Thursday, March 26, 2009

Take the quiz...

I found a neat quiz on schizophrenia, take it and see if you are up to date on the current facts. You can find it here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A long road ahead

I have been talking with Chris about having another baby. He's not to keen on the idea of me going through another pregnancy. He did say we could talk about it and see what our options are. And of course I have to have my psych workers sign off on it and make sure I have safe meds to take while I'm pregnant. Which is a big deal. I looked up the medication I am on and it has caused heart and kidney defects. But there's no big hurry, the earliest we have said we'd start trying is in December of 2010. Attie will be in preschool then and it would put my due date the next fall when she would be in kindergarten. We also have to weigh the fact that I will have to have in vitro, which Chris is not happy about either. So I've got tons of insurance stuff to check on as well. All in all it's a tall order and there are tons of things I have to get in line for it to happen, but I think it will be worth it the long run. lol

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Few Pretties

I played around with some tutorials at Divine Intentionz today and really liked what I came up with, so I thought I would share. Photobucket Photobucket

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Visiting the Past

When I was little, I always helped my dad work on his truck. When I say helped, I carried around a broomstick and played while he worked. lol Well, for the past 2 days I have got to relive my past a bit. The rack and pinion went out in my van and after waiting 3 weeks for the person who was supposed to fix it to show up, me, my dad and my brother did it. It took us 2 nights, but we got it done. And I have to say I enjoyed it. It was hard work and I got greasy, but I got to spend time with my dad and my brother in a way I don't normally get to spend time with them. We laughed and griped and got the work done. I got to fix a car with my daddy and I think it is a memory I will keep for a long time. I feel really lucky to have been able to spend that time with him. I look around and so many people don't have family that they can do that with. It's not an option, so to get to do it was an honor for me. A messy, greasy honor. I guess, too, that it made me feel younger. I've been feeling older here lately. 32 is not really old, but I've noticed that I'm the one griping about the teenagers driving and having loud music and it's kinda got to me. I can still laugh and have a good time, but my good time doesn't revolve around beer and loud music. I guess growing up happens more than once in our lives.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Another Good Article

Well, today started off badly. I won't go into it, I'll just say I spent the morning crying. Some days are like that, you spend all day wondering what you did wrong and yet knowing all the while you did nothing wrong. It's messed up. I got my medicine yesterday and got a quote for it also, a month's supply is $996. Yeah, I have applied to the company who makes the drug for assistance in getting it. And that large price tag is for 60 pills. I can't wait till it goes generic, then things will be much easier. Antipsychotic drugs are some of the most expensive out there, but they work. I found another good article on understanding Schizophrenia and thought I'd pass the link on. You can find the article HERE.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Challenging Day

Today was really challenging for me. I kept my head in the computer most of the day making siggy's to take the edge off. I've been having some rough days for a little under a week, I've been having more hallucinations and more memory loss. It has been grinding on me a good bit. I can't even remember the end of sentences I start saying, I just stop mid sentence and I can't go any farther with it. I go tomorrow to my monthly therapist's appointment, so I'm going to talk with her about all this and see if I can get some more meds as I am almost out. I really will be in trouble if I run out of meds. We got a big blow to our plans for this week today. Chris's vacation was canceled, he will be working 4 am shifts this week. Which sucks. A coworker had a death in the family and Chris has to cover his shifts, I know it's a good thing for him to do and I don't fault him for it. But it really messed up our week with the kids. He's going to see if he can take next week off and he will get a 3 day weekend this weekend, so we're gonna do as much as we can this weekend. I know we will be going to the zoo Saturday and maybe someplace on Friday. Another sour note, my van is still not fixed. We waited all day for Chris's brother to come and do the work and he did not show again. This is the second time he's not shown up and I can't drive my van and it has to be fixed by this weekend or our travel plans are over and the kids AEA week is just them sitting at home without anything special. I'm crossing my fingers that he gets his butt up here and does the work this week. Well, that's all for now. I've vented and I feel better for it. Lots of things are out of my control and that is making me feel very....unanchored. I feel like things are swirling all around me and I can't catch them, which no doubt accounts for my grouchiness. Well, maybe things will get better tomorrow.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A good article on Schizophrenia

This was taken from NAMI's website. You can see the original HERE.


What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a serious and challenging medical illness, an illness that affects well over 2 million American adults, which is about 1 percent of the population age 18 and older. Although it is often feared and misunderstood, schizophrenia is a treatable medical condition.

Schizophrenia often interferes with a person's ability to think clearly, to distinguish reality from fantasy, to manage emotions, make decisions, and relate to others. The first signs of schizophrenia typically emerge in the teenage years or early twenties, often later for females. Most people with schizophrenia contend with the illness chronically or episodically throughout their lives, and are often stigmatized by lack of public understanding about the disease. Schizophrenia is not caused by bad parenting or personal weakness. A person with schizophrenia does not have a "split personality," and almost all people with schizophrenia are not dangerous or violent towards others while they are receiving treatment. The World Health Organization has identified schizophrenia as one of the ten most debilitating diseases affecting human beings.

What are the symptoms of schizophrenia?

No one symptom positively identifies schizophrenia. All of the symptoms of this illness can also be found in other mental illnesses. For example, psychotic symptoms may be caused by the use of illicit drugs, may be present in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, or may be characteristics of a manic episode in bipolar disorder. However, when a doctor observes the symptoms of schizophrenia and carefully assesses the history and the course of the illness over six months, he or she can almost always make a correct diagnosis.

As with any other psychiatric diagnosis, it is important to have a good medical work-up to be sure the diagnosis is correct. Drug use can mimic the symptoms of schizophrenia and may also trigger vulnerability in individuals at risk. Other medical concerns also need to be ruled out before a correct diagnosis can be made.

The symptoms of schizophrenia are generally divided into three categories -- Positive, Negative, and Cognitive:

  • Positive Symptoms, or "psychotic" symptoms, include delusions and hallucinations because the patient has lost touch with reality in certain important ways. "Positive" refers to having overt symptoms that should not be there. Delusions cause individuals to believe that people are reading their thoughts or plotting against them, that others are secretly monitoring and threatening them, or that they can control other people's minds. Hallucinations cause people to hear or see things that are not present.
  • Negative Symptomsinclude emotional flatness or lack of expression, an inability to start and follow through with activities, speech that is brief and devoid of content, and a lack of pleasure or interest in life. "Negative" does not refer to a person's attitude but to a lack of certain characteristics that should be there.
  • Cognitive Symptoms pertain to thinking processes. For example, people may have difficulty with prioritizing tasks, certain kinds of memory functions, and organizing their thoughts. A common problem associated with schizophrenia is the lack of insight into the condition itself. This is not a willful denial but rather a part of the mental illness itself. Such a lack of understanding, of course, poses many challenges for loved ones seeking better care for the person with schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia also affects mood. While many individuals affected with schizophrenia become depressed, some also have apparent mood swings and even bipolar-like states. When mood instability is a major feature of the illness, it is called schizoaffective disorder, meaning that elements of schizophrenia and mood disorders are prominently displayed by the same individual. It is not clear whether schizoaffective disorder is a distinct condition or simply a subtype of schizophrenia.

What are the causes of schizophrenia?

Scientists still do not know the specific causes of schizophrenia, but research has shown that the brains of people with schizophrenia are different from the brains of people without the illness. Like many other medical illnesses such as cancer or diabetes, schizophrenia seems to be caused by a combination of problems including genetic vulnerability and environmental factors that occur during a person's development. Recent research has identified certain genes that appear to increase risk for schizophrenia. Like cancer and diabetes, the genes only increase the chances of becoming ill; they alone do not cause the illness.

How is schizophrenia treated?

While there is no cure for schizophrenia, it is a treatable and manageable illness. However, people sometimes stop treatment because of medication side effects, the lack of insight noted above, disorganized thinking, or because they feel the medication is no longer working. People with schizophrenia who stop taking prescribed medication are at risk of relapse into an acute psychotic episode. It’s important to realize that the needs of the person with schizophrenia may change over time. Here are a few examples of supports and interventions:

  • Recovery Supports/Relapse Prevention: There is increasing recognition of the benefits of learning from "someone who has been there." NAMI’s Peer to Peer program is designed to help individuals with mental illness learn from those who have become skilled at managing their illness. Peer support groups are also recognized as invaluable as individuals living with mental illness report better recovery outcomes as the shared experience is recognized as extremely beneficial. NAMI C.A.R.E. support groups are available in many communities and are expanding to better meet this need.
  • Family Support: Caregivers benefit greatly from NAMI’s Family-to-Family education program, taught by family members who have the knowledge and the skills needed to cope effectively with a loved one with a mental disorder. This program is available in all 50 states through many NAMI affiliates, and is offered in multiple languages in many communities.
  • Hospitalization: Individuals who experience acute symptoms of schizophrenia may require intensive treatment, including hospitalization. Hospitalization is necessary to treat severe delusions or hallucinations, serious suicidal thoughts, an inability to care for oneself, or severe problems with drugs or alcohol. Hospitalization may be essential to protect people from hurting themselves or others.
  • Medication: The primary medications for schizophrenia are called antipsychotics. Antipsychotics help relieve the positive symptoms of schizophrenia by helping to correct an imbalance in the chemicals that enable brain cells to communicate with each other. As with drug treatments for other physical illnesses, many patients with severe mental illnesses may need to try several different antipsychotic medications before they find the one, or the combination of medications, that works best for them.
    • Conventional Antipsychotics were introduced in the 1950s and all had similar ability to relieve the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. However, most of these older "conventional" antipsychotics differed in the side effects they produced. These conventional antipsychotics include chlorpromazine (Thorazine), fluphenazine (Prolixin), haloperidol (Haldol), thiothixene (Navane), trifluoperazine (Stelazine), perphenazine (Trilafon), and thioridazine (Mellaril). Some of the risks that may be incurred from taking these medicines include dry mouth, blurred vision, drowsiness, constipation, and movement disorders such as stiffness, a sense of restless motion, and tardive dyskinesia.
    • "Atypical" Antipsychotics were introduced in the 1990s. When compared to the older "conventional" antipsychotics, these medications appear to be equally effective for helping reduce the positive symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions, but may be better than the older medications at relieving the negative symptoms of the illness, e.g., withdrawal, thinking problems, and lack of energy. The atypical antipsychotics include risperidone (Risperdal), clozapine (Clozaril), olanzapine (Zyprexa), quetiapine (Seroquel), and ziprasidone (Geodon).Clozapine (Clozaril) is an atypical antipsychotic medicine with special benefits and risks that are too numerous to cover in this brief fact sheet.All these antipsychotics have serious side effects such as weight gain and the risk of diabetes, but they all do not carry the same relative risk for these conditions.

All medications have side effects. Different medications produce different side effects, and people differ in the amount and severity of side effects they experience. Side effects can often be treated by changing the dose of the medication, switching to a different medication, or treating the side effect directly with an additional medication. NAMI’s fact sheets on medications, developed by independent pharmacists, are a starting point to understand the risks and benefits of any individual medication. Individuals thinking of starting or changing their medication should always gather good information, consider the risks and benefits, consult with their doctor and loved ones and work together to develop the most safe and effective treatment plan possible.

  • Psychosocial Rehabilitation: Research shows that people with schizophrenia who attend structured psychosocial rehabilitation programs and continue with their medical treatment manage their illness best. One example of an effective psychosocial approach for the most severely ill, or those with both mental illness and substance abuse, is the Program for Assertive Community Treatment (PACT), an intensive team effort in local communities to help people stay out of the hospital and live independently. Available 24-hours a day, seven-days a week, PACT professionals meet their clients where they live, providing at-home support at whatever level is needed.Professionals work with clients to address problems effectively, to make sure medications are being properly taken, and to meet the routine daily challenges of life, such as grocery shopping and managing money.
  • Substance use counseling, housing, work and educational skill development are among other supports frequently required to maximize a person’s prospects for a higher functional level. Additional information on these topics is available at

Individuals with schizophrenia face enormous challenges, including society’s stigmatization of people living with schizophrenia, and the discrimination that results from these prejudices. Consider getting involved in NAMI, The National Alliance on Mental Illness, in order to contribute to and benefit from NAMI’s core activities that support the NAMI mission: support, advocacy, education and improved research for this important and challenging condition.

Reviewed by Ken Duckworth, M.D., February 2007

A little therapy

As I said, you going to get to see inside my world. Which can be really boring at times. I use a form of self medication along with the real medications I take, it's called Paint Shop Pro. I love making sig tags, backgrounds and comments for people and me, of course! It calms me down and let's me vent some of the side effects of my medicine, such as the need to do something. Here are a few things I have created in the past few days. Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Friday, March 13, 2009


Hey and welcome to Insanity's View. I hope to use this blog as a way to show people what Mental Illness is really about and how we are really just like everyone else. Mental Illness is not necessarily caused by drug abuse or physical abuse, even though those things can contribute in some cases. Mental Illness is an organic disease of the brain. It affects the way the brain functions and the way the brain receives information. In my case, schizophrenia, it causes my brain to think that there are things or voices in the room that are not there. I have both auditory and visual hallucinations and severe mood swings. I take medications everyday to combat these things and now am doing very well. It wasn't always like this, however, and I will use this blog to show my progress and introduce you to the real world of Mental Illness, not the movie version. Along the way I hope to throw out some links to sites and foundations that can help those with Mental Illness and also some fun things that I do as my hobby. Yes, crazy people have hobbies too!