Sunday, July 27, 2008

fear, feelings, "rethinking schizophrenia"

Last week, I continued meditation, once a day for 20 minutes, affirmations, 2-3 times a day,
and gratitude lists, most nights. Last week I felt fear twice unnecessarily. Once while waiting for my husband at the grocery store I felt frightened. Once I was afraid to fall asleep. This is
cause for concern because unwarranted fear can be a prelude to symptoms, so I talked about it with my husband. I was frightened to fall asleep because I'd been having bad dreams. I may have been frightened while waiting at the grocery store because I've been living in a different country since the end of March. I dealt with my fears and talked about it. The feeling of fear went away. I think that my feelings are coming a little bit more to the surface now that I decreased the medications. The week before I felt happy for a time one day, sad for a time another. This is a big improvement, as I realized that my feeling have been paralyzed by the medications. I look forward to dealing with them more in the future, though I'm certain that it will be challenging to figure out how to handle them after so much lost time.

Here is an article I found from Dr. Nathaniel S. Lehman called Rethinking schizophrenia: its original nature, its drug altered character, and thoughts about its treatment.
In it, he suggests that there is no "brain pathology" in schizophrenia not caused by medication. He also suggests that therapy without medication is appropriate.

Last week's progress --

  • medication: continued taking 10 mg Abilify in the mornings
  • sleep: slept on average 9.4 hours a night, decided to keep a dream journal to deal with troubling dreams
  • exercise: walked two days, ran two days, lifted weights two days
  • diet: ate 3-4 meals a day
  • weight: 158.8 lbs
  • mood: ok each morning upon rising. Depressed one evening. The day before that, feeling very energized from exercise.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

a "learning experience": trying to withdraw from medications

The last time I withdrew from the medications, I went off of 15 mg Abilify by decreasing to 10 mg, then going to one every other day, then stopping. It was over a month or two that I decreased. This was in September of 2006. I lasted until April of 2007, when I had a
psychotic break. This started with distrusting my husband. I began to have delusions and hallucinate constantly. I was involuntarily hospitalized. Eventually I was put on injections of Prolixin, 20 mg Abilify, and 5 mg Prolixin.

I think that I must have not been ready for the decrease, as I wasn't dealing with emotional issues and the precursors to a breakdown for me. Stress can cause me to get symptoms. I felt a great deal of stress suspecting my husband of infidelity and feeling that we weren't communicating well. I began to have an obsession. I also learned from this not to decrease the medicines too abruptly, which is why I'm decreasing them more gradually this time. I further learned that symptoms can appear long after the medication has been discontinued. I will have to be vigilant for a period of years after I discontinue medications in the future.

Friday, July 25, 2008

"harm reduction guide"

I found a great guide to withdrawing from psychiatric medications. It is from Freedom Center and The Icarus Project. It has details regarding nearly every ascpect of psychiatric drugs and what coming off of them can do to you. I hope you find it useful. You can download it from here:

Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Medications

Sunday, July 20, 2008

my definition of recovery; emotional recovery

I continued meditation, 17 minutes twice a day, affirmations, 3 times a day, and gratitude list before bed. I was told by two people from the Withdrawal and Recovery group that I am
withdrawing from the Abilify too quickly. 5-10% reductions are recommended there. I am
reducing by 33%. So, I am a bit confused as to what to do. For now, I'm keeping with my original plan. I am, however, considering these smaller reductions.
Some define "recovery" from schizophrenia as functioning normally while on the medicine.
While I have no problem with people who use this definition for themselves, and know that there are many, this is not what I mean when I say recovery. What I mean is what is defined there as a "full" recovery. Recovery for me will include no medications. So, right now, I'm in the process of recovery. I don't consider myself recovered yet.

Here is my progress this past week --

  • medication: continued taking 10 mg. Abilify once a day in the mornings
  • sleep: averaged 10 hours a night
  • exercise: walked 6 days (one day was raining), lifted weights 3 days
e-book, which I have been following. It has a plan for goal setting, combining protein, carbs, and fat into 4-5 meals a day, and cardio and weight training. It is recommended that weight loss be kept at 1-2 lbs a week. I am trying to lose 20 lbs. (10 lbs by October 1). I gained 100 lbs on Zyprexa in 2000, then lost 40 lbs when I was put on Abilify in 2003.
  • weight: 158.6 lbs
  • mood: ok except one morning depressed. I realized that this was due anger at my ex-boyfriend, who I'd been trying to forgive. I immediately decided to express this anger inwardly, rather than keep turning it against myself. I chose not to forgive him at this point. He beat me up rather badly in 1987. There were a series of extremely violent incidents, including one which involved severe head trauma. (This may be part of the reason I was diagnosed "schizophrenic", not just the head trauma, but also the PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which lingered.)

Monday, July 7, 2008

new realizations, found terrific blog

This past week I continued affirmations and meditation and added a gratitude list before I go to bed. I simply note 5-6 things I am thankful for in that day. I say affirmations out loud in the mornings now. I meditated for 14 minutes twice a day. I also worked on forgiveness, forgiving others I am angry with and, also, myself. I realized that I have issues with anger and safety, that these are main causes of my difficulties.
I found 2 great blogs with loads of resources. I will pass along one here. It is from Gianna Kali, who is currently reducing medications. She writes: This blog is documentation of my journey off psych meds as well as an introduction to alternative forms of care for mental health regardless of whether one is on meds, off meds, or coming off meds.
(quoted with permission of Gianna Kali)
On this page there are some great resources regarding withdrawal from medicines.
The blog is: Beyond Meds
From this blog I found two support groups at yahoo!: "Withdrawal and Recovery" and "SafeHarbor", which I joined this week.

This past week's progress --

  • medication: continued taking 10 mg Abilify in the morning
  • sleep: slept an average of 10.5 hrs. a night, one nightmare, dreams less confusing
  • exercise: had an ankle injury, walked 3 days, lifted weights one day
  • diet: ate 4 meals a day, except for 3 days, ate 3
  • weight: 160 lbs.
  • mood: ok all week

whether 'schizophrenia' exists and medication hazards

Videos detailed below NO LONGER AVAILABLE.

Previously, I showed 3 videos which note that chemical imbalances have not been proven to exist in schizophrenia. These "chemical imbalances" are often given as the cause of 'mental illnesses' by psychiatry. The videos also question the very existence of an 'illness' called schizophrenia, pointing out that the 'disease' has only been called schizophrenia since 1908.

In the late 1800's "schizophrenia" was called dementia praecox. Those suffering actually had a virus. So, 'schizophrenia' was really a physical medical problem originally, wrongfully diagnosed.

To call the problems associated with "schizophrenia" an 'illness' or 'disease' is wrong. The drugs used to treat "schizophrenia" damage the nerve fibers and cause irreversible brain damage.

These videos detailed the many problems associated with the psychotropic drugs. There is no scientific proof that "schizophrenia" exists as an 'illness'. There is no physical cause of "schizophrenia".

Are the only causes of "schizophrenia" political?

See: Science Insanity by Apreveshensky and Manhood of Humanity

The Selling of Schizophrenia Part I, The Selling of Schizophrenia Part II, and The Selling of Schizophrenia Part III have been removed. The three vids are no longer available @YouTube.

This article argues that "schizophrenia" does not exist:

Schizophrenia A Nonexistent Disease

Sunday, July 6, 2008

this week's progress

I have been doing affirmations from Louise Hay's book Heal Your Body. You could find it online, but no more... I found all of the ailments that apply to me and read them 2-3 times a day. There are affirmations for anxiety, depression, insanity, and nervous breakdown, along with all sorts of other things. Someone told me this week that the affirmations are supposed to be 100% more effective if read out loud, but I've yet to try that. I also have been meditating. I began at 5 minutes, morning and late afternoon, and have added 3 minutes each week, so that last week I meditated for 11 minutes at a time. I read the affirmations after meditating, then sometimes once more at noon.

  • medication: continued taking 10 mg Abilify mornings, daily
  • sleep: averaged 11 hours a night, with one night at 9 hours; most dreams confusing, had 2 nightmares.
  • exercise: began running last week but my ankle hurt too much on the second day, so I am going to be staying off of it for awhile, probably a week. Weight lifting 3 days a week, 2 dumbbells 11 lbs ea.
  • diet: ate 4 meals a day, except Sunday
  • weight: 160 lbs.
  • mood: generally okay, one day anxious, one day depressed