And if you don't have a good payer source if you don't have good healthcare if you're on government assistance if you don't have a ride if you live in an area that doesn't have good good public transportation. You may be thinking to yourself. Look it's going to cost twenty dollars to see the doctor. It's GonNa take all day to go to the free clinic. I'm going to have to sit on the bus. I don't have the time resources money or even the psychological wherewithal to deal with this for the next nine hours so I'm GonNa go ahead and let it pass. We have to remember that. Many people living with schizophrenia. They're not living with the same resources as your average middle class America America. It's important to understand that this is a barrier to their treatment and it may well be a barrier to your treatment. As well and people schizophrenia. We are her sixty three percent more likely to suffer a serious infection and I think so many times. It's probably a small infection. But someone's like oh well if I can can decide between going to my psychiatrist this month or going to like a normal doctor over an infection like come on. I'm I'm sure my infection will be fine it. Does it escalates from there or like you said. We're looking at a homeless situation or just generally not being able to afford to take care of ourselves that well that small infections can escalate very very they quickly and people with schizophrenia. And it's that esscalation that leads to the very serious co morbidity the Co Morbidity is that we're talking about here. Obviously living with schizophrenia. India is tough enough and I don't mean to harp on it but so often we look at people who are managing schizophrenia. And in many cases very very well and then we start to pick on the physical issues that they're having nobody is saying not to pay attention to your physical health. In fact we very much encourage people to pay attention to their physical health. But I think a lot of times the advice that we give to our friends to our loved ones is the same advice that we would give to our friends and loved ones. Who are not managing schizophrenia? And I think that we need to meet people where they're at and we just really really really WanNa get across that a lot of these issues. That people with schizophrenia are going through. Through are not their fault their just responsibility Rachel the specific question that I want to ask you as a person. Living with schizophrenia is how does it feel to know that your or managing your schizophrenia. Very well but when your friends or your loved ones approach you on the physical side. They don't pay attention to that at all. They treat you as somebody that just has a physical condition and they don't acknowledge that you have managed your schizophrenia. Hey you need to do X. Y. Z.. How does that feel it just adds to especially for me? The depression of it and the feeling of hopelessness that okay. Even if I feel like man I have done so so good this past week but no one else notices. What was the point or if someone is constantly like on me about my diet like Rachel? You know. You're not supposed to have that Rachel. You're not supposed to do that. And then I'm like okay. I've actually been really really good like come on all of it. It's very frustrating. And it makes me want to push back and be like we'll find. I'm not even GONNA try. Obviously People WanNa get credit for what they've done. That's not a schizophrenia. Thing that that's not a mental health thing that that's just a life thing and when you're trying to encourage somebody to get help for something and you don't acknowledge the great strides that they've made and I think that this is is one of the reasons that separating out mental health and physical health is just so incredibly foolish rates because you're not acknowledging somebody's mental health because you're worried read about their physical health or you're worried about something but he's physical health and you're not acknowledging your mental health. We have one body and we have one life. And that's where Co Morbid disorders really early come in right because all of these disorders all of these issues are happening to one person into my caretakers. My friends my family out there who are like okay. Well I'll be more are careful about saying things like that but also noticed when someone is doing good even if it's like a little bit of doing good like hey you know what you are looking so much more awake this week or you know. You've been looking a lot happier than she started walking. You know whatever the thing is don't lie and be like you look like you've lost thirty pounds and your hike. No I haven't but just like little things go along way of just you know since you've switched over to such and such you. It seems like you're a lot more upbeat. Do notice like those little tiny achievements because they are a big deal here here Rachel getting back to stats for a moment. I was really shocked to learn that that. In the United States about eighty percent of Medicare spending is devoted to patients with four or more chronic conditions so co morbidity is not something. That only people with schizophrenia. Rania have to deal with and have to live with. It's actually very common and schizophrenia is a very serious illness. So it's not surprising that a very serious illness would have co Morbidity Cz. Yes and I do believe that people schizophrenia. When we're having multiple issues that doctors sometimes times deal with it differently than they would someone who is just dealing with multiple physical issues a lot of doctors who are not psychiatrists? They don't feel comfortable. Just treating treating someone with schizophrenia with their normal things. Just kind of like oh schizophrenia. And I'm like right but this is a cold but it's you know I don't really know you know it's like they're afraid to treat you that they might do something wrong. And then of course if I go psychiatrist about a cold. They're like okay. Well racial do you need to go to your general practitioner. That's not what we do here and it can be frustrating. Because I'm getting bounced around doctor to doctor and then of course there's a fear of me going going to a normal doctor that they'll think that it psychosomatic. Oh well you know. You think you're in pain. It's probably your schizophrenia. That's frustrating alone alone because if you have schizophrenia. Not only you have a difficulty in communicating. What's going on sometimes trying to describe it and then people aren't aren't believing you or just kind of rushing off what you say? That's really great. If you have the friends and family who can go with you to the doctor and almost kind of beer backup you know to make you sound bad but not seem crazy and my mom usually. It's gotten to the point that she'll go to most of my doctor's appointments because to be like yes she has been dealing with this specifically for two months. Rachel in your opinion. How do we fix this because we do have trouble in America looking at a whole person they wanna pay attention to your mental health or they wanNA pay attention to your physical health? But Rachel Star withers isn't to People Rachel Star withers is one person. You've been managing schizophrenia. For a long time and you've managed many co Morbid disorders again for a long time. How can you help people? Get to the other side with having schizophrenia. You do have to take a lot of the responsibility on yourself. which sh racial? I mean come on I'm already having to do with my middle state Yeah every night. I have a little APP that I write down any physical issues. I had during the day that way. It could be tracked over time so if something is coming up hey you could actually look through my lap and be like. Oh Wow. This started. Two months wants ago or this started back at the same time you went on this medication. It helps me to have that because almost kind of backs up what I'm saying instead of me just going to the a doctor and be like oh my gosh. I've gained ten pounds. I look when I started this a week later. I gained two pounds. It does it backs up what you're saying when you go to the doctors but you kind of have to step up to the plate and like all right. If my psychiatrist isn't requiring that I have physicals or checking the my physical health is okay. That might be something you need to do whether you're doing them every few months whether it's once or twice a year tracking weight changes your blood pressure. Your blood allege sugar. If you're having sleeping problems all those kinds of things and a lot of it does fall on the patient's responsibility and honestly it's not a bad thing that it falls on the patient. Because that's very empowering right you can take control of your healthcare you can take control of your health and I'm fond of saying that it doesn't matter if you have schizophrenia. Or not the physical rules of the world still apply to you and in fact as we've learned throughout this episode. They really really apply to you. You have to worry about managing schizophrenia. You have to worry about managing your physical health and you have to worry about managing the CO morbidity between the two while it is a tough road. It's your road and I think it's very very empowering to be able to walk that road with as much agency as humanly possible but don't be afraid to ask for help. Part of agency is asking for that help as Rachel said she utilizes her family. And I've never seen a better team team. They're a very very good team. And I think that's important to point out Rachel. That's what I've always been impressed with. It's not your family taking care of you. It's not you demanding demanding things from your family. Your family has formed a team to manage your schizophrenia. Your Co Morbidity and your physical health together I I feel that that's a very good system because it gives you as the person living with schizophrenia. A lot of agency and I think that's very very powerful because ultimately it is your life. Gabe I totally agree. My parents are awesome. And this is something that we've worked out over many years. It wasn't just like they decided one day. Okay Eh. This is how we're going to work out with Rachel and everything's going to be great. It has definitely taken a while for us to kind of find a groove. That worked and I helped them with things things. Also the really good thing about me. Having to be so strict on my diet is that it makes my dad also be kind of strict on his diet me. Having to exercise lies I can have my mom exercise with me. I don't want it to sound like Oh everyone's doing all this stuff for poor Rachel late. I would like to think that it's a whole team effort. And everyone is benefiting. We are helping each other in different areas. I think all of us across the board exercises important eating right has important. Whether do you have a health issue or not. It's just that's good stuff to do. We'll be right back after this message from our sponsor. It can sometimes feel like another schizophrenia. The episode is just around the corner. In fact a study found that patients had an average of nine episodes in less than six years. However there's a treatment plan option that can help delay another episode a once monthly injection for adults with schizophrenia? If delaying another episode sounds sounds like it can make a difference for you or your loved one. Learn more about treating schizophrenia with once monthly injections at once monthly difference Dot Com. That's once monthly difference DOT COM. We're back discussing CO MORBIDITY AND SCHIZOPHRENIA. Would it coast to going going to your psychiatrist and your different doctors. One thing you need to make sure is that they are on the same page that your general practitioner owner knows the medications that you're psychiatrists has you on and vice versa. In any other doctors do not assume that they are talking. Do not assume that they double checked. That medication doesn't affect a different one. That's something I've had to learn the hard way I listed on the paper the medications I was on but that Dr almost didn't pay attention to it and the medication they were going to prescribe for a completely different health issue. It raise blood pressure while the other one did the same thing and it would potentially be very bad and I literally was the one on my phone again and I was like well. It says on this little APP and they don't like when you do that but it's very important that did you do that. Yeah I've had quite a few runs where they're like. Oh Wow yeah no. We can't have you on both of these because they didn't realize my other treatment plants fully with other doctors doctors so do make sure you speak up when it comes to things like that family friends. If you're going to the doctor with them my mom loves to make sure I have my whole little tote bag the medications on like mom. I got them written down. I don't need the actual bottle nowadays. Just just be safe okay. We'll bring the bottles also but they are on this piece of paper which I'm sure they rather at the piece of paper that's organized than a bag of bottles but whatever so don't just assume that doctors no one hundred percent what's going on in different front areas of your Health Rachel you had the opportunity to interview a gentleman named Brock Cook. He's an occupational therapist out of Australia and he works specifically quickly to help people with schizophrenia. MANAGE THEIR CO morbid conditions and lead the best life possible. I'm excited to hear this interview. So we're going to go ahead and roll it now. We're here talking with Brock Cook. Who is an occupational therapist out of Australia? And he's also the host of the podcast occupied so so welcome brock. Thank you so much for being on our show. Thank you very much for inviting me now. You get to work with a lot of different people and we know each other there from me having schizophrenia. and talking to you about it on your podcast. How would you describe what you do have worked pretty much? I the whole Korea in the Mental Health Service here in my local state and I've worked in all different areas of mental health. Everything from acute in patient to community rehab to intensive Rehab to pretty much you name it of what the terms of. It does with people with mental health conditions. An occupational therapist works with the things that people want need today so we look at when we talk about occupation. We talk about the things that people occupy the time with people with mental conditions. When my working with them it's the things that they would normally do at is to occupy the time something anything from learning how to maintain a house to learning how to get a job to supporting them in navigating relationship? Transitions like pretty much. You name it. We have the skills and capacity to support people people to lead a full life as I possibly. Can I guess when dealing with mental disorders. What have you seen to be? The main physical co morbidity is affecting among people with schizophrenia. Obviously generalizing here but a lot of people who have schizophrenia. Tend to end up with these due to what health would deem MS lifestyle disease smoking in drugs and that kind of stuff will said would work with people a lot who have issues with a white diagnoses. Such as diabetes often tend to be quite common and again comes from some of the similar issues around impulse control in how nutrients to process Some of them have issues with a white in the first place. In my experience a lot of the people I work with mobility sue with different types of self medicating so whether it was illicit substances marijuana. It's legal in some places in the states. It's not legal here. But illicit substances and marijuana alcohol hall was another one in particular cigarettes smoking Israeli really common with people who have a diagnosis that gets a I remember the exact statistic but the percentage percentage of people who smoke. KOMO's bitterly with a diagnosis schizophrenia. phenomenally lodge than just the general population. Who who smoke? It's often used as a coping mechanism. Unfortunately does work quite well for some people whether it's just having some time out even the the act of I guess regulated breathing. That happens when people smoke tends to work all the health risks that come with it unfortunately. There's it's actually some documented benefits that people do get from which makes it really hot as a health therapists of any kind really. You want to obviously promote people elsie. But they're actually getting some benefit from what is often seen as a very unhealthy behavior when it comes to things like cigarettes alcohol. That are our legal in that people use as a coping mechanism. How do you address this with people with schizophrenia? So that's one of the things I think it is is important that we do take note of. I guess why people are using different types. Oh for instance. Why are people using one of actually getting out of it? Is it just having some time on out. That gives them time to think. Is it that the regulator breathing like I said before is it that they smoke with friends and it's a bit more of a social. We need to really understand why people doing it because what we're able to do then and this is something that I think. Ot's argue that this is pretty much what we do as a profession is once as we understand why we understand what that need. Is that say. Cigarettes is filling were able to explore healthier options. That can also fill that same. Need because what would generally happen and you see this a lot with people. Anyone anyone trying to quit smoking. Who tries to do it cold Turkey I think the success rate of called checky quitting spankings about five percent can't meaning that ninety five percent of people who tried to quit smoking call? Turkey died succeed. The reason for that. Is We kind of almost build up like a a habit of these coping mechanisms and what tends to happen is if we just take those coping mechanisms away eventually the stress the anxiety that comes along with that change gets a little bit. Too Much and and your brain's default mechanism is to just switch to what ours and for most people if you call Turkey and you really really craving a cigarette. What it knows is I? I can get rid of this feeling. We're having a spike. The same thing happens when working with people with schizophrenia or any other mental illness if we looking at understanding understanding why this that we can put in healthy mechanism might be things like meditation. I've worked with people where the thing too I. Guests relieve. That craving was just to put the hand in a bucket of US just for a couple of minutes a tactile thing. I've worked with people where it was that social outing and that's how they felt they could make that social. It was by smoking cigarettes with the people in that building complex so we worked on some ways where they could still meet that social need good but without the cigarettes. What about medication side effects? That plays a huge part. In the development of physical quantities. Eddie's like diabetes when it comes to weight gain and stuff. And that's something that you don't have as much control over if I have to take these anti psychotics Codex and they are causing my metabolism to slow down or whatever to happen inside of me to make me gain weight. Howdy Y'all address is that there's a few ways and I think it's going to be dependent on the individual and their lifestyle in a lot of cases but I think we treat it the same way we would treat it for anyone so if someone is wired about white gain then we can have a look at developing some healthy lost all top options so might be getting into exercise? Trying different type of exercise is or if it is a diabetes and it might be learning about diabetes management whether it's insulin-dependent or not diet is a big management thing for diabetes. He's so it'd be a matter of either supporting them themselves linking them in with services that can already help them with us and it might be through their GP might be through a specialist Shaulis Dietitian. It might be here wherever there but here. We have specific diabetes educators which you quite often nurses by trade. But they've done a lot of training specific to diabetes diabetes management so we can link him in services like that does not a lot that we can do specifically for the medication if we know that there are other options. We can advocate into the psychiatrists on the behalf to say listen. This is really having an impact. I found that quite often if the advocacy for that is coming from a health professional for some reason I hate that. It happens that way but it seems to carry more white than when it comes from the person itself which is is ridiculous but as a health professional. That's part of what we signed up for. Most people got into those sorts of professions. Because I want to help people in advocacy happens to be a big pot of that either try and develop some healthy habits around countering whatever. The side effect is as well as advocating full potential. SANTEUIL may medication changes or at least reviews with the doctors dealing with schizophrenia. It's definitely exhausting. Between me having a advice that causes something else or just me developing something else. Do to treat schizophrenia. What advice do you have for people just to not be overwhelmed overwhelmed? One of the biggest things is to try and have a little bit of an understanding of how motivation works but more importantly how it doesn't work which is often how a a lot of health professionals try promoted. A lot of health professionals look at motivation. Like it's a cop you either have some you have a little bit. You have a lot. You don't have any that kind of thing when it doesn't actually work. I like that. Everyone has motivation juicy defined what they're actually motivated by so for example if someone is having issues with their white that want to exercise watching most people confess that actually starting to get into exercise. That's something that's really hot. It's a difficult habit to form. What we need to do is not just a k you having issues? This is why you should try walking because that person might not give two hoots about walking but they might be a team. Sport Might WanNa play tennis. That tennis was another kid. It's something that they can do. They can engage in that. They're going to get their exercise in. So it's a matter of not just sticking to that one option tron. Find something that you'll motivate it's do as opposed. I try to find the motivation to do something kind of flip it on. Its head and times of goal setting when you're trying to stop habit start with the smallest thing you can one hundred percent guarantee you can do. If it's I can do a five minute walk at some point during this week. If that's all the one hundred percent guarantee that you can do don that's it. Start with with that the next week I will. I did five minutes once last week. I'm going to do it twice this week. One of the big things and it's not just people with schizophrenia. That's a big thing for anyone. Anyone when it comes to goal setting is they start with ongoing to lose twenty kilos or twenty pounds depending on where you're from and it's almost too big and and it becomes overwhelming and it feels like how to do this and it's been two weeks I've only lost half a pound and that kind of thing is sounds really hot and a lot of people after a few weeks or less than that usually usually after week. So the lose motivation they lose interest because they dicey they making any progress. Whereas if you're essentially setting yourself up for success because you're hitting the hottest little goal it could literally her liver guy who his goal was to go to the gym so for two months? Truly all he did uh-huh get dressed getting these car. Walk into the gym. Get back in these cog higher. That was it but that was how he that was. The he was doing started office two days then three days a week he says it started off the smallest possible thing that he could guarantee that he could do and then built on that. And that's how you start dot building a sustainable habit change. I absolutely love that like the whole time. You're talking my head. I was like okay. Let me read them in all of my goals the ones I haven't done let me let me rethink about some things. It works seriously. I'm like ready to just bust out my little goal. She didn't scratch them all out and be like literally examined my situations family. Friends caretakers of people schizophrenia. What kind of signs should should they look for that? A physical co morbidity might be on the horizon. I think this is one of those things again. It's going to we really individual mainly to the the personality type of each person who's dealing with these physical camera abilities. Some people the main things I guess that going to notice a behavior changes all of a sudden gone from smoking cigarettes to smoking a pack a day all of a sudden you've noticed that that close on fitting properly all well or they don't feel comfortable. I guess the negative symptoms I isolated in that kind of stuff because people might not feel comfortable going out the downfield like they've got nothing to wear a feel like they're gonNA be judged full whatever it is whether it's way too will smoking all that kind of thing. It'll be behavior. Change of some variation the biggest thing family can do is to try and maintain open communication and with their loved. Ones person themselves is GonNa know if anything's happening before anyone else noticed as anything and if you've got that open communication and you've got at least someone that you have that open communication with then hopefully if developed at an awkward. I can feel comfortable to tell you like pants. Fitting just feel really uncomfortable. Will that really want to go to this. Work do on Friday night. A disdain for anything to weigh I've been struggling to get through a wet day with that each for cigarette. Any of those kinds of changes. I've been communication with anything like that. It is probably the key thing trying. Take it at this speed. It sounds like a weird thing to say but when when they do express their concerns about it you'll be able to pick up. How surgeons an issue it is to that person and if it is something that they feeling ailing is really urgent? Then take urgent steps. And if it's something they like kind of like Oh my God we have to change everything. Because you've just mentioned this tiny thing 'cause you can scare them escaping probably going to open up to you anymore thank you so much brock for coming and talking with us about this I absolutely loved especially the goals olds part. Our listeners can find you at Brock. Cook Dot Com and you are the host of occupied. Tell us about your podcast pus. Toss generally for occupational therapists. And what I'm trying to do full therapists is open. Their eyes up to one the engineering. The things I t's can do but I've also done quota series of podcast. Now one of which you yourself was on where I get people with lived experience of something. Thing in your instance schizophrenia and have a chat about you'll story in your experience with it to one educate Ot's and other therapists that listen about people's experience of some of the conditions that we generally will work with but also it's a resource for people. Who may have schizophrenia? Or I've done all the ones on alcohol abuse or personality disorder those kinds of things but it's a resource for those people. I guess almost the other way. Try and get an understanding of this is how specifically and occupational therapists maw with someone press anyway. Those symptoms always that diagnosis side Roku Dot Com. Oh occupied can be found pretty much any way you can find a podcast if anyone's interested in checking out feel free. Well thank you so much. Thank you absolute pleasure Rachel. That was incredible. It was interesting for me because I always tend to think of occupational therapy in terms of you got in a car accident and you're having trouble walking gain. I think of occupational therapy is arthritis or it never occurred to me. That occupational therapy could exist in the mental health field for for example. He said that it's easy to let schizophrenia. Overshadow other health issues and that. That's a very bad idea. No absolutely and I I loved how many like practical answers he had and he didn't just kind of harp on. Oh you're doing all these bad things you gotta stop doing these bad things it was. We need to learn how to control some of these bad habits. Not so much should get rid of them all. We need to kind of learn to control to make it healthy across the board just for you to live life to do the things that you want to do. And I don't know I loved his approach with all that it was very upbeat and I didn't feel oh like he was fussing at me or anyone else. Over like life decisions my biggest takeaway and the thing that is most important as he said. These are are coping mechanisms. They are bad habits. They are in your best interest. They do have long term effects and they are impacting your physical health. But you've chosen them for a reason so he helps you figure out what that reason is and choose a better option. I think that that is a very very valuable takeaway for two reasons one. I think that people with schizophrenia are often beat up on for making bad decisions with no care given to why they made that decision and two do. I think that it is important to make better decisions as we've learned throughout this episode with the stats of people dying younger simply because they have schizophrenia. Simply for managing schizophrenia French. Simply for doing all of the right things. We want people to live longer. Rachel I want you to live to be eighty five and he understands that that's the the goal but he also understands that the goal is to manage your life in the here and now that really spoke to me in a in a very big way. I agree one hundred percent with that. I said the interview. What am I favored? Things was when he was like okay. What's the baby goal? You absolutely do. What's what's the tiniest thing that you can totally do? And I've been thinking about that something that I've been struggling with for a while is waking up. I have such a hard time getting Outta bed for when I don't sleep well usually have to be on like sleeping pills so I ended up being in bed for twelve hours but not ever actually really going to like a really deep sleep just kind of coming in and out of this kind of confusion so I'm always exhausted and if I have worker something thing I can make myself get out of bed. That's not a problem but most days. I don't only work twelve hours a week so most days I do not have of any real reason to get up and so I was thinking. Yeah I'm over and over is set the goal. Oh I'm going to be up out of bed by eight. Am Nine nine am today. It's just crazy because I keep missing the goal when I get so frustrated and I beat myself up and I was thinking okay. What was like the smallest thing because I know I can get up when I have to and I was like I'm going to pick at least one day a week where I do not have to be up for any reason that I will force myself to get up and be up and moving around at least for two hours? I was like. Oh Yeah I can totally do that. So guess what Gabe. Tomorrow morning my alarms already set sorority. I got it set for. I have like actually tin alarm. Set for eight o'clock. I have them all set to end at eight o'clock so hopefully and that's my goal is to wake up at least be up moving around doing things till ten and then if I'm still exhausted and tired and need to lay back down then and I will. I'm not going to beat myself up over that but you know we'll see what happens. Maybe I'll be able to stay awake the whole time and be refreshed as I normally am. Well Rachel I hope so too because as you've said a million times you need to be proactive with your health. Because you're worth it and you need to speak up and make sure that you're on the same page with your doctor doctor. This is all good advice for everybody. Forget about managing or living with schizophrenia. This is just good advice and the rules. Don't change because does live with schizophrenia. Yes it is so easy to let schizophrenia. Overshadow everything else in your life however it is just a part of you and every other part is just as important including your physical health. Be Knowledgeable of the medications that you're on and their side effects so you know I know what to expect all right so you know okay. This could happen and when it does. What's going to be my plan? Who Am I going to let know? I know what lifestyle changes might have to take speak up. Make sure that everybody is on the same page for your treatment because it is your treatment. It re proactive. Take care of yourself because like Dave and Lori Al says your worth it. Thank you so much for listening. Like share subscribe scribe to this podcast and share it widely with your friends and family. We'll see you next month. Here on inside schizophrenia. Inside inside schizophrenia is presented by Psych Central Dot Com America's largest and longest operating independent of mental health website. Your host Rachel Star withers it can be found online at Rachel Star Live Dot com co host gave Howard can be found online at gay power dot com for questions or to provide feedback. Please Z.. Male talk back at Psych Central Dot Com. The official website for insight schizophrenia is psych central dot com slash. GS thank you for listening and please share share widely.

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Bonus Content: Schizophrenia in Women

A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast

54:49 min | 1 year ago

Bonus Content: Schizophrenia in Women

"Hey not crazy. Fans we've got some bonus content for you. Please enjoy this episode of inside schizophrenia. A psych central podcast. Welcome to inside. Schizophrenia a look into better understanding and living with schizophrenia hosted by renowned advocate and influence Rachel Star withers and featuring gay powered listeners. Could change in your schizophrenia treatment. Plan make a difference. There are options out there. You might not know about this at once monthly different dot com to find out more about the benefits of once monthly injections for adults with schizophrenia. Welcome to inside schizophrenia. I'm Rachel Star withers here with my wonderful co host. Gabe Howard this episode. We are exploring schizophrenia. In women next episode. We're going to focus on the men but this whole episode is for the ladies often. We don't really consider gender dynamics in treatment or medication and this is a chronic across all health. Not just schizophrenia. A lot of medications etc are only tested on men because of risk they don't want to impact a potential pregnancy etc and on one hand. This sounds good. We're protecting pregnancy but on the other hand this means there's whole drugs that have made it to market. That may not have ever been tested with women so I think that it's exciting to consider how schizophrenia impacts the genders differently. Obviously we want to state unequivocally that if you meet two people with schizophrenia. You've met two people with schizophrenia. You know there tends to be this idea that all people with schizophrenia are exactly alike and and we hope that. This show has done a lot to dispel that misinformation. Just like if I meet two guys named gave that probably both different probably probably repeatedly you hear the difference between men and women with schizophrenia. The biggest thing is the age of onset. Women are said to develop it later than men on average. They say four to six years later than a man would be diagnosed. Let's go be diagnosed with schizophrenia. And that's one of the things I've noticed repeatedly in research across the years is that women get schizophrenia. In life later sometimes you know late twenties. They'll even say it's interesting because as you said it's diagnosed with we know from research. That people are born with schizophrenia. So the question becomes and we don't know the answer to this because research is ongoing. Do Men and women become symptomatic at the same time but men get the diagnosis faster or do women. It not develop the symptoms of schizophrenia. Until later and it's difficult to discover that and some of it is social engineering. If a woman is behaving erratically. Well of course she's a woman and this is the kind of thinking that we have to prevent and get over to make sure that everybody gets the best care but it's on one hand. It's interesting to think about when we're diagnosing people and how we're diagnosing people but on the other hand it's kind of sad if men and women are showing symptoms at the exact same age but it takes women extra four to six years to be diagnosed. That's also scary. Yes and they do say however that it's less detectable in women which I could totally see because I grew up having hallucinations but I didn't even realize myself that was weird until my late teens than I thought. I stopped talking about it so I didn't get a diagnosis either till my twenties so I could easily see you know yeah. Women tend to be more social. They tend to be more active than men. Who Have Schizophrenia? So yeah could probably fly under the radar much longer. It's interesting how you put that Rachel. You said that as soon as you notice that you were having these hallucinations and issues you hit them remained social. You remained engaged talking to the people around you whereas men when they notice them. They tend to retreat. It's that retreating that I think makes people realize that. Perhaps something is wrong you know. Why is this person? Stay in their room. Why does this person not have a job? Why is this person talking to themselves whereas because you remained social people? Don't say well. Hey we like it when Rachel comes over Rachel is Funny Rachel is Nice. She must be hearing voices in her head and experiencing psychosis elucidations. And and all of the other symptoms of schizophrenia. I can see how it could mask it especially to our friends and family who are not trained psychologists or psychiatrists and the flip side of. That coin. Is Families that schizophrenia tends to run in. There actually is no difference in the onset of age between men and women so like brothers sisters. And that's because yeah if grandma had it if mom has it you know so so cousin has you tend to be looking for those symptoms and recognize them earlier. Whether it's a boy or girl growing up Houston to notice that. They have acknowledged that if the family and friends are aware that there could be a potential problem on the horizon. They are noticing it much much sooner. There's also a study out. India that is found no difference in the average age of onset between men and women and I think that really does speak to the social dynamics between cultures because if people in India are all having the onset of schizophrenia at the same time it it would really be unusual to think that there's some sort of genetic difference between Americans and Indians. It's it's sort of speaks to this being a social construct and again research is ongoing. We're not one hundred percent. Sure of any of these things. In a lot of countries having a mental disorder is looked down upon even more so than I would say the Western world. They don't have statistics on those kinds of things because unfortunately it will go. No one is diagnosed until much later in life where they can't function at all so it is interesting. We look like how people grow up. What's expected of men and women? I do think women could fly under the radar longer. Sometimes just because you're not like well a guy at eighteen. He needs to get out. He needs to get a job he needs to at. Yeah I feel like my family. They're going to be a little softer on the girl in the Family. And the boy so. I can't easily see like that flying under the radar to your point Rachel when we talk about the social differences between men and women Which there's a lot I really think of. People who have battled schizophrenia for a long time and when I work with those people they say hey look i. I haven't had a job in five years and all of the men very much want to know what to do about their resume. They've got a five year GAP OF FIVE YEAR GAP. A five year gap and many of the women are like well five year. Gap is no problem. I was raising kids. I was a caretaker for family. It just nobody is questioning their five year gap whereas people are questioning a male's five year gap and all of this is just a tie in in some cases the differences between the treatments and the symptoms of schizophrenia. Have Considerably More to do with our society than it does with the actual disease now all that said there are disease processes and symptoms processes that work differently in women versus men as we get into the symptoms. Saying this you know like well Rachel. I'm a woman and I don't experience that that way or I'm a man and I totally have not just like across the board which tend to flare up in different genders women actually like we said are more social so different things like the flat effect. Pretty much where you don't experience emotion. You have a very dull. Expression is not seen as often in women. Women tend to even have more emotions and I know that's like Oh of course. Women are motion but with schizophrenia. A lot of times people have a blunted emotional response so they don't really react the same way quote Unquote Normal. People do but women we come off still acting more emotional to those around us inside. We might not aware able to kind of fake it much better. Our speech isn't reduced and I found this interesting. Gabe women with schizophrenia are actually more physically active than men across the board and also under that they can be more hostile. You know past episodes where he's talked about violence and schizophrenia. If you were to picture a violent schizophrenic I don't think anyone pictures of woman not only do. I not think that anybody pictures a woman. I think that the way society responds to a male who is being aggressive and a female who is being aggressive is very different. And there's a plethora of reasons for this. Listen I weigh two hundred and seventy five pounds and I'm six foot three if I am being extremely aggressive and loud. That's going to look a lot scarier than if Rachel who is considerably smaller than Gabe is yelling. Also people tend to be more willing to de escalate a female than a male and again a lot of these things fall under social constructs and our whole society is set up this way right. It's not just in schizophrenia. Where this is important. We see this in policing we see this in jobs. We see this in you know I could never scream at a server in public. But you know there's a whole Internet trend of calling women who scream at servers Karen and everybody thinks that that's funny but sincerely the humor comes from somebody yelling at somebody in public and because that person's a woman it's considered funny you could never change the Karen memes to John Will John to stands up and starts screaming at a server people. That's not funny. No that's like everyone turns around and it's like about to call the police that he's going to start swinging. The perception is very very different. And because schizophrenia is an illness that is based on self reporting based on observation based on behavioral patterns so obviously society's perception of what they're observing is going to determine the diagnosis that you receive and to that end because of the different ways that we perceive the genders. Women are often misdiagnosed with schizophrenia. More often than men are when it comes to self reporting. I feel that men and women would probably also report different symptoms more often. I don't think I ever went and was reporting you know oh. I just don't want to go out with my friends. Oh I just WanNa like stay inside. I talked about depression. And that was the initial diagnosis. I got repeatedly was just that I had depression and I was too scared to even bring up hallucinations and delusions. I kind of you get used to just. Oh you're just overreacting. Oh you're just over thinking so that never occurred to me certain things I was having was a delusion it was just oh yeah just over thinking things so I think across the board. It's easy to see that women would be diagnosed with different things. I do wonder if doctors are quicker to label minutes schizophrenic. That women it's important to point out how difficult it is to research and study this when we exist in a culture that is an actively discussing it and as we've been talking about this whole show culture and society impacts our outlook so when a male is looking at a female patients some of those biases are bound to creep in. I do think that we have made great strides now that more women are in psychiatry because while they have biases to they at least have interjected more understanding of women and I think that's very very good now one of the things that's interesting to me is when we plotted out this. Show Rachel. I was shocked at how much was just society. How did you feel about that? What were you thinking when you were researching the show it made me look back on my own life and kind of thank you know? How had I like self reported you know certain things and the night the way they were responded to and I think back Damara physically active and hostile thing. I was very very hostile towards my father's specifically when I was in high school and I don't mean I was like trying to hurt him or anything but I would have these breakdowns and he would try and restrain me which just made it worse. You know not necessarily going. What's the best way to deal with someone having a psychotic breakdown and he was still much bigger than me in able to kind of like grabbing control me but I think now had my brother who was bigger than my father? There wouldn't have been any controlling? It definitely would have escalated to police or we can't deal with this on our own situation much quicker than it did with me. It just makes you think though. Wow like yeah if if I've been a guy or even just more physically different. My life could've played out. I don't WanNa say worse but it would have had a different impact. Rachel Wallace is an awkward question. Do you think that a female menstrual cycle has anything to do with schizophrenia? And why or why not? Oh I think it absolutely does. I've long thought that menstrual cycles and the woman type stuff definitely affects my schizophrenia. It frustrates me to no end that at least once a month I know for three days my schizophrenia is going to get a lot worse. I'm going to lose touch with reality. I'm going to kind of get more spacey. I have to really be very careful. I get more delusional. I know my hallucinations get worse. I pretty much have to anticipate. These days are coming in during these days. I need to live in my room as much as possible to avoid potential issues. And it's right before my period and this happened over and over and I brought it up to multiple doctors and it's not like you can just okay. Well you know up your medication for three days. It doesn't work that way you know. They'll just like well. You know. Make sure you track it and do your best. There's never really been like a way to deal with this. And it's been frustrating. Because talking to other women with schizophrenia and mental disorders. They agree that the exact same thing will happen to them and jet. Doan really has an answer for us and to put it. Another way half of the schizophrenia population is having this issue or has had this issue at some point and doesn't seem to be a big push to do anything about it or resolve it or to come up with a plan other than hunker down. This is just part of womanhood. I imagine that it is extraordinarily problematic because three days out of every month. That's ten percent of your life between the ages of sixteen and forty five on average. That's a lot of time. Yeah and I'm not saying that's three days for. All women with schizophrenia. Is just me. I know there's going to be three bad days and it's not just okay women thing. Hey I think this is happening. No it's been observed that schizophrenia symptoms in women get much more severe during the low estrogen phase of their menstrual cycle. That women go through once a month. If they're those certain ages that yeah it's been observed. The symptoms are much more severe like okay. We're not going to deal with this though. And I'm not trying to put down anything but I'd say most of the Times that I've been lucky enough to get to speak with researchers and that side of mental health people who were like the scientists it does tend to be predominantly men. I could see this not being on their radars as much. Just kind of like yeah. If ninety percent of the guys are researchers it doesn't even occur to them to look into that Rachel along those same lines. You've been schizophrenia. Advocate for well over a decade advocating for others. But of course. You've had to advocate for yourself. Really probably since the beginning. What advice do you have for women who are experiencing this so that they can advocate for themselves and have a chance to be heard? I've said so so many times about so many different things on this podcast but track your symptoms be able to actually prove in. This sounds bad but prove I'll have like my little APP MENSTRUAL APP at track ministration but it lets me down symptoms so you can actually like hand it to the doctor and be like no no look see this week right here. See this again. I've never gotten a good answer on how to deal with this particular situation but it has helped to be able to be like look no. I can see that these are the main three days and I can usually pick out the week where those days are going to hit. And just kind of all right. Let's do my best to work as little as possible. You know if that's an option for me and that kind of thing Rachel continuing the discussion of symptoms. That only impact. Women Women with schizophrenia are diagnosed much later in the process with breast cancer than women without schizophrenia. Yes and there's a few different reasons why they think this is one is that women was Tend to ignore their physical health more so than The normal population of Women. Okay and it could be partly because of psychosis not actually realizing something is wrong for me. I can easily see that a lot of my physical health just takes a back seat to my mental hill. It's like I'm already doing so much trying to keep my brain on track. I can easily just not worry about physical stuff because I'm already on like six different medication for my brain. Do I really need to do other things and I think I go to the psychiatrist so often my therapist so often and then I got to go to a normal doctor too when I was reading the different stats as far as schizophrenia. Ten to not get treated for until the later stages osteoporosis. Also thyroid conditions diabetes. Yeah I could see that I totally could see that too busy worrying about your brain falling apart half the time to worry about your body also as we discussed. In last month's episode people schizophrenia are much more likely to have more co Morbid issues so schizophrenia and something else so in that line of thinking for a woman. It's not too far of a stretch to consider that one of those co Morbid conditions of course would be breast cancer. Yes gave that makes perfect sense Rachel. Let's move over to dating for a moment. Now men and women culturally societally date differently so it's not too much of a stretch to assume that women with schizophrenia and men with schizophrenia would also date differently now. What research did you find because I was really surprised that there was any research at all on? How PEOPLE LIVING WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA DATE? But you found a wealth of it. Oh so much and on that note throughout my years of being open about schizophrenia. I have repeatedly got messages. All the way down from teenage males to significantly older all the way to like their seventies eighties males and one of the main thing. They always bring up to me is issues with the opposite sex romantically. When I've even had some very angry comments left on many of my videos ought to be like well. It's easy for you to say you know you're not overweight male and I'm like you know get better. What do you say to that? Yeah Yeah Yeah I I can see. Yeah there's a how I met your mother. Have you ever watched that show? Where Barney has like a little chart saying that women their hotness in their craziness like can't be off so the hotter woman is the crazier she can be. But you don't want to date a woman who's like really really crazy but she's not that hot and it's like a TV show and it's a joke. But I do think women can get away with. Yeah guys will overlook a lot of things to date certain women women kid you know just be seen across the board like. Oh well yeah. They're a little bit crazy or wild at it. Not Be a bad thing still be able to date and Mary whereas the guy there's more red flags. It's also easier to hide your schizophrenia. As a woman if I'm on a dating APP and I talked to a thirty four year old guy who lives at home with his parents in their basement. That's an dealbreakers lease. Yeah Yeah even though. You're old woman who lives at home and your parents basement. Yeah it's easy to be like. Well you know okay. It's okay for her but yeah guy immediately. I think it's like Oh. No that's unfair. I agree it is totally unfair. Rachel no-show about women and schizophrenia can be complete if we don't discuss pregnancy. What did you learn about schizophrenic? Women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. I I feel like we should hit on that. That is a touchy subject. Should women with schizophrenia. Even get pregnant. Should that actively seek out to be like yes? I want to have my own children. I've had people just out of the blue. Come at me being like what are you GonNa do and regardless me having schizophrenia kits are gross. Let me stress. That they're just gross home. I hadn't even that said I think it's important to point out as much as you don't want to have Children Rachel. You still think that it would be wrong if somebody passed a law. That said women with schizophrenia cannot be mothers yes. I agree my own personal belief than I think. This is going to be different for. Every woman with schizophrenia and different during parts of your schizophrenia mine has gotten incredibly bad at times. Where no me being pregnant would not have been. I mean an option nor holding down a job like driving a car. You know that's just being certain psychotic episodes right now. If I were to get pregnant would not be the end of the world. Yeah would be great again but I really don't think that anything you know horrible. I'm not in a really bad mental place. Do I still have episodes. Yes but I feel like I honestly could have a baby right now and be fine again. That's a touchy subject across the Board. And it was shocking. How touchy it was. I mean with everybody weighing in men and women mother even even politicians weighed in. The research was frankly shocking. As to the number of people that had an opinion about a woman being a mother and I'd like to point out a woman that nobody knows. We're not discussing whether or not Rachel just like a whole swath of women based on a medical diagnosis and all of the sudden. A large group of people decided that their opinion was strongly relevant. And this is something that has happened repeatedly throughout history. I live in South Carolina and just north of me in North Carolina. There was a big issue. Were not even that. Long ago the sixties seventies and eighties women who had mental disorders were sterilized if they were in different asylums and things like they were just four sterilization across the board. Some of them who aren't even diagnosed correctly and that has just been kind of an ongoing thing that had happened and it was also had a lot to do with ethnic groups were particularly pointed out also so this is like a a real thing and I know I've gotten so many messages throughout the years that have been like you need to be sterilized and I'm like okay. But it's funny though because yeah you'll have people who don't know anything about you who feel very very passionate about this subject probably in. It doesn't affect them in any way and it's going to be a very personal issue. Let's talk though about some of the fears about a woman. Getting pregnant. Who HAS SCHIZOPHRENIA? One is that they might not realize or recognize that they're pregnant. It could be due to psychosis it could be. They're in denial of the pregnancy. It could be that they're misinterpreting think about like how many medications calls weight gain. I could easily see someone gaining weight and you start medication. Never even curse to you. Oh wait this isn't it. Is that type of wake game. So there's that is the worry about schizophrenic. Women not necessarily realizing quickly enough that they're pregnant and then there's the whole medication side of it. Of usually it is highly suggested that you stop and I ex most antidepressants and whatnot. If you're pregnant due to the safety of the baby and then there's the withdrawal action so while someone could have been stable before having to go off their medications to be pregnant might cause other issues. It's all just very interesting and there is no cut dry answer of all yet. You should delegate pregnant or you should. I do think it's a personal decision in a situation that it's going to be yeah different for every single human going through pregnancy. We'll be right back after this message from our sponsor. It can sometimes feel like another schizophrenia. Episode is just around the corner in fact a study found that patients had an average of nine episodes in less than six years. However there's a treatment plan option that can help delay another episode a once monthly injection for adults with schizophrenia. If delaying another episode. Sounds like it can make a difference for you or your loved one. Learn MORE ABOUT TREATING SCHIZOPHRENIA. With once monthly injections at once monthly difference DOT com. That's once monthly difference DOT COM. We're back discussing. How schizophrenia affects women. Obviously when we're talking about pregnancy Rachel we have to talk about motherhood so now. You're a woman with schizophrenia. And you have children. There was a plethora of research on that it was compelling yes and when we're dealing mental disorders. You Know You have homelessness. You have a lot of. I don't Wanna say sad stories but you do. You have a lot of sad stories that are also factored in. You have a lot of stories dealing with rape and things like that. One third of women with schizophrenia. Lose custody of their children and whether the children are going to their family members ex partners the foster care system and the others women was good screen children very few maintain sole custody and that goes back to fear that they're unable to care for a child correctly that they might not recognize problems especially in infancy with the baby. Might need what the baby is going through. The mother might interpret it wrong and the get. It's all of. This is a touchy subject because every situation is going to be different. And I can't even imagine being in a situation like that. I said a few minutes ago. Like oh I feel like if I got pregnant that you know for the most part I would be fine and I. I still stand by that but I would need a lot of help. I would need a lot of help. Hopefully there will be a partner but if there wasn't then with my parents because my parents already have to step in with me a lot of times and and I feel like I need more to make sure I was. I personally was seeing reality. The correct way if there is a little another life in my hands. What are the interesting things that I saw when I was reading this research? Is this idea. That mothers with schizophrenia. They don't have a lot of Leeway. One of the things that you just said is that you would need a lot of help. I would really defy you to find a mother on this planet. That doesn't need a lot of help. Now I understand that if you're managing any illness any not mental own if you have an illness then obviously you're going to need more help. That is understood but do you think that the bar is just significantly. Lower for women with schizophrenia. That if something happens if a mistake occurs if an illness symptom POPs up the dislike. Oh well you're schizophrenic. We got to take your baby whereas with other mothers like oh well you just made a mistake. Mistakes are part of parenting. Everybody does do you think that. That is a factor in some of these stats absolutely and I think if someone has some sort of even genetic disorder. Very few people are like. Oh you shouldn't have a child you shouldn't be over. You know another person's welfare but when it comes to mental stuff it's like Oh you have depression. Oh yeah bipolar schizophrenia. Like no you shouldn't be around children and not even like you shouldn't be a mother. You shouldn't be around children so there is definitely a double standard with that. All where anything mental freaks people out. There's just so much stigma discrimination and misinformation that it makes it very difficult and it's interesting because you know Rachel I love you and I think the world of you but I know what it's like to be sick and I can't imagine having to care for a baby and I can't imagine you carrying for a baby when you're that sick and of me is like. Oh Jeez I don't know maybe that's not a good idea but my mom broke her wrist when she had three children she she was not doing well. That six weeks i. My father lost his job when we were younger. Well that's not a good idea. Either I just I think of all of the adversity that my family faced growing up but everybody was like hey band together. Work IT OUT. You can do it. Nobody said Yeah. This is proof that people named Gary Howard shouldn't be fathers. Oh this is proof that people named Susan. Howard just can't Hack Motherhood we just got through it as as a family and a community and I think that more often than not women with schizophrenia. They just don't get those benefits and I think it's worth pointing out because it is another layer. That makes it very difficult for women with schizophrenia. To lead the lives that they would like and I wanNA put a little note on this over and over I could find so much info about women having children as far as like pros cons mostly cons in just lots of people with opinions and yet next to nothing about men with schizophrenia. Being father's nothing really there was nothing. I don't know just an interesting like how society we view people with mental disorders. Having families. It was just Kinda like women obviously. Yeah they're going to deal with this but not men that is incredible and obviously something that will discuss. More next month on men with schizophrenia. Rachel Shifting Gears from Motherhood we have to talk about the aging process. What's the difference between men and women with schizophrenia? As we get older this is fascinating. We talked about earlier. Age of onset. That women tend to get schizophrenia. Later another thing though is that women can have a second peak of schizophrenia. Is What they call it. And it's usually women aged forty five to fifty who have not been previously diagnosed with schizophrenia. It suddenly comes on and it has to do with pre menopausal stage hitting and they think because the estrogen drops. There's something about estrogen that keeps schizophrenia. More in control and hearkening back to what we talked about earlier with periods and shopping. But men don't have this. There is no second part of life where suddenly a man who hasn't had schizophrenia. Will develop it in his fifties sixties. It's just not sane. In fact men with schizophrenia. As they age tend to get more of a handle on it and women. It's the opposite because you have for some women suddenly schizophrenia develops and there's a lot about that. I was wondering When I looked at the different research. These women already have schizophrenia. But maybe because they were so social. It just wasn't recognizable or did it really just come on at that moment and there is no answer for that but I did think it was very interesting and something that. If you've already been diagnosed with schizophrenia to look out for that it could get a lot worse hitting around age. Forty five if you're a woman so I got a little over ten years their clock's ticking for the second round of fun and it's something else that women have to be aware of that may or may not be as researched or as discussed. Oftentimes I think society does forget. How much educated guesswork there is in a mental health. Diagnosis Schizophrenia is diagnosed by observation. It's treated by best case practices and research and then more observation. There's a lot of self reporting from the person living with schizophrenia and all of that really allows our culture and our society and our bias to influence the end result. We have to be aware of it while it does sound scary and it is. I don't like the idea that men and women get different treatment. Obviously you don't like the idea that men and women get different treatment because it it kind of sounds like women are getting the short end of the stick. It is what we have now and for the women listening to this show this is where advocacy is just so important along with education and Rachel. I'm going to ask you. Would you have known any of this information about being a woman living with schizophrenia? If it wasn't for your job do you feel more educated and more empowered today than you did before the research for this show? And what advice do you have for? Women living with schizophrenia. To make sure that they get the best care taking into account the fact that they're women. I would not have known a lot of the things we've talked about today but especially The way estrogen is thought to affect schizophrenia. Did none of that's ever been brought up to me. You know doctors ever said anything like I said. I'm in my mid thirties and you would think maybe hey just so you know Rachel. You know women with schizophrenia. It could get a lot worse here in the next few years. None of that's ever been said to me. And it makes me realize how important it is to do your own research and I'm not saying to diagnose yourself I'm saying to really know an research what could be on the horizon especially with the pregnancy and things like that. I'm like okay well. I don't plan on having kids so I would. I ever like research. Look into all that. But then that's what led me to finding Alabel all of this which leads the menopause thing and again. It's just not something you you normally see on any of the little pamphlets in the doctor's office brought up at any therapists meeting Rachel. Were you surprised to find out? Just how separated physical health and mental health is because it. It just seems to me like before we started the research for this show that it never occurred to really anybody that your physical health would drive your mental health outcomes and while this is a chronic problem just across the board and Mental Health Advocacy specifically for schizophrenia. The fact that what's going on with your physical body has been so far removed from your schizophrenia treatment. How does that make you feel last episode we talked about the Co Co morbidity and then to go into seeing just how the hormones they do? Everything affects your schizophrenia. And it's all connected and yet having a hard time mental health effects your physical and vice versa. Something else that we as people with mental disorders do need to be aware of and to kind of not be so hard on ourselves. But I've done research and just kind of learned about different statistics. A lot of eggs are normal that I just didn't realize where it's like. Hey It's okay that I have this issue. It's not that I'm being super unhealthy. A lot of women or a lot of people schizophrenia. Also struggle with this. It's good and bad. Let's go with that. It's good bad gave Rachel. Thank you so much for your candor. Now you had the opportunity to talk to. Dr Hayden Fitch who is a PhD in a researcher and UNDERSTAND SCHIZOPHRENIA? From the clinical perspective. And you've got to ask her a lot of questions about will really the differences between men and women and specifically what? It's like to be a woman and getting treatment with schizophrenia. It's a great interview and we're going to go ahead and play that right now. Our guest today is Dr Hayden finch a psychologist from Iowa. Thank you so much for being with us today. I'm so happy to be here. Thank you for the opportunity. Our episode today. We're focusing on women who have schizophrenia specifically as a psychologist what issues have you seen? That women with schizophrenia tend to seek help. With what when interesting. We tend to have more emotional symptoms with their schizophrenia than men do so often. They're coming to treatment. Things like relieving anxiety and depression. See that more in women than in men but they also have a lot of trauma. They tend to be victimized quite a lot in their lives and do not often a focus of treatment and then lots of things related to family. Planning and RELATIONSHIPS WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA. Across the board tend to be more social than men who have schizophrenia. Why do you think that is? Symptoms of schizophrenia are divided into positive symptoms and negative symptoms and positive symptoms. Don't mean good. They just need that. Something is there. That shouldn't be there so for example hallucinations or delusions whereas negative symptoms are things that aren't there should be a lack of motivation or lack of facial expressions. The men tend to have more negative symptoms than women do do they have a lack of social drive and a lack of social interest whereas women don't have their symptoms as much but also women. Their onset of the illness tends to be a few years later than men and they have a bit more opportunity to develop their personality and their social skills and their twenty s and that will protect their social skills through the rest of their lives talking about the positive symptoms. You just brought up. Do Women tend to have a different type of hallucination than men experience necessarily we see the same types of hallucinations and delusions? Sometimes with women the content will be a little bit different than it will focus on their children a little bit more war safety a little bit more often. They're very similar in Tai Bow. Just the content can vary a little bit. What are the biggest challenges for woman with schizophrenia? Who is pregnant? The most obvious one has to do with medications. So a lot of women with or schizophrenia will stop taking most medications while they're pregnant. Just to err on the side of safety and so when it comes to a woman with schizophrenia who gets pregnant. A lot of them will discontinue their medications for the same concerns about potential effects on the fetus and sometimes those concerns are coming from the woman herself sometimes. We're families times even from her doctor but stopping medications during pregnancy for one schizophrenia increases the risk for relapse so think about sixty five percent of women with schizophrenia. Who Don't stay on their medication during pregnancy will relapse during your pregnancy. So then they have more problems with their mental health during pregnancy. So most women who don't have schizophrenia. Don't report major changes in their mental hall during pregnancy. But women with schizophrenia. Due in part again because of that medication being but then psychosis during pregnancy can affect seeking prenatal care not recognizing signs of labor. Were problems during the pregnancy. They might not even recognize that they're pregnant. Do there can be lots of negative consequences on the pregnancy and on the fetus when the coast develops so? I am a woman with schizophrenia. Let's say that I found out that I'm pregnant. What would you suggest being my next steps? It the situation where you need to talk to your doctor. Psychiatrist about what medications are safest during pregnancy? We do have some information about medications. Anti even that are relatively safe during pregnancy. But it's a balance between protecting yourself and your mental health and the secondary effect that has on the baby. It's a really difficult balance. It's an individual decision arm and it really depends on the particular woman her help her history her symptoms and all of but it's very difficult decision to make with respect to medications. What are the biggest challenges when it comes to being a mother with schizophrenia? All moms are overwhelmed right so you have that regular level of being overwhelmed with responsibilities but then on top of that you're trying to manage your own mental health so you're trying to get organized with postnatal checkups and Pediatrician Appointments Plus Your Own Medical Appointments and mental health appointments. They often don't have as much support as women without schizophrenia. So there aren't as many family members to lean on for emergency childcare on the have extra hands when they just need a break I also symptomatically can have more difficulty reading accused. The baby is giving them so they might misinterpret what the baby is needing or wanting and that can interfere with the relationship that they developed with the baby and a lot of women with schizophrenia. During that postpartum phase will have a pretty significant exacerbation in symptoms now. A lot of women are at risk for postpartum depression. But women with schizophrenia. Especially those women who weren't taking their medication during pregnancy are at especially high risk and that can increase the need for hospitalization. But a lot of women then won't seek hospitalization really truthfully because the majority of women with schizophrenia. Lose custody of their children in my research I found the so many of the women who have children. Who Have Schizophrenia? Also are single mothers and you very often lose custody due to either not being able to afford to provide for that child because the mother or self is having a hard time working and being able to provide or having to be hospitalized. What would you say like if you have someone come into you? Who's in that situation? The biggest thing I think is is asking for help before there's a problem so if you're noticing that your symptoms are making it hard for you to care for the baby if you're getting extremely overwhelmed with caring for a baby or even a child. It's important to ask for help before a problem comes up. Those are the women who have the greatest likelihood of being able to maintain custody versus waiting until there is a major problem. The child is neglected. Or even abused. Then it's very difficult to make an argument to maintain custody. It's a situation where we definitely want to prevent problems rather than try to correct problems and most women if they have a family and they're going through treatment like you're just trying to juggle everything and everybody who has kids and whatnot are just constantly trying to juggle their lives with schizophrenia added. What advice do you have for women? I didn't biggest thing we can all do. Really but especially women with schizophrenia. Or women who are involved in mental health system is to find out exactly what services are available in your area so you can call two one one which is a public line where they'll connect you with services in your area but you can be looking for things like housing for mothers and their children family services support groups for parents with mental illness. Respite care for when you really need a break. There are specialized clinical services for parents with mental illness. There in home services where a provider will come in your home and help you learn parenting skills or learn how to interpret with. The children are needing Even transportation services can be a big help for people who are trying to juggle it all so that's one thing is is making sure that you know what services are available and you take advantage up down but also to the extent? I think it's helpful to integrate. Your family entered the treatment so look providers who are willing to work with you and your child is there. A lot of opportunities were skill development there or invite your parents or your partner do therapy and work on communication there opportunities or integrating it so that you don't have quite so much to juggle and you can actually build skills to make it easier to juggle all of it. Something that surprised me seems to be someone should have said it to me. Long before now but with schizophrenia and women a lot of women don't tend to get schizophrenia. Until they hit menopause or they are not have it and it gets a whole lot. Worse Caminha Poss- time. I had no idea what advice do you have? I mean if I'm already hit that age range and I haven't had schizophrenia yet. That's a lot to suddenly hit. You what is your advice for seeking help at that point you think that sort of in the back of your life. You kind of figured it out. You're kind of coasting for the rest of it and thinks should be easy from here on out and to get hit with. Something like schizophrenia. Around menopause is yet. That's a blow. We're still doing research on exactly what causes that in women on what. Haase's first of all the later age of onset in the beginning and then that second risk time around menopause but we think it has something to do with maybe estrogen. So one thing you can do is talk to your doctor about any medical treatments that could be available to address it or protected from getting worse but certainly seeking mental health. Treatment is the most important thing to do is go ahead and get involved in treatment. Learn how to cope with the symptoms. Medicate them if that's something that is valuable to your end effective and fits with your personal ethic and then learn skills to protect the great life. You've already built for yourself. The good thing about if there is a good thing about psychosis after menopause is it. Those women have had their whole is to develop good relationships. Good social skills could occupational skills and that is helpful in going through the illness at that time in life. You've got a lotta good skills that are automatic and that keeps the illness from being quite as devastating as it can be earlier in life. Some women have had issues with doctors. Not taking it seriously where they're just like. Oh okay well that's just your hormones. Batman's time of life. You know kind of brushing off very serious symptoms. What would you tell someone? Who's kind of having that issue? They're worried it's something more definitely be a certain. Have talk to your doctor more than once if you feel like. They're not getting edge if you feel like they're not really hearing you go get a second opinion. If that's needed be assertive in some ways. We need to sort of trust doctors. And they're telling us it's no big deal. We sort of need to listen to that. But also in your gut in that's not right to you. Then be a certain. Seek a second opinion. Bring up two or three times. If multiple doctors are giving you the same opinion than that can be telling that you know you might be making something out of nothing but if your gut is telling you that there's something that they're not really listening to you than the assertive or get another doctor across the board. It's always said that women get diagnosed with schizophrenia. Usually many years later than men do you think. Is that just something with like? You said the estrogen or is it more that women tend to mature faster and it might not be as noticeable so women are diagnosed later in life than men are. Men are diagnosed usually in late teens early twenties whereas women are diagnosed more mid to late twenties and that is just part of how illness develops differently across men and women. We think that might have something to do with. Estrogen protecting women from the symptoms. A little bit more on whereas men don't have that but that's still being researched and we're still trying to understand that women are diagnosed a little bit later than men like. I said that's just a consequence of the onus win. They're diagnosed they tend to be diagnosed more quickly. Meaning that men will have untreated psychosis longer than women do so once women start showing symptoms. They tend to get diagnosed more quickly than men. Do with. Thank you so much for talking with us today and you actually have a book coming out. Don't you Dr Finch I do? I just wrote a book in part because a lot of information that we're seeing on the Internet is either incorrect. Or It's so complicated. You can't understand it so I wrote a book giving you all the details. Everything you need to know about schizophrenia. And I tried to write it in the plainest language possible so it super understandable and I talk about everything from what schizophrenia is. Symptoms are how it relates to Schizo affective disorder and all the other similar disorders. We talk about violence talking about rain stuff. What parts of the brain are affected? And what's different about schizophrenia? Rain versus the average brain and of course talking about treatment a lot of the things we talked about today or kind of downers. Route problems but schizophrenia is treated wall and I do believe that people can recover from schizophrenia. As I talk about recovery meetings with that looks like and how to get there in the book as well so it's called the beginner's guide to understanding schizophrenia. It will be available on as not trying to book on Amazon and so I will have the linked to that in the show notes and also on my website at Hayden bench dot com slash. Schizophrenia Book. Awesome we'd definitely have to check that out. That sounds exactly like the kind of stuff we talk about here on. Our podcast inside schizophrenia. Absolutely as a schizophrenic I yes I would love to read some of that and especially in the easier to understand language. Yeah it even. The this stuff is written for people with schizophrenia. Or their families. Sometimes been they won't give you all the technical details that you want. So I've tried to strike that balance that you get all the details you feel like you really know the science at in a way that relatively easy to understand awesome. Thank you so much for joining us here today and shedding some light on this topic. Thanks for having me Rachel. That was incredible. What were your takeaways from that interview? I love talking with her. I love how knowledgeable she was. I liked that. She stressed how important it was for women to speak up and to make sure the doctors are hearing them and taking them seriously about things and she even mentioned jet and if once not listening you may need to go talk to a different one. I completely agree self advocacy thing and all of health care and it's really a thing in mental health care and I think a major takeaway from this episode really needs to be asked questions because it really seems like doctors aren't bringing up some of the physical health components of schizophrenia. And I think that's a vital importance and seriously ladies take this to heart. Talk to your psychiatrist. Let them know you know if you're having any issues with hormonal type things with your periods. Talk to them if you're planning on getting pregnant or even if that's just something that you know. Hey I wanNA talk about like future. What does that mean what I have to off my medication? Would I need to do it? Let's say a few months before like speak up about these types of things for me. It's interesting because we talked about co morbidity last time and how important the physical doctors are and we really didn't even mention gynecologists but yes gynecologists are a major part of women's health and making sure that psychiatrists and our gynecologists are on the same page. Next time we're going to be exploring how schizophrenia X-men Sorgi hitting on house symptoms affected differently and also testosterone so that will be happening and we will have Dr Hayden finch returning to talk to us more about the clinical side of the gentleman's so join us next month on inside schizophrenia. I'm your host Rachel Star withers here with gay powered. And you've been listening to a psych central podcast. Please likes share. Subscribe with all of your friends. Family loved ones. The women in your life was schizophrenia. Thank you so much and we will see you. Next month. Inside Schizophrenia is presented by Psych Central Dot Com America's largest and longest operating independent mental health website. Your host Rachel Star withers can be found online at Rachel Star. Live Dot com co host gave Howard can be found online at gay power dot com for questions or to provide feedback. Please email top back at psych central Dot Com. The official website for insight schizophrenia is psych central dot com slash. Gs thank you for listening and please share widely.

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Bonus Content: Families Impacted by Schizophrenia (Inside Schizophrenia Podcast)

A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast

1:03:30 hr | 1 year ago

Bonus Content: Families Impacted by Schizophrenia (Inside Schizophrenia Podcast)

"You're invited to listen to incite schizophrenia a new podcast brought to you by psych central dot com home of a bipolar schizophrenic and a podcast past enjoy welcome to inside schizophrenia a look into better understanding and living well with schizophrenia hosted by renowned advocate and influence or rachel star withers and featuring featuring gay powered listeners could a change in your schizophrenia treatment plan. Make a difference there your options out there. You might not know about this at once monthly difference dot com to find out more about the benefits of once monthly injections for adults with schizophrenia welcome to inside schizophrenia. I'm rachel here with gabe howard gabe today family. We all have issues with family jumping right in having someone in your family with a mental disorder especially schizophrenia. That's an added extra stress last episode. We talked about psychosis in children and end towards the end. We touched on the toll. It can take emotionally physically financially this episode though we are going to be focusing on the relationships side died. Obviously we know that having schizophrenia or any mental illness is not the only thing that causes stress in families. There's frictions in every family good bad or otherwise but but schizophrenia it creates a toll even when everybody's doing everything well and while we talked about the medical side of children and young adults living with schizophrenia and what that does to the caregiver we really want to delve deep into the burden that schizophrenia places on families not this gets. It's a frantic not the person living with schizophrenia but the actual toll that the illness takes on an entire family and i would even say just the idea of of the illness to other people which removes me into my first point when people hear that you have someone in your family someone close to you that has schizophrenia right away so you get the reaction of all. I'm so sorry that must be so hard on you on them. They're not the ones with a mental disorder. It's like just the idea of someone. Having a mental disorder disorder in your family is such a burden. You have to live this life with just someone who's is dragging you down and you are so wonderful and brave for putting putting up with that person that sickly person god bless you. I hate that. No one wants to be a burden. No one wants to think that i am holding my family back. I am holding my loved ones back. If you're the burden that makes everyone around you automatically your caretaker like they must be having to do everything good for you and isn't this. The double edged sword right because on one hand. We want the people around us who help us who care about us. Who are there for us to get credit say that i break my leg tomorrow and every day for six weeks. My wife has to help me get up the steps because our bedroom is upstairs and somebody says oh. My god gay broke occas leg. That must be so tough on. You like that wouldn't offend me. It was tough on my wife having to carry me up the steps. There's never happened on and yeah. You're a big guy. She could. I mean but you gotta be like weightlifters strong. Hey if that happens. I'm impressed. I mean she really is awesome but i guess i just don't feel that when somebody says oh man that must have been tough on you helping gave up the steps every day and every night. I don't feel like they're insulting me but when they they say oh you live with somebody with schizophrenia. That must be tough on you. I sort of feel like there's a piece missing like they're not acknowledging that it's also tough on the person that sick it seems like the person with schizophrenia only gets the label of burden and the person helping to take care of the person with schizophrenia only gets the label of hero. It kind of makes living with schizophrenia feel very hopeless. Yes gaping. I both work in mental health awareness and on that note the entertainment field also you have to be entertaining like this podcast very entertaining i hope but in our field a term that gets thrown thrown around a lot is mental health advocate in fact the beginning of this podcast start by referring to us as advocates and we hear it a lot but i guess in normal talk people don't and i asked my dad to tell me what pops up in his mind when he hears mental health advocate and he said a mother raising awareness about an illness that her child's struggles with or has died from and that's i mean that's just what a normal person thanks when they hear that and it goes back to write that burden somebody has to come and raise awareness because i can't because i have schizophrenia and i just could never stand up for myself myself but to be fair i bet if we would have asked somebody living with schizophrenia what a mental health advocate was they would say somebody living with schizophrenia who fights for their rights to be as awesome as possible correct. The other thing is that people tend to think at if you're advocating for something you have to be really serious and end depressing especially because mental health is serious and depressing and no one wants to have a mental disorder and i think that's why so many people also correlated with it has to be someone advocating. That doesn't have the disorder because it's horrible anyone with the disorder has to be a suber downer. I've overheard the people tell my parents. I just don't know how you do it. Do what the apparent. I mean like the underlying message there is i could never live with someone unlike her. I could never be a parent of someone with such a horrible disorder and no one wants to hear that like no one wants to find out that everyone around. You thinks that you're arbor just like with your broken leg. If i had asthma norm would walk up to my parents. I just don't know how you do it. I mean rachel cannot run a mile without her hayler. It's just you guys are incredible and it's such a bummer because i know that you do think highly of your parents later on in the episode we're going to talk talk to your mother about what it's like to be the mother of a young woman with schizophrenia and she has a lot to say and i think you're gonna love it you. Oh you want her to have all of this. Praise you just don't want your parents praise to come at the cost of your autonomy or at the cost of your success you want to be both successful and do your parents be praised for also being successful. You want to share in. It and i'll be the first one to tell you. I am so lucky. My parents are incredible. They've put up with so much between me and my brother okay so both of us and not just like mental disorder to stuff like my brother has bicycle through africa through eastern europe alone through mexico gotten in so so much trouble incredibly interest we all are so they're so stressed out like i think between the two of us he is probably overall in life caused them way more stress. That's the knee and i carry around a lot of guilt the past year and a half. I have felt so guilty for how much my parents have had to help me and take care of me ironically ironically. It had nothing to do with schizophrenia. I contracted a rare flesh-eating bacteria that ate its way up my spine into my nervous system and out my face. I had to be the in isolation and then i was at home. My mother had to learn how to put the i._d.'s in a my dad had to go to every single doctor's visit with me and i feel so bad because was i had to really lean on them financially just for all the medical bills but this has nothing to do with schizophrenia and when people hear this about me. They feel so bad for me. They're like oh my god rachel and i'll even say hey. My parents have been incredible but they still focus on me. Whereas the minute they hear or schizophrenia they focus on oh my god. Your family has given up so much for you and your. I mean i'm in a little bit. I mean let's not get crazier but yeah i they do feel like a burden but it's not just a mental health thing like it really was more of a physical thing you are living with a major mental health issue with schizophrenia offering it. Nobody's denying that and right now you're also living with a major physical issue with a flesh eating bacteria that doctors are still trying to get under control so you're schizophrenia is well i and largely managed you do what you need to do and i'm not saying that you can ignore it or forget about got it but it's not the biggest part of your life right now this physical illnesses but the unique position that you're in is you have seen how people respond to you and your family through through both ordeals one. A mental illness won a physical illness and the very fact that it's different does show some of the issues that people with mental disorders and mental health issues and mental illnesses face because it shouldn't be different sickest sick and families come together to help their sick loved ones and and it should be viewed the same. I always say that like people brought us cookies and stuff and i'm like no one ever does that. No one randomly stops by if my mom has told them might've been mentally very bad does that but just the thought that i had been sick for so long people were just so worried and it's just interesting though how people feel fine talking about something really bizarre is a flesh eating bacteria. That's really creepy and weird but it's almost like that's okay but schizophrenia mental disorders. That's taboo where we're not going to ask. How rachel is about all that. Even though we know she's bad we're not going to ask and i feel that it should be pointed out that having a flesh eating bacteria is not common. I know a lot of people rachel and you are the only person in the entirety of my in life who has ever had a flesh eating bacteria so you would think that if the old oh well they're fearful of schizophrenia. They don't understand schizophrenia gets a friend. It's coming from a place of. They're not familiar with it. You would think that that would also apply over to the physical illness that you are just unfortunate it enough to have but it does show a willingness to learn probably because flesh-eating bacteria doesn't have the same stigma and misinformation campaign pain as mental illness does people with flesh eating bacteria aren't accused of being violent and hurting people whereas people with mental illness are which i know we already covered in another another episode but i think that all of this goes part and parcel into your friends and family are educating themselves about one illness and they're burying their heads in the sand about another illness and and it's impacting you and your family people are willing to ask me like a thousand questions about the whole flesh eating bacteria saying the hospital how how does it feel as it in pain just flat out walk up to me and be like what's going on with your face but so timid at asking about mental health and schizophrenia aena and that's what podcast like this are trying to change and we are so lucky to be able to put this podcast on and we're so lucky to have great guests and we want to introduce the first first one right now yes. Our first guest is a mom of a schizophrenic son. Let's listen in right now. We have chris hickey. Tell tell us a little bit about yourself. Chrissa sure i have three kids. They're all adults now. My oldest son is our my husband's biological son who is a kind of a neuro typical okay and our younger. Two children are adopted. One of our children <hes> tim our middle child has childhood on the frontier. He was diagnosed at eleven. He's twenty five have now and i do advocacy work at parents like us dot club helping other families who are raising children with serious mental unless yes. I had as a child but i wasn't diagnosed yet. I think there's a completely different dynamic when you think of someone adopting a child with a mental disorder or really any any type of big issue. You tend to either think of like oh my god that person is just a martyr all the things that are going through like you're put on this pedestal of just. You're so superhuman more. I think you have the idea of why would you put yourself through that. Willie's you know not technically yours. You could still get out of this. What is your opinion on all those i well. We had both comments obviously directed toward that we adopted him from the foster care system but it was a foster to adopt situations so we actually brought him home and he was the dangle so we really didn't know that he had mental until he was a little bit older his first diagnosis of some kind of emotional disorders each for but when we started having a realizing what was going on and working with a lotta people do either oh he's so lucky or which i hate because it's the stupidest comments or will. Why don't you just give him back like he was a toaster. Her and i think that people that think about adoption some people that think about adoption. I want to caveat that. Don't really get understand where it's like being adoptive parent you know for me and my husband when we decided to adopt tim. We wanted to adopt a child and the only thing that mattered to us. Is that the child l. needed a home and we were very adamant adopting in the u._s. Foster care system because there are so many kids waiting for adoptive homes and foster care and comments like that. I understand what people are trying to say especially when you say oh he's so lucky or you guys are so great or whatever i understand what they're trying to say but if it wasn't for i mean tim is my kid and i wanted to having other kids like if you've given birth to another kid you wouldn't congratulate you. Congratulate someone for raising their own child. It's tim is my kid. That's just the way it is when you agree to adopt a child that child all becomes part of your family. It doesn't matter that they aren't biological. That's awesome so he was diagnosed really young which we actually didn't episode last time about childhood psychosis coasts in for one how hard it is to be diagnosed but the just kind of all the twists and turns when it comes to getting a diagnosis at that age. How would you describe being a mother or to a child who had schizophrenia well. When they first told me he had schizophrenia i actually in patient in hospital and check them out ama against medical advice so they wanted to try and stabilize them more but i basically said nope. Give me my kid and they basically have to within forty eight hours. If you wanna check them out because i didn't believe what the doctor was telling me and a lot of that just because there's no information out there i mean nobody talks about schizophrenia out in the open especially. They didn't eighteen years ago when tim was first having symptoms yeah. They didn't talk about it out in the open so i never heard of again having it before so that's why you just didn't want to believe it yeah. I didn't believe him my said there's got to be something else going on and about ten years old or eleven years old and this happened and we had been dealing with neurologists and neuro psychologists and therapists that he was going to see and i mean this is and how it is for a lot of parents who have kids like this. The therapist said to us your son's really sick. He needs to be hospitalized. It's not going to be the only time in his life. He's going to be hospitalized but she would never say. It's never she wouldn't say it. You have a lot of parents that are trying to get their kids help and trying to get their kids treatment having that problem because doctors say and you know here's the stigma coming real smack in your face from the medical community. I don't want to label the child with that and it's like it's not a label to diagnosis i mean would you label them with some other disease if they had it needed to get treatment i mean i think that's ridiculous. You don't outgrow schizophrenia. Yes but that's the kind of thing we're often hit with as parents is they don't want to diagnose your kids because they're worried about putting it in their permanent criminal record which is crazy also i wanted because i didn't realize this until you just said it that you had another child. That has a physical physical title disorder but you said that's completely different. Can you elaborate on that. How it's two different challenges as a parent. My daughter has epilepsy or she also has a former cerebral palsy. It's a little bit different. She can overcome these things and understand it but tim's fighting with his own brain and it's very hard to help a child get through something like that when they don't know what's real and what's not. I mean i'm from my daughter. You know she had a lot of challenges with mobility and when she was young you know trying to overcome a lot of physical therapy because she had a lot of challenges coordination and walking and things like that. She's fairly mild former cerebral palsy but we had to work with her with therapy but you could. She could understand that she could understand that my legs don't work like other peoples do when i do these special things and i wear braces and i'm learning. You have to do these things because my legs don't work. It's hard to explain to someone who is especially someone who's in the throes of delusions and voices that their brain doesn't work. It's very easy to see with my daughter water. When she walks at her gate was not normal with my son. It was very difficult to understand that you have a very active imagination or is he really hallucinating and you you can't parent the same way for a child with a physical disability versus. A mental illness in the child has to be old enough or cognizant enough or stable enough to be able as you work with you on the therapy. My daughter could not walk for a week and then go to physical therapy. There's no problem is tim was in the throes of psychosis for week. Forget it. We had to figure out how to get adam stable before we can even work with him on how to cope with dealing with this kind of growing up. What was your biggest fear for your son that he would strive to be an adult ten. Twenty fifth birthday was yesterday today and i turn to my mom as we sat across having dessert with him and she said i can't believe it's twenty five and i said i know i said honestly. I go live this long because attempted suicide three times before he was eighteen. We spent the better portion of his adolescent early adulthood years just trying to keep him alive live. So my greatest fear was that he would do himself in which is interesting because conversely as an adult migrate fear for him is that someone else will do it. <hes> <hes> you know i was. I was worried about his own brain against him but now i'm worried about what may happen to them out in public. We used to live in chicago. We live in extreme northeastern wisconsin now when we moved here because in chicago it just wasn't a safe environment for him to be able to grow up and be a productive adult. There's too many people there's too much temptation. There's it's no way to help kind of create a safe environment for him. You know the police there have a history of kind of shooting first and asking questions later especially people with mental illness and i was afraid that something would happen to them externally to end his life rather than we was a child that was internal so tim has and happy birthday to him just at twenty any five but how would you describe life now with him. Life now is pretty good. I mean like i said we've moved to a very small community with the intention of creating a safe environment for ten so now tim during things that i never thought were possible and he was a kid. He has a part time job. He works a couple of days a week and a local restaurant washing dishes and bussing tables. He has his own apartment and it's a rent controlled apartment in a very nice complex. He only lives a mile away so when he needs help and support we're here for him. He's got friends he in has a social life and lex pretty good. You know we're we're still here to help support him because unfortunately one of the things that typically goes along with childhood onset schizophrenia india is also a cognitive decline chins lost about forty i._q. Points since he was a child so functioning isn't as good as it should be for twenty five year old but that's okay 'cause. We're close enough here. You know i can go over. I can help them. When you ask questions you know. We helped me help to manage money. I help him with his meds. 'cause he's has gotten off track on those when he tried to do it on his his own but overall. I feel confident that he's an environment now that he can be happy and healthy and for the rest of his life. What advice would you tell someone who you just found out that their child has some sort of mental disorder known boy <hes> well. I think two things if you're adopting a child and they tell you the trial awesome emotional or behavioral issues especially if you're adopting in foster care unfortunately the foster care systems have spotty record of being incredibly upfront with adoptive parents parts which i understand because these kids tend to be very difficult to find permanent homes for <hes> a lot of disruption and adoption of children that are a little bit older a little bit older <music> basically over more than three that have some kind of emotional or behavioral disturbance going on. I think if you're adopting be very upfront with your caseworker that you want to know everything it's not because because you want to reject the child you just need to know everything dealing before you can really commit and and you need to know where your family is going to be going through. If charlie already adopted or biological child and you just found out find a group you can talk to the worst part about having a child with serious mental illnesses the isolation family feel. We often say it's the no casserole roll disease right when your child has cancer. Everyone comes over. They make you meals. They take care of the kids to soccer practice. When your child goes into psychiatric hospital nobody calls. They don't know what to say. They don't know what to do and they're afraid of it because they don't understand it so find people. You can talk to come to my website. Our nonprofit is parents like dot club. It's all about stories of families that are going through this. We've got lots of resources. We have a facebook support group to help parents that are going through the situation. I learned more from other parents who have kids serious mental illness than i ever learned from medical professional and even my son psychiatrists said he would go to my he called them my my mom posse go to the mom pasta to get information and feedback for him because even he didn't have all the answers and he knew that the only way to get the answers was from other people going through it so find some support find a place where you can talk to someone who understands and that's really cool. I was looking all over your website. The past few days as as i was researching you watching clips of you just reading all your different writings and i like how incredibly open you are and yet realistic on your website website when it comes for this is what it's like and i really liked that. I guess it's beautiful overall how vulnerable you are. When you talk about some different the things i was reading like some of your gary first postings and just why you're gonna do this and i guess overall when i was reading. I thought that this is a really beautiful story story and i think some people they're only going to hear you know. Oh god someone with a child gets a frontier. That sounds horrible. Their life must be terrible that i was reading through <hes> <hes> your postings irish really felt hopeful and i just thought it was like a beautiful story the way you are so open and told everything i get contacted by parents all the time and the number number one thing they say. Is you know at least because i felt this way. When ten was younger we had no help. We had no idea we're heading into every year seem to get worse and worse puberty. Oh my god puberty the in psychosis. It's not a fun combo. You know as we would go through that we would start to lose hope and now i get to the parents saying now that you're on the other side of that and things have gotten stable. You know tim charles psychiatrist said to me this is the most severe case schizophrenia i've ever seen and i was like thanks for that but you know that kind of thing and then hearing it on the other side that he's healthy and happy the and you know has a job and has it has a little dog and has his apartment and and he's doing all right gives them some hope that they can that they can make it and i think that's why like i said 'isolation elation families village really horrible and anything we can do to kind of band together and help each other through the rough patches is is really important with thank you so much chris when limbaugh time. Tell us what your website was over lincoln. Check it out sure well. It's my new website for it. We are five zero one c three registered nonprofit parents like us dot club and if you you have a child of your own and you wanna come share your story either anonymously or not to help other families like yours than <hes> come on over and share with us. Thank you so much for talking with us. Krista absolutely wonderful hearing your story. Thank you so much. Thank you rachel. There was really cool. Rachel chris is amazing and so was her son. They've you've. They've accomplished a lot together and i think that that's really what we're trying to explain that it's not just about the family and it's not just about the person living with schizophrenia. It's about collective. It's about them working together about the family unit. It's about. I don't know love and family hitting on that's not just biological some of of our family. Yeah we're born into but you look at things like adoption but also family friends extended family. There's just so many things and connections agents. It's interesting that she talked about. He's not my adoptive son. He's my son and this really spoke to me for a number of reasons first because that's what family is isn't it. It's not this collection of biology. It's our bond. It's our love. It's what we decide and also because you know. My father adopted me my my mother. Here's my biological mother and my father is not. He has no reason under the sun to accept me. He could easily get away with introducing me as his stepson. He didn't have to adopt me and what's sad is. I don't think that people would have been mean to him about it. I don't think that people would have walked up to him and been like dude. Why aren't you accepting. This kid. Is your son and i really do think that that's an amazing thing about my family only because we don't do steps. I'm a foot taller than every member of my family. I'm the only redhead so for those who are playing the long at home. That doesn't to make me a red headed stepchild and i did not feel that way growing up and i was a kid. I'm i'm a person living with bipolar disorder with psychotic attic features. I had psychosis. I had issues. I had problems and never once. Did my father think about sending me back. When chris talked about that i was like yeah. That's what being a real parent is. I'm fond of saying in my story that he's not my biological dad. He's my real dad and i think that is made up because of all the things that he's done for me over forty two years and that's awesome because you're just his son yeah and that was something i'd really love in chris's interview where she said when they were going to adopt a child they didn't think about what could happen. We just want to give a child at home and just want a child and really not even thinking about what this child might have been born with didn't know about any background. Just we want to give a child home and that of course is the thing with children right. You are a biological i for for for lack of a better word. You're not an adopted. Kids your biological kid and and you have schizophrenia. Nobody would think it was okay for your family to abandon you but as chris said there's and she said it a lot you know we had to cut a lot of it because you could tell that it caused her some pain that people would think that there was a return policy on a child and this was unfathomable to her. It's interesting that other people talk about it so openly well yeah. Your child is not schizophrenic. Your adopted child is and i'm not not quite sure why society sees that distinction as meaningful. I can't even begin to imagine mentally what that would do to me as a a kid thinking yeah. My parents didn't want to deal with me like that. That's a lot it's really a very hard thing. I think for any kid to grasp but especially if you know you have mental disorder and this is specifically why i'm not at home anymore. I think it's a hard thing for an adult to grasp. I think it's a very the hard thing for an adult to grasp as you and i are sitting here. Rachel were clocking our brains at the idea that man what if we didn't have a mom and dad yeah i'd imagine you're twelve and that leads me to my next question rachel. Do you think that one of the reasons that you do so well managing your schizophrenia is because you had a solid foundation placed eastern you when you were three six nine twelve sixteen because you had a stable and loving family that you could count on did that help improve your odds of managing schizophrenia absolutely even times in my life where i was like super out of control role and angry at my parents and that whole i hate you as probably a normal teenage. I hate you as but times twenty i. I always knew that i could come home. I always knew that. If i was in trouble i could message them and they would find a way to get me home. I don't think i ever doubted in my mind that my parents one of them wouldn't drop everything to come. Find me wherever in the world i was and that was one thing they actually had to do. Once was getting home from the czech republic because i i was very very sick and you think about other people who don't have that kind of foundation. Who would they have called. Who would they have helped up to. You know very well. Could it ended up hurt very badly because mentally i was not well but i had them and even like my messed up mental state. I had someone i run to at that time. We didn't get along but i knew i could run to both of them and i wasn't gonna have a problem. Even if we weren't seeing eye to eye on things i knew i i was sick. I needed help. They're always going to be my default. Obviously there's a big difference between i'm not connecting with my family or my family is annoying in me or even. I don't trust my family. There's just a really big difference between families arguing and family not existing when you're arguing doing with your family they exist and arguing as a passion. You argue with people that you love and care about because you've got. There's a principal there and that principle principal especially in families is often a bond. It just is and you're right. I can't imagine where in this world i could go that my family would not find me. I also can't imagine living a life where i didn't know that that was true. That's a really great eight point. I agree wholeheartedly and that begs the question. What do you do if you don't have that solid family foundation what i said earlier in the show and what we obviously all know as humans from our after school specials is we create our family we create these relationships and and you have to water and grow them. Turn them into what you want them to be and to my adults out there and you're trying to make that relationship and you're like rachel. Where do i find like how do i start out as an adult. It's hard enough just to make friends. Not let's find a that kind of strong support system but support groups especially when you're at the doctor's office ask them. I know that my doctor's office when i actually look around the lobby there are so many little oh pamphlets and i'll just kind of go and take all of them in a lot of them are for support groups in different times find those people who understand what you're going through. I used to be part of one support group and it was just for general mental health so you had people in there with depression. All the way till i remember there was a lady in her seventies. He's who had had schizophrenia her whole life and i loved listening to her because she had been in the hospital system in and out of it for years. There's and her stories of just how it had changed. Were fascinating to me she had been on every single drug possible and i learned from her for the first time that she couldn't wouldn't be trusted with taking her pills. She had a bad issue with overdosing becoming suicidal so the pharmacy kept her pills and she would go there every single well day and they would give her one and i was just like that's something you can have done and she's like oh yeah. I was like wow. I never had any idea until speaking with that. That was an option. Ah so that's the thing is when you're in these support groups you can learn tips that can make your life so much easier and while i've never used that situation. I like knowing that it's a backup for me that if i cannot be trusted and i'm not around my parents. I'm older did that. Someone that i can go to and be like hi. This is what i need. Meet and of course we should also give a shout out to online options like central dot com has forums on every mental health issue disorder et cetera under under the sun where people just share and i always recommend this method remember. It's a salad bar. It's a buffet okay if you go into the buffet and there's something on the buffet that you don't like. You don't have to get mad at it. You don't have to comment that you don't like it. Just ignore it. Take what you want and leave. The arrest. There really is a lot to learn. You know listen. I i went to a group called bipolar bears because i have bipolar disorder and i don't want to oversell it. I didn't meet my best friend there air. I didn't even meet any lifelong friends there but for a period of about a year these people were very much my family i looked forward to seeing them mm once a week and they look forward to seeing me and just because we didn't become lifelong besties that lived in new york across the hall from each each other. It doesn't mean that they didn't have a real value in my life. There's an advocate out there. That says online friends are real friends and i believe that support group friends are real friends as well. I think think there's a tremendous amount of value in it rachel. We are going to turn the tables on you and hijack your own show. Throw you out and i am going to interview your mother. Are you nervous about this at all. My mother gets nervous easily so i am nervous about what she will say. When she is is nervous you seem to be wavering between worried about what she'll say and worry that she'll be uncomfortable but worried about what she'll say issue looking forward to it yes she really typed up like three pages of paragraphs ear graphs just to help her calm down of literally. Just my life like me growing up just to have something like okay. I've prepped. I've done my work. My mom was very studious studious in school if you didn't catch it but i'm just like. When did you have time to do. This is incredible. I know right. We'll be right back back. After this message from our sponsors speaking with janelle withers rachel's mom it can sometimes feel like another schizophrenia episode is just around on the corner in fact a study found that patients had an average of nine episodes in less than six years however there's a treatment plan option that can help delay another episode a once monthly injection for adults with schizophrenia if delaying another episode sounds like it can make a difference for you you or your loved one learn more about treating schizophrenia with once monthly injections at once monthly difference dot com. That's it's once monthly difference dot com. Hello everyone my name is gabe and we are here with rachel's. Mom donell withers welcome. How are you just wonderful thank you we're talking about schizophrenia and families. There's lots of conversations in our society of well. How does the family handle dole schizophrenia and one of the things that we're trying to do with this. Episode is instead of having rachel. Tell us how her family feels. We just thought we'd go straight to the top and talk to her mom so i. I really appreciate you being willing to do this. I think it's going to help a lot of people i hope so we'll start with a softball question just to get get your all warmed up. How would you describe being rachel's mom well. I feel blessed. Actually she's a wonderful person. She's very loving and giving. I'm really fortunate that she's our daughter. She's she's to me. She's been basin child and even though she's an adult she'll always be my towel but <hes> she's a very good girl. I i love that answer because i'm forty three years old and whenever i get in a room with my mom and grandma i'm twelve. Many parents see their children just as children in which kind of leads me to my next question. Do you see her as a child with schizophrenia or is she just rachel oh goodness. I really don't think about the schizophrenia any of that much. I guess i just more concerned about her. Happiness and help under feel good about herself. I really don't think about her as having schizophrenia. I guess 'cause she's had it so long i. I don't let that define her to me. That's just a part of who she is but the main part to me is shoes my daughter so it's just a condition. She has both. Do you think that society thinks that you should have answered differently that that schizophrenia should be at the forefront of everything that your family discusses. Do you think people will be surprised prize that you just see her as your daughter rather than an illness my goodness i don't know i i'm not sure really how to answer that. I guess you probably have a point but i mean she's not dangerous. She's loving and kind and does volunteer work. She works very hard. She puts a lot on herself so more than anything. I'm proud of her and how she handles her schizophrenia and i know she really has some tough times some tough nights but she just keeps on trucking along they are and and i think with her. She tries to make life easier on us without making us worry about her so much. I'm sure she hides a lot of stuff because she doesn't want to concern us so it may not seem as obvious to us sometimes as it does when she's talking on facebook or something like that. You became aware of rachel schizophrenia earlier when she was twenty years old. Did you suspect that there was something going on before then well. I knew she had anger issues. We knew she had depression. We knew she was very very hard on herself. She tried to be a perfectionist. You know she was a quiet child. She's always very obedient and school and church and the teachers love her and she did great grades. I never had to harp on her about doing her homework but yeah she got older into her teenage years she would have these overreactions to something negative off like if it was an argument in the family or something like that if we said something negative and it was just a little tiny thing she would just over blow her emotions with it and and sometimes she got where she was so angry she would throw things and that was scary to me. My father has anger issues but she was never really around around him to see that but he had mental illness he sure he suffered from depression and he he really had a lotta anger going on there so you know he was abusive yeah during those times before she was diagnosed in an inner teenage years. Did you suspect mental illness or schizophrenia was at work or did you think it was. I don't wanna say being normal childhood development but something that that went along with childhood development schizophrenia was never in my head at all i just i just didn't think about that at all. You know i really didn't know anything about it and i guess i just always heard what you heard on the media but to me it was depression and my mother she had depression. I haven't somewhat too but there were times like when she was four. She had some temper tantrums but i just thought it was part of her age growing up yes. She's sometimes sometimes would lock herself away in her room. When she was a teenager brother. Then i also thought she was just being independent so you can hindsight is so much. You know you could look back. I'd say oh okay now that makes sense but when you're doing everyday life and you have another child to take care of it and you're working and sometimes the child like with rachel she would keep things hidden and she wouldn't talk to us. Sometimes you just don't know i mean i hate to say i was unobservant but both my husband and i were like floored lord i think when she was not neces- schizophrenia i mean we knew she had depression and stuff but we really knew nothing about schizophrenia well. Let's talk about that for a moment so there. You are your daughters daughter's twenty years old. She's an adult. You'll love her. Obviously and you hear this. You now know that rachel has schizophrenia. What were those conversations like. What were you thinking thinking. What were the the days and weeks following it well. The main thing was this. How do we treat this. We had gone to a few counselors some of them. She didn't care for so you you know. We had to find the right people. She tried numerous drugs numerous treatments. She also went electric convulsive therapy. Which was i think to help the depression and her anger issues and i gotta say that was a god sent in the way of her anger issues because ever since then she's been such a joy to be around. I gotta say i would recommend to everybody. I was terrified of it but she researched researched. It and she said this is what i feel. I have to do i'm. I'm at my breaking point also. How do we deal with her. I mean what can we do that will help her and not aggravate her not make it worse. That's kind of an interesting point that you made where you talk about. What could could the family do away from rachel in order to support her. You know so often. The onus is always put on the person with schizophrenia. What can we do for them. What can we do to them. What do they need and you're sort of describing a situation where the family came together and said okay. What do we have to do to take care of ourselves and to make sure that we create a good home for all of us. Can you sort of elaborate on that a little bit because i really do think that that's a point that's often missed and we were blessed because rachel was so independent and she was one to really research everything. She researched her drags. Her doses her doctors. We're blessed in that. She actually took the first big step into all of this and then she would educate us and while we might read books and stuff she would say well. This is the way it really is for me. Which there's no one answer for everybody. It's sort of a hit and miss. I hate to say that but so we were really lucky that she was the one who did most of it so we were lucky plus. She was older too. She wasn't a child anymore either and she was college educated and stuff so she she sometimes sometimes on her good day. She do all this research and she was much better on the computer than we were back. Then we didn't quite all online groups and you know information nation out there like today it's amazing without their for help and it should be pointed out that rachel was one of the first online advocates started her youtube channel a long time ago oh to help educate people so it. It is a knack that she has. She's not just good at explaining it to her friends and family. She's she's really good at explaining it to the world and that's why she has this show now so thank you for for helping bring rachel into the world. It's it's been amazing well. I have to say when she started doing those videos. I i kept thinking oh you kind of need to keep this quiet. You know because i don't want people to think the wrong thing because you automatically think oh you know murderers and pilots. It's and all this stuff but i'm glad that she's out there. I'm really proud that she's out there. Educating people and she's constantly resurgent. She's talking to professionals. She's educating people in a simple way and she's also showing. It's not the scariest thing to have love and parents get over it. It's not the end of the world if your daughter or your son is diagnosed with schizophrenia. There's a whole beautiful world out there. There's treatments treatments out there and there's hope out there actually so proud of her for bringing this to light when in the beginning. I really wanted to keep quiet so shame on me but you know that's the way it is and and that sort of leads me into my last question. You know what what you said about parents having to remember to have hope. What advice do you have for parents who find out that their child or young adult has schizophrenia. What advice do you have for them. First of all i applaud them for taking the step to have their child. L. checked out to have that diagnosis. I think that's a really huge step. Love you listen you watch them and you get them treatment and if one dot turk doesn't work or one psychiatrist one counselor you go to one that the child like says they don't like they're not gonna open up to them. They have to be comfortable with their professional. Do online research join. Join groups watched the medications at the ron watched the side effects. Watch the benefits. The doses the drugs. You'll have to find the right when it's it's your child. Try to be supportive. Find ways to calm him down. It could be like leaving a light on all night or just hugging them and rubbing their head when their head it hurts or having them wear solid colored shirts and and family members were solid colored shirts schizophrenic down other times. They just need to be left alone for quiet time if they're feeling pressured but i would say if you can't keep the door open. Don't let them lock the door seeking periodically check on them for rachel. It was a huge unhelped. She insisted on having a small dog pet an indoor pets and we always had a farm so we always believed the animals should be outside but that dog is amazing. It gets her out of bed. She has to love it. She has to feed at she has to wash shasta care for it and it's like a security blanket to her. She sleeps with them <hes> and it gives her somebody to love unconditionally and oddly enough dogs pick up on schizophrenia emotions and they're right there with them. Also helps helps to make your child feels secure and let them feel that they can approach you any time with any problem and also something that's great for rachel and myself <hes> our family's always done family walks rachel and i go for about four mile walks about four times a week and that's when she really opens up her heart me when we're walking so lots of you walk and talk that alone just helps tremendously geno. Thank you so much for agreeing to do this. You you are right a lot of families. They do try to keep it a secret. Both both in terms of asking the person who is diagnosed with schizophrenia and not to say anything and then the families don't say anything either that really creates this void of supports and i'm hoping that through your daughter's courage and your courage talking about it that it will inspire other people to to get the support that they need in their own communities. Thank you so much and personal. Schizophrenia can have a full wonderful life just like rachel. That's awesome. Thank you so very much. So rachel did anything in their surprise. You did your mother give away any deep dark. Family secrets definitely no deep dark family secrets. I was surprised that she opened up about a few things. I was very touched by a lot of her answers. When you say that you were surprised that she opened up about a few things what in particular where she mentioned that her father had a mental disorder disorder also i was very surprised. She said that i know it. It's not like that's a surprise we all know it but i was surprised that she felt comfortable enough to share that that's something she definitely wouldn't have up shared years ago and just kind of seeing that growth in her of being open about talking about mental illness across the board not just just with me but referencing other family members it makes me happy. Obviously you've known your mother literally your entire life. Yes have you seen this growth and just how do you as a general's daughter feel about your mother's change of opinion in all of this us. It means the world to me when i i told them they didn't understand or maybe they understood what i was saying with the diagnosis but i didn't want to accept it or just didn't know how to handle it so to see over the years. My mom become more open because i remember her sitting me down and being like listen. You can't make a video about this. You can't talk about this. Two straight up being in videos about my schizophrenia is incredible. My dad god is like such a happy go lucky person and it was very hard for him to understand oppression because he is very much the kind of person who is well. You know if you're not happy. Choose to be happy. I mean it sounds like a wonderful. Oh that's just how he is and he really just had no concept and it took him a._m. Quite a few years. I remember he wants. He was like rachel. I read this article where this man had cancer but he also had depression for many years in the man was saying saying that his battle depression was so much harder than cancer but no one ever wanted to talk about his depression because they couldn't understand it but cancer they could and he's like. I think i understand now what you're going through more about being in your mind. I just thought it was really great thing for him to sit me down and tell me that it show show me. He was definitely trying. He doesn't understand a lot of things but i love that with both of them. I can see them trying. My mom has gone through through so much growth and that's really cool to see her like i'm an adult. I'm in my thirties still trying to understand her child and to still be adjusting is really heartwarming to say. Obviously we edit the show we at at the interviews. It's all edited so the interview with your mother took about a half an hour and i want to disclose disclosed to both you and the audience. I asked her mother in in several different ways will. What's it like raising a daughter with schizophrenia. What's it like raising schizophrenic daughter. What's it like to live with a schizophrenic and every three time it was. I just live with rachel. Just live with rachel. I just live with rachel. She was very acutely aware in our conversations that you are in fact a person who oh has schizophrenia but i couldn't find any coloring of that in her decision making process or in the way that she relates to you you you were just rachel. It was awesome yeah a lot of her answers where she just said. I don't think about it like you're saying she's rachel that was it was very touching to me to say that and while i wasn't diagnosed as a child there were clearly some issues samantha she'd been referenced going to multiple counselors 'cause i did have a she sent me to anger management counselors and whatnot when i was younger and a few different ones who never diagnosed me with anything. It was more just talking there be but even then yeah. I don't think she ever saw me as someone with an anger problems more than issues. It was just just my child is going through something. Not my child has this. This undiagnosed thing at the time she definitely <hes> is just really awesome. How she responded. I agree there was a lot of talk in the interview obviously about okay. We know this thing is wrong. What i found sort of interesting for your mother's perspective is she very much had a line drawn between the thing that was wrong you and the solution and i think that kind of silo inner compartmentalization is really really good because she never saw you as the disease she never saw you as anything other than you and then we had to find what was wrong the illness and then we had to find the solution the cure the help and all of those things working together gets us to what her ultimate goal was does which is that her daughter lives the best life possible and i think that sometimes we don't think about things like that and this is why i think that it's so important for caregivers offers and for family members and for friends to understand that they need education and potentially therapy as well l. so that they understand what's going on and i think that's something that we should probably talk about for a moment. Do you think your parents did better when they educated themselves. Uh away from you yes very much to be able to kind of step back. Read things and then kind of look back on me and be like oh wow yeah these symptoms completely lineup to read other parents ghetto different stories and whatnot for one. I think it helped them not feel guilty <hes> because my parents have been in multiple media works of mine out some free comments comments and people are very rude and judgmental saying well. That's just ridiculous. They should have noticed how come they didn't get her help but when you have a child you you oh you do have the rose colored glasses on that okay whatever they're going through. You know that's normal kids stuff and i was my parents first child. This is our pre internet so it's not like they can just look up something. If you didn't know about a certain mental disorder you just sit knowing anything about it and rachel you live in a small town so support groups are limited. There's there's a lot less options than if you lived in say new york city with eight million people yes i actually grew up in the country so not even and small town surrounded by farms and cows and fields and obviously the internet is good to give a shout doc out to chris hickey. She started the parents like us club which is w._w._w. Dot parents like us dot club and the whole purpose of that is just for parents is to be able to share ideas get education and also when i think this gets lost but to just event to just say i hate this <music>. I'm scared of this. I don't understand this. I think it's important. I think so often parents think oh well all i can do is love and can't have any dissent. I can't show any fear anger. Nothing and i think that's unhealthy. One thing my mom said that getting a diagnosis of schizophrenia it's not the end of the world i like that she kind of went into that and she said that the whole world is beautiful and that there's a lot of different options and she said there's hope and that made me feel warm and fuzzy inside honestly that that's something that i've been saying for years that she's kind of picked up and for her to add the hope hope part of that honestly it makes me feel like any kind of burden you know. I feel that she sees this as oh rachel the okay. I'm not not worried that she's thinking oh my god. What am i gonna do. If we pass away what part that she mentioned there i agree. I like that a lot as well and if you don't have hope what are you have and i think that is often missing. When somebody is diagnosed with schizophrenia like you said people walk up to your family like oh i'm so sorry and they look at all of the things that they're terrified of the misinformation the the scary and nobody is saying it can be okay if treatment is available full recovery is possible recovery likely it's going to be hard but it can be done and i think it's important to point that out now. You have a brother brother so you're you're not an only child and i. I want to kind of talk about that for a moment because you know sometimes this gets missed in families or alter focused on the parents were ultra focused christoph person living with schizophrenia but their siblings. Let's talk about your brother for a minute and i would even say with the sibling style relationship cousins the whole extended extended family kind of falls into the stu where you're growing up around someone with a mental disorder. What what is your part <hes> me and my brother actually incredibly close now. I don't think growing up that my schizophrenia affected him but i could be completely wrong about that. He has never said it did so me and my brother lived out in the country country kind of in the middle of nowhere so there weren't a lot of other kids to play with so we played with each other a lot and he is five years younger than me and it's funny because as adults now how people will think that we have only a year or two apart like the way we interact and i also think that's great because i must look younger than i am of both soon that oh wow and a lot of times i've been told they think that my brother is actually the one who's older because of just how kind of like funny that we are and he picks on me so much that usually that's a different dynamic. I remember as kids i love playing with them and we would play action figures and legos and we'd have all these different storylines and he always wanted to play with me and it was really cool. I remember once as a kid. I latched onto this memory where he said. It's so much more fun to play with. You like you make it interesting. I mean we're talking about like action. Figures and i don't know i just as a kid. I was like oh wow he thinks i make this interesting interesting. I i just like that as an adult after getting diagnosed i really didn't want my brother to know i assumed my parents had told him but i i oh i didn't bring it up and <hes> one time my mid twenties. I was incredibly sick. I had an episode and i couldn't drive and i called my mother mike. I'm sorry you have to come get me in and she came and got me because i had my car. At this other place. She brought my brother to drive it back and at the moment when i was in the episode i didn't respond but afterwards words when fully realized that he'd been there. I was so embarrassed and ashamed at the thought of he saw me like that. He saw me with my word slurring. He saw me eh not making any sense being confused and we really still didn't talk about it until a few years later when me and him we would go on these really long. Trail runs running for hours and that's when we started opening up and kinda talking to each other about both of our mental health things that we both been through you and he felt like he could ask me questions about hallucinations. He felt that kind of we were in like a safe space where both could talk about it and about two years ago my medication had been switched and i had some very dark thoughts in the switch and one of them was to it was so strong that it was to drink bleach and data shared him about it and i had been moved off the medication. He reached out and sent me a text like listen. You have another thought like that. I want you to call me. Just i don't care what it is is call me. It really meant a lot. That's how close we are now the yeah he's like look when it happens. Don't tell me three weeks later. Oh this happened. No call me up and just to see that growth in our relationship is really cool and i think the main point is that it's just been a support base growing between me and him over the years. It didn't happen happen overnight and i kept it from him for so long but it's definitely of all the relationships that i have. It's one of the ones that means the most to me. Well i think that is really cool. Well and obviously as you said. This is how families are constructed. There's cousins and there's aunts and uncles and grandma's and grandpa's and i think we need to talk more about the impact on the extended family because they're all there as well and they have vital roles to play even if it's just supporting the people around rounds you or giving them a break or hey just being your grandma and grandpa or your cousin or your sibling. Our relationships with our extended family is very very important to my other people there schizophrenia. Give your family a chance. I've had so many different family. Members reach out to me worried about someone in their family had schizophrenia i once had was at an event is an guy in college came up to me was like i wanna know how i can help my nephew the he's like what can i do. He's this old and i don't know what i what i should do. Should i bring it up. Should i talk to them. Should we do something like a physical activity like it was very interesting that this college kid was wanting to connect with his nephew that i had a grandfather email me a few weeks ago and just look. I just found out that in my granddaughter has this. Do you have any tips for me and just knowing that it's not just mom dad like immediate family. There are other people in your network at work that you might not be considering and to those people who are listening to this do reach out to them. Let them know that you're there. You do not have to take on some big responsibility. Khansa -bility just like me and my brother would go running for miles and that's when we opened up. It wasn't like we sat down to. Let's have a really intense conversation. That was something we were doing and because we're running for miles we would talk sharing it. I know that advocacy we hear about a lot of families that are broken down by this and i don't. I don't think that that's in common if you're listening to this and you think well my family is all messed up. A lot of families are messed up by this this. This is serious and there's a lot of pitfalls to step up into a lot of times these dynamics they they weren't created overnight and they're not going to be resolved overnight and we like to look at things like t._v. Movies where where we just sit our loved ones down and we have this big impassioned speech and it's fixed. That's really not reality. I think that your situation rachel is more more reality. You didn't sit down to talk. You went running. You know go bowling. Go play putt putt. Go to a movie go out to dinner offer to help them with assure you know clean their apartment their house to clean the gutters and just spend time and then hope that these things will slowly start to form trust. I am a bond and then hopefully that will lead to all of this stuff coming out and getting better and our relationships with people change over time new challenges. Does that have nothing to do with mental health. You know break relationships constantly. Give people a chance as one of the biggest things that i always say. Just give them a chance. Don't ride ride off. Will this person my father has always been this. People change a lot as they age. If it's still a situation where rachel i can't have any contact or my family. Refuses uses to help me. They've abandoned me. Create your own family. You know all of this is about building relationships a and the relationship doesn't have to be hinging hinging on your schizophrenia like just to seek out to build relationships and get those bonds stronger and yet might take a few years to even approach the subject of schizophrenia. Thank you so much for listening to inside schizophrenia. I'm rachel star withers with my co-host scape howard. Please check out our other episodes like subscribe right us a review comment and if you have any friends or loved ones or anybody who could benefit from our episodes. Please share them. We will see you all next month. Inside schizophrenia presented by psych central dot com america's largest and longest operating independent mental health website. Your host host rachel star withers can be found online at rachel star live dot com co host gave howard can be found online at gay power dot com for questions or to provide provide feedback. Please email top back at psych central dot com. The official website for inside schizophrenia is central dot com slash i._s. Thank you for you're listening and please share widely.

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Introducing Look Again: Mental Illness Re-Examined

Look Again: Mental Illness Re-Examined

01:23 min | 3 months ago

Introducing Look Again: Mental Illness Re-Examined

"Did you know one in five. People in canada experienced a mental health problem or mental illness and one in one hundred people in our country league with schizophrenia spectrum disorder. The is not a rare illness. My name is feature aldridge. And i'm the host of look again mental illness. Reexamined a brand new podcast about mental illness. Brought to you by the schizophrenia society and other partner organizations mental illness is all around us. And how we deal with impacts everything from our family life. The cost on our medical system substance use employment demand for housing. The list goes on and on. I'm going to be speaking with medical experts families and people with lived experience of mental illness. We're going to get into it. I mean really into it. Real conversations up to date medical information and the voices of people navigating the very tricky waters of mental illness. It's time to bring this topic into light and really start talking about it so you're probably asking. What can i do right now. Well the answer is hit follow so you can get all of the latest episodes of look again and don't forget to like interview us on apple podcast or wherever you listen to talk to you soon.

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Bonus Content: Childhood Schizophrenia

A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast

41:39 min | 2 years ago

Bonus Content: Childhood Schizophrenia

"You're invited to listen to incite schizophrenia a new podcast brought to you by psych central dot com home of a bipolar schizophrenic and a podcast enjoy welcome to inside schizophrenia a look into better understanding living well with schizophrenia hosted by renowned advocate and influence or Rachel Star withers and featuring gave Howard Edward listeners could change in your schizophrenia treatment plan. Make a difference there options out there. You might not know about this at once monthly difference dot com to find out more about the benefits of once monthly injections for adults with schizophrenia welcome to inside schizophrenia. I'm Rachel Star withers here with my co host Gabe Howard and gave I'm so excited about today's episode because we're going to be exploring schizophrenia in children sometimes known also as early psychosis childhood schizophrenia fairly early onset schizophrenia and schizophrenia childhood type so you get all those written down. It's amazing to me that there's all of these different names names for what is essentially the same disorder you can understand why people are having a hard time understanding what's going on when we have five names for what is effectively the same thing and has been changed over and over and confused with other disorders orders it yeah and that's what we're going to get into is how it's all meshed together and it's hard to tell what is what before we get into all of the research and the technical side and of course coming up later on in the show we have an expert. Who's going to answer some of these questions for us? I have a question for you Rachel. Were were you diagnosed as a child I was not I was I I noticed went in my early twenties. When things were like really spiraling out of control? When I was growing up I grew up in the deep south very religious and in the country so it's not like I didn't really grow up around other kids like I did but it wasn't like a city situation so I don't think my parents really knew how a kid was supposed to act it? There were no like big warning signs with me. Did you have hallucinations when you were a child. As as long as I can remember I've had hallucinations and the first ones were always saw faces in things like faces and trees in the carpet just in the wall the ceiling they would appear in like always scary faces not like happy no happy happy butterflies. They were like kind of demonic frightening creatures which goes back to being in the religious south yet what I did tell people about it. They'd be like Oh well that Satan manifesting now my oh okay yeah you told adults hey I'm seen scary the evil demonic faces and they were dislike. That's normal yeah. I think probably freaked them out or they just thought hey this. Little Kid is just really imaginative and you've been sitting in church listening to the preacher Holler for the past two hours about hell and brimstone of of course you know everyone's probably scary demons religious stuff aside. How do you know the difference between a child's imaginary friend and a child's hallucination? I know lots of children who have imaginary friends who do not not have schizophrenia. Oh absolutely and I think growing up kind of freak some people out that they don't know how to deal with it like if your kid is coming with an imaginary friend and you're like Oh okay we'll play along but yeah. When do I stop playing along? When is my child too old for this the same thing like when it's my child too old to believe in Santa so now my kids hitting thirteen and they're still talking to somebody imaginary? Maybe maybe this is bad. You raise a really good point because some of this you know the the tooth fairy the Easter Bunny Santa Claus Yeah we want children to be fanciful. They always see and hear and do things that the rest of us don't as part of their imagination as part of normal development so now you're a parent and you suspect so now you google try to get some help for your child. What will they find so scariest thing? When I was researching this episode I googled Childhood Schizophrenia and the first thing that comes up is the wikipedia link and it's a picture of a child holding putting a gun like I got so mad if you would have been on twitter at the time when this happened I just went on a little twitter rampage of this is stigma ridiculous because it's like a little ten year old holding a gun at the camera and we you just last episode of talked about violence and schizophrenia and the stigma just how people see it incorrectly and this is like actual kids stigma towards kids in mental health not really blew my mind that you even on the Internet we have that stigma towards children and getting help for mental illnesses and this puts parents in a very peculiar situation because they're going to look at this picture of a ten year old with a gun and then they're going to look at their own child and they're going? I think we'll all I have to do is make sure that my child's not violent ipso facto. My child does not have schizophrenia and today's times we have the situations of so many school shootings and I feel like you have two sides of the parenting you have the one side is going to be <unk> over protective and oh my gosh I don't happen and then the other side like. I don't want to say anything my child labeled so it's either I think go crazy and get help or don't get any help at all. That's really an interesting point that you make that because of the stigma surrounding this people are afraid that if they suspect that their child might have schizophrenia they'll get labelled as such even if they don't so people become fearful of their child maybe their child will lose friends or social connections or standing in school things that their child needs to develop normally if they suspect their child has schizophrenia and they're wrong. They'll put their child back a little bit and that of course is assuming that parents recognize it at all. How did your parents react to that knowing that even though you were symptomatic as a child they did nothing? What was that like who we've? I've actually never asked them that. Because that sounds like a really sad question gave why would I put my parents on the spot like that of I was a little weird kid and I think all kids are weird. Oh and I was the first child and I just I don't I don't blame them or anything because I feel like they were amazing. Parents and you know Rachel's acting weird. Let's let's go outside and play in that will help her so I had a very like awesome childhood and things it's it's awesome that it all turned out okay but you and I both know that it doesn't always turn out okay. Now you know some sometimes waiting too long can lead to not so great outcomes. We're talking about society not helping people who are sick. Sick and I had a family situation where my mother pretty much worked from home. My father worked fulltime and it was just me and my little brother so we got a lot of like personal attention so even if I had let's say gotten worse. I feel like Rickie. People would have noticed pretty quickly so let's actually talk about what is childhood schizophrenia. The simple definition is it is when a child interprets reality abnormally which I think is all children isn't that it's abnormally big big. You're right doesn't doesn't that make it difficult. You expect a child to get it right right yeah so mental disorder schizophrenia overall okay. They used to see it as different classifications. Now it's considered considered a spectrum disorder similar to autism so the criteria for diagnosing a child with schizophrenia is actually the exact same as a teenager or adult so early onset of schizophrenia is ages thirteen to eighteen and and if it occurs between seven to puberty it's childhood so that's the issue too is we got like okay well which one is it and then there are also trying to just call it early psychosis or psychosis and children which is even a more bigger umbrella term because I feel like that could cover bi polar and all the other disorders that kind of have hallucinations in it which autism has loose nations in Down Syndrome also there is not a definitive test and they've even done studies where they think schizophrenia can appear in a child Oughta as early as three months old. I have no clue how in the world you would figure that out like a three month. Old is just kinda there but I just thought that was interesting that they think that's how young that schizophrenia can be observed in a child. The only difference is schizophrenia for children. Versus adults is delusions tend to be broader so they don't necessarily have like a voice telling them specific things to do. It's more they're going to hear sound knocking ticking voices that are calling their names that necessarily surly don't make sense the visual hallucinations tend to be like flashing lights seeing shadow figures so that's like that just sounds to me like normal kids and my little kid comes and tells me like Oh God there are all these flashing lights and it's an alien you know attacking. I'd be like okay. Q must've saw that on T._v.. But yeah children just have a real difficult time processing anything as an adult you know take for example all of the kids cartoons that have like sexual innuendo doing them. Oh I remember as a young prepubescent girl like we would watch musicals like grease and I loved Greece's a kid. It was so happy and fun and I remember they showed it to us in school and now if I watch I'm like Oh wow that's it's really an appropriate either so many things in that movie the older movie that is just like Oh. That's there's a lot of sex jokes in here. Yeah we miss things as kids like we interpret things completely different. If you understand something you just kind of either gloss over it or the war you make up your own reality to it but that's not an example of schizophrenia. That's just an example of getting something wrong. Oh yes so now we go all the way back and like you said we're not necessarily talking about fifteen year olds we're talking about ten year olds or five year olds and and remember gate even trying to go out there and get the right facts to learn about this disorder. You're met with a lot of confusion and a lot of stigma and I think a lot of stigma also can make you feel like well if my child is wanting to shoot up the school like in this picture that means I'm a bad parent. I'm not I love my child and it's just a lot of confusion and I think fear when you are looking at this disorder and we should probably address how common this is because I imagine this is not very common which means it's not like you can and just ask your your mommy group or your your father group or your your own family members. I mean where do you go to get support with the people that you know in real life when issues when it comes to diagnosing this is that schizophrenia psychosis and children is so closely seen from the outside as also autism so there's a lot of kind of confusion there where a lot of kids get misdiagnosed they put them down as autistic in the really not and vice versa and I'm with autism children are seen to be very internal going inside of their heads. They don't pick up like normal social cues. They engaged differently schizophrenia. Is they withdraw. They go inside themselves. They're not responding correctly because they're hallucinating. That sounds exactly the same to me. I feel like if I had two kids going through two different things but that's how they're reacting. I would assume they're both either autistic or schizophrenic but yeah there's a very big difference in what the kids are saying. We're talking about a ten year old though they're telling me they're we're seeing shadows on lights that so vague. Do you think that the public is more accepting of a child with autism or a child with schizophrenia. I don't think anyone is scared of an autistic child shooting up a school. Is that a little too hard to say though it gave no I think no. I think it's a very fair point. You know schizophrenia like you always make the joke. It's got a Z. in it. It's a scary sounding word. When we think of autism we think of cute children trying their best to love their parents? Can you kind of speak to that a little bit because you don't have the warm and fuzzy diagnosis no and actually had a family member who had very very serious autism who is no longer with us who was very young and autism. It's a very hard thing to deal with and we go back to that spectrum disorder. There's a big spectrum and unfortunately my family member was a very very held back mentally by and I don't think anyone was ever scared of him that he would pull out a gun. You know no one was ever scared like that. You're more scared for him. You felt bad. You are worried about him whereas schizophrenia. I think you're going to be like Oh. I don't want my kids near him. I don't want my kids near her like that back. That's going to be the kid that just starts like stabbing people but there's fear that autistic kids will be disruptive in the classroom so they're stigma on both sides another thing is that we go back to that whole getting a diagnosis for my child. There's a lot more support and just help and programs for autism so if I'm googling help with psychosis there's almost next to nothing for children where autism there so many programs. There's books. There's these computer games. There's just so much stuff that you like. Oh Wow there's a huge support community that does not exist for psychosis in children even though it's so closely related as a parent that would worry me too. I'd be like well if I have to get a diagnosis. How about the safer one and even if it's wrong I would get a lot more help? It's a really good point. There's nothing to definitively prove psychosis in anybody schizophrenia in anybody. Let alone children. It's all self reporting so this does. Is make difficult and that does mean that you know unfortunately human error can get involved an apparent can steer their child steer their provider into the safer diagnosis and it it's always difficult to compare and contrast asked illnesses. I don't want anybody to think that we're saying that. Autism is better than schizophrenia or vice versa. It's just a conversation about how society is seeing these illnesses and why it makes it difficult to get the right diagnosis and the right help for a child when there's all all of these external factors and coming to getting the right help right now with psychosis for children schizophrenia the only help the only treatment is the exact same thing for adults which is anti psychotic medications and which have really intent side effects a lot of them aren't allowed to be given to children to start with but a lot of the side effects. I have now. I would not wish on anybody else but especially not a child so you have that whole thing playing well okay. If I give my child this certain things might become a lot worse and you're the treatment options are going to be like social programs individual therapy a lot of family therapy so everybody in the family can kinda jump in the treatment isn't really a specific okay. I just give them this pill every day at this time and everything's GonNa be okay well. Let's talk about that for a second because as you know in adults there's a lot of controversy about whether or not people should take psychiatric medications. There's lots of scary stories and now we're talking children so now a parent has to decide if they want to give psychiatric medications to their child knowing that adults are having this giant discussion. What is that like for a parent for just me and you'll hear other schizophrenic say it to its you're playing Russian roulette with medication so you're constantly having to try things that just levels and now we're dealing with a child who isn't very good at voicing what's happening and that parent is going to have to be really on top of things and charting and it's just a lot it's going to fall on the parents when it comes to psychosis and children and it's more likely than not that their friends and family and the General Society is really looking down on them? Oh you don't want to raise your child. You just want to give them. I'm a pill that children schizophrenia shouldn't be on medication but these are the things parents worry about. There's just an incredible amount of stigma in the treatment of schizophrenia yes and when I was researching all this either went into researching specific therapists who deal with schizophrenia psychosis and they're all a lot more expensive than let's say a normal therapist so there's also just the cost of all of this is insane. You know one of the treatment sites suggested family therapy once a week child therapy twice a week you know and we're talking one hundred dollars a pop like that adds up on a family really quick so you want to give your child everything you want to help them but there's also that cost factor of trying to do all all of this stuff and a lot of it's not available in your area. If you're in a big city you can probably find the therapist who specializes but I mean I'm on out in South Carolina and no one came up on my google search and I think that it's also important to remember that families are all structured differently early for example. You can have a single parent family with three children. Well that means one child is taking up the majority of not only the financial resources but the single parents time and then you've got other families that are two parents with one child of course we all understand the difference in health insurance financial resources and as you mentioned the difference between living in a big city and a rural area and it even varies state to state. We'll be right back after this message from our sponsor. It can sometimes times feel like another schizophrenia. Episode is just around the corner in fact a study found that patients had an average of nine episodes in less than six years however there's a treatment plan option that can help delay another episode a once monthly injection for adults with schizophrenia if delaying another episode sounds like it can make a difference for you or your loved one learn more about treating schizophrenia with once monthly injections at once monthly difference Dot Com. That's once monthly difference DOT COM. We are back talking about schizophrenia in children. Is there good news in all of this. What's the success rate for a child who is diagnosed diagnosed early and gets the intervention and help that they need? How do these children end up because I believe that society things that all of these children end up institutionalized or as as criminals or in prison? What are the actual actual stats on this? Is there hope for these children. It's just like any other medical situation. If you have the right diagnosis and the right treatment you're going to have a lot better outcome be myself that wasn't diagnosed until later but once I was that was such huge weight off my shoulders for when I knew I wasn't demon possessed anymore like oh I have a real thing that other people in this world have and I knew how to at least had a road to go down for treatments. I knew that I needed to talk to a hey. Psychologists psychiatrists like I knew what type of doctors what type of medication I was going to need what type of therapy and there is no like oh well. This is the exact thing you need to do. That will work for you because believe me over the past fourteen years. I've tried so many things and had to adjust but at thirty four about to be thirty four happy birthday to me things are going really well. I think I'm insane as I've ever been I don't know but I have a really awesome life and I'm very lucky for that so I think it's just the outcome is whatever you want it to be and just being able to support your child and push them to what they wanna do and find ways yes. It's going to be harder but you can totally find ways you can find ways if you get the right diagnosis and the right treatment ju just to clarify right. You can't find the right way magically. That's the problem with all of this misinformation and all of the stigma it leads you astray. Yes that's correct gape. Let's take a snapshot of Your Personal Story Rachel before you had the right diagnosis before you had any treatment whatsoever you went through a lot but tell us what happened before diagnosis to help you with your hallucinations. I I remember multiple times in my life. <hes> growing up like in the church going to different church leaders over me youth pastors things like that and talking to them about what was happening and a lot of the times they would just pray with you and. End suggest reading the Bible and that was it and it kind of escalated to the point where I was at a Christian school at age seventeen they actually didn't exorcism on me and it was not as cool as the movie. My head did not spin around and I didn't throw it puke everywhere where so little let down on the build up of that just saying but that's really scary that they did that to a seventeen year old but that was their way of helping me and they absolutely new. I mean we're not talking. I was in the sticks. We had the internet starting <hes> and this was a very large school. I love your sense of humor and I love the fact that you're well enough to look back and handle these things the way that you do but if we're being honest this could have turned turned out significantly worse for somebody in your position of vulnerable person with an untreated mental illness. Yes I have a great sense of humor. I tend to be very upbeat about schizophrenia and mental disorders because so many people aren't and inside I might not be like super happy but this is my way of dealing kind of thing so I did want to point that out there just as I make jokes about these things and other people might have went through them in like this is not a joke just so you can understand but that was really hard that exercise. I didn't talk about it for over ten years because I was so embarrassed like who in the world has an exorcism but I just did not want anyone to know so. It's not that that didn't affect me. It affected me really bad for a Lotta years and it took a long time to deal with that so yes if you have people that are trying in their own ways to help but are actually hurting it really can sit anyone back that has any sort of medical problem not even just mental and and just to be clear it did not help schizophrenia yes to be clear. My extra schism did not work and it was three days long okay so this was not an hour situation like in the movies got a wrap those up quick three-day exorcism and my hallucinations came back the next day and they pretty much gave up on me. They said I let Satan back in okay so so there was a lot of blaming of the person who was sick and none of this and I don't think you think so either we're not trying to to shame religion or shame religious the people this is just an example of where people didn't understand and they used what resources they had available but they did the wrong thing they they didn't use a medical based model to treat you because you didn't have a diagnosis and they didn't know what to do now. Let's compare that to what happened when you got to a doctor. How did your life change after you got a diagnosis and you moved forward anyone out there who is looking to get a psychiatrist psychologist looking to go down this road? You might have to shop around. I do want to say that because I've been to so many different therapists and medical professionals across the board it you do have to find one that works for you but the good thing is that you at least have a game plan so I knew right away like okay. I'm going to go. I started talking to a psychologist that psychologist put me in contact with the psychiatrist and then working together. Put me on a medical treatment plan in addition to talk therapy that I was doing so yeah and it was okay if that didn't work this week then we need to work on something else. We need to change something not all right. We've tried that one thing and that really is the difference you now had a treatment plan so as scary as it is to take your child to a doctor for this the treatment outcomes are significantly better and winded as people who listen to all of these episodes no and people who know your work Rachel. You really do have an exceptionally high quality of life. I mean you were in the movies for Pete's sake. I was pretty cool. I think now gave is a perfect time to bring being on our guest. Today we're talking with Dr Joseph Gonzales Hydrate. He is the director of Developmental Neuro Psychiatry Clinic at Boston Children's Hospital and an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Welcome Dr Sir. Thank you Rachel at the Boston Children's Hospital in Developmental Center. What is it that you do? I'm a child psychiatrist and I evaluate children thought to be having very serious psychiatric problems then <hes> treat them. Hopefully you get the feeling better and back on developmental on their developmental course again so when you say psychiatric issues what some of those be own say since two thousand and one or so it and mostly concentrated on children who are showing early early signs of psychosis those children generally my my new patients in the last eight years you know since I've been working in this area I will tell you that I've I've never worked harder. Seen children were more having more you know more severe problems and yet sort of partnership with Families Agency and the kids themselves is really very strong. We're all pulling together trying to help them feel better and also involved in research to try to understand why this is happening to them and and find ways to their more effective than what we have now to really I get that feeling better and back on the developmental trajectory Rachel and I were just having a discussion about parents are afraid of this diagnosis. They're afraid of psychosis because society is afraid of this and adults and nobody wants to stigmatize their child with this. Are you seeing that in your practice where parents are rejecting the diagnosis or not wanting to work with you or are fearful of it actually <hes> by cutting the kid comes to see me often the parents are looking for an answer and have felt blamed clean or or or blown off by professionals often before that and part of that is because psychosis in children's is very confusing and difficult a lot of kids have just as far the notable occasionally have but your voice their name call developmentally normal fears and and whatnot and then distinguishing goes from psychotic symptoms is hard and it's something field has been grappling with so so the kids are often been complaining of intrusive voices and images are really scary and frightening and distressing to them for a long time first of all they also feel as thing might often don't tell anyone about it for a long time and then when they do tell their parents about his parents go to evaluate that evaluation often as child's professionals we try and find any possible other explanation in truth. It is hard to distinguish. What's a psychotic symptom you know for instance voices telling the harm themselves or telling them terrible? We'll things about them from developmentally normal things and also have other disorders that might transcendently look like that so childhood schizophrenia is <hes> narrowly defined look exactly like the adult late adolescent burleigh adult onset illness is rare in children but children having psychosis. That's impairing and distressing is still rare but much more common than because a friend and so the other part is how you distinguish. Wish that from normal magic play imaginary friends <hes> just transient misperceptions that children might have nightmares <hes> and how you distinguish those from normal developmental phenomenon from psychosis and then within psychosis which kids will belong to have schizophrenia versus some other source psychotic illness that may or may not laugh talking about these kids. What are the ages that you see experiencing childhood psychosis and what's your earliest age that you've seen typically the kids that we've been getting referred to us because we've been concentrating on very early onset so in about twenty percent of people with a friend on bicycles in general will have their first clear psychotic episode in adolescence after the age of thirteen probably closer to sixteen seventeen eighteen and those are called early onset and that's about twenty percent of everybody which is problem very early onset which would be under the age of thirteen is much rarer and we've been concentrating those because they've been and getting referred to us here at Children's hospital so I've been mostly seeing kids who have the onset before the age of thirteen but again? That's a rare event that because we're a tertiary care center these kids get sent here we enroll in our research studies offer genetic study over one hundred and forty these kids and actually counting studies. We're doing what biomarkers before that closer to two hundred kids their ages again because I'm selecting for kids who starts under the age of thirteen really are typically nine ten eleven twelve <hes> but we've had I saw this week who <hes> at age four when from having a touch of mild autism and the very verbal or engaged kid who would tell you lots of stories go to a period of hallucinations. They're very frightening to them and basically have a deterioration duration is functioning to the point now where he yardley talks and is interested in play and engaging the people as markedly decreased. That's an unusual case and we see maybe five or six kids like that more typically. Their onset is between eight and thirteen Joe. She's like a very heterogeneous group and genetics are very heterogeneous and marked by a lot of very rare genetic events more so than what you see in typical late adolescent young adult adult onset psychosis if their parents out there and they're suspecting that their child may have a problem with psychosis. What do you suggest that they do? I would take him to be evaluated by a professional end. I'd also observe carefully. You know right down with observations that they have. They're making worry about this. If the child's behaving oddly is all is really helpful to get a video of that so that the professional office can view it was apparent to try and figure out what's going on and then depending on how gradually it happened et Cetera there might be some neurologic workup. There has been so an e._e._G.. Depending if again if there's very abrupt onset then we'll worry about things that can look like any of our autoimmune immune disorders antibodies attacking the brain you know relatively infrequently but those are things you don't WanNa Miss Metabolic problems that need to be diagnosed and could be treatable and so it's important to get an evaluation. There should be strong consideration of medical neurologic causes it is along with the psychological psychiatric evaluation so likely would be best to have someone who has a lot of experience evaluating childhood onset psychotic symptoms to really take a look and see how typicals because the problems versus very frequently it might be not that it might be misinterpreting things to another problem like nature depression or anxiety disorder or sometimes also just developmentally normal things so I think in the N._F._l.. WOULD BE ORG and careful observation observations with you think for when it comes to treating the child are there are side effects with medications that we should consider there's two issues with them and they're the anti psychotics as you mentioned they have side effects flattening in how people just feel sedated it. They're not fun to take you know people often you know will take the medication because you know because they've learned that that that if they don't they're they're tortured by these terrible psychotic symptoms voices but then <hes> but the dedication Asian themselves do feel make you feel flatter dollar and harder to enjoy things and whatnot <hes> you know it might be on the whole plus if you're getting rid of voices constantly telling you terrible things and whatnot the the things that are most difficult difficult about especially the second generation of psychotics. <hes> is the weight gain and metabolic problem so they increase appetite <hes> some more than others but they all seem to increase appetite and make it harder for kids at for everyone who takes them to keep keep their way that healthy level and so the kids will gain weight and then you know and then we worry this put them at the longer term risk of type two diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome and all the complications of obesity so that's actually the biggest problem is those side effects to families by the time they come to see me. They are ready and they want some help the other probably these medicines always that they're not completely effective. They're treating symptoms or not treating underlying cause and so while you might be able got who's nations and delusions under control the other symptoms having to do with decrease motivation decreased concentration decrease or ability to get up and do stuff but those are really odd still there and we haven't found a way to treating those part of the research that we're doing and you're looking for these rare genetic causes because the hope is if you understand the genetic cause we go from the jeans and knowing what the Gene Mace to knowing what that protein does and we can do these amazing things like like some science fiction <hes> even ten years ago where we can take his blood cells and turn them into <hes> neurons and studied in addition. Try understand what's wrong with Iran and then screen lots and lots of medicines Ernie the reverse was wrong within runs so we're looking for new treatments that might prevent symptoms from coming up again with and be more effective in reversing symptoms than we have now pleasant symptoms but they don't get the underlying cause the passer usually are willing to go with the medication because they visine shall suffer for a long time very significant serious symptoms. We still battle with ourselves in terms of can we do this with a with a medication which has less side effects. We've had kids respond to PROZAC family medicine where classically my thought they would psychotic and some of them will respond to that and that's great because those have a lot fewer those problems that just discussed but often they do need the psychotic and then we had to work hard to maintain their well aware that healthy level we should have getting exercise and then the other treatments of. Psychosis which are meditation which has to do with helping the school understand the child and how does teach them support them and then the people that are looking into things. I called his rehabilitation wanting to try and get back some of the functioning they might have been lost as product process to cold. We were talking earlier in the episode about seeing this from an everyday person's point of view but seeing it from a scientists point of view now. That's really awesome. Thank you so much for coming in sharing that with us sir. Thank you for raising awareness because I think that one of the things that I think is really hard about this is a lack of awareness lack of understanding. You know no society this it makes it harder for kids to get the treatment it makes it harder and families who end up any feeling blamed in one offer. Some boomers has large large component. It's biological causation not not in their hands. Thank you again. We really appreciate it and we've learned a lot. Thank you so much that was really awesome and I am so thankful that we had somebody from Boston's Children's hospital associated with Harvard Medical School. They really do great research and they're looking into schizophrenia to make life better for well. Frankly everybody with mental illness because this cutting edge and this is important and I'm so glad that he was willing to take the time time Rachel. How did you get him to do this well we he was talking about some of that research there that they did on genetics of they'd actually contacted me a few years back and I've been involved in some of those genetics programs he was speaking about as far as them looking up the different? I guess deleted chromosomes. That's over my head so when I thought was interesting was actually hearing that side and him talking about the genetic side of things that most of us and even like even doctors. It's a lot over their heads and that's I mean I know it's only over our head. It's fascinating that this is so complex that everybody is struggling with it exactly but we do need to strive to be educated because there's a lot at stake in this and constantly stay up to date. This isn't it's something that okay. I know all about schizophrenia now goodbye like there's so many emerging things as they're working on all the genetic side of it but also medications being developed therapies so so we all need to stay current and the different treatments as somebody who experience symptoms as a child who is now an adult. was there anything that he said that was surprising to you. He didn't hit on it much but when he said the youngest age was four. That's so young to me. How how do you distinguish at age? Four are what's pretend and what's not fascinates me that they're able to do that that they're able to figure out you know the difference between which kids have autism which kids are just over imaginative in which kids have psychosis fascinates me. I was really surprised by what he said about the parents because a lot of the things that we hear in read is that parents are just really rejecting this idea and they're fighting hard against it and they're scared to get help at all of those things are true but his perspective is different. He said that by the time they reach ask him they're desperate and they're scared and they're looking for answers and that's something that I hadn't considered. How did that hit you as a person living with schizophrenia I really liked then? He said that because it made me think oh yeah because that's kind of how I was. I didn't know what was going on and I was desperate for help at first I was. I couldn't find like a good counselor because I didn't know I needed a psychologist. I could just as he was talking. I could picture myself being in that situation of just I'm so worried. No one is helping helping me. I don't know what to do and the fact that it's about your child is so much deeper. Are you encouraged by the amount of research about the amount of knowledge that is going on in the country right now. I found it so encouraging that he was able to tell us all these different projects projects that they're working on all this different research. That's currently being done. All these different like kids. They're looking at and trying to help a that's incredible to me and that gives me so much hope a lot of times when you do get the diagnosis of schizophrenia or or another mental illness. It's just like no your world is ending it. It's just a lot of fear and I just like that. He had so much hope for the future where this was all going it. Wasn't you know him talking about the research. It wasn't like all well. Give up guys things finding out that are different that are new and I love that so how I'm being treated right now could be completely different in two years who knows what could happen and that's so encouraging to me I liked his overall message of listen is and this is a medical illness and you need medical treatment because we're doing medical research and we're constantly learning and we're constantly growing and we have a plan. If it doesn't work out we'll make another plan and I think that's very very important especially for people wrestling with whether whether or not to have their child diagnosed or to see a doctor I really hope that people can listen to that and really hear that there's so much going on and the outcome is Rachel Stars Life Right now. The outcome is is adult living well in spite of their illness and I think that that's a really really valuable and important message for a parent who's struggling whether to take the next steps and just on that note not not even just so much living well but being able to live a lot of times when you have this diagnosis. It's hard to even consider the future at all. It's hard to picture yourself alive in next year and for me. I don't know that gave me like some amazing hope. He was talking that. I don't have to be so worried about the future. I don't have to worry that you know my brain just GonNa fall apart and I'm going to end up in a mental institution like that's that was just so cool though that he's saying like all the different changes that are coming. I think that that's incredible Rachel. Where do you as a person living with schizophrenia fall on this? What's your what's your takeaways if this was the situation of my child had schizophrenia? If I had a child I would want them to get the best treatment possible and I would strive to help them. In any way I personally would still want them to have an amazing awesome cool normal childhood. I wouldn't want to just be like okay well. I'm dropping you off at the hospital. See you in six months but for me and people out there who be scared of getting a diagnosis you can get a diagnosis. You do not have to tell the world I do know we're on a podcast about it but you can't keep it quiet but don't let the stigma in the fear. Hold you back from getting your child help or get yourself help. Thank you everyone for tuning into this month's episode of inside Schizophrenia Subscribe like share this episode on social media. My name is Rachel Star and I will see you next month. Inside aside schizophrenia is presented by Psych Central Dot Com America's largest and longest operating independent mental health website your host Rachel Star withers can be found online at Rachel Star Live Dot com co host gave Howard can be found online.

schizophrenia Rachel Star psychosis psychosis hallucinations google twitter Harvard Medical School Gabe Howard Santa Howard Edward South Carolina Rickie Boston Greece Boston Children's Hospital in mild autism
Schizophrenia

QuaranTEEN

31:12 min | 1 year ago

Schizophrenia

"Welcome to today's interesting episode. Schizophrenia I know a lot of questions. Come to mind when I say that, but let's see those for later right now. We're going to begin the episode with woman of headlines to update you on the world around us. U. S. News One. NBC News started off this Thursday by stating supreme. Court blocks trump from ending DACA in big win for dreamers. To The Guardian reported. Trump defends officer who shot Ray Short Brooks as police call in sick. Three. Earlier today CNN claimed corona virus cases spike across the country with Florida, showing signs of the next episode Ter-. World News. One CBS News informed readers that Bolton Book says trump asked Chinese president for help winning re election. To. The Washington Post published Macken intense ceremony with Prince Charles in first foreign visit since cove nineteen lockdown. Three. The Guardian discussed how hundreds of armed counter protesters confront. Black lives matter rally in. Ohio Business, news one. Carnival to sell six cruise ships as bookings dry up claimed the Guardian and I read statistic about like four point four billion dollars they've like. Do the coronavirus which is terrible. yikes scientists. One, according to live science, the monstrous blogs near core may be even bigger than we thought. otherness! And finally positive news informed us that hell fighting HIV put South Africa on the front foot against covid. Nineteen now let's jump into the episode with a definition. A right right before we get into the episode I. Do have a quick like notice or something so this episode was supposed to be published last Thursday, but we decided we should take a week off in order to amplify black voices and sport. The black lives matter. Movement. And also we are offering free ad rates for African American owned companies through the end of like mid July on. You can email me for more details. quarantine, Q. U., A. R., A. N., T. E. N. Dot podcast at g mail DOT COM. If you'd like more information, thank you. All right, so let's start off with some basics. The dictionary defines schizophrenia which is pronounced, funny I was originally pronouncing perennial, but it's Ph so F-, so schizophrenia as a long term, mental disorder of type, involving a breakdown on the relation between thought, emotion and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion and a sense of mental fragmentation. It doesn't sound Super Fund. So now we're going. Go with what I'm calling Bass Fax I'm still not from the office. Ladies podcast. Sorry office ladies, unless Detroit market or something I'm pretty sure I can use fast rex, but basically it's a common common mental illness There's about two thousand two hundred thousand cases in US per year. so you know it's not something that happens all the time, but it's also not rare. and. It's chronic, so it can last for years or a lifetime for treatment Google says treatment is usually lifelong, and often involves a combination of medications, psychotherapy and coordinated specialty care services, so for the medication a lot of people take anti psychotics or anti-tremor, and then specialists are like psychiatric or clinical psychologists. So living with schizophrenia. So please note that all people are different on cases are different I. Do not have schizophrenia so I am solely taking this information. Other stories of other people I highly recommend a podcast called insides Friday to learn more about this whole living with. The host Rachel Star weather's is schizophrenic, so she can seek more about how she manages her schizophrenia. But for now I'm going to quickly read a story from the National Alliance on mental illness that describes the reality of Skins affronted. For specific personal, pretty sure, osen anonymous quote. Okay, so Ghana says on am am I? National Alliance on mental illness. It says I was very young when I experienced my first break from reality I remember hearing voices and seeing shadows everywhere I went creatures have my mind as a child I was confused and scared of the hallucinations I was experiencing I didn't understand why I was hearing and seeing the things I. Did they would tell me that the world would benefit if I was no longer around or that I should harm. Someone just packed myself by the time I started the fifth grade. I experienced my first complete psychotic break. One day at school I became overwhelmed with the visions of shadow like figures, beginning to surround me. I felt so conflicted on what to do, if felt like all eyes were on me, and everyone was out to get me, and I must protect myself. I ran out of the classroom in hidden inside of the girls bathroom. Lucky myself in one of the stalls. My, she's your killed called the guidance counselor in the school police officer to calmly get me out of the stall I. Remember Screaming. No, they're here. They're going to kill me. They were obviously puzzled by who I meant was going to hurt me. I told him from behind the stall that the shadows, and then man named the voices I heard was telling me to hurt others and myself. It took the police officer telling me that no one was coming to harm me, and that I am much safer with him in a loner myself. I opened the bathroom stall and ran into the police officers, arms and And began to break down crying. I didn't know until after I came out of the bathroom that there was an ems team waiting for me with the structure. I didn't know that the hour I was in the bathroom with the guidance. Counselor officer that another counselor. Call my parents, and they agreed to turn me into state care as I knew I was experiencing these symptoms. The had no clue wish. Take me or what to do. I was transported to a nearby hospital where I met my parents, we spoke together in crisis intervention about the symptoms I hadn't experiencing and the next steps to take us a family. My parents talked it over with the interventionist and everyone agreed I needed to stay inside a hospital environment until I was better. After a week of being in the hospital I began to improve. My Anti psychotics were increased, but I was still increasing. hallucinate I was still experiencing hallucinations paranoid thoughts. The first time I heard my new diagnosis I was in family therapy at the hospital. A psychiatric diagnosed me with early onset schizophrenic schizophrenia at the age of eleven. I didn't understand that word. Schizophrenia was the thing that I've been controlling my thoughts and haunting me since I was a young child. It had been an on and off. Since being released from the hospital, the first few years were tough, isolated myself from everyone else I felt like an outcast. No one I knew was going through what I went through. As I stressed about my social life school in other after school activities I began to neglect taking my medication around this time I was in middle school. Puberty was hard enough to to. Puberty was hard enough, but being a preteen with severe medical health Puberty was hard enough, but being preteen with a severe mental health diagnosis made life even harder for me to deal with. I was thirteen when I first attempted to take my own life. As, I look on it. Now I am happy. I survived, but it landed me another month back in the hospital. The doctors told told me how important was take my medication. I took that advice to heart I. NO longer wanted to be the victim of by diagnosis. I wanted to survive. It took a while, but I began starting to start taking my medication. Mainly because I did not want to relapse again. I wanted to fight this with the help of my parents therapist in school counseling stuff I am able to live with schizophrenia. Instead of letting it control my life I began to interact more with my peers, I no longer felt alienated and I no longer let the hallucinations take charge of my life. I began to make more friends migrates increased, and I wasn't afraid of my own mind anymore. After develop graduating high school, I went to college to study not only visual arts, but also early childhood development I. Feel like regardless of a few setbacks. I am a recovery story. If I would have to speak to myself at Asia. I would say you are a strong young woman. Don't let fear consumer, bright, young mind, get the help. There is nothing to be afraid of adults and professionals will help you through hard struggles. Do not isolate yourself. You are not alone. So. Woo that was long I know. It was very moving though I think that that's super interesting to hear how schizophrenic attacks occur, so we'll talk about that right now. It's so to talk about the panic attacks in schizophrenia. We are looking at a study done by Rene Goodwin, John S Lions and Richard J mcnally and I found this on pubmed dot Gov, which is I'm pretty sure like partners with the National Library of medicine. So their objective was to determine the association between panic, attacks and CO CO Morbid Mental Disorders, psychiatric symptomology service utilization in suicidality among individuals with schizophrenia in the community. So data was drawn from the epidemiologic catchment area, DCA and differences in Co Morbid Mental Disorders symptomology service use and suicidality or determined in between Were determined between individuals with schizophrenia with and without panic attacks. the results panic attacks. Lifetime were common among almost half, or like forty five percent of those with schizophrenia individuals with schizophrenia and panic guitar had significantly elevated rates of Co occurring mental disorders. PSYCHOTIC symptoms subside that and Mental Health Service Utilization, compared with individuals with schizophrenia who did not suffer from panic attacks so in conclusion panic attacks are common among the who schizophrenia and the community in are associated with higher rates of other Co Mental Disorder Co occurring mental disorders. These results suggest that concurrent treatment for both panic and schizophrenia may be indicated for optimal outcomes. Future research is needed to determine direct and indirect cost benefit in providing mental health treatment for panic among individuals with schizophrenia in the community so. Early these attacks aren't. I would say the comments so basically. The one in two people will have them if they have seats of Rania. Because, that's what it sounds like from the results so much making up, but overall they it is possible to not have them with schizophrenia. an-and site guides on talking about living its apprentice. They discuss what kind of impact schizophrenia can have on a daily life some more about living with schizophrenia. They say if you've been diagnosed with schizophrenia. The best thing you can do is take an active role in managing your illness. Learn the warning signs of a relapse and have a plan of action to deal with those symptoms. The sooner respond the last time you will spend recovering. You can also learn coping skills to deal with the worst and most most persistent symptoms often drug abuse schizophrenia. Go Hand in hand. If you have been abusing drugs and alcohol, there are many places that will offer treatment for your drug addiction a mental illness. You will get better results if you address two problems together and find Truman for the two problems at the same time. Childhood Schizophrenia, so talk here about hotel had schizophrenia is extremely rare. Most people are diagnosed in their mid to late twenties. but that doesn't mean that they haven't had in the past. Just generally, children are not diagnosed with schizophrenia. Mayo Clinic says schizophrenia symptoms generally start in the mid to late twenties is uncommon for children to be diagnosed with schizophrenia. Early onset schizophrenia occurs before age eighteen very early onset schizophrenia in children younger than thirteen is extremely rare symptoms can vary in types and severity over time with periods of worsening in remission of symptoms. Some homes may always be present. Schizophrenia can be difficult to recognize in the early phases. talking more about phases. There are like three phases of schizophrenia. So the IPC talks about this, they say schizophrenia has three phases, pro drome, oil, or beginning, accused or active and recovery or residual. These phases tend to occur in order in cycle throughout the course of the illness. People develop schizophrenia may have one or many psychotic episodes during their lifetime. So as we early said earlier, it is chronic, so could last a lifetime, or it could be shorter and I think for phases occur in both but especially in the shorter when you're more likely to see the recovery period. Moving on, so we're GONNA talk about hallucinations versus delusions. Hey guys. We're GONNA. Take a quick break to talk about. One of our amazing sponsors. KNOCKBACK knockback is creative video game designed for one to four people in which you attempt to get rid of zombies as the owner says it knocked back as a physics sandbox that challenges you to ask yourself. How many ways can I store this? Ambi- go ahead. Play with fire. Throw him into a building or a smash with a log rolling down a hill one a sucks. zombies into type zapped with lightning. You can do that. Rain down. 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And install knockback now at steams store, and that link will be in the description box below. You go check out this wonderful game and opportunity. Let's be real. You might be listening to this podcast because you want. Make a podcast and move wondering. How do I start doing that? And like where the first steps? How does this entire thing work well? Let me introduce you to something life. Anchor FM. Anger is the easiest way podcast led me explain. It's free. There's creation tools that allow you to record and edit your podcast. Right from your phone or computer. Anchor will distribute your podcast for you, so it can be heard on spotify apple podcast and many more, and you can make money from your podcast with no minimum listenership. It's everything you need to make a podcast in one place. I have been using anchor for I made to podcast on it and a Steph my favorite one to record, and it's fantastic. Honestly, there's everything I need, and I am so happy to. Have? Such an amazing free tool that I got to use for everything, so download the free anchor APP today or go to Anchor FM to get started again anchored. Get started now. So to talk about. Delusions and hallucinations. We are taking some sorry. I'm moving some information from SICOM. Dot Net's. Read their their entire Article 'cause. I'm just too lazy to try in changed off, so hallucinations and delusions are among the most common symptoms of schizophrenia, those are considered positive symptoms meaning they are not seen in healthy people. Hallucinations. Hallucinations are defined as experiences and sensations that are not comprehensible to others to the person experiencing them. They may seem real urgent in vivid. Roughly seventy percent of people with schizophrenia will experience hallucinations. So auditory hallucinations are most commonly experienced people with schizophrenia and may include hearing voices, sometimes multiple voices, and other sounds like whispering or murmuring voices may seem angry or urgent, and often make demands on the hallucinating person. Visual hallucinations involve seen objects, people, light or patterns that are not actually present, visualizing deadlocked ones, friends, or other people they knew can be particularly distressing perception may be altered as well as resulting. As well, resulting in difficult judging distance. Olfactory hallucinations involved the sense of smell or taste, most good or bad. That are not actually present. This can be particularly dangerous if a person believes he is being poisoned and refrains from eating. tactile hallucinations are feelings of movement or sensation on your body that are not actually present such as hands on your body or insects crawling around or inside you. Hallucinations don't necessarily indicate schizophrenia people with mood. Disorders schizo affective disorders in other physical or mental health conditions may also loosening hallucination me occur when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Delusions! Delusions are defined as beliefs that conflict with reality. Delusions are one of the most common in schizophrenia Dece beliefs made include persecutory delusions when a person believes a person group organization is mistreating or harming them despite contradictory evidence. Arrow tint Say That we're Aero Tow mannix delusions woo when a person believes, another is in love with them, despite no evidence is off, other person is often a celebrity or person in power. So Matic delusions when a person believes they haven't illness or their body is affected by strange condition despite contradictory evidence. And then the grandiose delusions why a person when a person believes they have superior abilities or qualities like talent fame wealth despite no evidence. Sometimes a person will experience a recurring theme in their delusions over a period, which makes them seem more convincing to the individual experiencing. Hallucinations are sometimes categorized as secondary delusions if they have a false belief in the voice that they are hearing or any other sensation that they are experiencing. So, I mean sounds pretty rough to have all of these things going on. But. Why might somebody have that stuff happening? Well? Of course, schizophrenia but nobody really understands why schizophrenia happens, so nhs says the exact causes of schizophrenia are unknown. Research suggests a combination of physical genetic psychological and environmental factors can make a person more likely to develop a condition. Some people may be prone to schizophrenia in a stressful or emotional life event may trigger a psychotic episode. so obviously. This is pretty rough You know it's not not a fun thing to have and so It's definitely something that can be misunderstood a lot so some. Offensive questions and freezes and like their answers is thought we should include just to bring more attention to what you should be like what you should say to somebody who might have schizophrenia because you don't want to. Their normal human you don't WanNa. Be Mean to them or hurt their feelings and so oftentimes These might not seem rude, but they could be rude. So these are all inspired by Metro Dot Co, so the first question would be. How many personalities do you have? Schizophrenia is not bipolar disorder. Admit it's not me. A person has multiple personalities. they normally they don't. They could be possible I'm sure, but I have not looked enough to know if it is so, don't take my word for it. And then I feel like this is just obvious. Are you crazy? Do the come misconceptions that the media has put in place? We which we will talk about in just a minute. schizophrenics are often perceived as maniacs, but they are not. The individuals are very different than the movies and we just need to become better educated. And then sometimes people use it as an adjective same like that so schizophrenic. Dot Co states using my diagnosis as a verb just trivializes disabling lifelong illness. Please stop. Mental illness doesn't exist. Sweetheart. You don't look schizophrenic again. This is just unconscious bias that the media has kind of implanted in our brains, and it needs to stop because people can wear regular clothes and look completely fine, but be depressed. Fifth people with schizophrenia are just like ewing mediators have mental illness, and that does not change their appearance at all. Employees don't ever telling them that. You can tell they have sits Afria because. You can't. Is Not an obvious thing. So now we're GONNA. Talk about schizophrenia in the media. Some more so obviously, it is misunderstood in the media. This is proven by a study by. Dr Patricia Owen that she reported on. A website is on a website called. PS Dot Psychiatry online at work, so this is called portrayals of schizophrenia by detained media a content analysis of contemporary movies. So. This was again performed by Patrick. Dr, Patricia Win. And her objective was just like to see how critics entertainment media have indicated that cinematic depictions of schizophrenia are stereotypically and characterized by misinformation about symptoms causes and treatment. The pervasiveness in nature of misinformation are difficult to was to a certain because. Of the lack of empirically based studies of newbies portraying schizophrenia, this study analyzed portrayals of Schizophrenia and contemporary movies to a certain prevalence of stereotypes misinformation about schizophrenia. The used so English language movies, featuring at least one main character schizophrenia that were released for showing in theaters between nineteen, ninety into dozen ten or analyzed for depictions of schizophrenia to researchers, independently rated each character with a checklist assess demographic characteristics, symptoms in Syria types, causation and treatment. Forty two characters for four from forty one movies, where identified a majority of whom were male and Caucasian most characters, displayed positive symptoms of schizophrenia delusions were featured most frequently followed by auditory and visual hallucinations, a majority of characters displayed by behavior toward themselves or others, and nearly one third of violent characters, engaged in homicidal behavior about one fourth of the characters committed suicide, causation of schizophrenia, was infrequently noted, although about one fourth of the movies implied that a traumatic life event was significant in causation of movies, alluding to or show treatment, psychotropic medications were most commonly portrayed. the findings that misinformation negative portrayals of schizophrenia and contemporary movies are common, underscores the importance of determining how viewers interpret media messages how these interpretations informed attitudes and beliefs, both of the public and people with schizophrenia so mostly. It was just wrong. Information that people don't know any better, and that's what we need to change because the media is portraying it wrong, so It's not I. Don't think it started by A. By traumatic life experience, but I will look into the dot here right here, so it turns out schizophrenia itself might not be caused by a traumatic experience I. Think Hand but if you have a traumatic experience way more likely to develop a just like a psychotic episode, which could be linked to schizophrenia, but it also feeling two different kinds of mental illness. There are some reasons that you might think you have schizophrenia for some I mean I think if you have the symptoms that would probably mean that you might be thinking about it, but what would you do? In that situation, you should get help. Don't self diagnose, but definitely go to a doctor. If it turns out, you have schizophrenia. You should try to understand it better in research. And then three search it where you can find some more information resources. There is a podcast already mentioned earlier, but always will be linked the description called inside schizophrenia. It's great. It's really interesting. and it especially helps people with. It's funny, because hosted by schizophrenic as well. the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Alliance on Mental Health And Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration so those are all Lincoln description if you are questioning. Your soft diagnosis and you can learn some more, but of course get help and go to a doctor. And if you're interested in learning more about other mental health, similar conditions here are some that are similar so psychosis Web web. MD says psychosis is a condition that affects the way your brain processes information. It causes you to lose touch with reality. You might see here. Believe things that aren't real. Psychosis is a symptom not in Ellis. Mental or physical illness substance, abuse or extreme stress or trauma can cause it, so that's clearly related to schizophrenia. symptom. The schizoid affective disorder. Mayo Clinic says that the skits affected. Disorder is a mental health disorder marked by a combination of schizophrenia, symptoms, just hallucinations or delusions in mood, disorder symptoms such as depression or media. Bipolar disorder, which again we've already said people who have schizophrenia do not. Necessarily have haller disorder that has most likely linked I would assume with the schizophrenia. schizo affective, disorder, because. That does not mean that they have two different. Personalities but Google says Byblos Order is a disorder associated with episode of Mid Swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs, so those are just some more information for similar things if you want to look at those and research them to. That is the end of this episode. 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What is schizophrenia? | Anees Bahji

TED-Ed: Lessons Worth Sharing

05:16 min | 1 year ago

What is schizophrenia? | Anees Bahji

"The schizophrenia was first identified more than a century ago. But we still don't know its exact causes it remains one of the most misunderstood and stigmatized illnesses today. So let's walk through what we do. Know from. Symptoms to causes and Treatments. Schizophrenia is considered a syndrome which means it may encompass a number of related disorders that have similar symptoms but varying causes. Every person with schizophrenia has slightly different symptoms and the first signs can be easy to Miss. Subtle personality changes irritability or gradual encroachment of unusual thoughts. Patients are usually diagnosed after the onset of psychosis which typically occurs in the late teens or early twenties for men and the late Twenties or early thirties for women. A first psychotic episode can feature Delusions Hallucinations and disordered speech and behavior. These are called positive. Symptoms meaning may occur in people with schizophrenia but not in the general population. It's a common misperception. That people with schizophrenia have multiple personalities but these symptoms indicate a disruption of thought processes rather than the manifestation of another personality. Schizophrenia also has negative symptoms. These are qualities that are reduced in people with schizophrenia. Such as motivation expression of emotion or speech their cognitive symptoms as well like difficulty concentrating remembering information and making decisions so what causes the onset of psychosis? They're likely isn't one single cause but a combination of genetic and environmental risk factors. That CONTRIBUTE SCHIZOPHRENIA. Has some of the strongest genetic links of any psychiatric illness. Though about one percent of people have children or siblings. Of PEOPLE WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA. Are Ten Times likelier to develop the disease. An identical twin of someone with schizophrenia has a forty percent chance of being affected often. Immediate relatives of people with Schizophrenia Exhibit Milder versions of traits associated with the disorder. But not to an extent that requires treatment multiple genes almost certainly play a role. But we don't know how many or which ones environmental factors like exposure to certain viruses in early infancy might increase the chance that someone will develop schizophrenia. And Use of some drugs including marijuana may trigger the onset of psychosis in highly susceptible individuals. These factors don't affect everyone the same way for those with very low genetic risk. No amount of exposure to environmental risk factors will lead them to develop schizophrenia for those with very high risk. Moderate additional risk might tip the balance. The antipsychotic drugs used to treat schizophrenia. Have helped researchers work backwards to trace signatures of the disorder? In the brain traditional anti psychotics block dopamine receptors. They can be very effective in reducing positive symptoms which are linked to an excess of dopamine in particular brain pathways but the same drugs can make negative symptoms worse. And we've found that. Negative symptoms of schizophrenia may be tied to two little dopamine in other brain areas. Some PEOPLE WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA. Show a loss of neural tissue. And it's unclear whether this atrophy is a result of the disease itself or drug induced suppression of signaling. Fortunately newer generations of anti psychotics. Aim to address some of these issues. By targeting multiple neurotransmitters like Serotonin in addition to dopamine. It's clear that no one transmitter. System is responsible for all symptoms and because these drugs affect signaling throughout the brain and body they can have other side effects like weight gain. In spite of these complications. Anti psychotics can be very effective especially when combined with other interventions like cognitive behavioral. Therapy electroconvulsive therapy. Though it provides relatively short-lived relief is also reemerging as an effective treatment. Especially when other options have failed early. Intervention is also extremely important after months or years of untreated psychosis certain psychosis can become embedded in someone's personality and yet the dehumanizing stigma attached to this diagnosis can prevent people from seeking. Help people with schizophrenia are often perceived as dangerous but are actually much more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators and proper treatment may help reduce the likelihood of violence associated with schizophrenia. That's why education for patients. Their families and their communities helps erode the stigma and improves access to treatment.

Schizophrenia psychosis dopamine marijuana forty percent one percent
Bonus Content: Comorbidity with Schizophrenia

A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast

47:46 min | 1 year ago

Bonus Content: Comorbidity with Schizophrenia

"Hey not crazy. Fans we've got some bonus content for you. Please enjoy this episode of inside schizophrenia. A psych central podcast. Welcome to inside schizophrenia. Look into better understanding and living well with schizophrenia hosted by renowned advocate and influence or Rachel Star withers and featuring gay powered listeners. Could change in your schizophrenia treatment. Plan make a difference there options out there. You might not know about visit once monthly different dot com to find out more about the benefits of once monthly. Injections for adults with schizophrenia. Welcomed inside schizophrenia. A PSYCH PSYCH central podcast. I'm Rachel Star withers here with my co host gave Howard in this episode we will be exploring co morbidity having another health condition. In addition to Schizophrenia Co Morbidity is associated with worse health outcomes more complex clinical management and increased healthcare is care costs occupational therapist and host of the podcast occupied. Brock Cook will be joining us to discuss ways that he works with people with schizophrenia. How to manage multiple health issues? Rachel Co Morbidity is one of those things that it happens in all illnesses but specifically we're talking about how it relates to you. Managing living with an acknowledging schizophrenia. Can you give us a little more background. On Co Morbidity Come Morbidity is the presence of one or more are additional conditions co occurring with a primary condition and for our show the primary condition. We're focusing on is schizophrenia. How Co oh morbidity is classified in Mental Health Vo gets like really confusing so if you have schizophrenia and depression is that two different things or is that schizophrenia? With a negative symptom of depression or is that schizo affective disorder. That's where things start to get like a little bit hairy as what's a whole separate separate disorder and then what's the side effect others are like anxiety panic disorder post traumatic stress disorder obsessive compulsive. It's estimated that depression occurs fifty percent of patients with schizophrenia. I personally have the diagnosis of schizophrenia and depression. It's important to understand why we move through this episode that there is a difference between a symptom of an illness like for example. You can have a cold and a symptom of having a cold is a runny nose. So you don't and have the CO morbid disorder of a cold with a runny nose. And that's that's a very bad example and I know that every general practitioner who listens to our show is like Gabe no full disclosure. Disclosure didn't go to medical school. But we're really trying to talk about the things that are vastly different from schizophrenia. As we're not even necessarily talking about schizophrenia. It's a funny and depression or schizophrenia anxiety. We're also talking about schizophrenia. And physical health traits and trends. That people with schizophrenia. More often than not have in higher rates than the general population schizophrenia has been described as the life shortening disease at physical Corbitti accounts for sixty percent of premature deaths that are not related to suicide. In People's Guinnea we have an increased rate. Eight of Developing Glucose Regulation of Normandy's insulin resistance and type two diabetes and of course now some of that's going to be attributed to lifestyle factors. There's which will come back to but a big part is the side effects of antipsychotic medications. If you've ever been on different medications you've definitely learned weight. Gain Gene. Even with Diet and exercise is really hard to avoid. My weight's gone up and down throughout the years and I've always been active to some degree whether it was fighting doing mud runs. Like I've always just been a very active person and I mean I weighed seventy pounds more than I do right now at one point. And it's important to point out that four your career as a stuntwoman being physically in shape is a requirement. So when you you say that you have always been active. You've been active at a level different from the majority of the population. You're not talking about a planet fitness membership here. This is part of your your career to earn a living and to be paid to do the stunts that you've been so successful at doing and it's not so much just even stunts just being king on camera for different things unfortunately my looks kinda matter. And you set yourself up whenever you're doing internet things for horrible commenters Shire's and that's been rough of just hearing the things people will send like all this fat on has been definitely really hard just dealing with other people's responses news and while we're certainly not saying that it's more reasonable to have your weight commented on if you quote deserve it. It's important to point we now that your lifestyle didn't change your medication. Did you. Were still eating the same working out the same exercising the same you were still just as active the the only thing that changed as your medication but your weight shot up and again I want to be very very clear. It's not okay to insult people's looks or weights if they gained weight because they cake but we do want to point it out right. Your level of activity did not change. You made no lifestyle changes. You made a medication. Change to manage schizophrenia. And as you stated gained seventy pounds even though. That's the only change that you made. Patients with schizophrenia are more likely to be obese than the normal population. And if you have long term schizophrenia you are three times more likely to develop diabetes. He's than the general population. That's a lot three times more. I was like Oh wow when i read that it makes sense because like I said I was so much of it was was out of my control like I was doing everything I could and I was still packing on weight and that did not help. Depression part one of the things that I thought was interesting interesting. Rachel as you talked about whenever you were given a new medication. The very first thing that you google was the name of the drug and weight gain. That was your your primary concern. Will why is that. Why is that your primary concern because there seems to be a lot more important things to worry about? Yeah you would assume that I should care more about my mental state but at the same time I felt and I still feel that I can only fight so many battles you know trying to maintain paid a mental state of being able to go to work and live alive at the same time. I don't WanNa be like gaining and gaining and gaining weight because that affects those exact things. I mean trying to live life trying to I. Don't WanNa say make friends and date and things but it does it. Does it like changes different things. And it's like I can only fight right so many battles till the point that it just becomes overwhelming and of course because your physical health is important you gain the way because of the psychiatric medications directs caused. 'cause it's Co Morbid obesity schizophrenia. You end up in a doctor's office and the first thing that a doctor tells you is. Oh you're overweight your morbidly obese. You have abusively issues. You need to lose weight and you're thinking to yourself. This isn't my fault and the doctor is just looking at the chart and saying Oh you're five seven and and you have this weight. You need to be this weight so make better choices. Because they're trying to avoid all of the things you mentioned earlier diabetes and joint pain pain etc so Rachel you know that the weight gain is a side effect of your medication. It's the side effects of your treatment of schizophrenia. But the doctor is treating you you like. Hey you just need to join a gym. That's gotTa hurt. That's gotTa Rub you the wrong way. That's got to feel bad. Yeah it's just beyond frustrating and it Kinda it makes us feel like well. I don't even WanNa try I just I don. I don't even want to try and for me whenever I've had a doctor prescribed antidepressants antipsychotic back. None none have ever warned me about weight gain and I get it. Because they're like their job is to help me mentally and I guess maybe let's deal with the mental the physical stuff we can deal with later but it's so interconnected I feel like like they just play off of each other and I will sometimes sometimes actually tell by psychiatrists like is there a better option because this is quite a few people online are complaining about waking and they'll be like well maybe maybe you shouldn't look at look it up right now just literally sitting there with my phone in my hand as we're discussing options like okay. Okay hold on. I think it's important sidebar here in point that this is a tough choice where people with schizophrenia. They've got to decide if they want to be mentally healthy but have some physical consequences or if he mentally unwell well. It's important to point out that while that is a difficult decision. It's kind of not right. I mean having full control of our faculties of our brains of our bodies. It is very very important but I do WANNA provide hope there's new research and there's new medications and there's new drug trials and thankfully the medical community is aware there that people are struggling with this decision and in many cases not taking psychiatric medications because the side effects are just so difficult and it's not just weight gain. I mean it's a lot of things like cholesterol levels the insulin resistance. It's not just oh well. I'm going to gain a lot of weight. There are other health issues. One that I haven't really ever talked about is my cholesterol. I have to follow a very strict strict diet because my cholesterol is insane and they've warned me about it so many times like you can't have fast food and I'm like I haven't had fast food in like five years and they'll be like you can't eat red meat. I almost never eat red meat. Eight or anything with collect ions such strict diet but my cholesterol is still normally high and they think that it is due to some pass medications that I've been on and kind of changed some chemistry so it isn't just for my people listening out there like oh you shouldn't worry about wake game. It's a whole physical situation going on sometimes one of the things that you're trying trying to point out Rachel is that people living with schizophrenia. And managing their schizophrenia. Well are often seen to be lazy because of this excess weight or because of the physical we'll health conditions that they're having. It's kind of like a combination punch you know. I you have schizophrenia. And that's difficult to manage and then everybody is like Why are you overweight? You should go for a walk and then on top of that. You have accelerated rates of osteoporosis. You have higher incidences of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and you have so so many stats to deliver and people are just looking at you like hey. Why don't you make better choices and the reality is you are making excellent choices for your situation as a person who's living with schizophrenia? And we can't blame everything on medication though tobacco. Smoking rates and people schizophrenia. Bernier actually twice of the general population. That's interesting I've always found that people with mental disorders do tend to smoke a lot more the times that I've been at different mental health facilities. It'll be crazy. How many people there smoke? Everybody smokes and I'm someone. I never grew up smoking. I really didn't grow around it. No one I knew smoked. My parents don't smoke but whenever I meet other schizophrenics nine times out of ten most of them smoke obviously the individual reasons that the people choose to smoke are just that individual reasons. But if we're looking at people with schizophrenia as a whole it's somewhat easy to understand why decisions jeans are made like smoking. Cigarettes are easy to get. They are somewhat of a social activity. They provide a bump. When you're smoking you are feeling better? None of these are good reasons to smoke. But they are understandable reasons and later on in the show when we hear from Mr Cooke. He's going to explain why it is a coping capping mechanism. It's not a good coping mechanism but in that moment people with schizophrenia are trying to make a decision that makes them feel better in his job. He helps people make decisions that provide the same feel better without the negative consequences of smoking and I hope that people with schizophrenia. Here that because like you said it it is a choice that they're making which gives them the power to make a different choice and we're not putting down anybody who smokes. Please don't be upset because I also think the other issues like when you look at things like smoking alcohol weed in some areas if it's legal and you're like okay Mardi dealing with this major mental disorder. And now you're telling telling me I can't even have a legal vice. It's not like I'm doing anything bad Rachel but unfortunately yeah. There are some things that having schizophrenia. We're setting ourselves up to fail in some ways by doing stuff even if it is legal. It's one reason I never ever drink alcohol. It affects medications and I can't actively actively be saying Oh. I'm working really hard to maintain my mental state. If I'm drinking because I know that that messes with the medications and is just going to continue to make things worse in my legally totally fine. I'm far far above age. Twenty one drink yes but it is something that I have to take into consideration. It's it's like an extra thing that I have to do to manage my schizophrenia is. To not drink. We also have to consider that one of the reasons. That people living with schizophrenia. Don't get help for their physical co morbidity is because of their circumstances they're living situations homelessness money situation. It's expensive to go to the doctor. And if you don't have have a good payer source if you don't have good healthcare if you were on government assistance if you don't have a ride you live in an area that doesn't have good public transportation. You may I'd be thinking to yourself. Look it's GonNa cost twenty dollars to see the doctor. It's going to take all day to go to the free clinic. I'm going to have to sit on the bus. I don't have the time. I am resources money or even the psychological wherewithal to deal with this for the next nine hours. So I'm GonNa go ahead and let it pass. We have have to remember that. Many people living with schizophrenia. They're not living with the same resources as your average middle class America. It's just important understand that this is a barrier to their treatment and it may well be a barrier to your treatment. As well and people with schizophrenia we are sixty three percent more likely to suffer suffer a serious infection and I think so many times. It's probably a small infection. But someone's like oh well if I can decide between going to my psychiatrist this month breath or going to like a normal doctor over an infection like come on. I'm sure my infection. He'll be fine it it. Does it escalates from there or like you said we're looking at a homelessness situation commission or just generally not being able to afford to take care of ourselves that wealth that small infections can escalate very quickly and people with schizophrenia. And it's that esscalation that leads to the very serious co morbidity is the CO morbidity is that we're talking about here. Obviously living with schizophrenia is tough enough and I don't mean to harp on it it but so often. We look at people who are managing schizophrenia. And in many cases very very well and then we start to pick on the physical issues that they're having nobody is saying not to pay attention to your physical health. In fact we very much encourage people to pay attention to their physical health. But I think a lot of times the advice that we give have to our friends to our loved ones is the same advice that we would give to our friends and loved ones. Who are not managing schizophrenia? And I think that we need to meet people where they're at and we just really really really WanNa get across that a lot of these issues. That people with schizophrenia are going through are not their fault. They're just their responsibility. Aunts Ability Rachel the specific question that I want to ask you as a person. Living with schizophrenia is how does it feel to know that. You're managing your schizophrenia. Very well but when your friends or your loved ones approach you on the physical side. They don't pay attention to that at all. They treat you as somebody that just has a physical condition and and they don't acknowledge that you have managed your schizophrenia. And they're just like hey. You need to do X. Y. Z.. How does that feel it just adds to to especially for me? The depression of it and the feeling of hopelessness that okay. Even if I feel like man I have done so good this past week but no one else. It's not what was the point or someone is constantly like on me about my diet like a Rachel. You know you're not supposed to have that Rachel. You're not supposed to do that. And then I'm like okay. I've actually been really really good like come on all of it. It's very frustrating. And it makes me want to push back and be Mike. We'll find I'm not even GONNA try. Obviously People WanNa get credit for what they've done. That's not schizophrenia. Thing that that's not mental health thing that that's just a life thing and when and you're trying to encourage somebody to get help for something and you don't acknowledge the great strides that they've made and I think that this is one of the reasons that separating reading out of health and physical health is just so incredibly foolish rates because you're not acknowledging somebody's mental health because you're worried about their physical health or you're worried about something Eh. Physical Health and you're not acknowledging your mental health. We have one body and we have one life. And that's where Co Morbid disorders really come in right because all of these disorders orders. All of these issues are happening to one person and to my caretakers my friends my family out there who are like okay. Well I'll be more careful about saying things like that but also noticed when someone is doing good even if it's like a little bit of doing good like hey you know what you are looking so much more awake this week or are you know. You've been looking a lot happier since you started walking. You know whatever the thing is don't lie and be like you look like you've lost thirty pounds and you're like no I haven't but I just like little things go a long way of since you've switched over to such and such you. It seems like you're a lot more upbeat. Do notice like those little tiny achievements admits because they are a big deal. Here here Rachel getting back to stats for a moment. I was really shocked to learn that. In the United States about eighty percent of Medicare spending ending is devoted to patients with four or more chronic conditions so co morbidity is not something. That only people with schizophrenia. Have to deal with and have to live with. It's it's actually. Very common and schizophrenia is a very serious illness so it's not surprising that a very serious illness would have co morbidity is yes and I do believe that people schizophrenia. When we're having multiple issues that doctors sometimes deal with it differently than they would someone who he's just dealing with multiple physical issues a lot of time doctors who are not psychiatrists? They don't feel comfortable. Just treating someone with schizophrenia with their normal things just kind of like oh I just I mean you have schizophrenia. And I'm like right but this is a cold but it's I don't really know you know it's it's like they're afraid to treat you that they might do something wrong and then of course if I go to a psychiatrist about a cold. They're like okay. Well racial you need to go to your General Practitioner Dr. That's not what we do here. It can be frustrating. Because I'm getting bounced around doctor to doctor and then of course there's the fear of going to a normal doctor that bill think that it psychosomatic. Oh well you know you think you're in pain. It's probably your schizophrenia. That's frustrating alone. Because if you have schizophrenia. Not only you have a difficulty in communicating. What's going on sometimes trying to describe it? And then people aren't believing you or just kind of rushing gough which you say. That's really great. If you have the friends and family who can go with you to the doctor and almost kind of be your backup you know to make you go sound bad but but not seem crazy and my mom usually. It's gotten to the point that she'll go to me. We'll most of my doctor's appointments because to be like yes she has been dealing with this specifically four two months Rachel in your opinion. How do we fix this because we do have trouble in America looking at a whole person they wanna to pay attention to your mental health or they wanNA pay attention to your physical health? But Rachel Star withers isn't to People Rachel Star withers is one person. You've been managing schizophrenia. For a long time and you've managed many co Morbid disorders again for a long time. How can you help people get to the other side? Ride with having schizophrenia. You do have to take a lot of the responsibility on yourself which is like it Sylvia. Well Rachel I mean come on already having to do with my middle state. Yeah every night. I have a little APP that I write down. Any physical issues had during the day that way it Kinda like be tracked took over time so if something is coming up hey you could actually look through my lap and be like. Oh Wow. This started two months ago or this started back at the same sometime. You went on this medication. It helps me to have that because it's almost back up what I'm saying instead of going to the doctor and be like. Oh my gosh. I've gained ten pounds Camila. Look when I started this a week later I had gained two pounds and it just it backs up. What you're saying and when you go to the doctors but you kind of have to step up to the plate eighty million alright? If my psychiatrist isn't requiring that I have physicals or checking the my physical health is okay. That might be something you need to do whether you're doing them every few months whether it's once or twice a year tracking weight changes your blood pressure. Your blood sugar. You're having sleeping problems. uh-huh all those kinds of things and yeah a lot of it does fall on the patient's responsibility and honestly it's not a bad thing that it falls on the patient. Because because that's very empowering right you can take control of your healthcare you can take control of your health and I'm fond of saying that it doesn't matter if you have schizophrenia. Or not the physical circle rules of the world still apply to you and in fact as we've learned throughout this episode. They really really apply to you. You have to worry about managing schizophrenia. India you have to worry about managing your physical health and you have to worry about managing the CO morbidity is between the two while it is a tough road. It's is your road and I think it's very very empowering to be able to walk that road with as much agency as humanly possible but don't be afraid to ask for help. Part of the agency is asking for that help as Rachel said she utilizes her family. And I've never seen a better team. They're a very very good team. And I think that's it's important to point out Rachel. That's what I've always been impressed with. It's not your family taking care of you. It's not you demanding things from your family your family. It has formed a team to manage your schizophrenia. Your Co Morbidity and your physical health together I feel that that's a very good system because it gives you you as the person living with schizophrenia. A lot of agency and I think that's very very powerful because ultimately it is your life. Gabe I totally agree. My parents are awesome. And this is something that we've worked out over many years. It wasn't just like they decided one day. Okay this is how we're GONNA work out with Rachel and everything's everything's GonNa be Great. It has definitely taken a while for us to kind of find a groove that worked and I help them with things also the really good thing about without me. Having to be so strict on my diet is that it makes my dad also be kind of strict on his diet me having to exercise I can have my mom exercise with me I. I don't want it to sound like Oh everyone's doing all this stuff for poor Rachel late. I would like to think that it's a whole team effort. And everyone is benefiting you know we are are helping each other in different areas. I think all of us across the board exercises important eating right is important whether you had the health issue or not. It's just that's good stuff to do. We'll be right back after this message from our sponsor it can sometimes feel like another schizophrenia is just around the corner. In fact a study found that patients had an average of nine episodes in less than six years. However there's a treatment plan option that can help delay lay another episode a once monthly injection for adults with schizophrenia? If delaying another episode sounds like it can make a difference for you or your loved up to one. Learn more about treating schizophrenia with once monthly injections at once monthly difference Dot Com. That's once monthly difference DOT COM. We're back discussing CO MORBIDITY AND SCHIZOPHRENIA witted coast to going to your psychiatrist and your a different doctors one thing you need to make sure is that they are on the same page that your General Practitioner knows the medications that your psychiatrist actress has you on and vice versa in any other doctors do not assume that they are talking. Do not assume that they double checked that one medication Asian doesn't affect a different one. That's something I've had to learn the hard way. I listed it on the paper the medications I was on but that Dr Almost didn't pay attention to it and end the medication they were going to prescribe for a completely different health issue. It raise blood pressure while the other one did the same thing and it would potentially be very bad and I literally literally was the one on my phone again and I was like well. It says on this little APP here and they don't like when you do that but it's very important that you do that. Yeah I've had quite a few run INS where they're like. Oh Wow yeah no. We can't have you on both of these because they didn't realize and treatment plans fully with other doctors so do make sure you speak up. Uh when it comes to things like that family friends if you're going to the doctor with them. My mom loves to make sure I have my whole little tote bag medications. I'm like mom I got written down. I don't the actual bottle now be safe. Okay we'll bring the bottles also but they are on this piece of paper which I'm sure they rather have the piece of paper that's organized than a bag the bottles but whatever so yeah. Don't just assume that doctors no one hundred percent. What's going on in different areas of your Health Rachel you you had the opportunity to interview gentleman named Brock Cook? He's an occupational therapist out of Australia and he works specifically to help people with schizophrenia. MANAGE THEIR CO morbid conditions and lead the best life possible. I'm excited to hear this interview. So we're GONNA go ahead and roll it now. We are here talking with Brock Cook. Who is an occupational therapist out of Australia? And he's also the host of the podcast occupied so welcome brock. Thank you so much for being being on our show. Thank you very much for inviting me now. You get to work with a lot of different people and we know each other from me having schizophrenia. and talking to you about it on your podcast. How would you describe what you do? I have worked pretty much my whole career in the mental health service here here in my local state and I've worked in all different areas of mental health everything from acute inpatient to community rehab to intensive rehab to pretty much rush united of what the terms of what. It does with people with mental health conditions. An occupational therapist works with the things things that people want need today so we look at when we talk about occupation we talk about the things that people occupy the time with people with mental health conditions. When my working with them it's the things that they would normally do at a set is to occupy the time so it might be anything from learning how to maintain a house to learn how to get a job to supporting In navigating relationship transitions like pretty much. You name it. We have the skills and capacity to support people to lead a full life. As I possibly we. Can I guess when dealing with mental disorders. What have you seen to be the main a physical co morbidity affecting people with Schizophrenia? Obviously generalizing here but a lot of people who have schizophrenia. Tend to end up with Obita these due to health would deem as lifestyle disease things like smoking in drugs and that kind of stuff will say would work with people a lot you have issues with a white diagnoses. Such as diabetes often tend to be quite comments home and again comes from some of the similar issues around Impulse Control in the HAL nutrients to process that some of them have issues with white in the first place. Yes in my experience. A lot of the people I work with had come over to these to do with different types of self medicating so whether it was illicit substances does marijuana. It's legal in some places in the states. It's not legal but illicit substances marijuana. Alcohol was another one in particular Cigarette Smoking Israeli really common with people who have a diagnosis gets a funny I. I can't remember the exact statistic but the percentage of people who smoke coldly. Italy with a diagnosis schizophrenia. phenomenally lodge than just the general population. Who who smoked is often used as a coping mechanism unfortunately does work quite well for some people whether it's just having some time out even the the act of I guess regulated related breathing? That happens when people smoked. Tends to work so I all of the health risks that come with it. Unfortunately this actually some documented benefits that people to get from it. which makes it really hot as a health therapists of any kind really? You WanNA obviously promote people healthy. But they're actually getting some some benefit from what is often seen as a very unhealthy behavior when it comes to things like cigarettes alcohol that are legal in that people use as the coping mechanism. How do you address this with people schizophrenia? So that's one of the things I think it is important that we do take note of. I guess why why people are using different measures for instance why people using a one of the actually getting out of it is just having some time out and they give some time to think. Is it that the regulator breathing like before is it that they smoke with friends and it's a bit more of a social outlet. We need to really understand why people are doing wing it because what we're able to do then and this is something that I think. Ot's argue that because this is pretty much what we do as a profession is once we understand why we understand what that need is. Is that that say cigarettes is filling where able to then explore healthier options. That can also feel that same need because what would generally happen and you see this a lot with people bull anyone. Anyone trying to quit smoking. Who tries to do it cold Turkey? I think the success rate of called checky. Quitting smoking is about five percent. meaning that ninety five percent. The people who tried to quit smoking call Turkey succeed. The reason for that is we kind of almost build up like a habit of these coping mechanisms and what tends to happen whereas if we just take those coping mechanisms away eventually the stress the anxiety that comes along with that change gets a little bit too much and your brain's default mechanism is to just switch to what it now and for most people if you call Turkey and you really really craving a cigarette. What it knows is I can get rid of this feeling? We're having a spike. The same thing happens when working with people with schizophrenia or any other mental illness. If we're looking at understanding why this smoking then we you can put in healthy mechanism. Might be things like meditation. I've worked with people where the thing to relieve. That craving was just put the hand in a bucket bucket of US just for a couple minutes almost like a tactile thing. I've worked with people where it was that social outing. And that's how they felt they could make that social link by smoking cigarettes with the people in that building complex so we worked on some ways where they could still meet that social need but without the cigarettes. What about medication? Side effects that plays a huge part in the development of physical commodities like diabetes. When it comes to weight gain and stuff and that's something that you don't have as much control over if I have to take these anti psychotics and they are causing using my metabolism to slow down or whatever to happen inside of me to make me gain weight? How do you address that? There's a few ways and I think it's going to be dependent on the individual and their lifestyle in a lot of cases but I think we treat it the same way we would treat it for anyone so if someone is wired about white gain than we can have have a look at developing some healthy lost all top option so might be getting into exercise. We'll try different type of exercise. Or if it is about a diabetes he's than might be learning about diabetes management. Whether it's insulin dependent on not diet is a big management things diabetes. So it'd be a matter of either supporting according them themselves linking them in with services that can already help them with us and might be through their. GPA might be through a specialist Dietitian. It might be. He are over there but here. We have specific diabetes educators which quite often nurses tried. But they've done a lot of training specific to diabetes management so we can link them with services like that does not a lot that we can do specifically for the medication if we know that there are other options. We can advocate to the psychiatrists on the hoste. Say listen this is really having an impact. I found that quite often if the advocacy for that is coming from a health professional for some reason and I hate that happens that way but it seems to carry more white than when it comes from the person itself which is ridiculous but as a health professional professional. That's part of what we signed up for. Most people got into those sorts of professions. Because I want to help people in advocacy happens to be a big pot of that sigh and either try and develop some healthy habits around countering whatever. The side effect is as well as advocating for potential medication. Changes or at least reviews. News with the doctors dealing with schizophrenia. It's definitely exhausting between me having a vice that causes something else or are just me developing something else. Do treating my schizophrenia. What advice do you have for people just to not be overwhelmed? One of the biggest things is to try and have a little bit of an understanding of how motivation works but more importantly how it doesn't work which is often how a lot of health professionals try promoted a lot move health professionals look at motivation. Like it's a cop you either have some you have a little bit. You have a lot. You don't have any that kind of thing when it doesn't actually work like that. Everyone has motivation. Just just defined what. They're actually motivated by side for example if someone is having issues with a wide that went to exercise why mice people can vast that actually starting outing to get into exercise. That's something that's really hot. It's a difficult habit to form what we need to do. Not just go okay you having issues way. You should try walking every day because that person might not give two hoots about walking but there might be a team. Sport Might WanNa play tennis. I played tennis was kid. That's something that they can do. They can engage in that. Are they gonNA get there exercising. So it's a matter of not just sticking to their one option. Try and find something that you will motivate. It's as opposed to trying to find the motivation to do something. It kind of flipped on its head and times of your goal setting when you trying to stop and you have it. Start with the smallest thing you can. One hundred percent guarantee can do. If it's I can do a five minute walk at some point during this week. If that's all ICAN hundred percent guarantee that you can do don. That's it start with that the next week I will I. I did five minutes once last week. I'm going to do it twice this week. One of the big things and it's not just for people with schizophrenia. That's a big thing. Anyone when it comes to goal setting is they start with. I'm going to lose twenty kilos. Twenty pounds depending on from and it's almost too big and it becomes overwhelming and it feels like how am I gonNa do this and it's been two weeks I've only lost half a pound and that kind of thing. It sounds really hot and a lot of people after a few weeks or less tonight usually usually after a week so the lose motivation they lose interest because they dicey they make any progress. Whereas if you're essentially setting yourself up for success because you're hitting the hottest little goal it could literally? Her River Guy who his goal was to go to the gym so for two months truly all he did get dressed getting these car walk into the gym. Get back these Kaga Higher. That was it but that was how he that was the. We started off his two days then three days a week etc it. It started off with the smallest possible thing that he could guarantee that he could do and then built on that. And I tell you start building. A sustainable habit a bit change. I absolutely love that like the whole time. You're talking in my head. I was like okay. Let me read them in all of my goals the ones I haven't done let me let let me rethink about some things. It works seriously. I'm like ready to just bust out my little goal sheet and scratch them all out and be like literally examined my situations. Russian family. Friends caretakers of people schizophrenia. What kind of signs should they look for that? A physical co morbidity might be on the horizon. I think this is one of those things again. It's GonNa be really individual mainly to the personality type of each person who's dealing with these physical capabilities. Some people the main things that you're going to notice behavior changes all of a sudden. They'd gone from smoking cigarettes to smoking. Paca Day all of a sudden. You've noticed that close fitting properly L.. Well or they don't feel comfortable a lot of the I guess the negative symptoms I isolated in that kind of stuff because people might not feel comfortable going the downfield like they've got anything to where they feel like they're going to be judged for whatever it is whether it's way till smoking all that kind of thing it'll be a behavior. Hi via change of some variation the biggest thing friends and family can do is to try and maintain open communication with their loved. Ones person themselves themselves is GonNa know if anything's happening before anyone else notices anything and if you've got an open communication or at least someone the you have that open communication with than hopefully develop that enough where they can feel comfortable to tell you like aw pants on fitting on just feel really uncomfortable. That really want to get this work. Do you want Friday night. I just don't feel like you're going to way. I've been struggling to get through a workday with that itching for a cigarette. Like any of those kind of changes open communication cash with anything like that. It is probably the key thing. Try and take it at this. Sounds like a weird thing to say but when they do express their concerns concerns about it you'll be able to pick up. How urgent an issue it is to that person and if it is something that feeling is really urgent than take steps steps and if it's something they're like kind of like Oh my God we have to change everything? Because you've just mentioned this tiny thing deacon a scare them escape people and they're probably not going to open coming up to you anymore. Thank you so much brock for coming and talking with us about this I absolutely loved especially the goals part. Our listeners can find you At Brock Cook Dot Com and you are the host of occupied. Tell us about your podcast. pocus generally for occupational therapists therapists. And what I'm trying to do for therapists is open their eyes up to a one the engine different things I can do. But I've also done quite a series off podcast now one of which you yourself was on where I get people with. Lived experience of something in your instance schizophrenia and have a chat about your story in your experience with it to one educate. Ot's and other therapists that listen about people's experience of some of the conditions that we you generally will work with but also it's a resource for people who might have schizophrenia or after the ones on alcohol abuse online personalities analogies sorta those kinds of things. But it's a resource for those people. Sue I guess almost otherwise. Try and get an understanding of this is how specifically occupational therapists Ma at work with someone presenting with symptoms. Always that diagnosis site Brooklyn dot com or occupied can be found pretty much any way. You can find a podcasts. I Okay Finland's interested in checking it out feel free. Well thank you so much. Thank you absolute pleasure Rachel. That was incredible. It was interesting and for me because I always tend to think of occupational therapy in terms of you got in a car accident and you're having trouble walking. I think of occupational therapy is arthritis or it never occurred to me. That occupational therapy could exist in the mental health field. For example. He said that. It's easy to let schizophrenia. Cornea overshadow other health issues. And that's a very bad idea absolutely and I love. How many like practical answers? He had bad and he didn't just kind of harp on. Oh you're doing all these bad things you gotta stop doing these bad things it was. We need to learn how to control some of these bad add habits not so much. Get rid of them all. We need to kind of learn to control to make it healthy across the board just for you to live life to do the things that you want to do. And I don't know I loved his approach with all that it was very upbeat and I didn't feel like he was fussing at me or anyone else. Over like life decisions my biggest takeaway and the thing. That is most important as he said. These are coping mechanisms. They are bad habits. They aren't in your best interest. They do have long term effects and they are impacting your physical health. But you've chosen them for a reason so he helps you figure out what that reason in is and choose a better option. I think that that is a very very valuable takeaway for two reasons one. I think that people with schizophrenia are often beat up on for making bad decisions with no care given to why they made that decision and two. I think that it is important to make better decisions as we've learned throughout this episode with the stats of people dying younger simply because they have schizophrenia. Simply for managing schizophrenia. Simply for doing all of the right things. We want people to live longer. Rachel I want you to live to be eighty five and he understands that that's the goal but he also understands that the goal all is to manage your life in the here and now that really spoke to me in a in a very big way. I agree one hundred percent with that. I said the interview. What am I favored? Things was when he was like okay. What's the baby goal absolutely do? What's the tiniest thing that you can totally do? And I've been thinking about that something that I've been struggling with for a while is waking up. I have such a hard time getting out of bed for when I don't sleep. Well usually have to be on like sleeping pills so I ended up being in bed for twelve hours but not ever actually going to like a really deep sleep sleep just kind of coming in and out of this kind of confusion. So I'm always exhausted and if I have worker something I can make myself get out of bed. That's not a problem problem but most days. I only work twelve hours a week so most days I do not have any real reason to get up and so I was thinking. Yeah I'm over and over. I set the goal. Oh I'm going to be up and out of bed by eight. Am Nine Am. Today is just crazy because I keep missing the goal and I get so frustrated and I beat myself up and I was thinking okay. What was like the smallest thing because I know I can get up when I have to and I was like I'm going to pick at least one day a week where I do not have to be up for any reason that I will force myself to get up? I'm be up and moving around at least for two hours. I was like. Oh Yeah I can totally do that. So guess what Gabe. Tomorrow morning my alarms already set Savar awarding you gotta set for. I have like actually tin alarms set for eight o'clock. I have them all set to end at eight o'clock. Hopefully and that's my goal is to wake up at least be up moving around doing things till ten and then if I'm still exhausted and tired and need to lay back down then I will. I'm not going to beat myself up over that but but you know we'll see what happens. Maybe I'll be able to stay awake the whole time and be refreshed as I normally am. Well Rachel I hope so too because as you've said set a million times you need to be proactive with your health. Because you're worth it and you need to speak up and make sure that you're on the same page with your doctor. This is all good advice for for everybody. Forget about managing or living with schizophrenia. This is just good advice and the rules. Don't change because we live with schizophrenia. Yes it is so easy to let schizophrenia. Overshadow everything else in your life however it is just a part of you and every other part is just just as important including your physical health. Be Knowledgeable of the medications that you're on their side effect so you know what to expect all right so you know okay. This could happen and when it does. What's going to be my plan? Who Am I going to let know what lifestyle changes might? I have take speak up. Make sure that everybody is on the same page for your treatment because it. Is Your treatment re proactive. Take care of yourself because because like Dave and Lori Al says your with it thank you so much for listening. Likes share. Subscribe to this podcast and share Eric widely with your friends and family. We'll see you next month. Here on inside schizophrenia. Inside Schizophrenia is presented by Psych Central Dot Dot Com America's largest and longest operating independent mental health website. Your host Rachel Star withers can be found online at Rachel Star Live Dot com co host gave Howard can be found online at gay power dot com for questions or to provide feedback. Please email top back at psych central Dot Com. The official website for insight schizophrenia is psych central dot com slash. Is Thank you for listening. And please share widely

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Bonus Content: Families Impacted by Schizophrenia (Inside Schizophrenia Podcast)

The Psych Central Show

1:03:27 hr | 1 year ago

Bonus Content: Families Impacted by Schizophrenia (Inside Schizophrenia Podcast)

"You're invited to listen to incite schizophrenia a new podcast brought to you by psych central dot com home of the central show enjoy <music> welcome to inside schizophrenia a look into tibetan understanding and living well schizophrenia hosted by renowned advocate and influencer rachel star withers and featuring gay powered listeners could change in your schizophrenia treatment plan. Make a difference there options out there. You might not know about visit once-monthly difference dot com to find out more about the benefits of once monthly injections for adults with schizophrenia welcome to inside schizophrenia. I'm rachel here here with gabe howard gabe today family. We all have issues with family jumping right in having someone in your family with a mental disorder expecially especially schizophrenia. That's an added extra stress. Last episode we talked about psychosis and children and towards the end we touched on the toll. It can take emotionally physically financially this episode though we are going to be focusing on the relationship side. Obviously we know that having schizophrenia or any mental it is not the only thing that causes stress families. There's frictions in every family good batter otherwise but but schizophrenia it creates a toll even when everybody's he's doing everything well while we talked about you know the medical side is of children and young adults living with schizophrenia and what that does to the caregiver ver- we really want to delve deep into the burden that schizophrenia places on families not schizophrenic not the person living with schizophrenia up at the <unk> actual toll that the illness takes on an entire family and i would even say just the idea of illness to other people which removes me to my first point when people hear that you have someone in your family someone close to you that has schizophrenia right away you get the reaction of all. I'm so sorry that that must be so hard on you on them. They're not the ones with a mental disorder. It's like just the idea of someone. Having a mental disorder in your family is such a burden and you have to live this life with just someone who's is dragging you down and you are so wonderful and brave for putting up with that person that sickly person god bless issue. I hate that. No one wants to be a burden. No one wants to think that i am holding my family back. I am holding my loved ones back. If you're the burden that makes everyone around you automatically your caretaker like they must be having to do everything for you and isn't this the double edged sword right because on one hand. We want the people around us who help us who care about us. Who are there for us to get credit say that i break my leg tomorrow and and every day for six weeks my wife has to help me get up the steps because our bedroom is upstairs and somebody says oh. My god gave broke his leg. That must be tough on. You like that wouldn't offend me. It was tough on my wife having to carry me up the steps. This never happened. You're a big guy she could. I mean but but g gotta be like weight lifters strong. Hey if that happens. I'm impressed. I mean she really is awesome but i guess i just don't feel that when somebody says oh man that must have been tough on you helping gave up the steps every day and every night. I don't feel like they're insulting me but when they say oh you live with somebody with schizophrenia. That must be tough tough on you. I sort of feel like there's a piece missing like they're not acknowledging that it's also tough on the person that sick it seems like the person with schizophrenia only gets the label of of burden and the person helping to take care of the person with schizophrenia only gets the label of hero and that kind of makes living with schizophrenia feel very hopeless us yes given i both work in mental health awareness and on that note the entertainment field also you have to be entertaining like this podcast very entertaining wing i hope but in our field a term that gets thrown around a lot is mental health advocate shit in fact the beginning of this podcast start by referring to us as advocates and we hear it a lot but i guess normal talk people don't and i asked my dad to tell me what pops up his mind when he hears mental health advocate and he said a mother raising awareness about an illness that her child's struggles struggles with or has died from in that's i mean that's just what a normal person thinks when they hear that and it goes back to write that burden somebody has to come and raise awareness because i can't because i have schizophrenia and i just could never stand up for myself but to be fair i bet if we would have asked somebody the living with schizophrenia what a mental health advocate was they would say somebody living with schizophrenia who fights for their rights to be as awesome as possible correct the other thing is that people tend to think at if you're advocating for something you have to be really serious and depressing especially because mental health a serious and depressing and no one wants to have a mental disorder and i think that's why so many people also correlated with it has to be someone advocating that doesn't does it have the disorder because it's horrible anyone with the disorder has to be a subaru downer. I've overheard people to my parents. I just don't know how you do it. Do what the apparent. I mean like the underlying message there is i could never live with someone like her. I could never be a parent of someone with such your horrible disorder and no one wants to hear that like no one wants to find out that everyone around. You thinks that you're arbor. Just it's like with your broken leg. If i had asthma nor would walk up to my parents. I just don't know how you do it. I mean rachel cannot run a mile without her inhaler. It's just you guys are incredible and it's such a bummer because i know that you do think highly of your parents later on in the episode. We're going to talk to your mother about what it's like to be. The mother mother of a young woman with schizophrenia and she has a lot to say and i think you're gonna love you want her to have all of this praise you you just don't want your parents praise to come at the cost of your autonomy or at the cost of your success you want to be both successful and your parents be praised for also being successful. You want to share in it and i'll be the first one and tell you i am so lucky. My parents incredible they've put up with so much between me and my brother okay so both of us and not just like mental disorder to stuff like my my brother has bicycle through africa through eastern europe alone through mexico gotten in so much trouble he incredibly of interest we all all are so they're so stressed out like i think between the two of us he is probably overall in life causing way more stress than me and i carry around a lot of guilt the past year and a half. I have felt so guilty for how much my parents have had to help me and take care of me. Ironically it had nothing to do with schizophrenia. I contracted contracted a rare flesh-eating bacteria that ate its way up my spine into my nervous system out my face. I had to be an isolation hospital and then i was at home. My my mother had to learn how to put the issues in me. My dad had to go to every single. Doctor's visit with me and i feel so bad because i had to really lean on them. Financially just is for all the medical bills but this has nothing to do with schizophrenia and when people hear this about me. They feel so bad for me. They're like oh my god rachel chill and i'll even say hey. My parents have been incredible but they still focus on me. Whereas the minute they hear schizophrenia they focus on oh my god your family has given up so much for you and your i mean i mean a little bit. I mean let's not get crazier but yeah. I do feel like a burden but it's not just just a mental health thing like it really was more of a physical thing you are living with a major mental health issue with schizophrenia. Nobody's denying that and right right now. You're also living with a major physical issue with a flesh eating bacteria that doctors are still trying to get under control so your schizophrenia is by largely managed. You do what you need to do and i'm not saying that you can ignore it or forget about it but it's not the biggest part of your life right now this physical illnesses but the unique position that you're in is you have seen how people respond to you and your family through both ordeals one. A mental illness won on a physical illness and the very fact that it's different does show some of the issues that people with mental disorders and mental health issues and mental illnesses his face because it shouldn't be different sickest sick and families come together to help their sick loved ones and it should be viewed. The same is out to say that like people people brought us cookies and stuff and i'm like no one ever does that. No one randomly stop spy if my mom has told them i've been you know mentally very bad. No one does that but just the thought that i had been sick for so long people were just so worried and it's just interesting though how people feel fine talking talking about something really bizarre is a flesh eating bacteria. That's really creepy and weird but it's almost like that's okay but schizophrenia mental disorders. That's taboo where we're not gonna ask how rachel is about all that even though we know she's bad we're dock and ask and i feel that it should be pointed out that having a flesh eating bacteria is not not common. I know a lot of people rachel and you are the only person in the entirety of my life who has ever had a flesh eating bacteria tyrian so you would think that if the old all-wheel they're fearful of schizophrenia. They don't understand schizophrenia. It's coming from a place of they're. They're not familiar with it. You would think that that would also apply over to the physical illness that you are just unfortunate enough to have but it does show a willingness cygnus to learn probably because flesh-eating bacteria doesn't have the same stigma and misinformation campaign as mental illness does people with flesh-eating <unk> sheeting bacteria aren't accused of being violent and hurting people whereas people with mental illness are which i know we already covered another episode but i think that all of this goes part and parcel parcel into your friends and family are educating themselves about one illness and they're burying their heads in the sand about another illness and it's impacting you and your family people are willing to ask me like a thousand questions about the whole flesh-eating bacteria thing the hospital. How does it feel as it in pain. Just flat out walk up to me and be like what's going on with your face but so timid at asking about mental health and schizophrenia and that's what the podcast like this trying to change range and we are so lucky to be able to put this podcast on and we're so lucky to have great guests and we want to introduce the first one right now yes. Our first guest is a mom of a schizophrenic son. Let's listen in right now. We have chris hickey. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Kresa sure i have three kids. They're all adults now. My older son at our my husband's biological son who is a kind of a neuro typical kid and our younger. Two children are children. We adopted one of our children. <hes> tim our middle child has childhood onset schizophrenia. He was diagnosed at eleven. He's twenty five now and i do advocacy work at parents like us dot club helping other families who are raising children with serious mental unless yes. I had it as a child but i wasn't diagnosed yet. I think there's a completely different dynamic when you think of someone adopting a child with a mental disorder or really any type of big issue you tend to either the bank of like oh my god that person is just a martyr all the things that are going through like you're put up on this pettus stole of just you're so superhuman more. I think you have the idea of why would you put yourself through that. While he's you know not technically yours you could still get out of this. You know what is your opinion on all those well. We've had both comments honestly sleigh directed toward that we adopted him from the foster care system but it was a foster to adopt situations so we actually brought him home when he was a dingell so we really didn't know that he had a mental illness until oh he was a little bit older his first diagnosis of some kind of emotional disoriented age for but when we started having a realizing what was going on and working with tim a lot of people said to us either. Oh oh he's so lucky or which i hate because it's the stupidest comment or or will i am one should just give him back like he was a toaster and i think that people that think about adoption. Some people think about adoption. I want to caveat that. Don't really get understand where it's like. Being adoptive parent you know for me and tom my husband when we decided into adopt tim we wanted to adopt a child and the only thing that matters to us is that the child needed a home and we were very automated adopting acting in the u._s. and the foster care system because there are so many kids waiting for adoptive homes and foster care and comments like that. I understand what people are trying to say especially the ones who say oh. He's a lucky or you guys are so great or whatever i understand what they're trying to say but if it wasn't for i mean tim is my kid and i wanted to have another kids like if you give birth to another kid. You wouldn't congratulate relief. You wouldn't congratulate someone for raising their own child. It's tim is my kid. That's just the way it is when you agree to adopt a child. That child becomes part of your family. It doesn't matter that they are biological. Watch a call. That's awesome so he was diagnosed really young which we actually didn't episode last time about childhood psychosis and for one how hard it is to diagnose despite the just kind of all the twists and turns when it comes to getting a diagnosis at that age. How would you describe being a mother to a child who had schizophrenia won't when i told me he had schizophrenia i was actually in patient in the hospital and i checked him out ama against medical advice so they wanna to try and stabilize them more but i basically said nope give you my kids and they basically half-day within forty eight hours. If you wanna check them out because i didn't believe what the doctor was telling me and a a lot of that just because there's no information out there i mean nobody talks about. Schizophrenia out in the open won't especially they didn't eighteen years ago and tim was first having symptoms yeah. They didn't talk about it out in the open so i never heard of having it for so that's why you just didn't wanna believe it yeah. I didn't believe him. I said there's got to be something else going on and tim was about ten years older eleven years old and this happened and we had been dealing with neurologist and neuropsychologist and can therapist that he was going to see and i mean this is how it is for a lot of parents who have kids like this. The therapist said to us your son's really sick. He needs to be hospitalized. It's not going to be the only time in his life is going to be hospitalized but she would never say the words you never she wouldn't say it. You have a lot a lot of parents that are trying to get their kids help and trying to get their kids treatment having that problem because doctors say and here's the stigma coming smack in your face from the medical community. I don't want to label the child with that and it's like it's not labeled to diagnosis i mean would you label them with some other disease if they had it needed to get treatment i mean i think that's ridiculous. You don't outgrow schizophrenia schizophrenia. Yes that's the kind of thing we're often hit with as parents is they don't wanna diagnose your kids because they're worried about putting it in their permanent record which is so crazy also also wanted because i didn't realize this until you just said that you had another child at that has a physical physical disorder but you said that's completely different. Can you elaborate on that. How it's two different challenges as a parent. My daughter has epilepsy or she also has a former cerebral palsy. It's a little bit different. She can overcome these things and understand it timothy fighting with his own brain and it's very hard to help a child get through something like that when they don't know what's real and what's not i mean for my daughter she had i've challenges with mobility and when she was young you know trying to overcome a lot of physical therapy because she had a lot of challenges coordination and walking and things like that. She's fairly mild cerebral palsy but we had to work with her with therapy but she could. She could understand that she could understand that my legs don't work like other peoples do when i do these special things and i wear braces and i'm learning how to do these things because my legs dillard it's hard to explain into someone who is especially someone who's in the throes of delusions and voices that their brain doesn't work. It's very easy to see with my daughter. When she walks at her gate was not normal with my assign. It was very difficult to understand that you have a very active imagination or is he really hallucinating and you can't parent the same way for a child with the physical disability versus a mental illness. The child has to be old enough or cognisant enough or stable enough to be able to work with you on the therapy you know my daughter could not walk for a week and then go to physical therapy problem. It's tim was in the throes of psychosis for a week. Forget it. We had to figure out how to get him stable. The holy can even work with him on how to cope with dealing with this because growing up. What was your biggest fear for your son that he would strive to be an adult ten to twenty fifth birthday was yesterday and i turn to my mom as we sat across having dessert with him and she said i can't believe it's twenty five and i said i know i said. Honestly i live this long because ten attempted suicide three times times before he was eighteen well. We spent the better portion of his adolescent early adulthood years just trying to keep him alive so my greatest fear was that he would do himself in which which is interesting because conversely as an adult. My greatest fear for him is that someone else will do it. You know i. I was worried about his own brain against it's ten but now i'm worried about what may happen to him out in public. We used to live in chicago. We live in extreme northeastern wisconsin now and we moved here because in chicago it just wasn't a safe environment for him to be able to grow up and be a productive adult. There's too many people there's too much temptation. There's no way to help kind of create a safe environment for him. You know the police there have a history of kind of shooting first and asking questions later especially people with mental illness and i was afraid that something would happen to them externally to end his life rather than than we was a child. It was internal so tim has and happy birthday to him twenty five but how would you describe life now now with him. Life now is pretty good. I mean like i said we've moved to a very small community with the intention of creating a safe environment for tim so now tim adjoining things that i never never thought were possible and he was a kid. He has a part time job. He works a couple of days a week and a local restaurant washing dishes and bussing tables. He has his own apartment and it's a rent controlled apartment in a very nice complex. You only live a mile away so when he needs help and support we're here for him. He's got friends. He has a social life and life's pretty good you. We're still here to help support him because unfortunately one of the things that typically goes along with childhood onset. Schizophrenia is also a cognitive decline tim's lost. It's about forty i._q. Points since he was a child so executive functioning isn't as good as it should be for a twenty five year old but that's okay 'cause. We're close enough here. You know i can go over. I can help them. Questions russian helped me help them manage money. I help him with his meds. 'cause he's has gotten off track on those when he tried to do on his own but overall. I feel confident that he's an environment now that he can be happy and healthy and for the rest of his life. What advice would you tell someone who just found out that their child has some sort of mental disorder. Oh boy <hes> well. I think there's two things if you're adopting a child and they tell you the child has emotional or behavioral issues especially especially. If you're adopted from foster care unfortunately the foster care systems have a spotty record of being incredibly upfront with adoptive parents which i understand because these kids tend to be very difficult holt to find permanent homes for <hes>. There's a lot of disruption and adoption of children that are a little bit older and a little bit older basically more than three that have some kind of emotional motion. Our behavioral disturbances going on. I think if you're adopting be very upfront with your caseworker that you want to know everything. It's not because you want to reject the child. You just need to know everything you're dealing before you can really commit and and you need to know what your family is going to be going through. If it's charles you've already adopted or to our biological child and you just found out find a group you you can talk to the worst part about having a child with serious mental illnesses the isolation family feel. We often say it's the no casserole disease right when your child has cancer for everyone comes over they make meal. They take care of the kids to soccer practice. When your child goes into a psychiatric hospital nobody calls. They don't know what to say. They don't know what to do and they're afraid of it because they don't understand it so find people. You can talk to come to my website. Our nonprofit is parents like us dot club. It's all about stories uh other families that are going through this. We've got lots of resources. We have a facebook support group to help parents that are going through the situation. I learn more from other parents who have kids a serious l. less than i ever learned from medical professional and even my son psychiatrists said he would go to my he called the my my mom posse go to the mom on pasta to get information and feedback for him because even he didn't have all the answers and he knew that the only way to get the answers was from other people going through it so find some support port find a place where you can talk to someone who understands and that's really cool. I was looking all over your website. The past few days as i was researching you watching in clips of you ed just reading all different writings and i like how incredibly open you are and yet realistic on your website when it comes for this is what it's like and i really liked it. I guess it's beautiful overall how vulnerable you are. When you talk about some different things i was reading like some of your very first postings and why you're going to do this and i guess overall when i was reading. I thought that this is a really beautiful story and i think some people they're only gonna here. You know oh god someone with childhood schizophrenia. That sounds horrible. Their life must be terrible that i when i was reading through your posting i don. I really truly felt hopeful roland. I just thought it was a beautiful story. The way you are so open and told everything i contacted by parents all the time and the number one thing they say. Is you know at least because i felt this way when i was younger. We had no hope. We had no idea what we're heading into. Every year seemed to get worse and worse you puberty. Oh my god puberty psychosis. It's not a fun combo. You know as we go go through that we would start to lose hope and now i get to the parent saying now that you're on the other side of that and things have gotten stable. Tim's charles psychiatrists said to me. This is the most severe case it's pretty i've ever seen and i was like thanks for that but you know that kind of thing and then hearing it on the other side that he's healthy and happy and you know has a job and has a has a little dog and has his apartment and and he's doing all right gives them some hope that they can that they can make it and i think that's why like i said this isolated families village really horrible and anything anything we can do to kind of band together and help each other through the rough patches is is really important. Thank you so much chris when more time tell us what your website was over. One can check it out. Oh sure well. It's my new website for. We are five three registered nonprofit is parents gus dot club and if you have a child of your own and you wanna come share your story either anonymously or not to help other families like yours than <hes> come on over and share it with us. Thank you so much for talking with us. Krista absolutely wonderful hearing your story. Thank you so much. Thank you rachel. There was really cool. Rachel chrissa is amazing and so is her son. They've they've accomplished a lot together and i think think that's really what we're trying to explain that it's not just about the family and it's not just about the person living with schizophrenia. It's about their collective. It's about them working together. It's about how the family unit. It's about the i don't know love and family hitting on that's not just biological some of our family. Yeah we're born into but you look get things like adoption but also family friends extended family. There's just so many things and connections. It's interesting that she talked about. He's not my adoptive son. He's my son and this really spoke to me for a number of reasons first because that's what family is isn't it. It's not this collection of biology balaji. It's our bond. It's our love. It's what we decide and also because you know. My father adopted me. My my mother is my biological mother and my father is not not. He has no reason under the sun to accept me. He could easily get away with introducing me as his stepson he. You didn't have to adopt me and what's sad is. I don't think that people would have been mean to him about it. I don't think that people would have walked up to him and been like dude. Why are you accepting. This kid. Is your son and i really do think that that's an amazing thing about my family because we don't do steps you know i'm a foot taller than every member of my family. I am the only redhead so for those who are playing the long at home. That doesn't make me a red headed stepchild and i did not feel feel that way growing up and i was a kid. I'm i'm a person living with bipolar disorder with psychotic features. I had psychosis. I had issues. I had the problems and never once did my father think about sending me back in chris talked about that i was like yeah. That's what being a real parent is. I'm fond of saying in my story that he's not my biological dad. He's my real dad and i think that is made up because of all the things that he's done for me over forty two years and that's awesome because you're just his son and that was something i'd really love to end chris's interview where she said when they were going to adopt a child they didn't think about what could happen it was we just want to give a child at home. We just want a child and really not even thinking about what this child might have been born with that. They didn't know about any background. We want to give a child at home and that of course is the thing with children right eight. You are a biological for for for lack of a better word. You're not an adopted kids. Your biological kid and you have schizophrenia nobody would i think it was okay for your family to abandon you but as chris said there's and she said it a lot you know we had to cut a lot of it because you could tell that it caused her some pain that people would i think there was a return policy on a child and this was unfathomable to her. It's interesting that other people talk about it so openly well yeah. Your child is not schizophrenic. Your adopted child is and i'm not quite sure why society sees that distinction as meaningful. I can't even begin to imagine mentally what that would do to me as a kid like thinking yeah my parents i didn't want to deal with me like that. That's a lot it's really a very hard thing. I think for any kid to grasp but especially if you know you have a mental disorder and this is specifically why i'm not at home anymore. I think it's a hard thing for an adult to grasp. I think it's a very hard thing for an adult to grasp as you and i are sitting in here. Rachel were clocking our brains at the idea that man what if we didn't have a mom and dad yeah. I'd imagine you're twelve and that leads me to my next question rachel do you. I think that one of the reasons that you do so well managing your schizophrenia is because you had a solid foundation placed in you when you were three six six nine twelve sixteen because you had a stable and loving family that you can count on did that help improve your odds of managing schizophrenia absolutely even the times in my life where i was like super out of control and angry at my parents and send that whole i hate you phase probably a normal teenage. I hate you phase but times twenty. I always knew that i could come home. I always knew that. If i was in trouble i could message them and they would find a way to get me home. I don't think i ever doubted my mind that my parents one of them wouldn't drop everything to come. Find me wherever in the world i was and that was one thing they actually had to do. Once was get me home from the czech republic because i i was very very sick and you think about other people who don't have that kind of foundation. Who would they have called. Who would have helped you know very well. Could it ended up hurt very very badly because mentally i was not well but i had them and even in like my messed up mental state. I had someone could run to at that time. We didn't get along but i knew i could run to both of them and i wasn't going to have a problem. Even if we weren't seeing eye to eye on things i was sick. I needed help. They're always going to be my default default. Obviously there's a big difference between i'm not connecting with my family or my family is annoying me or even. I don't trust my family. There's just a really big difference between families arguing and a family not existing when you're arguing with your family. They exist an arguing as a passion. You argue with people that you love and care about because you've got. There's a principal there and that principle especially in families is often a bond. It just is and you're right. I can't imagine where in this world i could go that my family would not find find me. I also can't imagine living a life where i didn't know that that was true. That's a really great point. I agree wholeheartedly an ah begs the question. What do you do if you don't have that solid family foundation what i said earlier in the show and we obviously all know as humans from our after school specials is that we create our family we create these relationships and you have to water and grow them. Turn them into into what you want them to be and to my adults out there and you're trying to make that relationship and you're like rachel. Where do i find like how do i start out as an adult. It's hard enough just to make friends. Not let's find a strong support system but support groups especially especially when you're at the doctor's office ask them. I know that my doctor's office when i actually look around the lobby there are so many little pamphlets and i'll just kind of go and take all of them in in a lot of them are for support groups in different times find those people who understand what you're going through. I used to be part of one support group and it was is just for general mental health so you had people in there with depression all the way till i remember there was a lady in her seventies who had schizophrenia her whole life and i loved listening to her because she had been in the hospital system in and out of it for years and her stories of just how it had changed enshrine fascinating to me she had been on every single drunk possible and i learned from her for the first time that she couldn't be trusted with taking her pills. She had a bad issue with overdosing becoming suicidal so the pharmacy kept her pills and she would go there every single day and they would give her one and i was just like that's it's something you can have done and she's like oh yeah. I was like wow i never had any idea until he speaking with that. That was an option is so that's the thing is when you're in these support groups you can learn learn tips that can make your life so much easier and while i've never used to that situation. I like knowing that it's a backup for me that if i cannot not be trusted and i'm not around my parents. I'm older that someone that i can go to be like hi. This is what i need and of course we should also give a shout out to whoa online options like central dot com has forums on every mental health issue disorder et cetera under the sun where people just share and i. I always recommend this method remember. It's a salad bar. It's a buffet okay if you go into the buffet and there's something on the buffet that you don't like. You don't have to get mad at it. You don't have to comment that you don't like it. Just ignore it. Take what you want and leave the rest. The really is a lot to learn. You know listen. I went to a group called bipolar bears because i have bipolar disorder and i don't want to oversell it. I didn't meet my best friend there. I didn't even meet any lifelong friends there but for a period of about a year these people were very much my family i looked forward to seeing them once a week and they look forward word to seeing me and just because we didn't become lifelong besties that lived in new york across the hall from each other. It doesn't mean that they didn't have a real value you in my life. There's an advocate out there. That says online friends are real friends and i believe that support group friends are real friends as well. I think there's a tremendous amount of value in it rachel. We are going to turn the tables on you and hijack your own show. Throw you out and i am going to interview your mother. Are you nervous nervous about this at all. My mother gets nervous easily so i am nervous about what she will say. When she is nervous you seem to be wavering between worried about what she'll say and worry that she'll be uncomfortable but worried about what she'll say. Is she looking forward to it. Yes she literally typed up like three pages of fair graphs just to help her calm down. Uh literally just my life like me growing up just to have something like okay. I've prepped. I've done my work. My mom was very studious in school. If you didn't catch it but i'm just like when did you have time to do that is incredible. I know right. We'll be right back after this message from our sponsors speaking with giannella l. withers rachel's mom. It can sometimes feel like another schizophrenia. Episode is just around the corner in fact a study found that patients patients had an average of nine episodes in less than six years however there's a treatment plan option that can help delay another episode. A once is monthly injection for adults with schizophrenia. If delaying another episode sounds like it can make a difference for you or your loved one learn more about treating schizophrenia with once monthly injections at once monthly difference dot com. That's once monthly difference dot com. Hell hello everyone. My name is gabe and we are here with rachel's. Mom janelle withers welcome. How are you just wonderful thank you we're talking about schizophrenia schizophrenia and families. There's lots of conversations in our society of well. How does the family handle schizophrenia and one of the things that we're trying to do with this episode sodas instead of having rachel. Tell us how her family feels. We just thought we'd go straight to the top and talk to her mom so i really appreciate you being being willing to do this. I think it's going to help a lot of people i hope so we'll start with a softball question just to get you all warmed up. How would you describe being rachel's mom <hes> well. I feel blessed. Actually she's a wonderful person. She's very loving and giving and really fortunate that she's dr daughter. She's she's. She's an amazing child and even though she's an adult she'll always be my towel but <hes> she's a very good girl. I love that answer because you know i'm forty three years old and whenever i get in a room with my mom and grandma i'm twelve. Many parents see their children just as children which kind of leads me to my next question. Do you see see her as a child with schizophrenia or she just rachel oh goodness <hes>. I really don't think about the schizophrenia that much. I guess i am more concerned. What about her happiness and help under feel good about herself. I really don't think about her as having schizophrenia. I guess 'cause she's had it so long. I i don't let that define in her. You know to me that's just a part of who she is but the main part to me issues my daughter so it's just a condition she has. Do you think that society thinks that you should rotate answered differently that that schizophrenia should be at the forefront of everything that your family discusses. Do you think people will be surprised that you just see her as your daughter rather than an illness oh my goodness i don't know i don't i'm not sure really how to answer that. I guess you probably have a point but i mean she's not dangerous. She's she's loving and kind of volunteer work. She works very hard. She puts a lot on herself so more than anything. I'm just proud of her house. She handles her schizophrenia and and i know she really has some tough times tough nights but she just keeps on trucking along they are and and i think with her. She tries to make life easier easier on us without making us worry about her so much. I'm sure she hides a lot of stuff because she doesn't want to concern us so it may not seem as obvious to us sometimes as it does when she's some talk on facebook or something like now you became aware of rachel schizophrenia when she was twenty years old. Did you suspect that there. There's something going on before then well. I knew she had anger issues. We knew she had depression. We knew she was very hard on herself. She tried to be a perfectionist. You know she was a quiet child. She's always very obedient and school and church and the teachers love her and she did great grades. I never had to harp on her about doing her homework but yes as she got older into her teenage years she would have these overreactions to something negative like if it was an argument in the family or something something like that if we said something negative and it was just a little tiny thing she would just over blow her emotions with it and sometimes she got where she was so angry anguish. She would throw things and that was scary to me. My father has anger issues but she was never really around him to see that but he had mental illness he acts sure he suffered from depression and he he really had a lot of anger going on there so you know he was abusive yeah during those times before she was diagnosed in in an inner teenage years. Did you suspect mental illness or schizophrenia was at work or did you think it was <hes> i don't wanna say normal childhood development but something that that went along with childhood development schizophrenia was never in my head at all i just. I just didn't think about that at all. You know i i really didn't know anything about it and and i guess i just always heard what you heard on the media but to me it was depression and my mother she had depression. I haven't somewhat too but there were times times like when she was four she had some temper tantrums but i just thought it was part of her age growing up yeah she sometimes would lock herself away in her room when she was a teenager better than i also thought she was just being independent. So you know you can hindsight is so much. You know you can look back and say oh okay now that makes sense but you know when you're doing everyday life and you have another child to take care of it and you're working and and sometimes the child like with rachel she would keep things hidden and she wouldn't wouldn't talk to us. Sometimes you just don't know i mean i hate to say i was unobservant but both my husband and i were like floored. I think when she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and and we knew she had depression stuff but we really knew nothing about schizophrenia well. Let's talk about that for a moment so there. You are your daughters twenty years old. She's an adult you love her. Obviously asleep and you hear this. You now know that rachel has schizophrenia. Were those conversations like what were you thinking. What were the the days and weeks following it well well. The main thing is how do we treat this. We had gone to a few counselors some of them. She didn't care for so we had to find the right people. She tried numerous drugs rugs. Numerous treatments g also went to electroconvulsive therapy. Which was i think to help the depression and anger issues and i gotta say that was a godsend in the way of her anger issues because ever since then she's been such a joy to be around. I gotta say you know. I would recommend it to everybody. I was terrified terrified of it but she researched researched. It and she said this is what i feel. I have to do i'm. I'm at my breaking point also. How do we deal with her. I mean what can we do that will help up her and not aggravate her not make it worse. That's kind of an interesting point that you made where you talk about. What could the family do away from rachel in order to support her. You know so often. The onus is always put on the person with schizophrenia. What can we do for them. What can we do to them. What do they need and you're sort of describing in a situation where the family came together and said okay. What do we have to do to take care of ourselves and to make sure that we create a good home for all of us. Can you sort of elaborate on that a little bit because i really do think that that's a point that's often missed and we were blessed because rachel was so independent and she was one to really research which everything she researcher drags her doses doctors. We were blessed in that. She actually took the first big step the all of this and then she would educate us and while we might re books and stuff she would say well. This is the way it really is for me. Which which there's no one answer for everybody. It's just sort of a hit and miss. I hate to say that but so we were really lucky that she was the one who did most of it so we were lucky plus. She was older too. She wasn't a child anymore either and she was college educated and stuff so she she sometimes on her good day. She do all this research and and she was much better on the computer than we were back then. We didn't quite have all the online groups and information out. There like today is amazing. What's out there for help and it should be pointed out. That rachel was one of the first online advocates i mean. She started her youtube channel a long time ago to help educate people so it. It is a knack that that she has. I mean she's not just good at explaining it to her friends and family. She's she's really good at explaining it to the world and that's why she has this show now so thank you for for for helping bring rachel into the world. It's it's been amazing well. I have to say when she started doing those videos. I i kept thinking oh you kind of need to keep this quiet. You know because i don't want people to think the wrong thing because you automatically think oh you know murderers and pilots and all this stuff but i'm glad that she's out there. I'm really proud that she's out there. Educating people and she's constantly researching and she's talking to professionals. She's educating educating people in a simple way and she's also showing. It's not the scariest thing to have and parents get over it. It's not the end of the world if your daughter or your son is diagnosed with schizophrenia. There's a whole beautiful world out there and there's treatments out there and there's hope out there. I'm actually so so proud of her for bringing this to light when in the beginning i really wanted to keep it quiet so shame on me but you know that's the way it is and that sort of leads me into my last question and you know what what you said about parents having to remember to have hope. What advice do you have for parents who find out that their child or young adult has schizophrenia. What advice do you have for them. First of all i applaud them for taken the step to have their child checked out to have that diagnosis. I i think that's a really huge step. Love you listen you watch them and you get them treatment and if one doesn't work or one psychiatrist or one counselor you go to one that the child likes. They don't like they're not going to open up to them. They have to be comfortable with their professional. Do online research join join groups watched the medications that they're on the side effects. Watch the benefits. The doses the drugs. You'll have to find the right when it's your child. Try to be supportive. Find ways to calm him down. It could be like leaving a light on all night or just hugging them and rubbing their head when their head hurts or having them wear solid colored shirt parts and and family members were solid colored shirts because that calms the schizophrenic down other times. They just need to be left alone for quiet time if they're feeling pressured but i would say say if you can keep the door open. Don't let them lock the door seeking periodically check on them for rachel. It was a huge help. She insisted on having a small all dog pet an indoor pet and we always had a farm so we always believed the animals should be outside but that dog is amazing. It gets her out of bed. She has is to love it. She has to feed it. She has to wash to care for it and it's like a security blanket to her. She sleeps with him and it gives her somebody to love unconditionally and oddly enough dogs pick up on schizophrenia emotions and they're right there with them also helps to make your child feel secure and and let them feel that they can approach you anytime with any problem and also something that's great for rachel and myself <hes> our family's always done family walks rachel and i go for about four mile walks about four times a week and that's when she really opens up her heart to me when we're walking so lots of times you walk talk that alone just helps tremendously geno. Thank you so much for agreeing to do this. You are right a lot of families. They do try to keep it. The secret both both in terms of asking the person who is diagnosed with schizophrenia not to say anything and then the families don't say anything either that really creates this void void of support and i'm hoping that through your daughter's courage and your courage talking about it that it will inspire other people to get the support that they need in their own communities. Thank you so much and and a purse schizophrenia can have a full and wonderful life just like rachel. That's awesome. Thank you so very much so rachel did anything in their surprise. You did your mother give away any deep dark. Family secrets definitely know deep dark family secrets. I was surprised that she opened up about a few things. I was very touched by a lot of her answers. When you say that you were surprised that she opened up about a few do things what in particular where she mentioned that her father had a mental disorder also. I was very surprised she. He said that i know it. It's not like that's surprise. We all know it but i was surprised that she felt comfortable enough to share that. That's something she definitely wouldn't have shared years ago and just kind of seeing seeing that growth in her being open about talking about mental illness across the board not just with me but referencing other family members i it makes me happy. Obviously you've known your mother literally your entire life. Yes have you seen this growth and just how do you as a general's daughter feel about your mother's change of opinion in in all of this. It means the world to me when i i told them they didn't understand or i'm thinking maybe they understood what i was saying with the diagnosis but didn't want to accept it or just didn't know how to handle it so to see over the years. My mom become more open because i remember sitting me down and being like listen. You can't make a video about this. You can't talk about this. Two straight up being in videos about my schizophrenia is incredible. My dad is like such a happy. Go lucky person. It was very hard for him to understand oppression because he is very much the kind of person who is well. You know if you're not happy. Choose to be happy. I mean that sounds like a wonderful wonderful life. That's just how he is and he really just had no concept and it took him quite a few years. I remember he wants. He was like rachel. I i read this article where this man had cancer but he also had depression for many years in the man was saying that his battle with depression with so much charter than cancer but no one ever wanted to talk about his depression because they couldn't understand but cancer they could and he's like. I think i understand now what you're going going through more about it. Being in your mind i thought was really great thing for him to sit me down and tell me that it showed me. He was definitely trying. He doesn't understand understand a lot of things but i love that with both of them. I can see them trying. My mom has gone through so much growth and that's really cool to see her like i'm. I'm an adult. I'm in my thirties still trying to understand her child and to still be adjusting. It's really heartwarming to say. Obviously we edit this show. We edit the interviews. It's all edited so the interview with your mother took about a half an hour and i want to disclose to both you and the audience you know. I asked her mother in in in several different ways well. What's it like raising a daughter with schizophrenia. What's it like raising schizophrenic daughter. What's it like to live with a schizophrenic and every time it was. I just live with rachel. I just live with rachel. I just live with rachel. She was very acutely aware in our conversations that you are in fact a person who has schizophrenia but i couldn't find any coloring of that in her decision making process or in the way that she relates to you. You were just rachel. It was awesome. Yeah yeah a lot of her answers where she just said. I don't think about it like you're saying i just she's rachel that was it was very touching to me to say that and while i wasn't diagnosed as a child there were clearly some issues i think she'd been referenced going to multiple counselors 'cause they did have a she sent me to anger management counselors and whatnot when i was younger and a few different ones who never diagnosed with anything it was more just talking therapy but even then yeah. I don't think she ever saw me as someone with an anger problems more than issues it was just my child is going through something. Not my child has this. This undiagnosed thing at the time she definitely <hes>. It's just really awesome how she responded. I agree. There's a lot of talk in the interview. Obviously asli about okay. We know this thing is wrong. What i found sort of interesting for your mother's perspective is she very much had a line drawn between the thing that was wrong you and the solution and i think that kind of silo wayne compartmentalization is really really good because she never saw you as the disease she never saw you as anything other than you and then we had to find out what was wrong the illness and then we had to find the solution solution the cure the help and all of those things working together gets us to what her ultimate goal was which is that her daughter lives the best life possible symbol and i think that sometimes we don't think about things like that and this is why i think that it's so important for caregivers and for family members and for friends to understand that they need education and potentially therapy as well so that they understand what's going on and i think that's something that we should probably talk about for a moment. Do you think your parents did better when they educated themselves away from you. Yes yes very much to be able to kind of step back. Read things and then kind of look back on me and be like oh wow yeah these symptoms completely align up to read other parents ghetto different stories and whatnot for one. I think it helped them. Not it feel guilty because my parents have been in multiple media works of mine out. Some comments and people are very rude and judgmental saying well. That's just ridiculous. They should have noticed how come they didn't get her help but when you have a child gee you do have the rose colored glasses on that that okay whatever they're going through normal kid stuff and i was my parents first child. This is all pre internet so it's not like they could just look up something. If you didn't no about a certain mental or you know anything about it and rachel you live in a small town so support groups are limited. There's there's is a lot less options than if you lived in say new york city with eight million people yes i actually grew up in the country so even small town surrounded by farms listen cows and fields and obviously the internet is good. You know to give a shout back out to chris hickey. She started the parents like us club which is w._w._w. Dot parents like us dot club and the whole purpose of that is just for parents to be able to share ideas. Get the education and also when i think this gets lost but to just vent to just say i hate this. I'm scared of this. I don't understand this this. I think it's important. I think so often parents think oh well all i can do is love and i can't have any dissent. I can't show any fear <unk> anger. Nothing and i think that's unhealthy. When thing my mom said is that getting a diagnosis of schizophrenia. It's not the end of the world i like that she kind of went into that and and she said that the whole world is beautiful and that there's a lot of different options and she said there's hope and that made me feel warm and fuzzy buzzy inside honestly that that's something that i've been saying for years that she's kind of picked up and for her to add the hope part on that honestly it makes me feel like any kind of burden you know. I feel that she sees this as only be okay. I'm not worried that she's thinking oh my god. What am i gonna do. If we pass away what i just like the hope part that she mentioned there i agree. I liked that a lot as well and if you don't have hope what are you have and i think that that is often often missing when somebody is diagnosed with schizophrenia like you said people walk up your family and like oh i'm so sorry and they look at all of the things that they're terrified of the misinformation the the scary and nobody is saying it can be okay if treatment is available recovery as possible recovery as likely. It's going to be hard but it can be done and i think it's important to point that out now. You have a brother so you're you're not an only child and i. I want to talk about that for a moment because sometimes this gets missed in families were ultra focused on the parents were ultra focused on the person living with schizophrenia but their siblings. Let's talk about your brother for a minute and i would even say with the sibling style relationship cousins the whole extended family kind of falls into this to where where you're growing up around someone with a mental disorder what what is your part <hes> me and my brother actually incredibly close now. I don't think growing up that my schizophrenia affected him but i could be completely wrong about that. He has never said it did so me and my brother lived out in the country kind of in the middle of nowhere so there weren't a lot of other kids kids to play with so we played with each other a lot and he is five years younger than me and it's funny because as adults now people will think that we have to only be like a year or two apart like the way we interact and i also think that's great because i must look younger than i am those soon that oh wow and a lot of times i've been told whole based think that my brother is actually the one who's older because of just how kind of like funny that we are and he picks on me so much that usually usually that's a different dynamic. I remember as kids i love playing with him and we would play action figures and legos and we'd have all these different story lines and and he always wanted to play with me and it was really cool. I remember once as a kid. I latched onto this memory where he said. It's so much more fun to play with. You like you make it interesting for staying. I mean we're talking about like action. Figures and i don't know i just as a kid. I was like oh wow he thinks i make interesting. I just like that as an adult after getting getting diagnosed i really didn't want my brother to know i assumed my parents had told him but i i didn't bring it up and <hes> one time my mid twenties. I was incredibly sick. I had an episode and i couldn't drive and i called my mother. Mike sorry you have to come get me and she came and got me because i had my car at this other place she she brought my brother to drive it back and at the moment when i was in the episode i didn't respond but afterwards when i fully realized that he'd been there i was so embarrassed i and ashamed at the thought of he saw me like that. He saw me with my word slurring. He saw me not making any sense being confused used and we really still didn't talk about it until a few years later when me and him we would go on these really long. Trail runs running for hours and that's when we started opening up kind of talking to each other about both of our mental health things that we both been through and he felt like he could ask me questions since about hallucinations he felt that kinda we were in like a safe space where both of us could talk about it and about two years ago my medication had been switched and i had some very dark thoughts in the switch and one of them was to it was so strong that it was to drink bleach and i had a shared him about it and i had been moved off the medication. He reached out and sent me a text listen. You have another thought like that. I want you to call me. Just i don't care what it is. Call me. It really meant a lot. That's how close we are now the yeah he's like look when it happens. Don't tell me three weeks later. All this happened. No call me up and just kinda see that growth in our relationship ship is really cool and i think the main point of it is that it's just been a support base growing between me and him over the years. It didn't happen overnight then. I kept it from him for so long i it. It's definitely of other relationships that i have. It's one of the ones that means the most me well. I think that is really cool and obviously as you said this is. How families are are constructed. There's cousins and there's aunts and uncles and grandma's and grandpa's and i think we need to talk more about the impact on the extended family because they're all there as well and they have vital roles to play even if it's just supporting the people around you or giving them a break or hey hey just being your grandma and grandpa or your cousin or your sibling. Our relationships with our extended family is very important to my other people out there with schizophrenia. <hes> give your family a chance. I've had so many different family members reach out to me worried about someone in their family who had schizophrenia i once had i was at an event in guy in college came up to me and was like i wanna know how i can help my nephew. He's like what can i do. He's this old and i don't know what i would i should do should i bring it up. Should i talk to them. Should we do something like a physical activity like it was just very interesting that this college kid was wanting to connect it with his nephew that i had a grandfather email me a few weeks ago and just look. I just found out that my granddaughter has this you know. Do you have any tips tips for me and just knowing that it's not just mom dad like immediate family. There are other people in your network that you might not be considering and to those people who are listening to this do reach out to them. Let them know that you're there. You do not have to take on some big responsibility. Just like me and my brother would go running and for miles and that's when we opened up. It wasn't like we sat down to. Let's have really intense conversation. That was something we were doing and because we were running for miles els we would talk sharing it. I know that an advocacy we hear about a lot of families that are broken down by this and i don't think that that's uncommon if you're listening to this and you think well. My family is all messed up. A lot of families are messed up by this. This is serious and there's a lot of pitfalls to step into a lot of times these dynamics they weren't created overnight and they're not going to be resolved overnight and we like to look at things like t._v. Movies where we just sit our loved ones down and we have this big impassioned hashing speech and it's fixed. That's really not reality. I think that your situation rachel is more reality. You didn't sit down to talk. You went running. You know go bowling. Go play putt putt. Go to a movie. Go out to dinner offer to help them with a chore you know clean their apartment their house clean the gutters and just spend time and then hope that these things will slowly start to form trust and bond and then hopefully that will leads all of this stuff coming out and getting better and our relationships with people change over time new challenges that have nothing to do with mental health can break relationships constantly. Give people a chance as one of the biggest things that i always say. Just give them a chance. Don't write off well this person you know my father has always always been this. People change a lot as they age. If it's still a situation where rachel i can't have any contact or my family refuses to help me. They've abandoned me. Create your own family. You know all of this is about building relationships a and the relationship doesn't have to be hinging on your schizophrenia like just to stakeout to build relationships and get those bonds stronger and yet might take a few years to even roach the subject of schizophrenia. Thank you so much for listening to inside side schizophrenia. I'm rachel star withers with my co-host scape howard. Please check out our other episodes like subscribe. Write us a review comment and if you have any friends or loved ones or anybody who could benefit from our episodes. Please share though we will see you all next month. Inside schizophrenia is presented founded by psych central dot com america's largest and longest operating independent mental health website your host rachel star withers can be found online at rachel it. You'll start live dot com. Co-host gave howard can be found online at gay power dot com for questions or to provide feedback. Please email top back at psych six central dot com. The official website for insight schizophrenia is psych central dot com slash i._s. Thank you for listening and please share widely uh.

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Mental Health vs Mental Illness

Look Again: Mental Illness Re-Examined

27:03 min | 2 months ago

Mental Health vs Mental Illness

"Welcome to look again. Mental illness reexamined. A podcast brought to you. By the bbc schizophrenia society otherwise known as bcs s as well as our partner organizations. I'm your host favor aldridge mental health. It's a well cover. Topic and people often lumped together with mental illness. But for our first episode we want to strongly challenged the idea. That disorders like schizophrenia. Are mental health issues so today on look again we're asking. What is the difference between mental health and serious mental illness and why does mental illness need. Its own specific. Plan of action. Were about to find out so my guest. Today is dr diane macintosh a clinical assistant professor at the university of british columbia. She has a community. Psychiatry practice and is the chief neural signs officer for tell us health and i'm not done yet. Dr macintosh has been a tireless advocate for more compassionate and appropriate care for psychiatric patients on their families. She's the co founder of switch our ex. She's also developed her own online continuing medical education program called psyched up. She's also published commentary in psychology today. Huffington post and many newspapers including the vancouver sun and she's an author and has a new book called. This is depression a comprehensive and compassionate guide for those who want to understand depression. But i'm not done yet. Just last december. Dr mcintosh was also voted one of canada's top one hundred most powerful women by the women's executive network who've been tastic dr macintosh. Welcome to the show. Thank you so much for having me so for the very first episode. We really want to look at the difference between mental health and mental illness. Dr mcintosh what is this difference. The way that i understand a mental illness is that you meet a particular diagnostic criteria. Meaning that there. Every mental in this has a particular set of diagnosis or symptoms. That come together along with an impact on your functioning. So it's not just the symptoms alone by how those symptoms affect your ability to work two parent other relationships in your life and to be diagnosed with a mental illness. You have to have a certain number of those symptoms along with functional impairment and that leads to being given a specific diagnosis schizophrenia. Bipolar depression all of us have mental health. The mental health itself is living In a healthy manner being able to engage with the people around you to be physically active to have a healthy gut bio which actually those are the bugs that live in your got that helps your brain to stay healthy as well so being mentally healthy and having a mental illness they are linked but a mental in this is a very specific set of symptoms that impact your ability to function. And i've been hearing. Those terms used synonymous mental health and mental illness. Especially i've noticed during covid nineteen. So how do you in your practice. How do you introduce the difference between mental health and mental illness to your patients or to the families that you work with adrian. It's kind of an interesting question here. We are two adults having december eight. Th this for adults listening to this podcast. And i really believe that. We need to the same way that we deal with sexual health now in schools starting in kindergarten with this is my body and moving from there that we need to give young people vocabulary so that they do understand what is healthy. When is when is something changed to the point where you actually suffering from an illness. Wendy need help. Because and i think we see a lot of young people right now saying i'm anxious anxious but when when is normal warrior normal fear. When does it become anxiety and wendy. You need ask for help. And when do parents need to be worried. So i feel a little sad. That people really still struggle with these terms because they don't have a vocabulary and so. I think this is a great thing about podcast like this is that we start to actually put meaning around some of these words so now let's delve into terminology. New touched on this dr macintosh. But i would like to talk about terminology in the words. We use now something that i hear a lot is. Why do you still use the term schizophrenia organization. Is the be schizophrenia society. And i've had quite a few people ask me. Why do you still use the term derogatory as negative. It has negative connotations. It's scary schizophrenia. One what are your thoughts on that. My particular belief on this is that it isn't the word that carries the power. It's the meaning behind it. It's how people have been treated in the context of living with schizophrenia. And so that's what made it such an emotional term for some people. We put our emotions around those words. And it's really unfortunate because it's just a word it does however when when you have so many people's saying there's there's negative connotations or that. It's it's pejorative. That speaks to the power of stigma that continues and to the harm. That's been done in the past people who have symptoms. That are consistent with the word schizophrenia. And so i hope that by having these kind of conversations we start to think about not necessarily. The word has the word isn't where the power is. It's how we behaved in the past. And how can we change that. And i think one of the most critical parts about is stigma and the fact that people who are living with severe and persistent mental illnesses like schizophrenia. Bipolar disorder like a severe depression. Still face stigma but not just in the we think about the general public or maybe there are certain groups where the stigma is more powerful or alive. The stigma around mental illness lives in madison. It lives in psychiatry. And until we all come to grapple this and and really address it and lay at mare. It's going to continue. And what i mean by that is that we still struggle to get people who are physicians or nurses to actually come forward with their own. Mental illness and people who are living with mental illness are often treated in a very derogatory negative manner simply because of a label they have been given and that has personally affected me in my practice the way that some of my patients have been treated that. Has i think really traumatized me The way that my profession in general has responded to the needs of people who have mental illness in sometimes very unkind condescending or even cruel manner that is the problem giving someone a diagnosis is often. It should be an experienced is really freeing to say. Oh my goodness. I had all these different pieces. And you've helped bring them together so that i can understand what's going on some some very difficult diagnosis can be very helpful to an individual when when they understand that all of these pieces fit together and because i understand all those pieces i can help you to move forward. If you're experiencing this doctor mcintosh what do you think we as a society as a general population can do to start to break down some of those barriers and start to really delve into stigma and everything associated with severe and persistent mental illness. I think the ways that we tackle this will be. That's the way we're going to change. This is by actually educating people about what what does it mean to have schizophrenia and Confronting that stigma starting to write these op eds. Because of the way. I saw people being treated many of my colleagues said. Yeah you go good for you and i'm behind. You not put my name out there. Because i don't want my colleagues to start to Pile on top of me. Because i did it. So there's a fear out there that if you speak out and say we're not doing things. The right way were not treating people kindly were not putting patients in the center of all our decisions and one of the things that drives me. Most bananas about the whole process is not including loved ones. We know that when we treat a human being they are not the only person that is affected by that illness. The people that they love are affected too so what attitudes or social barriers stand in the way of people getting the right medications for their respective mental illness. Most people when they go through medical school. Do not have adequate training in psychiatry. We know that every mental illness every mental illness is associated with increased risk of physical illnesses out with diabetes with her disease with obesity with inflammatory disorders and the reverse is also true if you are living with obesity heart disease inflammatory illness. You have an increased risk of mental illness. So the reason. I went to medical school to become a psychiatrist. Is i needed that medical school that whole body understanding and then on top of that to have this expertise in treating psychiatric disorders or mental illnesses. But we don't treat or train. Sorry my colleagues in an adequate manner to understand this mind body connection but as a science of us Tree has grown. And we're starting to understand that these are all brain illnesses and the what are the brain chemicals. And what is the genetics. And what is the brain structure and functional changes. That are a result of this illness or the cause of this illness that helps us to have more credibility within the medical field. So we need to make sure that we engage in better training for all healthcare professionals including my colleagues in other areas of medicine but also pharmacists. I was a pharmacist. I did pharmacy training. And i didn't have a clinical understanding of the experience of schizophrenia depression or bipolar disorder. Nurses need better training. Every person who is involved in the treatment of someone who's living with mental illness needs to have better education period. We are failing on that front. Now i wanna make the point that not. Everyone who has a mental illness requires medication. But if you have a very severe mental illness that impacts your ability to function that on more days than not you're depressed or you're experiencing significant anxiety symptoms you're experiencing delusions hallucinations associated with schizophrenia. For instance we know the data shows us that if we treat early fully and completely we protect your brain. We help you to hold onto the skills. The abilities functions the brain power the cognitive capacity the sooner and the more effectively and fully. We treat you the more. You're protected and dr macintosh. I just want to dig a little deeper. You talked about depression. And here's an interesting fact. According to sicom dot net about twenty five percent of people diagnosed with schizophrenia meet the criteria for depression and depressive symptoms can occur throat all the phases of the illness including during psychotic episodes. And i know in your latest book which is called. this is depression. You you talk about this. So i'd love to hear a little bit more about the crossover between depression and other serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. Right there's major depressive disorder. Which is that you just have a depressive episode net You're you're usually you have a normal mood and you get depressed. You feel down you lose interest in things that you would normally enjoy. There's changes in your sleep and your appetite and hopefully with treatment. You start to get better again. That's just regular old depression. It's horrible but it's still depression. And when you have a bipolar disorder than your moods can go above into areas. Where you're what's called mania or hypo mania. Lots of energy. Don't need sleep sometimes their psychosis associated with its mania but people who have bipolar actually spend most of their time depressed so when we tend to think about bipolar we focus on the high. Because that's what makes it different from unicolor depression but in fact the sad truth about bipolar disorder as people spend most of their lives or the more than half their lives generally experiencing symptoms of depression. The same as schizophrenia. We tend to think about schizophrenia. Is just the the symptoms associated with that disorder but there were very high rates of both anxiety and depression and often. They're missed or they're not looked for carefully and recognize and we know that. The suicide rates associated with schizophrenia bipolar or higher than they are with depression so it's it is critical that we pay attention. The other piece of that is. And i think it's another reason why engaging pharmacists who are respected amongst their patients is an understanding that sometimes you need more than one drug. Sometimes you may need three or four. And i want to keep people on his few medications as possible that if i have a patient who is experiencing schizophrenia symptoms and they develop depression that means that they may require an antidepressant and we need to make sure that everyone who is involved with that patient understands why. Why are we adding an extra medication in combination safe. And if it doesn't work what do we do next. But there's a rationale for each part of the treatment and if people have negative experiences with medication than introducing a new medication or the idea of it becomes really scary for them so we need to start treating early a giving people as much education as possible around the why. Why is this important. How might help you and if someone becomes depressed why we need to add something else in and what it means what it should do and if you're having problems we can try something else. You're listening to look again. mental illness. Reexamined a podcast brought to you by the bbc. Schizophrenia society and partner organizations. I'm your host major aldridge. This podcast would not be possible without the support of the entire community from the bottom of our hearts. We want to thank you for caring about mental illness together. We truly can make a difference family. Smarts in the node provides expert speakers on topics important to families who are parenting. A child or youth with mental health and substance use challenge watching in the no video from our library or join a monthly in the no online discussion. For busy families facilitated by parents with lived experience connect and learn with other families. Find out more at family. Smart dot ca okay. We're back with dr diane macintosh psychiatrist educator author and speaker dr macintosh share a few thoughts with you now from members of a panel that we've compiled. They're made up of families of people with mental illness. We asked to talk about when they. I knew that something was not right with their loved one. And we're going to hear. Some of those thoughts takes a while to arrive at a full diagnosis schizophrenia. So we've had some some confusing times especially recently. A bo is schizophrenia. Is at somewhere on the path schizophrenia. We're not entirely sure because It certainly does look and have a lot of the symptoms of schizophrenia. Things are really difficult around the house. He was really really difficult to have them at home by then and he up been laughed and he ended up in vancouver and disappeared for the next six months he got through a year of university was in plays and volunteering and then bam but thanks straight and voices and it was living hell to watch them descend. He started to experience symptoms in high school. But we're not really sure when i think it's classic for a lot of young people to just hide the confusion and the fear and so we're guessing it was a couple of years but he was twenty when he started to really exhibit symptoms that were impossible to ignore contact with police. Eventually he had a run in with the law and they contacted us and we send a bus ticket and go home and that's when we became aware of how really ill he was okay. I lived in south serie. And i have four sons. Three of whom had schizophrenia. And so for about five years. We were in crisis every day. Two of them there's been violence engulfed by Trying to kill me in the criminal justice system Charged with attempted murder. One is steadily silent gentle. We we've experienced probably almost anything family could have with schizophrenia. I don't know why i did. I did always kind of feel like something like if there is one of my kids something was going to be wrong. It was going to be with him. And so i had actually always been asking him like. Do you hear voices when she was charged and went to court then. The probation system got involved in realized how sick he was and enforcement loss. And that's when we found out that he was product. So i wasn't not terribly surprised when it happened but i was hearing frustrated with not getting a diagnosis right away. Because they don't want to label you. And i kept sort of saying you know all an agent knows what's wrong. I can deal with whatever it is. I just need to know what it if those are. Just some of the thoughts that we've heard and dr macintosh. You probably hear a lot within your practice. They just want to know what it is. And i know a lot of families. There's a lot of confusion. When i hear the term schizophrenia or that their loved one has been diagnosed with a severe persistent mental illness. Perhaps they're in denial or confused or they miss took the symptoms for being something else or they believed that medication was necessary or they didn't think it was serious. What do you think is behind this reluctance. Or inability or sometimes even denial to face the reality of mental illness. I think it's terrifying. Honestly i mean as a parent knowing what the worry that you have about your child and it's not just the parent that's terrified. The child is terrified. They're often having an. I think one of the parents actually articulated that how how scared they were. Were not even sure when the symptoms started. I'm sure that he was worried that he had these scary experiences but it didn't become really clear until he was twenty so you have very confusing. Symptoms your maybe hearing voices. You're having unusual perceptual disturbances. Often your mood is low. So they're feeling on. The depress side may have a lot of anxiety as well and so isolate and parents are wondering are they isolating because that's normal teen thing to do or is there something going on and if they're somewhat paranoid than they might be afraid to say something They're feeling somewhat directed by their voice. I knew it wasn't normal. So i didn't want to say anything because i was afraid and so i think acknowledging that it is scary for everyone involved. It comes back to what the mom at the end sandwiches. I just wanted to know. And everyone's afraid to label. And maybe some of that fear of labeling comes from big words schizophrenia because of all the emotion behind it rather than saying you know all of these pieces. I'm not exactly sure sometimes. I'm not sure sometimes. I'm not sure it's this bipolar disorder. Is it schizophrenia. Is this related to cannabis use or some other drug use so it can be confusing but to say all of these pieces lead me to believe that this may be a possibility. At least parents have some sense of where we're going so dr macintosh. How do we know the difference. How do we know when you have parents coming to you. And they say my child is different or if you have an individual coming to you saying i'm just not feeling quite right but maybe it's just because i'm a little bit sad because my girlfriend broke up with me or you didn't get my mark on my exam. How do we know when it's a problem. If we're talking specifically about schizophrenia. Again you go back to what. What is the diagnosis. What are the constellation of symptoms that tend to group together to lead me to believe that. That person has a diagnosis schizophrenia. And the most common things that people experience especially if they're really young is a change in behavior that withdrawing at being more quiet may be more down you can have certainly irritability explosiveness a lot of frustration but then those symptoms. That are quite unique to schizophrenia. Having auditory hallucinations. And then there's the delusions the false beliefs and they can start at the same time. They could start at different times. They can change over time. Those false beliefs associated with schizophrenia are most often again means. Scary people are trying to harm me. Maybe they're out to get me having these beliefs. What makes a delusion different than i wonder. Could it be. Is that despite all kinds of evidence. People still hold onto a clearly false belief one of the families that we heard there. She said that she felt that something was wrong. That if there was going to be something wrong with any of her children it was that particular child. What advice do you. So if somebody is sent some sensing something is wrong with their child. Their partner their parents. What advice do you have for them. If they suspect a serious mental illness a long time ago. I stopped asking my children. How's your day. I asked my children and it started when they were in elementary school Tell me about your day because the way that you get your kids to talk to you and create that safe environment is of course loving them and trying to limit the chaos in your home and the poor gentleman who has three of his four sons with schizophrenia. How do you reduce chaos in a situation like that. So i am not saying that lightly when i say you know. An a loving non chaotic environment is the best most nurturing environment for growing brain. But it's not necessarily easy to eliminate chaos in your home but having those daily times when you put your phone down you look at your kid and say. Tell me about your day. That is the way that on the most boring day and even on the most busy day that you sit there and listen and it might be two minutes and it might be seven minutes or twenty seven but as they get older they will have those conversations with you. And if you're gotta saying some right but your child especially teenagers are reacting strongly. The conversation would be. You don't seem quite yourself. And of course i always love you. There will never be any judgment. But i think we've always found that when we talk about things i've always help to make it feel better so when you're ready i am here but you know i'm not going to push you but i'm always here. There's no judgment. I will always love you. The other thing to say is if you're worried and you say well we're going to take you to the family doctor or access karen someway and you'd feel that you're not treated respectfully not heard it's it's not a good experience. Please don't give out. There is always a path forward. And i think people do have negative experiences that send them off course and just to remind you that there are good people out there. And if you don't feel that you're being heard or respected cleese keep trying sorta. I heard you say there is to keep talking and i think that's the key. Let's keep talking about it whether it be within your own family your children coming to you as mom and saying here's my day. Here's what's happening within individual families but also us as a society. And that's what i'm so happy and so thrilled. We have this opportunity to talk today. Dr macintosh and for you to be the first guest on this podcast which is very exciting. What a fascinating conversation. I could talk to you all day but thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today and for more information about everything you just said. I know you can get all the information on your website. Www dot dr diane with one and macintosh dot com. And if you miss that we're also going to be putting a link on the be css website which is www dot pcs dot org. Okay dr macintosh so much. Truly my pleasure thank you. This podcast is brought to you by the be schizophrenia. Society and the bbc partners for mental health and substance use information were group of nonprofit agencies providing good quality information to help individuals and families maintain or improve their mental wellbeing. The bbc partners members are anxiety. Canada be schizophrenia. Society canadian institute for substance use research canadian mental health association spec- division family smart jesse's legacy north shore family services program and mood disorders association of bc a branch of lookout housing and health society. The bbc partners are funded and stewarded by bbc. Mental health and substance. Use services. An agency of the provincial health services authority for more information visit here to help dot bc dot ca.

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Bonus Content: Childhood Schizophrenia

The Psych Central Show

41:37 min | 2 years ago

Bonus Content: Childhood Schizophrenia

"You're invited to listen to incite schizophrenia a new podcast brought to you by psych central dot com home of the psych central show enjoy welcome to inside schizophrenia a look into better understanding and living well with schizophrenia hosted by renowned advocate and influence or Rachel Star withers and featuring gay powered listeners could change in your schizophrenia treatment plan. Make a difference there options out there. You might not know about this at once monthly difference dot com to find out more about the benefits of wentz monthly injections for adults with schizophrenia welcome to inside schizophrenia. I'm Rachel Star withers here with my co host Gabe Howard and gave I'm so excited about today's episode because we're going to be exploring schizophrenia in children sometimes known also as early psychosis childhood schizophrenia fairly early onset schizophrenia and schizophrenia childhood type so you get all those written down. It's amazing to me that there's all these different names for what is essentially the same disorder you can understand why people are having a hard time understanding what's going on when we have five names for what is effectively the same thing and has been changed over and over and confused with other disorders it yeah and that's kind we're GONNA get into is how it's all meshed together and it's hard to tell what is what before we get into all of the research and the technical side and of course coming up later on in the show we have an expert. Who's going to answer some of these questions for us? I have a question for you Rachel. Were you diagnosed as a child I was not I was I I went in my early twenties. When things were like really spiraling out of control when I was growing up and I grew up in the deep south very religious and in the country so it's not like I didn't really grow up around other kids like did but it wasn't like a city the situation so I don't think my parents really knew how a kid was supposed to act it? There were no big warning signs with me. Did you have hallucinations. When you were a child? As long as I can remember I've had hallucinations nations and the first ones were always saw faces and things like faces and trees in the carpet just in the wall the ceiling they would appear in like always scary faces not like happy now happy butterflies were like kind of demonic nick frightening creatures which goes back to being in the religious south yet what I did tell people about it. They'd be like Oh well that Satan manifesting okay yeah you told adults hey I'm seeing scary evil demonic faces and they were dislike. That's normal yeah. I think it probably freak them out or they just thought hey this. Little Kid is just really imaginative and you've been sitting in church listening to the preacher Holler for the past two hours about hell and Brimstone of course you know everyone's probably scary demons the religious stuff aside. How do you know the difference between a child's imaginary friend and a child's hallucination? I know lots of children who have imaginary friends who do not have schizophrenia. Oh absolutely absolutely and I think growing up kind of freak some people out that they don't know how to deal with it like if your kid is coming with an imaginary friend and you're like Oh okay we'll play along but yeah. When do I stop playing along? Win Is my child too old for this the same thing like when it's my child too old to believe in Santa so now my kids hitting thirteen and they're still talking to somebody imaginary. Maybe maybe this is bad. You raise a really good point because some of this the tooth fairy the Easter Easter Bunny Santa Claus Yeah we want children to be fanciful. They always see and hear and do things that the rest of us don't as part of their imagination as part of normal development so now you're a parent and you suspect so now you google all to try to get some help for your child. What will they find so scariest thing? When I was researching this episode I googled Childhood Schizophrenia and the first thing that comes up is the wikipedia link and it's a picture of a child holding a gun like I I got so mad if you would have been on twitter at the time when this happened I just went on a little twitter rampage of this is stigma and ridiculous because it's like a little ten year old holding a gun at the camera and we just last episode talked about violence violence and schizophrenia and the stick month just how people see it incorrectly and this is like actual kids stigma towards kids in mental health not really blew my mind that Yudo even on the Internet we have that stigma towards children and and getting help for mental illnesses and this puts parents in a very peculiar situation because they're going to look at this picture of a ten year old with a gun and then they're going to look at their own child and they're going to think we'll all have to do is make sure sure that my child's not violent ipso facto? My child does not have schizophrenia and today's times we have the situations of so many school shootings and I feel like you have two sides of the parenting you have. The one side is going to be over protective and oh my gosh I don't what just happened and then the other side like I don't WanNa say anything my child labeled so it's either I think go crazy and get help or don't get any help at all. That's really an interesting point that you make that because of the stigma surrounding this people are afraid that if they suspect that their child might have schizophrenia they'll get labelled as such even if they don't so people become fearful of their child maybe their child will lose friends or social connections or or standing in school things that their child needs to develop normally if they suspect their child has schizophrenia cornea and they're wrong. They'll put their child back a little bit and that of course is assuming that parents recognize it at all. How did your parents react to that knowing that even though you were symptomatic as a child they did nothing? What was that like Ooh we've? I've actually never ask them that. Because that sounds like a really sad question gave why would I put my parents on the spot like that of I was a little weird kid and I think all kids are weird though and I was the first child and I just I I don't I don't blame them or anything because I feel like they were amazing. Parents and you know Rachel's acting weird. Let's let's go outside and play and that'll help her so I had a very like awesome childhood and things it's awesome that it all turned okay but you and I both know that it doesn't always turn out okay now. Sometimes waiting too long can lead to not so great outcomes. We're talking about society not helping people who are sick and I had a family situation where. You're my mother pretty much worked from home. My father worked full time and it was just me and my little brother so we got a lot of personal attention so even if I had let's say gotten worse. I feel like people would have noticed pretty quickly so let's actually talk about what is childhood schizophrenia. The simple definition is it is when a child interprets reality abnormally which I think is all children. Isn't that abnormally yeah you're right doesn't doesn't that make it difficult. You expect a child to get it right right yeah so mental disorder schizophrenia overall okay. They used to see it as different classifications. Now it's considered a spectrum disorder similar lert autism so the criteria for diagnosing a child with schizophrenia is actually the exact same as a teenager or adult so early onset of schizophrenia is ages thirteen to eighteen and if it occurs between age seven to puberty it's childhood so issue is we got like okay which one is it and then they're also trying to just call it early psychosis or psychosis and children which is even more bigger umbrella term because I feel like that could cover bipolar poehler and all the other disorders that kind of have hallucinations in it which autism has loose nations and Down Syndrome also there is not a definitive test and they've even done studies where they think schizophrenia can appear in child as early as three months old. I I have no clue how in the world you figure that out like three month. Old is just kinda there but I just thought that was interesting that they think that's how young that schizophrenia can be observed in a child. The only difference is schizophrenia. Children versus adults is the delusions tend to be broader so they don't necessarily have like a voice telling them specific things to do. It's more they're going to hear sounds knocking ticking voices that are calling their names that necessarily don't make sense the visual hallucinations. The nation's tend to be a flashing lights seeing shadow figures so that's like that just sounds to me like normal kids and my little kid comes and tells me like okay. They're all these flashing lights and it's an alien you know attacking. I'd be like Okay Q oh. You must've saw that on T._v.. But yeah children just have a real difficult time processing anything as an adult you know take for example all of the kids cartoons that have like sexual innuendo in them. Oh I remember as a young pre pubescent girl like we would watch musicals like grease and I loved Greece's a kid. It was so happy and fun and I remember they showed it to us in school and now if I watch I'm like Oh wow that's really inappropriate. There's so many things in that movie the older movie that is just like Oh. Oh that's there's a lot of sex jokes in here. Yeah we miss things as kids like we interpret things completely different. If you understand something you just kind of either gloss over it or you make up your own reality to do it but that's not an example of schizophrenia. That's just an example of getting something wrong. So now we go all the way back and like you said we're not necessarily talking about fifteen year olds. We're talking about ten year olds or five year olds and remember gate even trying to go out there and get the right facts to learn about this disorder. You're met with a lot of confusion and a lot of stigma and I think a lot of stigma so can make you feel like well. If my child is wanting to shoot up the school like in this picture that means I'm a bad parent and I'm not I love my child and it's just a lot of confusion and I think fear when you are looking up this disorder and we should probably address how common this is because I imagine this is not very common which means it's not like you can just ask your your Mommy Group group or your your father group or your your own family members. I mean where do you go to get support with the people that you know in real life when issues when it comes to diagnosing this is that schizophrenia psychosis and children is so a closely seen from the outside as also autism so there's a lot of kind of confusion there where a lot of kids get misdiagnosed they put them down as autistic in the really not and vice versa and with autism children are seem to be very internal attornal going inside of their heads. They don't pick up on like normal social cues. They engaged differently schizophrenia. Is they withdraw. They go inside themselves. They're not responding correctly because they're hallucinating. That sounds exactly the same to to me. I feel like if I had two kids going through two different things but that's how they're reacting. I would assume they're both either autistic or schizophrenic but yeah there's a very big difference in what the kids are saying. We're talking about a ten year old though and they're telling me they're seeing shadows on lights. That's so vague. Do you think that the public is more accepting of a child with autism or a child with schizophrenia. I don't think anyone is scared of an autistic child shooting up school. Is that a little too hard to say though that gave no I think honestly I think it's a very fair point. You know schizophrenia like you always make the joke. It's got a Z. in it. It's scary sounding word. When we think of autism we think of you know cute children trying their best to love their parents and can you kind of speak to that a little bit because because you don't have the warm and fuzzy diagnosis no and actually had a family member who had very very serious autism who is no longer with us <hes> who was very young and autism? It's a very hard thing to deal with and we go back to that spectrum disorder. There's a big spectrum and unfortunately my family member was a very very held back mentally by and I don't think anyone was ever scared of him that he would pull out a gun. You know no one was ever scared like that. You're more scared for him. MM You felt bad. You are worried about him whereas schizophrenia. I think you're going to be like Oh. I don't want my kids near him. I don't want my kids near her like that that that's going to be the kid that just starts like stabbing people but there's fear that autistic kids will be disruptive in the classroom so they're stigma on both sides another thing is that we go back to that whole getting a diagnosis for my child. There's a lot more support and just help and programs for autism. You know so so if I'm googling help psychosis there's almost next to nothing for children where autism there so many programs. There's books. There's these computer games. There's just so much stuff that you like. Oh Wow there's a huge support community that does not exist list for psychosis children even though it's so closely related as a parent that would worry me too. I'd be like well if I have to get a diagnosis. How about the safer one? Even if it's wrong I would get a lot more help it. It's a really good point. There's nothing to definitively prove psychosis in anybody schizophrenia in anybody <hes> let alone children. It's all self reporting so this does make it difficult and that does mean. Gene that you know unfortunately human error can get involved an apparent can steer their child steer their provider into the safer diagnosis and it it's always difficult to compare and contrast illnesses. I don't want anybody to think that we're saying that. Autism is better than schizophrenia or vice versa. It's just a conversation about how society is seeing these illnesses and why it makes it difficult to get the right diagnosis and the right help for a child when there's all of these external factors and right now with psychosis for children schizophrenia the only help the only treatment is the exact same thing for adults which is psychotic medications and which have really intent side effects a lot of them aren't allowed to be given to children to start with but a lot of side effects. I have now. I would not wish on anybody else but especially not a child so you have that whole thing playing well okay. If I give my child this certain things might become a lot worse and your other treatment options are going to be like social programs individual therapy a lot of family therapy so everybody in the family can kinda jump in the treatment isn't really a specific okay. I just give them this pill every day at this time and everything's it's GonNa be okay well. Let's talk about that for a second because as you know in adults there's a lot of controversy about whether or not people should take psychiatric medications. There's lots of scary stories and now we're talking children so now a parent has to decide guide if they want to give a psychiatric medications to their child knowing that adults are having this giant discussion. What is that like for a parent for just me and you'll hear other schizophrenic say it to its you're playing playing Russian roulette with medication so you're constantly having to try things that just levels and now we're dealing with a child who isn't very good at voicing what's happening and that parent is going to have to be really on top of things and charting and it's just a lot it's going to fall on the parents when it comes to psychosis and children and it's more likely than not that their friends and family and the General Society is really looking down on them? Oh you don't want to raise your child. You just want to give them a pill. This is to say that children <unk> with schizophrenia shouldn't be on medication but these are the things parents worry about. There's just an incredible amount of stigma in the treatment of schizophrenia yes and when I was researching all of this either went into researching specific specific therapists who deal with schizophrenia psychosis and they're all a lot more expensive than let's say normal therapist so there's also just the cost of all of this is insane. You know one of the treatment sites suggested family therapy once a week seek child therapy twice a week and we're talking one hundred dollars a pop like that adds up on a family really quick so you want to give your child everything you want to help them but there's also that cost factor of trying to do all of this stuff and a lot of it's not available in your area. If you're in a big city you can probably find the therapist who specializes but I mean I'm on out in South Carolina and no one came up on my google search and I think that it's also important to remember that families are all structured differently for example. You can have a a single parent family with three children. Well that means one child is taking up the majority of not only the financial resources but the single parents time and then you've got other families that are two parents with one child well and of course we all understand the difference in health insurance financial resources and as you mentioned the difference between living in a big city and a rural area and it even varies state to state. We'll be right back after this message from our sponsor. It can sometimes feel like another schizophrenia. Episode is just around the corner in fact a study found that patients had an average of nine episodes in less than six years however there's a treatment plan option that can help delay another episode a once monthly injection objection for adults with schizophrenia if delaying another episode sounds like it can make a difference for you or your loved one learn more about treating schizophrenia with once monthly injections at once monthly difference Dot Dot Com. That's once monthly difference DOT COM. We are back talking about schizophrenia in children. Is there good news in all of this. What's the success rate for a child who is diagnosed early and gets? It's the intervention and help that they need. How do these children end up because I believe that society things that all of these children end up institutionalized or as as criminals or in prison? What are the actual stats on this? Is there there hope for these children. It's just like any other medical situation if you have the right diagnosis and the right treatment you're going to have a lot better outcome be myself. I wasn't diagnosed until later but once I was that was such a huge weight off my shoulders for one. I knew I wasn't demon possessed anymore like Oh. I have a real thing that other people in this world have and I knew how to at least had a road to go down for treatment. I knew that I needed to talk to a psychologist psychiatrist like I knew what type of doctors what type of medication I was going to need what type of therapy and there is no like oh well. This is the exact thing you need to do. That will work for you because believe me over the past fourteen years. I've tried so many things and had to adjust but at at thirty four about to be thirty four happy birthday to me things are going really well. I think I'm insane as I've ever been I don't know but I have a really awesome life and I'm very lucky for that so I think it's just the outcome. MM is whatever you want it to be and just being able to support your child and push them to what they wanna do and find ways yes. It's going to be harder but you can totally find ways you can find ways if you get the right diagnosis the right treatment jeff just to clarify right. You can't find the right way magically that that's the problem with all of this misinformation and all of the stigma it leads you astray. Yes that's correct Cape. Let's take a snapshot of your a Personal Story Rachel before you had the right diagnosis before you had any treatment whatsoever you went through a lot but tell us what happened before diagnosis to help you with your hallucinations. I remember multiple times in my life. <hes> growing up like in the church going to different church leaders over me youth pastors things like that and talking to them about what was happening and a lot of the times they would just pray with you and suggest you know what's reading the Bible. Able and that was it and it kind of escalated to the point where I was at a Christian school at age seventeen they actually didn't exorcism on me and it was not as cool as the movie. My head did not spin around and I didn't throw it puke everywhere so little let down on on the build up of that just saying but that's really scary that they did that to seventeen year old but that was their way of helping me and they absolutely new. I mean we're not talking. I was in the sticks. We had the internet starting <hes> and this was a very large school. I love your sense of humor and I love the fact that you're well enough to look back and handle these things the way that you do but if we're being honest this could have turned out significantly worse for somebody in your position of vulnerable person with an untreated mental illness. Yes I have a great sense of humor I tend to be very upbeat about schizophrenia and mental disorders because so many people aren't and inside I might not be he likes super happy but this is my way of dealing kind of thing so I did want to point that out there just as I make jokes about these things and other people might have went through them in like this is not a joke just so you kind of understand but that was really hard that exorcism this is my. I didn't talk about it for over ten years because I was so embarrassed like who in the world has an exorcism but I just did not want anyone to know so it's not that that didn't affect me. <hes> it affected me really bad for a lot of years and it took a long time to deal with that so yes if you have people that are trying in their own ways to help but are actually hurting it really can sit anyone back that has any sort of medical problem not even just mental and just to be clear it did not help hope was schizophrenia yes to be clear. My exorcism did not work and it was three days long okay so this was not an hour situation like in the movies got a wrap those up quick three-day exorcism and my hallucinations came back the next day in <music> a pretty much gave up on me. They let Satan back in okay so so there was a lot of blaming of the person who was sick and none of this and I don't think you think so either. We're not trying to shame religion or shame religious people. This is just an example of where people didn't understand and they used what resources they had available but they did the wrong thing. They didn't use a medical based model to treat you because you didn't have a diagnosis and they didn't know what to do now. Let's compare that to what happened when you got to a doctor. How how did your life change after you got a diagnosis and you moved forward anyone out there who is looking to get a psychiatrist psychologist looking to go down this road? You might have to shop around. I do want to say that because I've been to so many different therapists and medical professionals across the board it you do have to find one that works for you but the good thing is that you at least have a game plan so I knew right away like okay. I'm going to go. I started talking to a psychologist that psychologist put me in contact with the psychiatrist hi actress and then working together put me on a medical treatment plan in addition to talk therapy that I was doing so yeah and it was okay if that didn't work this week then we need to work on something else. We need to change something. Not all right we give up. We tried that one thing and that really is the difference you now had a treatment plan so as scary as it is to take your child to a doctor for this the treatment outcomes are significantly better and as people who listen to all of these episodes knowing people who know your work Rachel. You really do have an exceptionally high quality of life. I mean you were in the movies for Pete's sake. I was pretty cool. I think now Gabe is a perfect time to bring on our guest today. We're talking with doctor. Joseph Gonzales Heidrick. He is the director of Developmental Neuro Psychiatry Clinic at Boston Children's Hospital and an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Welcome Dr Thank you Rachel so at at the Boston Children's Hospital in Developmental Center. What is it that you do? I'm a child psychiatrist and I evaluate children thought to be having very serious psychiatric problems then <hes> treat them both get feeling better header and back on developmental on their developmental course again so when you say psychiatric issues what would some of those be own say since two thousand and one or so I've been mostly concentrating on children who are showing early signs of psychosis those children. I'm an generally with my my new patients in the last eight years. Since I've been working in this area I will tell you that I've I've never worked harder. Seen children were more having more you know more severe problems and yet sort of partnership with families and the and the kids themselves is really a very strong. We're all pulling together trying to help them feel better and also involved in research to try to understand why this is happening to them and and find ways to their more effective than what we have now to really get them back you know feeling better and back on the developmental trajectory Rachel and I were just having a big discussion about parents are afraid of this diagnosis. They're afraid of psychosis because society is afraid of this and adults and nobody wants to stigmatize their child with this. Are you seeing that in your a practice where parents are rejecting the diagnosis or not wanting to work with you or are fearful of it actually <hes> by the time the kids come to see me often the parents are looking for an answer and have blamed or or blown off by by the professionals often before that and part of that is because psychosis in children is very confusing and difficult a lot of kids have just as far the Obama will occasionally have your voice their name call developmentally normal fears ears and and whatnot and then distinguishing goes from psychotic symptoms is hard and it's something that field has been grappling with so so the kids are often been complaining of intrusive voices and images are really scary and frightening and distressing to them for a long time first of all they also feel might often. Don't tell anyone about it for a long time and then when they do tell their parents about his parents go to get evaluate that evaluation often as child professionals we try and find any possible other explanation in to it is hard to distinguish. What's a psychotic symptom you know for instance voices telling the harm themselves or telling them terrible things about them from developmentally monthly normal things and also other disorders that might transient look like that so childhood schizophrenia is <hes> narrowly defined look exactly like the adult late adolescent early adult audit illness is is rare in children but children having psychosis? That's impairing and distressing is still rare but much more common than schizophrenia and so the other part is how you distinguish that from normal. Imagine play imaginary friends <hes> just transient misperceptions that children have nightmares <hes> and how you distinguish those sort of normal developmental phenomenon from psychosis and then within psychosis. You know which kids will go on to have it's a friend Neha versus some other source psychotic illness that may or may not laugh talking about these kids. What are the ages that you see experiencing childhood psychosis and what's your earliest age that you've seen typically the kid that we've been getting referred to us because we've been concentrating on very early onset so in about twenty percent of people with it's a frightening bicycles in general have their first clear psychotic episode in adolescence after the age of thirteen gene probably closer to sixteen seventeen eighteen and those are called early onset and that's about twenty percent of everybody which is problem very early onset which would be under the age of thirteen is much rarer and we've been concentrating those because they've been getting referred to us your children's Hospital so so I've been mostly seeing kids who have the onset before the age of their team but again? That's a rare event that because we're a tertiary care center these kids get sent here we enrolled in our research studies offer genetic study over one hundred and forty these kids and actually counting studies. We're dealing with biomarkers before that close two hundred kids their ages again because I'm selecting for kids who starts under the age of thirteen really are typically nine ten eleven twelve <hes> but we've had I saw this week who <hes> at age four are went from having a touch of autism and very verbal or engaged kid who would tell you lots of stories go through a period of hallucinations. They'll very frightening to them and basically have a deterioration in his functioning to the point now where Yardley talks and his interest in play and engaging people has markedly decreased. That's an unusual case and we see maybe five or six kids like that more typically. Their onset is between eight and Thirteen Dean Jones. She's like a very heterogeneous group and genetics are very heterogeneous and marked by a lot of very rare genetic events more so than what you see in typical leader lesson young adult onset psychosis if their the parents out there and they're suspecting that their child may have a problem with psychosis. What do you suggest that they do? I would take him in to evaluated by a professional and also observe carefully. You know right down with observations nations that they have. They're making it worry about this. If the child is behaving oddly it's also is really helpful to get a video of that so that the professional office can view it was apparent to try and figure out what's going on and then depending on how how gradually it happened et cetera there might be some neurological has happened so an e._e._g.. Depending if again if there's very abrupt onset then we'll worry about things that can look like any of our autoimmune disorders antibodies attacking the brain. Oh you know relatively infrequently but those things you don't WanNa miss a metabolic problems that need to be diagnosed and then could be treatable and so it's important to get an evaluation there should be strong consideration of medical neurologic causes along with the psychological psychiatric evaluation so likely would be best to have someone who has a lot of experience evaluating childhood onset psychotic symptoms to really take a look and see how typicals because how does problems versus <hes> very frequently it might be not that it might be misinterpreting things either due to another problem like nature depression or anxiety disorder or sometimes also just do a monthly normal things so I think in the N._F._l.. Would be and careful observation observations observations with the import when it comes to treating the child are there are side effects with medications that we should consider there's two issues with them and they're the anti psychotics as you mentioned they have side effects flattening and help people just feel sedated or it just they're not fun to take people often. You'll take the medication because you know because they've learned that if they don't they're they're they're tortured by these terrible psychotic symptoms voices but then <hes> but the occasion themselves do feel make you feel flatter earned dollar and harder to enjoy things and whatnot <hes> you know it might be on the whole plus if you're getting rid of voices constantly telling you terrible things and whatnot the the things that are most difficult about especially the second generation nations of psychotics. <hes> is the weight gain and metabolic problem so they increase appetite <hes> some more than others but they all seem to increase appetite and make it harder for everyone who takes them to keep their way healthy level and so the kids will gain weight and then you know and then we worry there's GonNa put them at the longer term risk of type two diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome and all the complications of obesity so that's actually the biggest problem is those side effects to families by the time they come to see me. They are ready and they want some help the other probably these medicines always that they're not completely effective. They're treating symptoms or not treating underlying cause and so while you might be able to get hallucinations and delusions is under control the other symptoms having to do with decrease motivation decreased concentration decrease or ability to get up and do stuff but those are really <hes> still there and we haven't found a way to treating those part of the research that we're doing it and if you're looking for the rare genetic causes because the hope is if you understand the genetic cause we from the jeans and knowing what the Gene Mace to knowing what that protein does and we can do amazing things now it was like some science fiction <hes> even and ten years ago where we can take his blood cells and turn them into <hes> neurons and studied in addition. Try understand what's wrong with Iran and then screen lots and lots of medicines are any the reverse was wrong dinner on so we're looking for new treatments that might prevent prevent symptoms from coming up again and be more effective in reversing symptoms than we have. Now is your pleasant symptoms but they don't get the underlying cause the pads are usually are willing to go with the medications because they visine show stuff for a long time very significant serious various symptoms. We still have battle with ourselves in terms of can we do this with with the medication which has less side effects we've had kids respond to PROZAC family medicine where classically thought they would immediately psychotic. Some of them will respond to that <hes> and that's great because those have a lot fewer those problems and I just discussed but often the union the psychotic and then we had to work hard to maintain their well away healthy level we should've getting exercise and then the other treatments of psychosis which are medication which have to. Did you help you the school understand a child. How does teach them support them and then the people that are looking to buy card is rehabilitation one try and get back some functioning? They might have been lost as product process to cold. We were talking earlier in the episode owed about seeing this from an everyday person's point of view but seeing it from scientists point of view now. That's really awesome. Thank you so much for coming in sharing that with us Sir thank you for raising awareness because one the things that I think is really hard about this is a lago awareness lack of understanding. You Know Society. This makes it harder for kids to get the treatment. It makes it harder on families wind up any feeling blamed him one offer some bullets has large component. That's biological organization and not not in their hands. Thank you again. We really appreciate it and we've learned a lot. Thank you so much that was really awesome and I am so thankful that we had somebody from Boston's Children's hospital associated with Harvard Medical School. Will they really do great research and they're looking into schizophrenia to make life better for well. Frankly everybody with mental illness because this is this is cutting edge and this is important and I'm so glad that he was willing to take the time Rachel. How did you get him to do this? Yes well. He was talking about some of that research there that they did on genetics of they'd actually contacted me a few years back and I've been involved in some of those genetics programs he was speaking about as far as them looking up the different. I guess deleted needed chromosomes. That's over my head so what I thought was interesting was actually hearing that side and him talking about the genetic side of things that most of us and even like even doctors. It's a lot over their heads and that's I mean I know. We think that it's only over for our head. It's fascinating that this is so complex that everybody is struggling with it exactly but we do need to strive to be educated because there's a lot at stake in this and constantly stay up to date. This isn't something that okay I know all about schizophrenia so now goodbye like there's so many emerging things as they're working on all the genetic side of it but also medications being developed therapies so so we all need to stay current and the different treatments as somebody who experienced symptoms as a child who who is now an adult. was there anything that he said that was surprising to you. He didn't hit on it much but when he said the youngest age was four. That's so young to me. How how do you distinguish at age four? What's pretend and what's not? It's a fascinates me that they're able to do that that they're able to figure out you know the difference between which kids have autism which kids are just over imaginative in which kids have psychosis at fascinates me. I was really surprised by what he said about the parents because a lot of the things that we hear in read is that parents are just really rejecting this idea and they're fighting hard against it and they're scared to get help and all of those things are true but his perspective is different. He said that by the time they reach him they're desperate desperate and they're scared and they're looking for answers and that's something that I hadn't considered. How did that hit you as a person living with schizophrenia I really liked then? He said that because it made me think oh yeah because that's kind of how I was. I didn't know what was going on and I was desperate for for help at first I was. I couldn't find like a good counselor because I didn't know I needed a psychologist. I could just as he was talking. I could picture myself being in that situation of just I'm so worried. No one is helping me. I don't know what to do and the fact that it's it's about your child is so much deeper. Are you encouraged by the amount of research about the amount of knowledge that is going on in the country right now. I found it so encouraging that he was able to tell us all these different projects that they're working on all this different research research. That's currently being done. All these different like kids. They're looking at and trying to help a that's incredible to me and that gives me so much hope a lot of times when you do get the diagnosis of schizophrenia or another mental illness. It's just like Oh. No you're world is ending it. It's just a lot of fear and I just liked that. He had so much hope for the future where this was all going it. Wasn't you know him talking about the research. It wasn't like all well. Give up guys things Z.. Finding out that are different that are new and I love that so how I'm being treated right now could be completely different in two years who knows what could happen and that's so encouraging to me. I liked his overall message of listen. This is a medical illness and you need and medical treatment because we're doing medical research and we're constantly learning and we're constantly growing and we have a plan. If it doesn't work out we'll make another plan and I think that's very very important especially for people wrestling with whether or not to have their child diagnosed or to see a doctor. I really hope that people can listen to that and really hear that there's so much going on and the outcome is Rachel Stars Life Right now. The outcome is is adult living well in spite of their illness and I think that that's a really really valuable and important message for a parent who's struggling whether to take the next steps and just on that note not even just so much living well but being able to to live a lot of times when you have this diagnosis. It's hard to even consider the future at all. It's hard to picture yourself alive next year and for me. I don't know that gave me like some amazing hope. He was talking that. I don't have to like be so worried about the future. I don't have to worry that you know my brain just GonNa fall apart and I'm going to end up in a mental institution like that's that was just so cool though that he's saying like all the different changes that are coming. I think that that's incredible Rachel. Where do you as a a person living with schizophrenia fall on this? What's your what's your takeaways if this was the situation of my child had schizophrenia? If I had a child I would want them to get the best treatment possible and I would strive to help help them. In any way I personally would still want them to have an amazing awesome cool normal childhood. I wouldn't want to just be like okay well. I'm dropping you off at the hospital. See you in six months but for me and people out there who met upbeat scared of getting a diagnosis you can get a diagnosis. You do not have to tell the world I do know where on a podcast about it but you can't keep it quiet but don't let the stigma in the fear hold you back from getting your child help or getting yourself help. Thank you everyone for tuning into this month's episode of inside Schizophrenia Subscribe like share this episode on social media. My name is Rachel Star and I will see you next month. Inside Schizophrenia is presented by Psych Central Dot Com America's largest and longest operating independent mental health website your host Rachel Star withers can be found online at Rachel Star Live Dot com co host gave Howard can be found online at gay power dot com.

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Bonus Content: Motivation in Schizophrenia (Inside Schizophrenia Podcast"

The Psych Central Show

49:06 min | 1 year ago

Bonus Content: Motivation in Schizophrenia (Inside Schizophrenia Podcast"

"You're invited to listen to inside schizophrenia. A new podcast brought to you by Psych Central Dot Com home of the central show enjoy Welcome to inside schizophrenia a look thing I struggle with across the board schizophrenia has always been the negative symptoms the depression the stuff that keeps me down I struggled with my whole life and to look at me from the outside you would see I've done so many projects TV shows radio PODCASTS for three days which compounds the problem so rather than looking at Oh my loved one is symptomatic they're thinking to themselves oh she's always Lisi hallucinations killers murderers like they think really dramatic stuff and yes I do hallucinate a lot unfortunately mostly because there's a big difference between being not motivated to climb a mountain and not motivated to get out of bed which is not uncommon for people like yourself the biggest visit once monthly different dot com to find out more about the benefits of once monthly injections for adults with schizophrenia. You're listening to inside schizophrenia. I'm Rachel Star withers here with my co host Gabe Howard gave today. We're GONNA talk about motivation in schizophrenia. When people hear schizophrenia they're always like oh my God like make whole sentences and we're here to dispel all of those myth and the myth that we're working on today as you said is the whole motivation issue time it's really boring stuff like seeing something wrong like my my cup of water is is distorted and I'm like what am I looking at the whole thing about violence listeners? Could a change in your schizophrenia treatment plan make a difference there options out there you might not know about it was a hole in my head does that make sense gave it does it makes a lot of sense and we know that that is an unfortunate outcome or a symptom of skits yeah you must be lazy violent and definitely you're causing your family and friends to suffer Yup why aren't you in a locked mental hospital why aren't you homeless I'm shocked you can is that I wear like my pajamas all day and I can't tell you what time it is a real as forgot to eat that day I haven't taken a shower in you know it's like mentally I'm gone a friend it's a symptom of of a lot of mental illnesses not being able to get out of bed not being able to be organized to get stuff done etc do you think that sometimes it becomes sort of a when you're well and you're doing all the things that you need to do they sort of forget about that when you spend all day in bed or you don't shower is killing all of that that is what people think about and it's so sad because like almost never happens you should listen to our violence episode if you haven't already oh absolutely yes with water but it's a strange some days like yeah I won't take my medicine till five PM unfortunately because I just laid in bed and kind of delusional state just the general population when they hear the word I'm sorry not to that's just like you have the stereotype yeah they they they think that you're lazy or violent that really that's what they think like Oh yes gets a friend I have to set up my medications specifically morning and night like I said it up once a week labeled because I forget sometimes I just don't want to do things like you should it's like there's nobody home in my head and just doing the smallest thing like getting up and taking a shower and washing my hair is like a feet it's just self that it's it's overwhelming and sometimes I feel like it's overwhelming to try and get up and walk across the room to my desk to take my pills which are sitting there taking their medication but the second thing that you said is that you want to you want to take your medication you just can't get up the motivation to move from your bed if you happen to be going that way I do have something I need picked up and she was like Oh my God Rachel as you should have said something but I didn't even into in your case across the room to your desk and not everybody is as fortunate to have their bills across the room sometimes it can be across town it could be a pharmacy it could be but I've done so many things across the board that you'd be like do Rachel like you're always up to something with you'll don't see though or the days that I can't get out of bed the let's touch on that for a moment there's two things that have become abundantly clear in what you just said you didn't take your medication. I think there's a lot of talk about people with schizophrenia and things as you said my medication across the room not GonNa lie the other week I was out of one of my medications for a week because it was sitting at Walmart and I just needed to go and pick it up far schizophrenia and other mental disorders is there's a term called volition and that is a symptom of different ones from schizophrenia it can go into bipolar different types of a personality disorders but it's a decrease in motivation to pretty much you lack the ability to initiate things just whatever can you touch on that for a moment 'cause I I really do think that it feeds into the idea that people with schizophrenia are trying to get better versus you're not motivated to respond to a question you're not motivated to participate in your own care are these things that are universal orange you might notice in your friends and family would be paying bills for whatever reason this person hasn't paid a bill thankfully now that's why all my stuff is automatic that's just a fact that we need to accept but the motivation that you're talking about is very basic right you're not motivated to ask for help. One of the symptoms of schizophrenia is motivation issues and it's hard to explain but it's like I know what I need to do it is get up out of bed and walk across the room just take your medication but the idea of getting in my car driving thirty minutes there I I just couldn't do it thankfully my mom intially Kinda was like hey do you need me to do anything and I was like hard but it it can be monumental I am terrible about that with even texts emails unfortunately sometimes I will let emails like pileup I'm just GonNa Chill whereas abolition more I know what I need to do I want to do it there's some thing holding me back from being able to do this thing and it's yes unfortunately yes especially when I get stuck in it for like a few months where I'm just a slug it out explain it and I'm just mentally out of it could've asked my parents at any point I didn't and I can't really tell you why did it it was just there is like a hole in my head there where I just couldn't seem to get myself to do that like I kind of just said a minute ago it's like there's a whole there's some reason that you can't do this thing even though you want to like for instance some just normal those few steps just become overwhelming and it's like all I can do to like mentally get myself moving Nino be like big things little they tend to see what is happening from that perspective why is my friend loved one family member not responding to me and they believe that it all for people with schizophrenia yes and it's almost weird because I think to the outside world motivation that's a great word that makes sense that actually a lot of people feel that you were ignored them on purpose I mean this is a real human to human relationship thing this transcends a one person having schizophrenia task motivation is difficult for a lot of people. It's not just the hallmark of people with schizophrenia. There there's lots of people that could be more motivated I think that that's just would they don't WanNa get well they're not trying they're happy with the way things are and that's not true that's that's what abolition is let's really nail down abolition versus Lee almost malicious but that's not what's happening from your perspective from your perspective there's this giant mountain that is answering a text message and you can't self and again I think that it's important that people here you want to it's not a lack of desire you're not because I know that a lot of times people will skip got a hole in your head of something is stopping me and making this incredibly difficult and there's tons of goods examples failing to show up for a scheduled a vendor meeting failing through three months knowing like there there I've read them but I just can't seem to get the energy up to reply and the one I replied you'd be like Rachel you literally wrote one seven WanNa hang out and unfortunately a lot of times like that just seems overwhelming to me and I want friends I want to hang out I want to make connections then the opportunity comes up and I'm like climate I see it I have the tools around me but I can't it's like my mind can't figure out how to use those tools to climate and this is specifically negative symptom schizophrenia Chris so for all people out there in case you didn't know negative means lacking so something that is lacking out what you would call the normal person did he helps you because he's not sure so he keeps an open mind so other examples of abolition versus laziness are so if I have to go at a certain time if he hasn't seen me up and moving around he needs to step in and help push me because honestly he's not sure if I'm just being super lazy or there is something Oh that if I text my wife and she does not respond back I think Oh why why why why she knowing me this has nothing to do with mental illness I just deal with everyday responsibilities with your family ignoring the phone rings and that's like a really like a really simple one right the phone goes ring ring you say hello that doesn't seem all that have to drive thirty minutes there I'll have situations where like the idea of walking into a store is overwhelming because I know how bright it's going to be another is going to be people that added to most people have motivation to get up and brush their teeth if you don't that would be negative you're lacking so to be clear you're not saying I don't know Oh you know that just it's overwhelming idea have to get up get dressed go somewhere act a certain way and I know and I know that into Walmart and pick up my prescriptions like I did the other week I know I have to do it a laziness is just WANNA drive over there I don't WanNA stand in line it's overwhelming the task itself has become overwhelming of me having to put on clothing that would be appropriate to walk outside and I have to get in my car I feel like I want my wife to take a moment out of her day and acknowledged the thing that I texted so the person on the other end the person who texted or called isn't getting a response it's like I know but that was I don't know why I just I had to wait for a good day that I could sit there and Bam Bam Bam I don't know and even like text message someone will say Hey oh my goodness I'm going to have to like talk to people evolution is okay I need to do this I know I need to do this but there's something I just can't see further even though I want to and with things like that it takes me having a good day to be able to do certain things certain days like you'll be like whoa you when you hear positive symptoms a positive symptoms would be something added to quotation marks a normal person so like most people don't have hallucinations that would with me and I like how you put that he needs to help you didn't say my father orders me to go for a walk or my friend demands that I do acts or tells me that it's for my own good yes it's different you can totally have social anxiety and have schizophrenia. I mean I've had times where I went to a party I don't do well around is let's really talk about the different it not lack of desire lack of ability to fully understand how it's different from laziness laziness I don't care I don't want to do it that because you have schizophrenia you can never be lazy people with schizophrenia absolutely unequivocally can be absolutely yeah I can many days be lazy so too much you know I can easily do it the next day but there's something that it all becomes hard for me it's like there's just this this wall that says you can't go and but listeners I would like to know something about you please take a brief three minute survey so we can better understand our audience if you'll go to psych central dot com somewhere there's a lot of sounds in it's just overwhelming and I can't get out of my car and go inside and I can't really say why it's not like I'm scared it's just backslash survey nineteen and fill that out for us that would be awesome the goal is to learn about us so that we can make the best possible show for you and you'll be entered into a drawing oh what to do and usually I don't make it to the Party and sit in my car it's I don't even get to the point of wearing clothing to go there I suffer reason with me clothing is a big issue and I know it is with other types of people that have certain mental disorders told me that too and if you're a friend loved one it sounds go the other way so as one reason sell all my pills for the week I settle all the clothing I'm GonNa wear for the week one of the hardest things for me is when I do well I don't know and I was so nervous that couldn't get out of the car and I was just I was terrified of what was going to happen. Evolution lack motivation is not that I'm not scared of anything he done this is your life now and that's certainly not what we're saying the treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy getting therapy to help you figure out how to get okay I already set these two together just put them on don't don't worry just put them on that's a little bit of personal knows about me what I struggle with elite but that can really help some people as just being like hey you look really good in this outfit when someone gives me a compliment about an outfit I like mentioned like just because someone doesn't want to do something if your friend loved one watching this going to have to Kinda don't just let everything slide even my like my dad knows that they need and feel more motivated what's the treatment for this because I don't think anybody wants to walk away and believe oh well. This is a symptom of schizophrenia. Nothing could no but I I can't I just can't I'll have the hardest time putting on clothes because I can't focus so what I do is I lay them out ahead of time so I till and it's really important to understand that this is an excellent example of where medication and psychotherapy really do go hand in hand and it's amazing if you're able to you've been taking medication for any amount of time you know that it's not true it's an ongoing process and sometimes trying different medication there really isn't a set motivation a part-time job where I work I have to I have to look really nice trying to put together an outfit sometimes I can't do it and you're like Rachel just as pants and a shirt and you able to set that up kind of situation let's talk about what are our loved ones our friends and family can do to help us deal with lack of motivation communicate find a place where you can have the therapy and it's connected with whoever is your psychiatrists doing the medication that's one thing as I was lucky to get a counselor recent the phone or you just don't have the ability to do it and and other things that kind of pop up in my head or like social anxiety or just it's Kinda what it sounds like it is different from that over these holes the other thing is medication management and I wish I could be like oh there's a special pill you can take and you'll be fine as and what it is so communicates so if you see okay I'm having trouble I have not taken a shower all week this needs to change like for win a hundred dollars from Amazon void where prohibited so we really appreciate it I have a specific question though is this lake fear are you afraid to answer okay these go together really well I'm going to put this in my lineup for next week it's just bizarre but it's almost that confirmation I needed to okay check that's one that I have down for next week let's talk about how we can help motivate people with schizophrenia. How people schizophrenia can get the support that or depression maybe I should put chart in next time you might WanNa bring that up so that we're actually worked out really good for me as far as a lot of my management is having talk to us don't aggressively push don't Holler don't get mad I like we said earlier yes someone with schizophrenia can totally be lazy ask him see if you can help and see again these are little things so if you know I'm not taking my medication there's something going on step in like my mom had I can walk in there you know and I'm not gonNA burst into tears when it comes to abolition you're not scared of anything whereas with social anxiety you are scared correct but the end result about work because that person was schizophrenia and I'm talking about myself to you have to be able to do things for yourself and to the the reasons that just general health reasons talk to that person figure out where the breakdown is okay what is keeping them from doing this tax paying okay sit down and be like look let's get this set up on automatic or let's have you write out all of your appointments and I'll put them in my phone also so I can and do it for them help them do it but why can't we just do it why shouldn't we just drag you out of bed and scrub you to use your analogy why doesn't our inscribed them just talk to us and figure out where's this person having an issue so what you're basically saying is don't force them to do it okay so there you know I it could be being lazy on some things but kind of ask some questions see if you're able to start understanding the difference is your reminder I can swing by say hey don't forget just little things it doesn't have to be you take over this person's life and drag them out a bit and put them in the like that analogy that somebody has to do everything for me K. I'm not a little baby because you wanna be proud yes and while unfortunately there are a lot of things that loved ones out there if you're doing that thing for them you're not necessarily helping okay you're just kind of taking over my life and anyone knows I've had I need someone to come in and do everything for me and feed me and that no I did however definitely need help at that moment I needed to be Asian of discussing it being partners figuring out what you need help with and what you don't need help with seems to be working extraordinarily well this this has been be traumatizing for you but more importantly you've said that it wouldn't work specifically said that you would run away do you think you would be better if you ran away because your current situation I can't do I can't work a normal nine to five forty hour week job had to make a lot of adjustments because I can't do that I can't live alone I get weird ounce people because I wasn't doing anything like on my own I just kind of like mentally shut off but at what point I was able to left the house in days I hadn't gotten off the floor in days I've been in the same spot laying on the floor out of it and yeah I could not live alone you've described in your own situation that if your parents who love you very much and out of love just took over your life and forced you to do everything you would resent them that would uh-huh actually that executive because you realized it and you were able to work out tests that that's a coping mechanism that you have been able to to work out and for yours with me bill okay I'm going to go and get it and she said I'll go and get it if you're able to step in and figure out where is this person having the issue if it's bill you realize okay this is not good I need help and I I called my dad and I said listen this is what's happening I don't know what to do and I moved back in pretty much that next there's a difference between that and having someone just take over my life milk okay well you live with me now I'm GonNa you're paying rent to me and I'm going to take care of you thing though is to people someone who knows me on a more personal level of me share again therapy and working with me to be able to kind of tell the other one so very cool the parents interviewed and stuff and I've always told them that the minute they referred to themselves as a caretaker I'm moving out we'll go live in my car because I ownership with your family so that they know what you need help with what you don't need help with when they need to step in and I think here is the key what is the same you don't do it yes there's some reason I can't it's not just the reason it's all I'm terrified I'm shaking evolution is just there's a whole missing title but it got me moving not him like sitting there spoon feeding me soup I know you use words like he made me but he's not actually make now seen for years and I have run away if you know that's how we know this works is that I have lived by myself and had to look around and realize I had you you all have figured out when they don't need to step in and I think that's really the the missing piece for a lot of families out there they don't know when is into motivation and I think that's important is you've done some pre planning ahead of time like leaving your door open setting general guidelines for macron woman but they will come to the door and like Hey Rachel but for me that's important because it let's them check on me without really disturbing me there's and it's like you become apparent to them and no you're going to have them soon with schizophrenia really start to resent you honestly so you believe that a partnership works better because he's encouraging and asking like you said he he made lunch and came down and banged on the door and and I suppose what I'm really trying to say is that you have developed an excellent part back-off yes they know when to step forward but they don't know when to step backward and on that note just because you said banging on the door one thing that stuff from Harris Teeter or from the grocery store and I'll kind of go with her where I probably wouldn't have done that before and that's exactly what happened yesterday I really been out of groceries that I was eating you know knowing that she hasn't gotten out a bit in the past eight hours and him coming and bringing me food or usually it's Rachel I made you lunch I found this just throwing it out not say it'll work for everyone my doors must never closed I always want it open because I can't live alone in general seclude and no matter where you live there's rules of the house husbands and wives have general house rules it's roommates have house rules dorms have house rules that op there hidden okay she's fine and it gives me more of a link that if they're walking by it helps me like hey what are you doing I'm going out in the Mike can I come gene and these have become sort of house rules it's not authoritarian it's not caretaker or caregiver it's just the rules of the house myself off and it's the same thing with room I don't close my door and listen I'm not changing my clothes and then it's back open again on that note my parents also just don't wander in my room as I lee who is at the same center as the person who does the medication so I'll be able to talk to her and she's like you know Rachel I've been hearing a lot of such and such are you having issues with day and they didn't have to do that much to help me because just them being around was able to just just them being around my dad always checking so much done racial yeah on good days I'm like Ju Ju Ju Ju I like it so I do all the work I can't possibly impresed because I never know when it's to better understanding and living well with schizophrenia hosted by renowned advocate an influencer Rachel Star withers and featuring gay powered come up here making me walk all the steps so many steps you know and it seems like a little thing but sometimes it was huge and that was like a week and I just hadn't gotten any and I really wanted to but I just I hadn't and she she's on the choice of can I just come along and the way that is really that's what you've established and it's a lot less about you being a person living with schizophrenia and much more about keeping everybody in the house healthy and safe yes so pre planning is also or motivational issues expectations are set when everybody is well yes we'll be and that's empowering because previously you had done nothing so we really have to reward small successes with this illness the injection for adults with schizophrenia if delaying another episode sounds like it can make a difference for you or your loved one learn more about I have a lot of protein bars I always have protein bars when they're on sale I'll buy like a case so so many protein bars because I know a lot of times I can't make it up the steps to kitchen but I did something I'm not just laying there like wasting away to three days of that we're having another problem but usually my parents have noticed that I just can't and being able to just take a swig of mouthwash that's something Rachel you had the good fortune to speak to take shower I didn't quite get there but I did something towards that I took care of the problem in a way that I could as opposed to just doing nothing eating or something they don't have to worry I even have like mouthwash for days that I don't even think mentally handle brushing my teeth which again yeah I did that thing but I did something I did something moving me towards it all right that might not have been like what anyone else would have done if the goal was there's something going on we haven't seen Rachel in the kitchen or at all and they don't want to step in but they don't have to worry about me just completely we just have to yes because it's not ideal that's why it's an illness correct I mean the protein bars the you know I don't want to be someone who's like right now that sounds silly to say Rachel you can't brush your teeth like I even have a sonic toothbrush like you really just gotTa stick it in your mouth and your mouth vibrates it loose but yes some days reading schizophrenia? With once monthly injections at once monthly difference dot com that's once monthly difference dot com. Oh you didn't eat a healthy meal you didn't get out of bed and you didn't take a shower but that's not the level that we're playing on rate goal with this isn't that so smart and I went out and got them that day and yes some days huts that's what I use you know I really like these examples because on one hand the cynic in me says allowed to eat in the past week is protein bars I'm going to be incredibly for one sick goes by really cheap wouldn't so it tasted terrible Debbie Breen who is a therapist who specializes in counseling people to help them set goals and achieve those goals she's sort of an expert on motivation Shantz had an average of nine episodes in less than six years however there's a treatment plan option that can help delay another episode a wants me but I'll have that protein bar by bid so okay okay at least I ate something to take my pills I have to have some kind of food in me so that's another reason it gets wrec Yes yes all right we'll hear it we're here speaking with licensed professional counselor Debbie Brin so thank you so much for being here with us today and we're back discussing motivation in schizophrenia one other thing is that if I know my big issues gave the clothing I talked about another one is eating pills thing is that well I haven't eaten and go eat before I take my pills everything just spirals when it comes to hygiene I actually read this on a schizophrenia form and someone said that on their days when they couldn't get out of bed and shower they had the little like you'd wipe a baby with those little wipes and I was like hey you're welcome glad to be here I think all of us in life we're going to have times when we don't have motivation to do something when it comes to people you know breath severe schizophrenia depression and other type of serious mental disorders what do you see that motivation is we struggle with the most feeling of a lack of motivation the second that something isn't that right we're not incongruent with our value system or something that's important to us in that just how they act it gives me information so that I can keep my car running which is important to me when I'm not feeling and then the negative physiological non verbals and causes the ice late withdrawal which doesn't end well so what we learn is what motivated to go do something or create something there's a deficit my life and I'm being passive with how handling it and it's not getting and or we haven't resolved Pasquini thinking like this are feeling or what the car crash they're not good or bad they just help me when it comes to working where we're talking like the issued like getting out of bed to go to work or just euro set with free which having to go motivated and when I lack that tells me that I'm dwelling on something which is a thought that's negative normally it's a very fixed trying to solve it I'm doing something active which then gives me motivation hope that life can be different I just can't telling me where the thinking is that I'm feeling depressed I don't see a reason to get up I'm not making different by and how hard is it to get out of bed and you can have a range from a little bit I hit snooze too I really can't get out of bed that behaviors off it's it's not a whole story it's a very small part of a story that is just only negative and that's what produces the negatives and thinking about is a perception but it's not the totality of story or bought most of us can't do this alone but when we seek professional help other going away hopefully we point or someone in your life can help you say wow I'm saying this and and we need to make some changes and this way of thinking that is negative it's like I'm playing a rerun of the negative things that have occurred but then that becomes my reality and but I needed choose to do something different on that note we just about support that's perfect but a lot of times people win were in those states have just kind of deep depression episode schizophrenia. We don't see that what would friends family what can they do when you see someone like that who doesn't realize how bad we can be medication management we we need to learn new skills and again that's a choice in the motivation is I don't like what I'm experiencing right now and have to be open to trying it another way learning how to do it another way they'd be shifting medication but as I moved toward that action of get up and get out of bed then we need to find find support we need to find professional help because that tells us our body is just it's as a family when we can't make someone get help but we see them suffering and then and then we're hurting what's him because we loved them but there's gotta be they lost her death talking not what's needed we need someone just to be present quiet except that this is what I'm feeling and thinking it's it's Korea like you don't like what you do in general or just not having the motivation to get up Mike pursue work one of the first signs of maybe depression began right now what do you need someone is feeling what's the point hopeless then they're communicating to me that they want who is struggling motivation whether it's something really small or like a major life event with just having a hard time accepting moving forward not a fun place to be but it's part of life it's scary being in that place and feeling like you're alone so having someone just there is huge why perspective this imbalance that's going on and and give room for them to choose to make things different may take time everything is a pet and taking care of your pet your pet counseling you now I'm bringing back into their cognition a positive thought of important what we want to do is we wanna pull them from the feeling state which is why they're drowning and to thinking we're just we're relationship in that that pet needs them and they do have purpose I want them to start thinking about what they can do which helps put in whacking and it's GonNa take more than self efforts 'cause that's not working we need someone to walk with us do you have any advice that you wanNA leave with them I understand where they're coming from you live long enough in I'm older in years have a desire for purpose they wanNA have meaning but they're not seeing it in the current moment so we start with what's important to you what do you value what the current state is if almost on empty it's unless there's a needle in read my functioning we're see that that red lights flicker working through this the second thing that person can do is they can validate that feeling by saying you know what I don't understand but I know what it's like I feel like I don't care like there might not be hope we've all we've all had that we're reminding that person you're you're not the first person to go through you want by you I really like how she stressed that it was a choice regardless of how I feel what's going on choose to do something

schizophrenia Rachel Star Lisi Gabe Howard Lee Walmart Amazon thirty minutes three days five forty hour hundred dollars three minute three months eight hours six years one hand milk
Bonus Content: Love, Dating, and Marriage with Schizophrenia

The Psych Central Show

53:04 min | 9 months ago

Bonus Content: Love, Dating, and Marriage with Schizophrenia

"Hello Psych Central Podcast fans this is your host Gabe Howard and I've got some bonus content for you. The latest episode of inside schizophrenia a psych central podcast. Please enjoy. Welcome to inside schizophrenia a look into better understanding living well with schizophrenia hosted by renowned advocate and influence or Rachel Star withers and featuring. Gay Howard. Boot. Listeners could change in your schizophrenia treatment plan make a difference. There are options out there. You might not know about visit once monthly different com to find out more about the benefits of once monthly injections for adults with schizophrenia. Welcome to inside schizophrenia I'm Rachel Star here with my co host gay powered gape today interesting topic love dating marriage while having schizophrenia is if those three things weren't hard enough. You can see why we waited so long to do this because I've known you for a long time Rachel in all that time, you've never wanted to discuss love dating or marriage euro can't discussing schizophrenia. Yes. But not love dating or marriage. So this is GonNa be fun. Yeah. I'm not a great source for relationship advice because I'm single. That's the end of the story I. You know that's very fair. Yeah, I have been. For a long time and you're happy being single your yeah. Sure whatever. No I mean seriously the are you happy being single I rather be single than unhappy. That's fair. Okay. I'm fine as I am. Let's say that when you find that you are yeah I think the important thing for the audience to understand though is that you're not single because of schizophrenia you don't feel that those two things have any relation you do have schizophrenia and you are single but they're saying what? I'm trying to say if you asked me, could I just find someone? Yes, I could. But you'd be unhappy in that relationship, right? Yeah. I know that schizophrenia wraps around your entire life but you don't feel that schizophrenia is holding you back. You just haven't met the right person and you have very high standards and you're an impressive woman you should have high standards. Another way for high standards is shallow you're shallow. To say, shallow. Nice standards. Shallow. whichever luckily, luckily, we found a married couple. Yes. We found Andrew and Stephanie Downing who are the authors of marriage in Schizophrenia is on the prize I had no idea that this existed but Rachel you've been aware of this book for quite some time even before we interviewed them for the show and what's cool is so andrew the husband he has schizophrenia and they found out and then they got married. So it wasn't like they've been together and then suddenly something happened a few years she went in knowing that this is something that they're going to have to deal with together for the rest of their lives. What was really cool about the interview which. is coming up a little later as we interviewed them both at the same time and I thought they were very very candid. It was really interesting to hear their thoughts on this idea that people with schizophrenia shouldn't get married and shouldn't have kids. Rachel what do you think about that concept that people with schizophrenia either should not be in romantic relationships or will we most often here cannot be in stable relationships? I think people schizophrenia I could do anything relationship wise. That doesn't mean it's going to be easy as is most things in life. The schizophrenia is just something else added on the reason to people break up may have nothing to schizophrenia could be mother-in-law's terrible. Could be there just really annoying. They snore at night and you can't take it. You can only take so many years without sleep you know. So there's like silly reasons and like serious reasons why people do or don't get married or stay married backing off from schizophrenia for just talking about general mental illnesses longtime listener to the show I have bipolar disorder and I have been divorced. Twice and I'm fascinated at the number of people who hear that I have bipolar disorder and here that I got divorced that's it. That's all they know they weren't around when I was married they're just meeting me for the first time I've been happily married for eight years now and they're like, Oh, you got divorced twice bipolar disorder, right? I mean gave I've always assumed you ran off. I understand why people feel that way I do it is an easy conclusion to draw and much in the same way with schizophrenia polar disorder is all encompassing to say that it had zero to do with. It is certainly disingenuous Rachel I feel that following these stereotypes removes agency and responsibility from the people involved and I. Think this gives an opportunity to grow I believe that the divorce is were my fault and that allowed me to be very introspective look into. Myself and grow as a person if I would have taken the company line. Oh, it's because I have bipolar disorder. Then I don't know that I would have improved and I don't think that I would be happily married. Now, how do you feel about people who just blame their love woes on schizophrenia and then don't improve as a person I imagine that that you don't feel good about that because I've never ever seen you use schizophrenia as an excuse for anything. I think if you WANNA excuse you're going to find an excuse. Schizophrenia is a really big one that you could be like no one wants me because of this reason and there's other things like, yes the medication makes you gain weight yes. The medication makes you WANNA sleep most of them have sexual side effects and you can say all of that does contribute absolutely. But at the end of the day I'm responsible for me and it's my job to find a way to love my life. You know because those same things I could immediately flip in like, Oh man I have a really bad job. No one's GonNa WanNa be with me on my hair is falling out mine is so don't feel like I'm just pointing out the guys. You know there's so many things though if you want an excuse, you will always have one that's not the way to look at it, and honestly no one wants to be in a relationship with that. We talked about in preparation for the show and you told me that you were on dating. APPS. Dating APPS, you know high woman living with Schizophrenia Likes Dogs No. If it's someone that I like and we WANNA meet up for a day. I want them to know that ahead of time I rather them know going in hey, she has a mental disorder Blah Blah Blah the meek attached to them and then bring it up three weeks later, and then they leave I rather you leave than me get attached she. Oh, the downside of that is yeah. Probably makes people leave but those don't sound like good people for. This of course is a rampant discussion on mental health message boards is the right time to tell some people advocate like you. Immediately, some people advocate putting it in your dating profile. Other people say before the first date, some people say in person on the first date somebody say by the six days some people say it's none of their business tell him on your wedding day and when you read through it, all of the reasons seem rational now said. That you tell people before you meet them in person and the number one objection to that is but isn't that a lot I mean you've never even laid eyes on this person and they're already sending you their health history. How did you arrive at that being the perfect time to tell them rather than in person or on date number three I don't just like sin this message being like, Hey, by the way guess what can't we see tomorrow night but I am at different situation than most people schizophrenia. I have a web presence I make a lot of media and different things, and it's usually listed in most of my bios and I always make sure that we lifted each other's instagram's or something where I have a lot of schizophrenia stuff twitter like if you were to look over my social media's and you. Didn't realize that I had it. I been I don't know if it's the case I'm not sure if they looked at my instagram, we haven't printed each other I usually send them a link to something I've done or just straight up to my website and I said, Hey, by the way, this is me I work in mental health media and I also have schizophrenia. I've only had to do the text probably about like five to ten times. So it's not like I'm constantly sending out the text most of the time people would just see the social media or whatnot. It's interesting about texting people before you go on a date with them and telling them they have schizophrenia I want to say that I am against this method. I think that it's kind of a lot for somebody to see an attack before they've laid eyes on you met you as a person been in your orbit. That said my wife Kendall I texted to her and we're now married and just celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary. So it worked and you gave you just said that you were against it but you did it. Yeah. I had just had a relationship and where I decided that I was gonna tell the person on the third or fourth gate and and it took about six weeks to get there. So a lot of texting a lot of phone calls but we only hung out three or four times, and finally over lunch I told the person I said, you know, hey, I want to let you know have my polar disorder and A couple of days later she's like, Hey, it's too much for me and like you said I got attached the reason that I told that person is because I like them I I enjoyed the six weeks. So here came Kendall on the same dating APP and I was like. I'm just going to get rid of you and it all worked out. Do you think maybe there just is no right answer. Whatever happens to you happens to you I would say there's absolutely no right answer, your gender, your age, your other situations, all of that stuff plays. Then every situation is different and every person is you shouldn't feel like you have to tell anyone upfront. That's your personal business. You mentioned gender differences. Do you think that there's a gender difference between a woman telling a man that she? Lives with schizophrenia versus a man telling a woman or even in the Lgbtq community do you think it's different than in the street community and I I know I'm asking you to speak for a lot of people. I. Know That's a lot. But you're the research queen. What have you found are two episodes we did on gender and schizophrenia definitely check those out if you haven't yet. Great, they're great. We learned that women with schizophrenia tend to have a better social outcome and longer lasting relationships and children than men with schizophrenia men tend to be diagnosed with schizophrenia six. Younger around late teens, and then you have women the average age which doesn't apply to everybody didn't apply to me around like thirty's to mid thirties. So it was a very good chance that a lot of women are already married before it is a diagnosis whereas you have guys going in knowing Oh no, I have to tell this person this thing whereas the women, your Bharti, Mary probably have kids and then it comes up. So I think just the social constructs are kind of stacked against men on that situation. You know we always had the joke in society that women are crazy. So I do think a woman probably get away with saying she has a mental disorder and the other person taking it easier than if a man says it and unfortunately, like we also learned with gender with the males usually people here males with schizophrenia and they think violence can imagine this. would be hard for dating because your friends would be like wait you're dating schizophrenic doesn't that mean that you will be Xyz in your sleep that's unfortunate because it please listen to that episode schizophrenia and violence small tiny percentage. Yes. But there's a small tiny percentage of violence that exists in society schizophrenia doesn't raise or lower it. It just sort of exists within it. Let's talk about that other person in the relationship. So the person who does not have a mental disorder, who is the we're talking just dating. Marriage wherever that And that's kind of where you are a little bit different game where you've had multiple marriages and I've had none nor been even close to a stage where that would happen. And in a way, it's good because I don't have anything hanging over my head I. Don't feel that I impacted anyone's life that negatively and I'm not saying you are horrible person. But same thing you know that is a lot to kind of weigh on you. That your symptoms did affect another person. It's true and I imagine it's a silver lining to being single I. Know I'm prying racial. Thank you for being vulnerable but do you feel that the fact that you've never been married? Is Sort of a plus for you because like you said, you don't have any regrets. Your schizophrenia did not impact a love interest. It's good and bad thing while I haven't had to deal with those negatives I also haven't gotten any of the positives I'm sure you had great moments positive moments in it that marriage and I think that's something hard for a lot of people with mental disorders who are single they're like, well, I, want that I want to be in love I want. To have someone when you look at just your support network you kind of think. Oh well, what if I'm alone at age such and such you know what's going to happen to me after my parents passed away after you know my friends get married and have their own families like what about my support system and they've even found research that people with schizophrenia. When you're unhappy with your relationship status, you will have worst symptoms than those who are happy with their current relationship in many. Ways it's one of the meanest things about schizophrenia that the disease process is impacted by external factors. If you're in a healthy relationship, your symptoms are less if you're in an unhappy relationship, your symptoms are worse. But now if you're in no relationship, your symptoms are lesser worst depending on how you feel about that. Rachel as a single woman are you happy being single and therefore getting the benefits of less symptoms or are you unhappy being single I? Personally am very happy with like minded. Ship of. Nothingness. Right now, like I don't feel like Oh. Wow. I really wish you know it was married. I. Really. Wished you know. At H, thirty five is a woman most women are either married or they're not happy that they are still single thirty five. That's not like a good thing. They're like a really throwing that net out there whatever I can catch at this point. So I do think it's different. I actually get asked quite a lot. Why are you single different things like that and I'm like Oh you don't know me that's why. Rachel you kind of brought up an interesting point there that you're thirty five years old and you're single on that society doesn't like that I know that my thirty five year olds single female friends who do not have schizophrenia just get all kinds of pressure to just relationship up right now because after all the biological clock is ticking, you're not getting any younger do get more or less pressure because of the schizophrenia in comparison to your non schizophrenic. Old Contemporaries I get lot less and that's been something that's kind of come up and I don't really let people know that it hurts me but it does it all kind of come up like subtly it can be frustrating because I feel that. The Schizophrenia label is just so like put on certain people. And even people closest to you. Your family have these biases against shoe and they don't mean to the absolutely don't mean to, but it is what it is. But an unintentional bias is still a bias. Do you think that people would be surprised if you got married I absolutely think they would be surprised if I met someone and I was in a relationship and then got married I it would have some bad size to because all. Well, thank goodness someone saved her really even though you've been living for thirty five years all by yourself. If you got married tomorrow, the full credit would pass to the spouse. I really think so and oh. Thank. God we were so worried about her and okay. Now we don't have to. Worry, she's taking care of like I really do think that there would be a bad side to that of just seeing me like, yes. If that other person is my caretaker as opposed to a spouse when it comes to schizophrenia caregivers are very important. The problem I think is I don't know that we have like a good definition of caregiver in many cases the term caregiver is simply given to the person standing next to the person with schizophrenia I would like a more robust definition. The caregiver is somebody who is actually giving. Care on a daily basis and the person that they're giving care to cannot without that care. That is what I consider a caregiver. For example, when I had surgery my wife was my caregiver for a couple of days because I. I couldn't stand up without her that seems like caregiving to me but. Two years after surgery when people are like, Oh, well, that's Gabe in his caregiver what what cares she giving? Well, you know because you live with mental illness. Okay. So you're literally just calling her my caregiver because she's standing next to me good marriages are based on being equal and for the most part people don't consider people living with schizophrenia equal to their caregivers and that's a very important point especially, for anybody who is looking to get married in the near future is to think about that even set up some kind of like boundaries because one partner is going to get really burnt out quickly if they feel. That they're that caregiver if they feel that they have to take responsibility over this other person, that's just too much for anybody to handle, and that's why support systems are so important it shouldn't just be youtube against the world. It doesn't work in Muslim relationships steadily, not gonNA work when you're dealing with schizophrenia thrown in there to make sure that you stay in contact with your friends that you bring your parents around whenever you feel comfortable. If possible, let them come to the therapist with you or the doctor at least like get to see that side of you and understand even for the partner without the mental disorder. That they have support group to you shouldn't be there only sounding board because they're going to get frustrated they're going to get stressed out. They're gonNA. Need other friends to talk to and be like, Hey, he did this and I don't know this is schizophrenia or let's just what being married to a man like. Both sides, Nita's support system, and the need to be able to talk openly without judgment if there comes a time when one of them needs more care than others, you should already know what you're going to do kind of have that plan in place. So Hey, I'm going to be making sure that you take your meds every day. When you get sicker I'm going to help with this. All right. Cool and then when you have your throat surgery next month, I'm going to buy you so much ice cream. Rachel people ask me about my marriage all the time and they want to know the differences between my marriage and regular marriage and that's the first thing that I want to say there is no difference. I do have a regular marriage in a regular marriage. There will be challenges. It's for better for worse in sickness and in health that applies to all marriages. I just happened to have this sickness that I need help managing, and some of that help is very, very tiny most days the only help that I. Need is my wife reminds me to make a doctor's appointment not because I'm not managing my mental health but because the minutia of life gets in the way and she's like Oh, you need a physical this week don't forget to work in your work and pick up the dry cleaning because your bloodwork is next to the dry cleaner. That's just what life is like. I'm surprised at the number of people that are like, well, no, no no your marriage must be completely an entirely different because of this one thing. It's not. We can't figure out to have for dinner either were largely not special. I think that is a key component and we'll be right back after a message from our sponsor. It can sometimes feel like another schizophrenia episode is just around the corner. In fact, a study found that patients had an average of nine episodes in less than six years. However, there's a treatment plan option that can help delay another episode a once monthly injection for adults with schizophrenia. If delaying another episode sounds like it can make a difference for you or your loved one. Learn more about treating schizophrenia with once monthly injections at once. Monthly difference. Dot. com. That's once monthly difference DOT COM. And we're back talking about love dating and marriage while having Schizophrenia Rachel. We have great guest interview and you were very impressed with their online presence there book. Honestly, it's one of my favorites, but I might be a sucker for love stories Andrew and Stephanie Downing who wrote marriage and Schizophrenia eyes on the prize and they are married couple. He has schizophrenia whatever you're looking for books about schizophrenia not many of them are really upbeat. And then you think Oh wow marriage and schizophrenia I'm thinking that could also work as a horror title. Goal a lot of different ways and I was reading different parts of their book and I just really love their attitude to take on life and I was surprised by the interview Gabe. I don't know what I was expecting, but I was just so taken that they were like an open book with us I thought they were super cool. Let's listen right now. Today we have Andrew and Stephanie Downing the authors of Marriage and schizophrenia. Eyes. On the prize Andrew First of all I'm excited talk to you a fellow person with schizophrenia what's up? I'm doing good. How are you very good and especially to talk to the both of you earlier in the podcast I say it. So I'm single pretty much forever. So I don't have much to put in when it comes to having a major mental disorder and long term relationships. So I'm excited to talk to both of you inspired to talk to the both of you I want to jump right in what has been the biggest obstacle we've been through so much. We've been together for eighteen years. And we've gone through so many different periods, and if you look at the first period of our relationship, you know there was different challenges and obstacles at that time. And now fast forward to eighteen years later. Now, there's new obstacles and so schizophrenia just. Really brought us on a really long different journey with so many different angles and all the questions you could ask are gonna be different at different times in our life as I reflect back. The biggest obstacle was when Andrew was in the middle of a psychotic episode meaning when he did not have a good sense of reality and he was having hallucinations, he was delusional we were engaged at the time and he ended up in the psych ward. The night before he ended up in the psych ward, he get my engagement ring back and. It felt like the Andrew that I fell in love with the Andrew that a new died on me. It truly felt like a death and. The person I knew and fell in love with has gone and I. would say that was the biggest obstacle. Showing up at the Psych Ward and visiting him there and realizing that This person that I love is very, very sick. I was young and so. Now for eighteen years that was the most difficult time in that was sixteen years ago. So that was kind of the biggest obstacle right there at the beginning. So you got the hardest part over. That's amazing. But what have been some the constant stressors throughout your marriage? A big stressors I would say is just instability. Also a big stressor for us has been health care medication is a stressor finding the balance between. Working through challenges and then also just accepting challenges. Yeah. When I was first diagnosed with schizophrenia, I was taking a load of medication and now you vast this part of my life and I'm on a lot less medication that his made life a lot easier for me in general, the medication and the side effects have been so intense. And dealing with that from the age of nineteen and thirty eight has brought. So many challenges like Steph mentioned the healthcare as well. Just the stress of not knowing that I can afford my medications or finding the right healthcare plans. So I can continue to take my medications. All these hoops that we've had to jump through around schizophrenia with medication and healthcare definitely been an obstacle and a major stressor. Speaking of medication, how do you to deal with changes? So for instance, if the doctor wants to change you to a different type of medication, do you talk to Stephanie about it? D- Way out the. Because believe me I understand of. Yeah I think how much it's disrupted my life. I can't imagine being a parrot and having a spouse with it. It's an incredible challenge in that probably eight or nine years ago maybe a little bit more because of the medications and the side effects trying to keep up to staff and trying to be a good husband for her and trying to be a good father I didn't know that I could keep doing the side effects from the medication were so intense, they're still intense. And just trying to keep up to people that are not on those medications was incredibly difficult and there's been many times in my life. I thought I don't know if I can do this anymore though I just feel fortunate to have survived and Fortunate Stephanie has been patient and just willing to deal with my ups and downs and more importantly my down zero how willing she was to sacrifice to be in my space and allow me to heal. When I first started dating Andrew, he was on a very low amount of medication and he was so lively and talkative and energetic, and that's the guy fell in love with. Really know any better and when he started getting sick to the point where he was going to have more symptoms, he then had to increase again and he was so different. It was so tired he was so just lethargic and he looks to me and that was medication side effects, and so that was very new to me to experience that and that went on for years that he was just so. Tired and you seem so sick to man and I would question like is everything okay with us like does he just? Things just not going well and our marriages Janjalani, but that was truly the side effects of the meds and we've watched him. Try to adjust intolerate, but it's had so many affects that it's Really a lot to talk about. just even thinking about how he's had to change his lifestyle, and if we want to go on a trip at making sure he has his medication end thankfully, he can be the night driver because he doesn't take his nightly meds. He can stay up all hours of the night but then he's an punished and the next day we all kind of kind of. When he's so tired throughout the whole entire day. So I think a lot of people think that people go off their meds because they're feeling better and they don't need them anymore but I think another part of it is that people truly feel sick and tired on her medication. I was not very honest with my medications right away. I didn't really WANNA even to doctors about medications just wanted to avoid doctors and I was very closed off as far as discussing medication with people in general. I was more comfortable with steps and we did and continue to talk just about everything and she's been so great for that. We just. Have Gotten the pattern of communicating and communicating as much as possible. And I've betrayed that confidence many times with the medications and not told her that I was going to not take the medications anymore, which is definitely been a process of like. Are you on enough meds do need more? Do you need to talk to a doctor about this but in general I would say that Steph has acted as my therapist and my med provider and just somebody who I should like everything should be should go through her and that role that she played that instrumental role that being a therapist being a MED provider in a marriage was a lot of stress for her and on Glee that got really frustrating after a while and so. Eventually I needed to find a way to do this more on my own where it was less of a burden for her so she could have more of a regular life. And we've transitioned into that now where. You know I don't talk to her about the meds as much and I'm really consistent and locked in with what I want to do. We've communicated about everything usually been on the same page with what medications to take and what to do next. It's not just married. You also have children. Your children are pretty young. How have you dealt with pretty much your schizophrenia part of the family relationship do they know has it caused any issues? It has been pretty normal overall and both Andrew I work in the mental health field. So I think that helps a lot too and Our daughter is fourteen now and our son has seven and. So it's just kind of where they're at developmentally to know how to talk about it with them our daughter just read our book last summer summer I believe. We said, yes. Seems like a PG thirteen book can be. And you know she had questions but she's very mature and actually. A genetics and things that are passed down I mean I can already see anxiety and depression kind of me in you know the concerns about her future mental health but because Andrew Ir. So open and honest and work in the field I think that conversation in that encouraging communication and comfort talking about what's going on has been really helpful. We tried to take things seriously at times, and then at other times, we have to take things lightly and joke about things in use humor and try to keep it balanced that way that, yeah we have a seven year old boy and we're driving down the road and there was something on the radio about mental health and. Now my son James. In the back, he goes hey dad. You have mental health, right? And I was like, yeah. Yeah. I got mental health you my daughter's in the car to and we just started laughing you know. So Ella being fourteen she gets it and she says the word schizophrenia whereas James is more like Oh dad has mental health or I think he's a schizophrenia once in a while but it's a total different experience. I've tried to use mental health in my journey as inspiration for them to and and not been. Afraid to tell them. Yeah. I immensely because living ally or pretending that don't have. It is really really bad for me. A have to be up front and if I WANNA feel close to people, they usually need to know that I have schizophrenia and I have this issue because it's such a major part of my life and so my kids are no different. You know I feel like they need to know what's going on in my life. When it came to having children were you worried at all about them having schizophrenia or how that how Andrew Schizophrenia might affect that? I would say, yes because of. The reactions of others for one I think it's probably a people's number one question that they ask us when we're sharing as talking about the kids and having that fear and I think that it's there. It's in the back of my head but like Andrew tries to remind me and I try to remind him as that with schizophrenia or with mental illness, there's also so many strengths in a person that we try to just really focus on those and try to build those up and build those skills because whether our children end up with schizophrenia, which does run in Andhra side of the family even beyond Andrew. Or they end up with depression or anything is just to have those skills to be able to manage it an even beyond that the hope of recovery. Right away it's beginning of our relationship. We had certain medical professionals, teachers in different people in places of power or influence who were definitely worried about Stephanie having a ship and having children and we were told don't have children. And I think that attitude has changed a little bit and I'd like to say that I'm more on that revolutionary side or that really super hopeful side that says, why do we have to be so afraid of schizophrenia because I enjoy my life I'm a happy human being I like my daily life. and. Sometimes, I'd deal more healthy or happy than people that don't have schizophrenia. So other people in my life I see are struggling while alcoholism the struggling with drug addiction or the struggling with this you name what life isn't going to have the struggle and why do we have schizophrenia? Is this just awful horrible thing that you can never enjoy your life. Part of my training as a peer support specialist was really rejecting the notion schizophrenia was this endless hopeless struggle and that you couldn't get better and that you couldn't be happy. So. I've tried to have that forward thinking. And not being afraid and Stephanie has really helped me understand that if we can be there for kids and talk to them and have this open relationship and be able to talk about mental illness and not be afraid of it. If. We had early intervention. We even have less to worry about. That absolutely. Awesome. Andrew I love that attitude obviously schizophrenia is a very serious mental disorder and whatnot, but I'm always like you know. It's not that bad. I was like a lot of things could be worse. Compared to the world's problems. But. That's a really great attitude and I loved her answer I have so many people ask me should have been disorders. And I'm like I don't have any children. So I don't feel like I should answer that because I've never even been remotely in the situation that hasn't happened. So it's really interesting to get to talk to you too who have already been there and have such a great outlook. What advice do you have for couples who are thinking about getting married and one of them has a very serious mental disorder like schizophrenia. Steph do you WanNa go first on that one? You took the big risk. You were the one who like Yup I'm going to sign up for this. So I I just feel like you might have the best advice right away on this one. Okay Again, communication is a huge hired of healthy relationship and back got us through a lot that communication piece is huge and we needed to talk about things we needed to process through things and I needed to know that he was going to be receptive of what I was GonNa say and. We. Got To this point in a relationship where we talking about love and a lot of that was, can you put that other person's needs and happiness before yourself? And I tried to do that for him I think he could see that he saw me. Through time in the sacrifices that made to be with him to to show up, leave my college dorm and show up at the hospital in visit him there and just be there with him through those really difficult times and then in turn I could see that he wanted to do that for me. In his his biggest moment, I didn't see that. In that hurts but pretty much the majority of the time I knew that he wanted to put me first and make sure that he was going to be able to meet my needs in a relationship. And so I saw that potential and I knew that we're GONNA have to work through a lot together but because he had that desire and he wanted to make those choices. I can tell that you know hopefully with time and practice and training every relationship you you WANNA. Teach different things, and now it's trying to get them to load the dishwasher properly but. I knew that he was responsive and receptive stood to what I wanted. A vice, I would give to other couples or maybe someone that has a serious mental illness and considering being in a relationship would be to make sure you feel prepared for an incredible journey. And climbing a mountain, it's going to be difficult and you're taking a lot of medications that are making you super tired and sick being in a relationship is going to make. That more difficult and it has been a really big challenge for me to have a wife and have kids and I felt like at the beginning of the journey and throughout different periods of our lives that mountain has felt like it's just too hard to climb and thankfully I've been able to keep going but. I think you need to ask yourself what kind of intensity or what kind of pain can you put up with? What can you deal with and going to be different? So everybody has a unique set of challenges and has different stressors, and so my advice might not be the best for somebody else in a relationship situation. I have a background in hockey I played hockey through to torn rotator cuffs in three traumatic brain injuries, and so being in a marriage and having kids I was used to training my body in to taking punishment and so. I JUST WANNA. Make it clear that it is a big adventure. It's not something to be taken lightly because you're joining to lives together and possibly more with kids and. It's not something to just rush into and I feel so lucky that I found steph because I feel most other people I knew couldn't put up with me I was so lucky to find her because she was willing to deal with some really intense weird stop. It just keeps ringing mind to take your vows seriously the in sickness or death I mean. I did take those generously and as I think I was twenty one when we got married pretty young and when I said those vows and sickness and death like I knew that that must mean somebody's GonNa get sick somebody's GonNa, struggle, and Oh my going to respond to that. I have a question for you Stephanie, when Andrew may be starting to have a hard time whether it's an episode or maybe side effects kicking and for medication how do you know that's coming in? How do you deal with it? How do you bring that up to him? So, that is difficult to answer. But one thing that I do look for is your ability and anger and frustration. There's the right time or better times to talk to somebody about things. My children know not talked me when I'm or hungry, which is not going to get a good answer may in town instead stuff. So looking for that with Andrew has been helpful if he is seeming really agitated back off but then. It really truly is important to confront at times and as long as they. Now that you are somebody that is going to be consistent in their lives that you want to be a person that is accountable or keeping them accountable I think if they can have that status and use wisdom or disturbance, and it's a good time to talk about it. Then you're just going to bring it up and you're gonNA let them know how You're feeling or I'm feeling into studying them be aware and this seems really off right now and so not afraid to have those conversations but also considering. Right timing of it. I would just add to the Steph has done a good job of. Me On things that she was certain that I was being delusional or that I needed to change courses in my life or needed to recognize that I was feeling mentally ill and. She, hasn't got it perfect every time but she has taken those chances and been willing to say, Andrea you're not doing well right now i. think you need to recognize that the sausage are having are they're delusional or they're wrong and you need to make an adjustment in your life and there's been other times in my life where she's backed off at just the right time and just giving me space he'll and so that is such a hard thing to know like which one does he need does he need this challenge does in this confrontation or does he need space and that is very difficult? And I will say when we work through the chaos and the challenge that there's usually a lot of growth and healing after that and a lot that we both learned from the experience. So it does prove worth Ed's obviously all marriages have conflict does any normal marital issues ever get blamed on the schizophrenia? That's a good question is I think at times maybe once in a while it does think normal things to get changed into schizophrenia things but Steph has been amazing for one just not accepting the label. She doesn't see me as somebody was schizophrenia and therefore she doesn't have this set expectation from that and I think that is a really destructive things. So if you see somebody as a label or somebody whisk, it's a frontier, then you're going to have that. Problem, more often were regular things are getting attributed to schizophrenia and she has been so great of not seeing me as somebody with schizophrenia but more just as a person just seeing the as Andrew, and that is really helped hearing you both speak you just hear an absolutely like wonderful very happy supportive couple. The schizophrenia takes a back seat, which is awesome. So I actually want to end the interview with Stephanie if you could tell us about Andrew Andrew about her. Awesome okay. So Andrew was on my crush Liz to and ninth grade and was just this amazing person that was very skilled at hockey. Then he was as talented or is this talented Shen that can play right now every instrument and not only that but he paints too and when I first started hanging around with Andrew which was like in college when we first started dating looking at his paintings and the depth and the creativity of his brain and the way it works with so fascinating to me and We just kind of went on a journey together. I just knew that he had these qualities and. Is Values that. I loved and. He was so. Sensitive and easy to talk to you I fell in love. and. he's been absolutely wonderful husband do have difficult times as everybody does I just am so thankful to be with them and proud of him definitely has been on my radar since ninth grade as well. That's a long history and. I have actually pretty hard time talking about the subject without starting to cry like a baby because she really saved my life you know She came to me when I was at. Absolute Rock bottom and was basically the only person willing to get in my space. Not just be from distance or say one thing here and there and just be really distant. She was not afraid of schizophrenia was not afraid of mental illness was not afraid of anything she came into my blades and stayed there. And I was so lucky to fall in love with her. She was willing to go somewhere really uncomfortable and be willing to be in somebody's space that was Kinda scary and I was scared when I was nineteen I was kind of a person. He didn't want to be around because you were afraid of what was going on. Because of my success in hockey, my name was known across the country and yet at that time nineteen years old nobody wanted to be around me except for Steph she saw me walking on the hill and she called me up and has changed my life and I feel so fortunate to be with her and to watch her grow through all of this and to be such a impactful human being in the mental health service world's he's getting a graduate degree now and just so proud of her, she's such an asset for this community for kids in the community for adults she is served people all the years of my life. I'm so proud of her. That's awesome. Is there anything else that you would like to share with our listeners here on inside schizophrenia? I would say. Just having hope is such a big deal and to know that we strongly support the mental health field end. Believe that having wraparound services is so important but then also just knowing that. If it's your neighbor if it's a friend and you're there to support through having those conversations and being willing to go in those uncomfortable topics is really important but having hope and value of loving somebody. In a way that sometimes you have to have some sacrifice, our culture we've moved towards isolation so much in that part of that is to do with covid right. Now, I would just courage others to to get involved in other people's lives and not from a distance and not from a safe place, but really get up close and personal and spend time with people and in reach out and try to make a difference not just from a comfortable space at home, but to get out there and the community and try to. Reach people that are struggling trying to help others avoid isolation. Awesome. So I know I have the book here marriage in. Schizophrenia is there anything else you want to promote? We do have our book available marriage in Schizophrenia Eyes on the prize. It is on Amazon and most other places paperback copy, but you can get e book for Dollar Right now also music is available out there might debut Solo jazz album fighting time Andrew Downing fighting time is available on all the streaming platforms, check it out I. Think you'll enjoy it. It's ask for sure he plays all instruments and writes music though to clarify adult play all instruments but yes I play Piano Bass drums and guitar on that help. How can our listeners fine? You are y'all in any social media Andrew. Downing Music is on Youtube I'm also on link Dan. Instagram Andrew Downing, music, the social media platforms that we have are more geared towards the music, but I also put stuff on there for a book well. Thank you so much for spending this time. Talking to us. It's good ambassador rarity. It was incredibly hard. For me doing research for this episode getting to meet you both and here you talk and how just absolutely uplifting you are and just. Honestly. Relationship Goals Hashtag. Like it's really really awesome. Definitely giving our listeners and me also a lot of hope. Awesome. Thank you thank you for having. Yeah, thank you so much. And we're back Rachel what are your thoughts I was taken away your the whole time they were talking I loved it. It was very sweet I think you can hear their voices when they're talking back and forth and sometimes you hear his voice began to crack a little and you kind of hear it in hers but you could just see that they both been through a lot and they both love each other a whole lot I don't know I was so inspired by them if I'm going to get married, that's what I want. I want that kind of partnership. It was nice. It was hoped full and I absolutely love the way that they had already brought it up to their children. The young sons saying you have mental help those kids you know are able to ask questions they're able to be knowledgeable and not be afraid of stereotypes. The schizophrenia was just something that as a couple they had to deal with like managing the household or taking care of the children are taking care of the dog or planning a vacation managed schizophrenia was just something on the list it wasn't the focal point, but it was important in something. That they as a couple had to address and I thought that was amazing because so often mental illness permeates too much and that's all they focus on or one person tries to handle it alone and not utilize the resource of their spouse or support system, and that never turns out well, either I liked their management style they didn't ignore schizophrenia, but they also didn't make the focal point of their marriage. They made each other the focal point of their marriage and this sounds like a mushy thing to say Gabe especially, you know me I'm I'm pretty cool but they. gave me hope they really did you know just how uplifting they were in the fact that they both Kinda were like, Hey, this is life relationships are not easy for anyone recently, a psychiatrist who I only went to once asked me why I was single and she kept pressing me for answers and I was getting really annoyed about this because I was there because I have severe depression also and I needed a medication change I understand why she was asking she was asking pretty much. How was I responding with sexual side effects of what I was currently on? And I'm like, no I need medicine. So I won't hurt myself not to go on the dating game and a lot of times people schizophrenia like me. We have so much to deal with hallucinations, delusions depressions just getting out of bed taking a shower. Some days is monumental. So trying to find a relationship, a person today is the least important thing on my list but listening to Andrew and Stephanie It really helped me see that a relationship was Allah picture for me. It didn't have to be you know the last thing on my list, it was more of a possibility. Thank you so much for listening likes share subscribe with all of your friends and family, and we will see you next time here on Insights A. Inside Schizophrenia is presented by Psych Central Dot, com America's largest and longest operating independent mental health website your host Rachel Star withers can be found online at Rachel. Star. Live Dot com co host gave Howard can be found online at GAY POWER DOT COM For questions or to provide feedback please email top back at psych central Dot Com. The official website for insight schizophrenia is psych central dot com slash s thank you for listening and please share widely.

schizophrenia Andrew Andrew Rachel Gabe Howard Stephanie Andrew Schizophrenia Rachel Star hallucinations Kendall youtube Steph Andrew Downing Rachel I Stephanie It Stephanie Downing WanNa instagram bipolar disorder hockey
Bonus Content: Motivation in Schizophrenia

A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast

49:06 min | 1 year ago

Bonus Content: Motivation in Schizophrenia

"Welcome to inside schizophrenia. You are invited to listen to inside schizophrenia a new podcast brought to you by psych central dot com home of the not crazy podcast please enjoy thing I struggle with across the board schizophrenia has always been the negative symptoms the depression the stuff that keeps me down I struggled with my whole life and to look at me from the outside you would see I've done so many projects TV shows radio PODCASTS for three days which compounds the problem so rather than looking at Oh my loved one is symptomatic they're thinking to themselves oh she's always Lisi hallucinations killers murderers like they think really dramatic stuff and yes I do hallucinate a lot unfortunately mostly because there's a big difference between being not motivated to climb a mountain and not motivated to get out of bed which is not uncommon for people like yourself the biggest it becomes sort of a when you're well and you're doing all the things that you need to do they sort of forget about that when you spend all day in bed or you don't shower visit once monthly different dot com to find out more about the benefits of once monthly injections for adults with schizophrenia. You're listening to inside schizophrenia. I'm Rachel Star withers here with my co host Gabe Howard gave today. We're GONNA talk about motivation in schizophrenia. When people hear schizophrenia they're always like Oh my God is killing all of that that is what people think about and it's so sad because like almost never happens you should listen to our violence episode if you haven't already oh absolutely yes time it's really boring stuff like seeing something wrong like my my cup of water is is distorted and I'm like what am I looking at the whole thing about violence listeners? Could change in your schizophrenia treatment plan make a difference there options out there you might not know about like make whole sentences and we're here to dispel all of those myth and the myth that we're working on today as you said is the whole motivation issue is that I wear like my pajamas all day and I can't tell you what time it is a real as forgot to eat that day I haven't taken a shower in you know it's like mentally I'm gone it was a hole in my head does that make sense gave it does it makes a lot of sense and we know that that is an unfortunate outcome or a symptom of skits yeah you must be lazy violent and definitely you're causing your family and friends to suffer Yup why aren't you in a locked up in a mental hospital why aren't you homeless I'm shocked you can it's like there's nobody home in my head and just doing the smallest thing like getting up and taking a shower and washing my hair is like a feet it's just yes unfortunately yes especially when I get stuck in it for like a few months where I'm just a slug it out explain it and I'm just mentally out of it I have to set up my medications specifically morning and night like I said it up once a week labeled because I forget sometimes I just don't want to do things like you should a friend it's a symptom of of a lot of mental illnesses not being able to get out of bed not being able to be organized to get stuff done etc do you think that sometimes with water but it's a strange some days like yeah I won't take my medicine till five pm unfortunately because I just laid in bed and kind of delusional state but I've done so many things across the board that you'd be like do Rachel like you're always up to something with you'll don't see though or the days that I can't get out of bed the just the general population when they hear the word I'm sorry not to that's just like you have the stereotype yeah they they they think that you're lazy or violent that really that's what they think like Oh yes gets a friend self that it's it's overwhelming and sometimes I feel like it's overwhelming to try and get up and walk across the room to my desk to take my pills which are sitting there let's touch on that for a moment there's two things that have become abundantly clear in what you just said you didn't take your medication. I think there's a lot of talk about people with schizophrenia and into in your case across the room to your desk and not everybody is as fortunate to have their bills across the room sometimes it can be across town it could be a pharmacy it could be taking their medication but the second thing that you said is that you want to you want to take your medication you just can't get up the motivation to move from your bed. One of the symptoms of schizophrenia is motivation issues and it's hard to explain but it's like I know what I need to do it is get up out of bed and walk across the room just take your medication just whatever can you touch on that for a moment 'cause I I really do think that it feeds into the idea that people with schizophrenia are trying to get better versus things as you said my medication across the room not GonNa lie the other week I was out of one of my medications for a week because it was sitting at Walmart and I just needed to go and pick it up if you happen to be going that way I do have something I need picked up and she was like Oh my God Rachel as she should have said something but I didn't even but the idea of getting in my car driving thirty minutes there I I just couldn't do it thankfully my mom intially Kinda was like hey do you need me to do anything and I was like those few steps just become overwhelming and it's like all I can do to like mentally get myself moving Nino be like big things little task motivation is difficult for a lot of people. It's not just the hallmark of people with schizophrenia. There there's lots of people that could be more motivated I think that that's just bipolar different types of a personality disorders but it's a decrease in motivation to pretty much you lack the ability to initiate things far schizophrenia and other mental disorders is there's a term called volition and that is a symptom of different ones from schizophrenia. It can go into you're not motivated to respond to a question you're not motivated to participate in your own care are these things that are universal orange you might notice in your friends and family would be paying bills for whatever reason this person hasn't paid a bill thankfully now that's why all my stuff is automatic could've asked my parents at any point I didn't and I can't really tell you why did it it was just there is like a hole in my head there where I just couldn't seem to get myself to do that like I kind of just said a minute ago it's like there's a whole there's some reason that you can't do this thing even though you want to like for instance some just normal that's just a fact that we need to accept but the motivation that you're talking about is very basic right you're not motivated to ask for help hard but it it can be monumental I am terrible about that with even texts emails unfortunately sometimes I will let emails like Pileup Schizophrenia Chris so for all people out there in case you didn't know negative means lacking so something that is lacking out what you would call the normal person all for people with schizophrenia. Yes and it's almost weird because I think to the outside world motivation that's a great word that makes sense that actually a lot of people feel that you were ignored them on purpose I mean this is a real human to human relationship thing this transcends a one person having schizophrenia would they don't WanNa get well they're not trying they're happy with the way things are and that's not true that's that's what abolition is let's really nail down abolition versus Lee they tend to see what is happening from that perspective why is my friend loved one family member not responding to me and they believe that it self and again I think that it's important that people here you want to it's not a lack of desire you're not because I know that a lot of times people with skipper I'm just GonNa Chill whereas abolition more I know what I need to do I want to do it there's some thing holding me back from being able to do this thing and it's climate I see it I have the tools around me but I can't it's like my mind can't figure out how to use those tools to climate and this is specifically negative symptom got a hole in your head of something is stopping me and making this incredibly difficult and there's tons of goods examples failing to show up for a scheduled vendor meeting failing at a certain time if he hasn't seen me up and moving around he needs to step in and help push me because honestly he's not sure if I'm just being super lazy or there is something added to most people have motivation to get up and brush their teeth if you don't that would be negative you're lacking so to be clear you're not saying that because you have schizophrenia you can never be lazy people with schizophrenia absolutely unequivocally can be absolutely yeah I can many days be lazy so I feel like I want my wife to take a moment out of her day and acknowledged the thing that I texted so the person on the other end the person who texted or called isn't getting a response almost malicious but that's not what's happening from your perspective from your perspective there's this giant mountain that is answering a text message and you can't through three months knowing like there there I've read them but I just can't seem to get the energy up to reply and the one I replied you'd be like Rachel you literally wrote one seven deal with everyday responsibilities with your family ignoring the phone rings and that's like a really like a really simple one right the phone goes ring ring you say hello that doesn't seem all that it's like I know but that was I don't know why I just I had to wait for a good day that I could sit there and Bam Bam Bam I don't know and even like text message someone will say hey oh that if I text my wife and she does not respond back I think Oh why why why why she knowing me this has nothing to do with mental illness I just did he helps you because he's not sure so he keeps an open mind so other examples of abolition versus laziness are so if I have to go oh my goodness I'm going to have to like talk to people evolution is okay I need to do this I know I need to do this but there's something I just can't see I don't know Oh you know that just it's overwhelming idea have to get up get dressed go somewhere act a certain way and I know and I know that no but I I can't I just can't I'll have the hardest time putting on clothes because I can't focus so what I do is I lay them out ahead of time so I know into Walmart and pick up my prescriptions like I did the other week I know I have to do it a laziness is just WANNA drive over there I don't WanNa stand in line is let's really talk about the different it not lack of desire it lack of ability to fully understand how it's different from laziness laziness I don't care I don't want to do it somewhere there's a lot of sounds in it's just overwhelming and I can't get out of my car and go inside and I can't really say why it's not like I'm scared it's just further even though I want to and with things like that it takes me having a good day to be able to do certain things certain days like you'll be like whoa you WANNA hang out in at fortunately a lot of times like that just seems overwhelming to me and I want friends I want to hang out I want to make connections then the opportunity comes up and I'm like it's overwhelming the task itself has become overwhelming of me having to put on clothing that would be appropriate to walk outside and I have to get in my car with me and I like how you put that he needs to help you didn't say my father orders me to go for a walk or my friend demands that I do acts or tells me that it's for my own good up to drive thirty minutes there I'll have situations where like the idea of walking into a store is overwhelming because I know how bright it's going to be another is going to be people that yes it's different you can totally have social anxiety and have schizophrenia. I mean I've had times where I went to a party I don't do well around just because someone doesn't want to do something if your friend loved one watching this going to have to Kinda don't just let everything slide even my like my dad knows that well I don't know and I was so nervous that couldn't get out of the car and I was just I was terrified of what was going to happen. Evolution lack motivation is not that I'm not scared of anything backslash survey nineteen and fill that out for us that would be awesome the goal is to learn about us so that we can make the best possible show for you and you'll be entered into a drawing elite but that can really help some people as just being like hey you look really good in this outfit when someone gives me a compliment about an outfit I like mentioned like win a hundred dollars from Amazon void where prohibited so we really appreciate it I have a specific question though is this lake fear are you afraid to answer too much you know I can easily do it the next day but there's something that it all becomes hard for me it's like there's just this this wall that says you can't go and they need and feel more motivated what's the treatment for this because I don't think anybody wants to walk away and believe oh well. This is a symptom of schizophrenia nothing could but listeners I would like to know something about you please take a brief three minute survey so we can better understand our audience if you'll go to psych central dot com when you hear positive symptoms a positive symptoms would be something added to quotation marks a normal person so like most people don't have hallucinations that would go the other way so as one reason sell all my pills for the week I settle all the clothing I'm GonNa wear for the week one of the hardest things for me is when I do okay I already set these two together just put them on don't don't worry just put them on that's a little bit of personal knows about me what I struggle with Oh what to do and usually I don't make it to the Party and sit in my car it's I don't even get to the point of wearing clothing to go there I suffer reason with me clothing is a big issue and I know it is with other types of people that have certain mental disorders told me that too and if you're a friend loved one it sounds you've been taking medication for any amount of time you know that it's not true it's an ongoing process and sometimes trying different medication there really isn't a set motivation a part-time job where I work I have to I have to look really nice it trying to put together an outfit sometimes I can't do it and you're like Rachel just as pants and a shirt and you able to set that up kind of situation let's talk about what are our loved ones our friends and family can do to help us deal with lack of motivation communicate he done this is your life now and that's certainly not what we're saying. The treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy getting therapy to help you figure out how to get so much done racial yeah on good days I'm like Ju Ju Ju Ju I like it so I do all the work I can't possibly impresed because I never know when it's and what it is so communicates so if you see okay I'm having trouble I have not taken a shower all week this needs to change like for what is the same you don't do it yes there's some reason I can't we have it's not just the reason it's all I'm terrified I'm shaking abolitionist just there's a whole missing till and it's really important to understand that this is an excellent example of where medication and psychotherapy really do go hand in hand and it's amazing if you're able to I can walk in there you know and I'm not gonNA burst into tears when it comes to abolition you're not scared of anything whereas with social anxiety you are scared correct but the end result talk to us don't aggressively push don't Holler don't get mad I like we said earlier yes someone with schizophrenia can totally be lazy find a place where you can have the therapy and it's connected with whoever is your psychiatrists during the medication that's one thing as I was lucky to get a counselor recent over these holes the other thing is medication management and I wish I could be like Oh there's a special you can take and you'll be fine as uh-huh actually that exact reason because you realized it and you were able to work out s that that's a coping mechanism that you have been able to to work out for yours loved ones out there if you're doing that thing for them you're not necessarily helping okay you're just kind of taking over my life and anyone knows I've had the phone or you just don't have the ability to do it and and other things that kind of pop up in my head or like social anxiety or just kind of what it sounds like it is different from that and do it for them help them do it but why can't we just do it why shouldn't we just drag you out of bed and scrub you to use your analogy why doesn't is your reminder I can swing by say hey don't forget just little things it doesn't have to be you take over this person's life and drag them out a bit and put them in the okay these go together really well I'm going to put this in my lineup for next week it's just bizarre but it's almost that confirmation I needed to okay or depression maybe I should put chart in next time you might WanNa bring that up so that we're actually worked out really good for me as far as a lot of my management is having ask him see if you can help and see again these are little things so if you know I'm not taking my medication there's something going on step in like my mom had okay so there you know I it could be being lazy on some things but kind of ask some questions see if you're able to start understanding the difference I can't do I can't work a normal nine to five forty hour week job had to make a lot of adjustments because I can't do that I can't live alone I get weird Lee who is at the same center as the person who does the medication so I'll be able to talk to her and she's like you know Rachel I've been hearing a lot of such and such are you having issues with among those two people someone who knows me on a more personal level of me share again therapy and working with me to be able to kind of tell the other one so very cool paying okay sit down and be like look let's get this set up on automatic or let's have you write out all of your appointments and I'll put them in my phone also so I can you've described in your own situation that if your parents who love you very much and out of love just took over your life and forced you to do everything you would resent them that would be traumatizing for you but more importantly you've said that it wouldn't work specifically said that you would run away do you think you would be better if you ran away because your current situation left the house in days I hadn't gotten off the floor in days I've been in the same spot laying on the floor out of it and yeah I could not live alone Asian of discussing it being partners figuring out what you need help with and what you don't need help with seems to be working extraordinarily well this this has been there's a difference between that and having someone just take over my life milk okay well you live with me now I'm GonNa you're paying rent to me and I'm going to take care of you ounce people because I wasn't doing anything like on my own I just kind of like mentally shut off but at what point I was able to about work because that person was schizophrenia and I'm talking about myself to you have to be able to do things for yourself and to the day and they didn't have to do that much to help me because just them being around was able to just just them being around my dad kind of always checking I need someone to come in and do everything for me and feed me and that no I did however definitely need help at that moment I needed to be check that's one that I have down for next week let's talk about how we can help motivate people with schizophrenia. How people schizophrenia can get the support that title but it got me moving not him like sitting there spoon feeding me soup I know you use words like he made me but he's not actually make now ownership with your family so that they know what you need help with what you don't need help with when they need to step in and I think here is the key come up here making me walk all the steps so many steps you know and it seems like a little thing but sometimes it was huge and that was gene for years and I have run away if you know that's how we know this works is that I have lived by myself and had to look around and realize I had the reasons that just general health reasons talk to that person figure out where the breakdown is okay what is keeping them from doing this tax back-off yes they know when to step forward but they don't know when to step backward and on that note just because you said banging on the door one thing that like that analogy that somebody has to do everything for me K. I'm not a little baby because you wanna be proud yes and while unfortunately there are a lot of things that you realize okay this is not good I need help and I I called my dad and I said listen this is what's happening I don't know what to do and I moved back in pretty much that next our inscribed them just talk to us and figure out where's this person having an issue so what you're basically saying is don't force them to do it macron woman but they will come to the door and like Hey Rachel but for me that's important because it let's them check on me without really disturbing me there's you you all have figured out when they don't need to step in and I think that's really the the missing piece for a lot of families out there they don't know when to better understanding and living well with schizophrenia hosted by renowned advocate an influencer Rachel Star withers and featuring gay powered he's encouraging and asking like you said he he made lunch and came down and banged on the door and and I suppose what I'm really trying to say is that you have developed an excellent part and no matter where you live there's rules of the house husbands and wives have general house rules it's roommates have house rules dorms have house rules that that I was eating you know knowing that she hasn't gotten out a bit in the past eight hours and him coming and bringing me food or usually it's Rachel I made you lunch and it's like you become apparent to them and no you're going to have them soon with schizophrenia really start to resent you honestly so you believe that a partnership works better because stuff from Harris Teeter or from the grocery store and I'll kind of go with her where I probably wouldn't have done that before and that's exactly what happened yesterday I really been out of groceries is into motivation and I think that's important is you've done some pre planning ahead of time like leaving your door open setting general guidelines for op there hidden okay she's fine and it gives me more of a link that if they're walking by it helps me like hey what are you doing I'm going out in the Mike can I come with me bill okay I'm going to go and get it and she said I'll go and get it if you're able to step in and figure out where is this person having the issue if it's bill the parents interviewed and stuff and I've always told them that the minute they referred to themselves as a caretaker I'm moving out we'll go live in my car because I myself off and it's the same thing with room I don't close my door unless I'm changing my clothes and then it's back open again on that note my parents also just don't wander in my room as I I found this just throwing it out not say it will work for everyone my doors must never closed I always want it open because I can't live alone in general seclude gene and these have become sort of house rules it's not authoritarian it's not caretaker or caregiver it's just the rules of the house like a week and I just hadn't gotten any and I really wanted to but I just I hadn't and she she's on the shores of can I just come along and the way that is really that's what you've established and it's a lot less about you being a person living with schizophrenia and much more about keeping everybody in the house healthy and safe yes so pre planning is also or motivational issues expectations are set when everybody is well yes we'll be READING SCHIZOPHRENIA WITH ONCE MONTHLY INJECTIONS AT ONCE MONTHLY DIFFERENCE DOT COM that's once monthly difference dot com. I just can't and being able to just take a swig of mouthwash that's something Rachel you had the good fortune to speak to but I did something I'm not just laying there like wasting away to three days of that we're having another problem but usually my parents have noticed that the injection for adults with schizophrenia if delaying another episode sounds like it can make a difference for you or your loved one learn more about oh you didn't eat a healthy meal you didn't get out of bed and you didn't take a shower but that's not the level that we're playing on rate goal with this isn't that I have a lot of protein bars I always have protein bars when they're on sale I'll buy like a case so so many protein bars because I know a lot of times I can't make it up the steps to kitchen agents had an average of nine episodes in less than six years however there's a treatment plan option that can help delay another episode a wants me eating or something they don't have to worry I even have like mouthwash for days that I don't even think mentally handle brushing my teeth which again take shower I didn't quite get there but I did something towards that I took care of the problem in a way that I could as opposed to just doing nothing and that's empowering because previously you had done nothing so we really have to reward small successes with this illness there's something going on we haven't seen Rachel in the kitchen or at all and they don't want to step in but they don't have to worry about me just completely Debbie Breen who is a therapist who specializes in counseling people to help them set goals and achieve those goals she's sort of an expert on motivation and we're back discussing motivation in schizophrenia one other thing is that I know my big issues gave the clothing I talked about another one is eating we just have to yes because it's not ideal that's why it's an illness correct protein bars the you know I don't want to be someone who's Yeah I did that thing but I did something I did something moving me towards it all right that might not have been like what anyone else would have done if the goal was so smart and I went out and got them that day and yes some days huts that's what I use you know I really like these examples because on one hand the cynic in me says like right now that sounds silly to say Rachel you can't brush your teeth like I even have a sonic toothbrush like you really just gotTa stick it in your mouth and your mouth vibrates it loose but yes some days wrec yes yes all right we'll hear it we're here speaking with licensed professional counselor Debbie Brin so thank you so much for being here with us today hey you're welcome glad to be here I think all of us in life we're going to have times when we don't have motivation to do something when it comes to people you know but I'll have that protein bar by bid so okay okay at least I ate something to take my pills I have to have some kind of food in me so that's another reason it gets pills thing is that well I haven't eaten and go eat before I take my pills everything just spirals when it comes to hygiene I actually read this breath severe schizophrenia depression and other type of serious mental disorders what do you see that motivation is we struggle with the most on a schizophrenia form and someone said that on their days when they couldn't get out of bed and shower they had the little Like you would wipe a baby with those little wipes and I was like allowed to eat in the past week is protein bars I'm going to be incredibly for one sick goes by really cheap taste terrible feeling of a lack of motivation the second that something isn't that right we're not incongruent with our value system or something that's important to us motivated and when I lack that tells me that I'm dwelling on something which is a thought that's negative normally it's a very fixed feeling and then the negative physiological non verbals and causes the ice late withdrawal which doesn't end well so what we learn is what in that just how they act it gives me information so that I can keep my car running which is important to me when I'm not and or we haven't resolved Pasquini thinking like this are feeling or what the car crash they're not good or bad they just help me about calling the behavior and how we are created we learn to realize wow my thoughts are skewed I am on this habit or pass off it's it's not a whole story it's a very small part of a story that is just only negative and that's what produces the negatives telling me where the thinking is that I'm feeling depressed I don't see a reason to get up I'm not making a difference by not motivated to go do something or create something there's a deficit my life and I'm being passive with how handling it and it's not getting this way of thinking that is negative it's like I'm playing a rerun of the negative things that have occurred but then that becomes my reality and when it comes to working where we're talking like the issue of like getting out of bed to go to work or just euro set with free which having to go and thinking about is a perception but it's not the totality of story ought most of us can't do this alone but when we seek professional help get up and get out of bed then we need to find find support we need to find professional help because that tells us our body is just it's trying to solve it I'm doing something active which then gives me motivation hope that life can be different I just can't anything is how hard is it to get out of bed and you can have a range from a little bit I hit snooze too I really can't get out of bed that behaviors we can be medication management we need to learn new skills and again that's a choice in the motivation is I don't like what I'm experiencing right now and other going away hopefully get porn or someone in your life can help you say wow I'm saying this and and we need to make some changes and Korea like you don't like what you do in general or just not having the motivation to get up Mike pursue work one of the first signs of maybe depression began whacking and it's GonNa take more than self efforts 'cause that's not working we need someone to walk with us kind of deep depression episode schizophrenia. We don't see that what would friends family what can they do when you see someone like that who doesn't realize how bad the last this is part of our human condition and just validate not judge it after some time has passed and I know that's relatives but I needed choose to do something different on that note we just about support that's perfect but a lot of times people win were in those states have just what the current state is if almost on empty it's unless there's a needle in red is my functioning we're see that that red lights flicker have to be open to trying it another way learning how to do it another way they'd be shifting medication but as I moved toward that action of they lost her death talking not what's needed we need someone just to be present quiet except that this is what I'm feeling and thinking it's it's to far on on this side and we need to bring some cognition that we need to start changing those thoughts from all negative to can what can you do what is important to you who is struggling motivation whether it's something really small or like a major life event with just having a hard time accepting moving forward not a fun place to be but it's part of life it's scary being in that place and feeling like you're alone so having someone just there is huge why right now what do you need someone is feeling what's the point hopeless then they're communicating to me that they want a pet and taking care of your pet your pet counseling you now I'm bringing back into their cognition a positive thought of important perspective this imbalance that's going on and and give room for them to choose to make things different may take time everything is working through this the second thing that person can do is they can validate that feeling by saying you know what I don't understand but I know what it's like relationship in that that pet needs them and they do have purpose I want them to start thinking about what they can do which helps put in do you have any advice that you wanNA leave with them I understand where they're coming from you live long enough in I'm older in years as a family when we can't make someone get help but we see them suffering and then and then we're hurting what's him because we loved them but there's gotta be have a desire for purpose they wanNA have meaning but they're not seeing it in the current moment so we start with what's important to you what you value you see life and you go through things and life is hard and to go through that alone is very difficult we really need they are that's a tough thing because if you're an adult if you ever a team that person's gotTa want to get help and and that's where it's difficult what we want to do is we wanna pull them from the feeling state which is why they're drowning and to thinking we're just we're I feel like I don't care like there might not be hope we've all we've all had that we're reminding that person you're you're not the first person to go through a season but I I need to want to reach out to that that resource and and start to participate so if there's some listening right now news in downtown Charlotte North Carolina and our website is www dot south charlotte family counseling Dot Com thank you very we are then there for them and there's a lot of security that there's something about feeling alone which is where we feel when it's dark choice with that individual wanting to take the steps first thing is just we want to be present whether it's mental health or we could even say let's see I decided to give five people different compliments something about me that I would probably think in my head and said I'm going to actually say it out loud and you much debbie was wonderful speaking with you today and hearing about your advice risk Rachel that was really cool I'm glad that she agreed to be interviewed I struggle with with motivation is social interaction I want friends I know as a human I should have friends that is a healthy thing people by you I really like how she stressed that it was a choice regardless of how I feel what's going on choose to do something you take those steps and it feels really hard listener signed you are practices South Charlotte family counseling and we're located in math that's frightening and it's easy to WanNa quit your brain saying it's it's always going to be hard it's never going to get better and that's not the tree you let's say if it's your pets well you focus on your pet I want you to show what kind of pet him walk him I want you to think about you original that's pretty little no I'm going to have to interact with five people that probably wouldn't have said anything but I did I got all five people I talked to one of my co worker ride and not because I being rude in my mind but I just I didn't follow up I didn't stay connected with those people so I did a little experiment through the word choice it really changes a lot in your thinking so if you're like man I lacked the motivation to get out of bed it becomes I lacked the choice to get out of it pick something and just focus on it and do it kind of what she said with the choice thing it made me start thinking that if you switch out motivation yeah that's an incredibly you change but it was just cute though like actually look cute on her I don't think it will acute on me I saw this girl who had like a full will do is interact with other people and yet I'm so bad at replying to text actually talking and making those friendships a lot have fallen by the wayside yeah so that's a tough place to be in the messages you will get through it but we have to be active in that we have to again our support our friends when you censor community who can just be there with us and healthcare and and vice versa we were out of that and decided that okay may shoes that I lack motivation what something I can do small that is going to help me with that is our way more than I would have had if I had pushed myself to do that while five seems like a light every day because some days I don't live my house like I don't have to so sleeve which I've always wanted I'm nowhere near close to that but when I see it on women I don't know it looks so to me and I told her that and of course whenever you tell someone unlike their tattoos immediately going to tell you the backstory I got this autumn like okay so then I heard how she got her next twenty Johny exciting but I was like you know your hair just really I don't know it makes me smile like it was like smurfs color blue and she's Oh thank you you know she that's a pretty big change did fix all of my problems no but my issue was that I'm having trouble with being social and those five conversations cours who always dresses amazing his hairs amazing isn't you just incredible I just almost like Michael you always look so amazing and he got so happy it's Rachel Sweetie Oh yeah that was a little interaction we had and all those people were like I made them happy enough to smile which may be smile and I'm like go Rachel you connected better off say that you know and we talked a little bit about fashion this other girl at my work she came in with her hair bright blue this is a very interesting place I work at I know it's already tattoos on her arm what am I acting students they've come so far and I after classes I hey hey back minute I just want you know I'm really proud of you because that today was the best you've done in the Ed and I'm like well no I did you know what actually said well no of course I can do it and it just made me start like thinking as I mentioned earlier in the sewed one of the biggest things awesome job of like breaking ideas down so that is my compliment for you gave thank you Rachel I really appreciate that and what I liked about your story and you may not have even gave you are a wonderful host and Co host and interviewer I'm always impressed by your speaking skills very clear and I think that realized it you pointed out like what you were thinking I think you kind of shows your hand a little bit because you were like I saw these glasses and I thought they were cool but they would the lack of motivation the whatever you words you want to use came through in your own story telling and yet you you overcame it in hi catching and like she was like this edgy cool person and she smiled and it was like thank you I just got him and all that did doing my little experiment instead of sitting with the negative thing and doing nothing which by your own admission was your trend you took the negative and turned it into a positive will you do that every time no me at the pump she had these really cool like cat eyeglasses they would look ridiculous on me but they look so cool on her and I just told her that is so neat with those glasses like is twenty weeks that blew my mind that is a completely different person this do just completely lit up and then on my way home I ran out of people I was at the gas station and the lady across typical problems with motivations I kinda WanNa play a little devil's advocate for a moment and say well wait a minute. Do People with schizophrenia have the choice to get mom can you help me get my medication can you help me do this thing as opposed to just keeping it to myself like actually opening up and thinking seemingly small and insignificant and see what kind of results that you get figure out what is something small and at least do something I understand decided though regardless every day that gave from now on I'm going to give at least two complements to people and so we'll start with you for today social interaction fills overwhelming what is something that I can break it and make it easier okay getting out of bed and brushing my teeth today standing up grabbing the mouthwash just what can I do I might not be able to make it all the way in there what is something and narrowing down it's Walmart I should I should tell Michael that I always love how he dresses he just looks incredible just stepped off the runway and I'm like what have you done today and he's like oh I just decided to come here and suddenly an overwhelming to go inside I am sitting there it's like what do I do all right what can I do sometimes you know I can just get out education for my schizophrenia and depression I have been for many years so always want to put that out there that no I didn't just naturally yes use these coconut in the parking lot and just doing that motion I'll slowly go inside sometimes I wear my glasses inside I don't know why it makes me feel like my sunglasses I feel invisible even though not sims overwhelming but okay let me break this down what can I do well I start by getting towards the end of the bed your schizophrenia we'll be fine very good question with that I think no it's mort changing the thought because whatever is overwhelming changing it get out of bed I mean can they really just will themselves forward I think that a lot of people are going to hear this and think Oh wow this is the advice of Oh you should just do yoga it's not as you said did this solve all the world's problems no of course not but it helped I mean now that

schizophrenia Rachel Star Walmart Lisi Ju Ju Ju Ju Gabe Howard Amazon Michael thirty minutes three days five forty hour hundred dollars three minute three months twenty weeks eight hours six years one hand milk
Bonus Content: Psychosis in Schizophrenia

A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast

48:12 min | 1 year ago

Bonus Content: Psychosis in Schizophrenia

"You are invited to listen to inside schizophrenia. A new podcast brought to you by Psych Central Dot Com. Home of the not crazy podcast. Please enjoy welcome to inside schizophrenia. A look into to better understanding and living well schizophrenia hosted by renowned advocate and influencer Rachel Star withers and featuring gay powered listeners. Could change in your schizophrenia treatment. Plan make a difference. There options out there are you might not know about visit once monthly different dot com to find out more about the benefits of once. Monthly injections for adults with schizophrenia. Welcome inside schizophrenia. A psych central. PODCAST I'm your host Rachel Star withers with my co host gave Howard last episode. We explored the kind of boring symptoms of schizophrenia lack of motivation. Today's episode we're flipping it and we're going to be looking at psychosis so hallucinations. Delusions all the fun stuff and we actually have an awesome guest Dr Joseph Goldberg. Who's the clinical professor of psychiatry at the Mount Sinai? School of Medicine and he. He actually specializes in researching. What goes on in the brain? When someone is experiencing psychosis this is like the popular one right? This is the one that people think about. When they think of schizophrenia? They often refer to it. As going crazy you're schizophrenia. Your psycho this is the language that people are using. And it's this psychosis who says that they're thinking about when they're talking about it. I'm not saying that those are great words. I'm just saying this is what the public has the most knowledge of. Oh Oh yeah. And then whenever someone's like a college student and they'll always be like yeah. I WANNA majors ecology like this is the stuff they're thinking of. They Wanna like majoring crazy. People like all all this exciting and then they get stuff like our last episode lack of motivation. They're like oh maybe I'll switch majors. I mean lack of motivation of course is very important as we learned. But Oh yeah you are right. This is when when I first heard Rachel Star has schizophrenia. I didn't wonder if you were motivated. I wondered if you hallucinated. Elucidated Rachel do you hallucinate I do I hallucinate. I always tell people I mean. This is just my guests like ninety percent at the time just because it's like constant little things like I can't just look into a mirror. I have to be real careful with my reflection because my mind will just kinda start manipulating lighting. It little things I constantly like. I'll hear ticking and scratching noises. That aren't really there. I've had it since I was a kid. So I've learned to kind of live with these little ticking hanging clocks and stuff that I can't see they just exist and just to clarify these hallucinations exist even though you are medicated indicated under the care of a psychiatrist and are living well in recovery. They're still just that little bit. That for lack of a better phrase bleeds through. Oh Yeah And I've had much worse which will talk about in our episode today but yeah even being someone who would like you just said is recovered or very stable high functioning. My psychiatrist. The other day told me that I was the most high functioning patient she had and not just the schizophrenic. I was just the most high functioning period and I'm like well thank you I think. Alright Rachel what. What exactly is psychosis and what are some common misunderstandings that pop culture creates? Let's get those right out of the way right up front. Kind of like the word schizophrenia. Psychosis also is one of those like cool words that you just want to throw in for like effect I think and that's what's happened with our culture because even I like when I was looking at this episode I kind of was like. What exactly is it but psychosis is an umbrella term okay? So that's for anybody who who is having experiences that are not based in reality and psychosis is a symptom. It's not a disorder so I can't go to the doctor and be diagnosed as psychotic. It's a common symptom though many mental disorders and especially schizophrenia. And just to be very clear. Psychosis has has nothing to do with psychopathy or being a psychopath which I also was kind of like. I had to look that up because I'm like what. What is the connection psychosis a symptom while psychopathy is an actual personality trait? We hear psychopath a lot and again in pop culture but I don't think that psychopath and psychopathy go path is something that the medical establishment spends a lot of time on rate credit. The only reason that it's permeated our society is because it's a storytelling device not because it's an actual mental illness that we all need to worry about right. Yes yeah again. has nothing to do with schizophrenia. Or psychosis if someone is psychotic or psychosis than it just means that their mind is losing grip on reality whereas when we think of a psychopath it's somebody that doesn't have feelings leans for others and could be violent or reckless or act and antisocial ways so to drill it down. What is psychosis psychosis is used to describe conditions that affect the mind where there's been a loss of contact with reality so you might also hear psychotic episode period of psychosis assist but it's one of the defining criteria for diagnosing schizophrenia? Is You have to have had some sort of episode of psychosis in some way and different symptoms of what that is so delusions believing things that are not true hallucinations experiencing things that other people around you do not and I find this really interesting. Is that also kind of what falls under that is incoherent speech or nonsense speech so like that for for family friends who might be kind of worried. That's what they see so people on the outside you might see a schizophrenic kind of saying things that don't make sense. I even saw one thing that was like slurred speech which my speech slurs all the time and people will think I'm on drugs or I'm like super drunk at work and no it's just something gets off in in my speech and I didn't realize like Oh that's a sign of starting to lose grip of reality. This is really important for friends and family members or any sort of support people in your life because what they see is the slurred speech. The depression the anxiety the social withdrawal. The word salad it. It looks off but obviously psychosis has happening internally so this is what they see right all of those symptoms that you just listed did is what the person will see from somebody that is experiencing psychosis correct correct. Yes I stay with me sometimes. People actually will tell me that my eyes look wild and I don't really know what that means but my mom said it multiple times I've even I teach modeling and acting classes. Sometimes two kids and I've had kids like Kinda raised their hand and say that that something looked odd about my face and they can't really tell me what but I don't know if maybe unlike more expressive recipe and I don't realize what's happening but yes so if you are like a loved one out there my mom always asks should she pointed out or not like she's afraid of making me self conscious I I want to know. Give me a heads up that maybe things are not correct because I need to know. Yeah when my mind is starting to slip so for me it. It definitely helps to those little triggers if you kind of start to notice them in your loved ones with schizophrenia. Kind of point that out to them so they can be aware okay. I might be starting to lose as grip with reality. It's also important to know though if they argue back. This is now not the time to plant your flag and be willing to die on the hill for for example. If Rachel says it's snowing inside my room I will point out say Rachel. It's not snowing in here now. She fires back. Yes it absolutely is is a I will say something along the lines of okay. Well how cold you think it will get. And that way I can try to gauge her reaction to get her the best help possible without angering her and setting myself up as our enemy now. That's kind of tough because people feel like no. I must convince the person experiencing during psychosis that what they're experiencing is wrong but remember medical condition medical help. So you know that. That's a little tough right because depending on where you you are in your recovery. That pointed out may work or it may not so it pays to be nimble when they try and stress to people to help them understand Dan about like how intense hallucinations and delusions can be. You can tell me something isn't real but that doesn't make me stop experiencing it in my like logical mind right now. I know that. Let's say there isn't a dark figure standing beside me but I'm still seeing it so all the the logic in the world doesn't make me stop seeing that figure. I just have to kind of keep reminding myself. It's not really there. It's not really there and do my best. It's not to react to it Rachel. Let's move onto types of psychotic episodes. I I was really surprised that psychosis is not just one thing. There's actually like subcategories subcategories of psychosis and I thought this was so cool that there are subcategories because that a lot of people experience most of the normal world. Oh thanks okay. Only people that are super mentally ill would have hallucinations delusions but one of the subtypes is a brief reactive psychosis and that occurs during times of extreme stress so for instance the death of a family member going through something like a traumatic car accident or some sort the big event like that a surgery and someone can. Yeah go through a psychotic episode. It can be anywhere from days to a few weeks but you. You usually come out of that with time. Then you have drug and alcohol related psychosis so obviously ravers out there. That's what we think of but even you know if you've ever been under anesthesia and you're coming out and you're in that kind of loopy phase where you're like little bit Giddy but also you're not sure what's real or not right and it's very typical not just of we understand that people do drugs or get drunk and they can experience these things but it's also important important understand that it can happen. The pain medication. It can happen via surgery. It's not a one size. Fits all one of the things that we're trying to establish the psychosis psychosis is a lot more normal than I think. People want to admit as you said it's not just the severely mentally ill but then of course the last one is organic psychosis which is due to disorder right so organic psychosis that is due to some sort of mental disorder or injury. Great so for instance different types of brain injuries. Yeah will then call a psychotic episodes. That could be temporary or last forever. And that's really what we're talking about out mostly into this episode organic psychosis as it relates to schizophrenia and mental illness right and can either have a slow onset which is actually good a slow onset. You tend to have milder psychosis whereas something. That's very like quick and dramatic. Nick so just suddenly being thrown into losing grips of reality. Those pretty bad psychotic episodes If someone stops taking their medication location they usually will go into a pretty rapid transition of psychosis and those are kind of like for schizophrenics out there and loved ones who live with with them. I feel like those are the most noticeable when someone goes off their meds. Is those quick kind of dramatic transitions for me. Unfortunately that has happened in the past where I thought I was you get in this mindset of Oh I'm I'm better now and you'll just stop taking your meds. Don't do that bad but I did in. Yeah I spin out of control. Pretty quickly Rachel. Let's talk about personal experiences. As you said you have hallucinations. You have delusions. Let's talk about your Rachel's personal experience with psychosis. I have the little baby ones all the time. Like I said earlier in the episode like to be around Mirrors. And and if you're like Okay Rachel you know. Be careful brushing your teeth. You don't realize how many mirror there are in real life until you like China. Avoid them so think about your reflection shen in things in windows where I work. There's like multiple rooms that have these giant mirrors on them and I always like kind of position myself to the side. So that that I'm in between them so I can't see my reflection 'cause it just starts to mess with me and those are just like my little baby ones that is Kinda always floating around one of the really intense wants that has always stood out in my mind was I was walking through Walmart and suddenly I was like Oh my God. Can they see my wings. And do I have wings. I think I have wings. Okay are they hidden should should they see my wings. And I'm like sitting there in the middle of Walmart like having these just like huge crisis in my mind about my wings and you know I'm like why should I ask someone. Can they see my wings. Do I call someone and I mean this went on. I'm not sure. How long would it felt like hours of me? Being confused about me having wings or not and eventually I just went to my car and I and I sat there until I was kind of stable stable. Sometimes when I get in that situation and I don't get stable. I'll call my parents to come and get me. So they've had a few situations they had to pick me up at a job once and I was hiding hiding under the table. She's very for me. That was embarrassing. I hated for Co workers to see me that way but I just. I don't know I just crawled under the table. And Okay okay. This is where I live now so and if you let Rachel that stupid you know why would you suddenly want to be under a table. Why would you think you have wings? I I don't know but that's what I thought when you thought you had wings. Could you see the wings or did you just believe that the wings were there that case I I I was confused. It was going to say it wasn't like I was like. Yeah let's go run and jump off the top of the Walmart and fly away. It was more of a confusion was like do I have wings. I think I have wings wings. They should be hidden. It was more of just like this crisis in my thoughts of. Oh my God what do I do so. That's really the difference between a hallucination in which you can see it and a delusion which is you. Feel that it's there but you can't see it. Am I explaining the Difference Between Hallucinations and delusions correctly. Yes yes and and both of them can be present in psychosis like you can just have hallucinations. You can just have delusions or you can have both yes happening at the same time I'm which can really feed into each other even last night. I had a pretty bad episode where I was just laying in bed like I was just trying to go to sleep and there. There was something in the ceiling above me running around now I know in real life. There was not something in the ceiling above me running around but I just kept hearing an just went on and on just back and forth back and forth back and forth in the meantime. There's also like this weird crackling noise outside of my door and I can tell you exactly where it was like. It's out the door to the right about about two feet. That's where the sound was coming from. And then I have this radio. That wouldn't stop playing and it's caught between stations so I can't make out what they're saying on the Radio Jio but that's what it sounds like and I'm just like this goes on for a while last night until I finally took a sleeping bill because I'm like this is. This is a lot a lot in. It was just kind of all that stuff together just going on. That was like I don't know how to make it stop and I knew the crackling noise wasn't real because my dog would have like been searching for a tree like anytime the here like a bag or something. So it's like I know that part's not Rio. Because he was passed out when we talk about hallucinations and delusions. Let's let's talk about what makes a hallucination because that can affect any of the senses rates sight sound smell taste and touch but I understand that one of them is more or common in schizophrenia than all the others. Yes so. Two thirds of patients with schizophrenia. Have Auditory Hallucinations. That does not mean they only have auditory auditory that just is like the predominant one the voices and whatnot and I used to think like Oh God. I don't have those because I didn't have like a voice that just talked to me all the time minor very subtle. It's more like a set. A radio is playing like talk radio in its caught between stations. So I can't like make out what they're saying but they're like there's talking nonstop again no clue if it's about me or what is just on and on and on and I'll hear my name being called Salat which is usually my mother's voice which is kind of freaky because like she won't be home and I'll here and I'll think she's like something wrong with her so I let go through the house searching and usually end up texting extinct like hey where are you at. And he was like. Oh at starbucks Mike. Okay obviously didn't hear you screaming my name but kind of freaked me out a little bit. I worry that she's hurt or something. That's very very interesting to me because my understanding of auditory hallucinations are that you hear it inside your head but what you're describing you would have to hear it outside side your head because you said that you feel like you hear that your mother is calling you from other rooms so yes Gabe and fun fact. Is that people with schizophrenia. Usually here audio hallucinations outside of their heads. Not Inside so usually schizophrenics people schizophrenia here their audio hallucinations. Like around them. So for instance they might hear something in the wall behind them. It's not inside your head like Oh my God where is it. I hear a lot of times that I'll be like yet that came from upstairs. It's probably the kitchen area by the way it sounded so the sound kind of like my mother's voice calling out it comes from a specific direction. Not just this booming voice inside. Hide your head. Let's move onto delusions. Because that's the other common symptom of psychosis and I understand that there are two main types but can you define delusions simply for us. Delusion is a strongly held belief that is false and to me. There's so many things that you could apply that to. The two main ones in mental disorders are paranoid delusions and delusions of grandeur and the one. Most associated shaded with schizophrenia is paranoid so that's where you think like someone after you you're suspicious of individuals organizations somebody's plotting leading against Shu tracking you I've never had like to the extent of the FBI is after kind of delusion. But I get very paranoid in work work situations and it's something I have to watch because I'll just start thinking that people hate me for no reason and that they want me gone. They're plotting against me he. You know it's just like I. It's the same thoughts through the years. I've noticed so I've kind of gotten used to noticing like okay. Oh that's the same thought. I had back when I worked here in here. That's not real Rachel and I'm Kinda learning to just notice when that comes up. And then delusions of grandeur rancher that is where like you have authority power that you really don't or you think you're some sort of like savior and I once had a friend who had schizophrenia. It's a free Neha. And she believed she was an Aztec God and like bought a plane ticket and was GONNA go straight up. Go to South America and her family only stepped in but she really thought that no this is yeah. This is real and to get a little personal so the past two years. I have been dealing with a rare flesh-eating bacteria because just because you're schizophrenic doesn't mean that physical health isn't an issue right and it's been the the biggest issue with it has been going to different doctors and then them seeing the diagnosis of schizophrenia. On there then seeing that. Oh she's been on anti psychotics and and the fact that I was so healthy the flesh eating bacteria like wasn't tearing me apart the way it would normally because I was healthy and it was kind of scary because I I start to not believe myself. Either I had some doctor saying that. Okay because she's on adderall. She's doing the source yourselves. kind of like Meth addicts and and I was just Kinda like I. I'm not doing this to myself but maybe I am. You know if the doctor this doctor says I am. Maybe I am and my psychiatrist. I actually set up like a special meeting for them to evaluate me because I was like I. I don't know am I causing this or not and they went through and it was deemed. That was not causing it. It was not because of my you know psychotics antidepressants and different things. Like that. Bit can kind of freaks you out because I'm dealing with the physical thing but I'm not sure if it's real or not and it caused a lot of pain and what had happened. Was the bacteria got into my facial nerves on my right side side so I'm Lyn so much pain but I'm like Oh crap. I don't want to go the hospital if it's a hallucination you know they're going to crazy and I'm like is it real or not and ED turns out it was real. I did have bacteria eating the side of my face. But it's just like I. I doubted myself. I had no clue like I was scared. If I'm making this up. Oh God like I'm gone. I need to be like impatient now. And obviously having schizophrenia on your medical record made people well look in a different direction. So you weren't sure if it was a hallucination or delusion. They weren't sure if you were doing it to yourself and just forgetting so so. This was another barrier to getting the correct diagnosis. Which of course is another barrier to getting the correct care? These are real realities to people and to be fair it was a rare blushing mcteer. That is not a normal everyday thing. And you had someone who says they're schizophrenic. Like yeah well clearly you doing this to yourself is the most just realistic answer. We'll be right back after these messages. It can sometimes feel like another schizophrenia. Episode is just around the corner. In fact act a study found that patients had an average of nine episodes in less than six years. However there's a treatment plan option that can help delay another other episode a once monthly injection for adults with schizophrenia? If delaying another episode. Sounds like it can make a difference for you or your loved one. Learn more about treating schizophrenia with once monthly injections at once monthly difference Dot Com. That's once monthly difference DOT COM. This is your host Rachel Star and listeners. We want to get to know you a little better. Please take a brief three minute listener survey so we can better understand our audience. You GO TO PSYCH CENTRAL DOT COM backslash survey nineteen to complete it now everyone who completes the survey will automatically Abi entered into a drawing for a free hundred dollar Amazon Gift Card void where prohibited that psych central dot com slash survey nineteen. We're back discussing psychosis Rachel earlier. You had the opportunity to speak to Dr Joseph Goldberg who was the clinical professor of psychiatry. ETRY at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine about psychosis. And he's an expert in psychosis. Yes so awesome. Let's roll that interview right now. We're here with Dr Joseph Goldberg who is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City and he has a private have it practice in Norwalk Connecticut. Thank you so much for being here Sir my pleasure thanks for having me now. You have a very extensive background of research search. which is one of the reasons we wanted you here on the Sepah? So today that you've definitely explored a lot of different situations in different mental disorders based on in your research what causes psychosis in mental disorders. Well probably the the short answer and the most honest answers. No one knows exactly for sure. But the best guests thinking is that there are particular circuits in the brain that regulates perception and thinking and that those circuits can become this regulated. Under certain circumstances they can become this regulated when someone takes say a hallucinogen drug like LSD or cannabis where PCP they can become regulated when someone's in a delirium like if you're really sick with an infectious disease your mind can play tricks on you and you. You have misperceptions of things or psychosis which by definition means false perceptions or false ideas. Psychosis can also happen sometimes just because of innate problems with those circuits not caused by any drug or infection or or any other identifiable cause maybe some genetics involved people with psychotic. Illnesses like schizophrenia We're manic depression. Sometimes not always but sometimes have a higher chance of the family member with with a similar condition but at the end of the day we we think its problems with brain circuits that regulate perception and thinking and we have some ideas about which circuits are the ones involved in how certain chemicals in the brain regulate those circuits. But that's about as close as I think we can get to understanding what causes psychos across the board. What have you found? More people struggle with during psychosis hallucinations ends or delusions. I think it depends on what what the nature of the problem is. If someone has schizophrenia. For example typically you'll see both delusions and hallucinations. The Nation's they can occur at the same time or they may be more of a predominance delusions probably tend to be more persistent. Because when you think about it if you've attached importance importance to a particular idea like let's say you think you're being followed by the FBI or you think you're being spied on. People tend to invest some belief into that idea and to have a belief break up to the point where someone could look back and say. Oh that was a false idea. Why did I think that usually takes more time? I'm so delusions tend to not resolve quite so quickly whereas a WHO's nation which is a misperception any of our five senses could play tricks and us. Sometimes they're more. We're transient not always people with schizophrenia. Can have long standing or chronic hallucinations. They make your voices every day. They may hear voices periodically but then in between the experience of the hallucination they have delusions about the voices. So for instance. I hear the devil talking to me and telling me to do bad things and when I'm not hearing the devil I'm thinking about the devil coming back so I'd say beliefs tend to be somewhat more enduring in say primary psychotic disorders schizophrenia. nja being the best example in the world of mood disorders like manic depression. Or just what's called unique pros. Depression psychosis can happen. Also but it's usually less extensive. It's it's only in the context of the mood problems so examples there might be. If I manic and psychotic I might think God God is telling me that I've been chosen for some important project or I might have fantastical ideas that I've invented something and I'm going to be the most important person in the world and it's all in the context of my mood so if I have a mood episode of Mania then I might have delusions that go along with it or if I'm depressed I might have false. Yes ideally is that. I'm I'm worthless. I'm no good. I deserve to be punished. The luge tend to be more common than hallucinations in mood disorder. Patients certainly can happen. If I'm depressed I'll hear voice telling me that I'm bad but more often than not if if psychosis happens if I have a break with my ability to tell what's real from what's not odd tends to coalesce around my beliefs about myself so psychosis you tend to see delusions hallucinations more commonly but delusions can be persistent and and in psychotic mood disorders usually delusions the more more common thing hallucinations. A little less common. You talked a little about circuits and of course. No one knows exactly. What's causing psychosis? But have you been able to notice a difference so I'm a schizophrenic. Between how my brain would let's say when I'm a good solid lead normal like at the moment kind of basic state verse if I'm having a hallucination from different research have you seen a difference in the brain of those two like situations when symptoms are active brain areas that are responsible for processing information become more active sometimes abnormally normally so let's take delusions for instance if I'm having active delusions. Oh that I Dunno my food being poisoned or my life is in danger circuits. That are involved in judging reality in that sense or that. Sort of. Make me hyper alert to sort of a fear of a Predator or fighter fighter flight or or suspicion about someone's malicious intent there's particular circuits in the brain that we know become overactive and if was measuring say blood flow in in those parts of the brain. You'd find that run a little hotter just like if you were running a coffee maker Hit My heat up or any electrical device that there's more flows through through the circuitry. So you'll actually see more activity. Excessive activity in those areas you can also see diminished activity and other areas so one of the problems. They in schizophrenia. Isn't just having psychosis. It's also having what we call. Negative symptoms were the absence of normal functioning. So that may mean oh having very few thoughts or having a hard time coming up with thoughts thoughts get locked they get slowed down. It's hard to muster emotion emotion. It's hard to have attention and processing of information so in other parts of the brain in particular area called the prefrontal Cortex we can see on mm say brain imaging scans less activity than normal so areas. That are running too hot or overactive. You might see more brain activity. Nobody and blood flow in areas. That are under active. You might see less and then the last thing I guess worth noting when it comes to the brain is over the course of time in persistent psychotic psychotic disorders like schizophrenia. There's an awful lot of concern. That is an illness that may be a degenerative Gomez means that over the course of many years nerve cells get lost they die. And that's sometimes evidence on a brain scan for someone who's been ill. For many many years one might see abnormally large areas of empty space in the bring. We all have empty space in our brain. All those squiggle when you look at a picture of a brain called Giro and self side. That's the space between your brain and the skull and when nerve cells die off that's base gets bigger so we call that critical atrophy and that can be bigger in people that have been. Ill would psychosis for many years. And then in the middle parts of our brain we have spaces called ventricles that's where cerebrospinal fluid flows through and then people that have had psychosis this for many years. Those empty spaces get bigger because when there are cells die off the replaced by empty space. So people talk about enlarged ventricles or abnormal atrophy in the CORTEX as signs. That nerve cells have died off in someone. That's been ill for many many years Asking Eh because I think it's very you know we have the media's representation and then the public tends to go with whatever the media shows us with in regards arts to mental disorders. But I think like if I'm watching let's say well one of the new movies out. The joker whatever. It kind of seems like psychosis is a switch. A person is either you know normal. Or they're out of their minds whereas me is a schizophrenic. So many times you know I can still hold a conversation and I know that I am hallucinating. I'm having issues and to me. There's like different levels where yes. Sometimes I can't leave my bed. I'm like totally we call it tripping but I'm not on drugs totally tripping. Can you talk a little about that as far as being able to still function with psychosis to the point of the not. Yeah sure so. So I wouldn't look at. The joker is a good example of mental on this. I mean that that portrayed a lot of very various kinds of mental illness. That don't usually fit together there and I wouldn't use that as an example of anything except a lot of fiction. But to people with schizophrenia there can be periods of episodes where symptoms are just more prominent dominant and then more quiet periods. So if I have schizophrenia. I may have an episode where I am. Especially suspicious of people were disorganized or able to take care of myself or I might stop eating because I think the food is poisoned or I just withdraw within the myself with a lot of negative symptoms and during those times during an episode episode or a flare. It's certainly more hard function it. It becomes a source of disability. If you're trying to maintain a household or go to school or have friendships or relationships ships or hold the job in between episodes the hope is that with proper treatment and good recovery strategies. People are able to to have more of a life so they're able to go work and go to school and take care of their families and some people who are you know very able to call upon their their resilience and their strength you know become people like John Nash. Who won the Nobel Prize or you know leaders and in their fields in very effective but then there's also a substantial number of people who never really quite regain the level of functioning that they had before they I got sick some experts would say? That's maybe a third to a half of people with schizophrenia. Who certainly we can function but not quite at the level so that might be somebody who was a promising student and looked like you know the world was open to them and then somewhere for in late adolescence? Usually or college years they had a psychotic episode and never fully recovered from it and they didn't quite get back to school and then and they can sometimes have a a decline from what their highest level of functioning might have been and even if they are aren't having active psychotic symptoms or negative symptoms. Sometimes TMZ people with schizophrenia. Also can have what would be called cognitive symptoms where. It's just hard to process information. Their attention is jeopardized their ability. He to reason and think through things is poorer than than would be the case in somebody without schizophrenia. The original name for schizophrenia was dementia Pray Cox and by dementia. It's similar to the idea of Alzheimer's disease. But unlike Alzheimer's disease it's a condition that comes along and use and young people. People Alzheimer's is an older adults. But many people still think that for some people not all but for some people with schizophrenia that dementia type cores can happen. And if it's there and someone has persistent problems over time and they never really regained their personal best then they sometimes have to revise expectations and the for them can sometimes very disabling. I'd say there's Heterogeneity there. John Nashes there the more middle of the road. People that may not quite have reached the expectations. They might have anticipated when when they were when they were younger or before they got sick and then there are some people who have unfortunately more. You're eating course over time. How different medications work to prevent prevent psychosis so We are still kind of in a primitive place with understanding the pharmacology of of schizophrenia. One one of the circuits that I was talking about before. That's involved with a psychosis types of symptoms is a circuit that tends to run on a chemical called dopamine and so for many many decades are medicines have been drugs that will tweak or modulate how dopamine works on those circuits picture a circuit like I go cars on a highway and by controlling the flow of cars on the highway. You make the highway more efficient. Let's say so. These chemicals we used to think about chemical comical imbalances. And that's no longer thought to be valid way to think of these things. It's more about problems with circuitry so the chemicals aren't imbalanced. It's just that the way they run. On the highway a makes the highway more efficient or less efficient think of rush hour versus normal traffic flow versus. Nobody's getting on the road too much activity ready to little activity. So all of our medicines to some degree regulate how dopamine flows across these circuits the receptors that dopamine and binds to and there are some receptors. That seem especially important for psychosis. There are some that seem especially important for motivation and for rewarding activities. There are some that seem especially important for attention and cognition. Some of the newer medicines that are coming along are meant to target specific sub types of receptors that dopamine binds to but sort of a limitation in our field is that we haven't really broken beyond the role of dopamine and dopamine. Is Important in schizophrenia and psychosis in general. But it's probably not probably it is not the whole story. And we know that there are other chemicals in circuits in pathways kind kind of higher up in the brain that tell these dopamine circuits what to do their pathways that come from higher up in the brain that run on a different chemical Co. glutamate and there's some thinking that people people with schizophrenia may have problems with specific receptors for glutamate and we haven't figured out a good way to to get to those receptors so there's optimism that in years to com. We'll have other circuits and other pathways or other ways to get it those circuits than just blocking dopamine or modulating dopamine by by getting at some of these other higher Europe circuits that control things. But we haven't haven't broken through there yet. Where do you see Pharmacological industry going in terms of treating different mental disorders. Well so Those are saying that there's great interest in exploring medications that work on other chemicals in circuits than than just the dopamine circuits. There's interest in in certain kinds of serotonin receptors that might modulate psychosis. There's one in particular called the five. ht to a receptor in a few years ago in new drug came out. And it's it's another way of trying to treat psychosis it's been studied and gets used to treat psychosis very specifically only in people with Parkinson's disease. It's beginning to get. Looked at in schizophrenia. So far the results are not as robust as people would hope. But that's a different circuit that people try to get at. There is a class of medicines known as dopamine partial agonists. We have three. There's a fourth one that's in development coming along and those are medicines assumes that are more like smart drugs they which circuits dopamine runs to slow on and they know which circuits dopamine runs too fast on and it Kinda modulate things increases or decreases increases. Traffic based on with the traffic is too high or too low so that's kind of a nice innovation above and beyond just blocking dopamine all over the brain so I don't think the field is as interested in inventing yet another dopamine blocking drug kind. We've had since the nineteen seventies. I think the interest is more coming up with smarter smarter drugs to modulate too much or too little and in which parts of the brain and had to get these higher up circuits that ultimately will influence the effects of dopamine in other circuses. Yeah well thank you so much. Dr Goldberg I love this interview with you at thank you for letting US kind of get a glimpse into into your side. They're the research Pharma therapies and whatnot. Thank you so much Sir for being here on our podcast my pleasure. Thanks for having me Rachel. Another incredible double interview excellent job and I absolutely loved how he explained the change in medication and pretty much where the look medication is going for for people with mental disorders. I like that. It's no longer looked at as a chemical imbalance but there's just so much more going on in the brain and we did cut the interview a little short. I'll go and tell you. I asked him so many more questions about disconnect which is not the focus of this podcast but just pretty much the research going on of what causes that and different things. And it's it's all fascinating and for me. It's all hopeful that there's so many like doc I don't WanNa say options but yeah that could be available to us in the near future for treating schizophrenia. And it reminds me so there was this mouth study that I'm obsessed with. They had all these mice and they were given hallucinogenics so LSD and then they showed them the several onscreen images. They recorded their brain cell activity in the mice as they were tripping and looking at these images and so what they thought they would see. was that like the mice which is being bombarded bombarded with all these crazy stuff in the brain was just like whoa overwhelmed and actually it was the opposite. They found out that the mice actually still saw the exact same thing as they would had. They not been on the drugs. But the brain couldn't understand that information so the hallucinogenics the drugs wasn't effecting what they saw it was affecting how it perceived it. I don't know to me that's just really interesting. It does makes sense because we tend to think about psychosis as it's changing what is happening around us. And that's the way that it's played out in culture right whenever for somebody who does drugs or gets drunk or gets high or whatever everything gets you know psychedelic and wavy. And but what it's saying is that no. Oh your brain sees it for what it is it takes it in exactly how it is and then it misinterprets that information so you see blue but your brain tells you that it's red and why this is important of course is because it lets us know how to treat it how to get ahead of it and hopefully in the future there will be better solutions to this process as long as we understand what the process is something that for me has always. He's had like an odd comfort. Is that my brain is making the hallucinations and Growing up I've always had a lot of very scary ones dark figures. There's just very scary imagery growing up religious. I was told it was demons so that helped. Like oh you're seeing Satan manifests like oh okay all right. That seems normal but now having still had these exact same hallucinations my whole life and knowing that my brain is making them. It's kind of cool. Mike how the fascination like our brains are what they can create what they can make. You know the fact that I know. It's not real but I hear these voices you. It's just it's really fascinating to me and to me. I don't know it's kind of empowering to know that my brain is that smart and it can do all that cool stuff. I wished I could control it a little better letter but it is my brain. It is a part of me Rachel I do think that is empowering. I think that knowledge is empowering. I think that information is empowering you know one hundred years ago one hundred hundred and fifty years ago leaving seventy five years ago. This was so misunderstood that people with the illness had little choice but to believe that they were possessed or that their brains were just so broken that they would have no quality of life understanding the process understanding. What's going on and being able to openly discuss what's going on? It really can't be anything. Other than empowering it shows great it progress and I think that's what's important. That's why shows like inside schizophrenia. Are So important. Because we're talking about these things in an understandable understandable and relatable way that everybody can figure out and participate in sincerely fifty years ago. This was so incredibly incredibly misunderstood. We were just putting people in institutions and frankly throwing away the key that's literal. Sometimes we need to move past asked that because people who experienced psychosis are living full and productive lives. You are complete proof of that. Rachel thank you. Gabe Abe and early diagnosis psychosis is what improves long. Term Outcomes friends and family do your best to notice things. Some of the red flags are are someone who's becoming socially withdrawn if it's always like a straight a student and the person starts performing you know dramatically Less they start failing. That is a huge red flag. Same thing with work. Someone who's always on time isn't suddenly they're always getting like late Write ups and things like that and even just someone who's more distressed or agitated but they can't really understand or tell you why these are all red flags that psychosis basis could be starting notice those things point them out track them. But don't feel that it's your job to make the person change change it is a medical situation. Do however make yourself open so that the person was schizophrenia. Like totally feels they can talk to you about it me and my mom. We'll go on long walks. And sometimes that's when I'll tell her like this weird hallucination because I want her to freak out. I don't want her to run and get me medical help. I'm just telling her. Hey last night this happened. It was just super weird. I just want to like tell you about it. Psychosis is very serious and it is difficult symptom but finding ways to manage manage it is absolutely possible and very important Rachel as always thank you for being so candid with us. You're welcome and listen up. Everybody we want to get to know you a little better. Please take a brief three minute listener survey so we can better understand our audience. which is you go to psych central dot com slash survey nineteen to complete it now and everyone who completes the survey will automatically entered into a drawing for a free one hundred your dollar Amazon Dot Com gift card remember? It is void where prohibited again. Get One hundred dollars Amazon gift card just for going to psych central dot com slash survey nineteen and it will help us improve the show. Thank you so much for listening. We will see everybody next month. And if you haven't checked out some of our past episodes we'd hit on violence in schizophrenia. Cornea loved ones. Family members childhood schizophrenia. All different topics. Please check those out like share subscribe and we will be back with. The next time inside. Schizophrenia is presented by Psych Central Dot Com America's largest and longest operating independent mental health. The website your host Rachel Star withers can be found online at Rachel Star Life Dot Com Co host gave Howard can be found online at gay power dot com for questions or to provide feedback. Please email top back at psych central Dot Com. The official website for insight schizophrenia is psych central dot com slash. Is I 's thank you for listening and please share widely.

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