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Not recovered; not coping.

In 2005 I got taken to hospital for bizarre behaviour, and since then I've had more than 10 extended stays in a psych ward, and given just about every medication in the pharmacy. The side effects are not pleasant, and the doctors for some reason are reluctant to give you the medication that provides the least severe side effects.


But now I am taking medication that I can agree with, and some of the side effects still linger, such as the weight gain, and tardive dystonia.


I get anxious all of the time, and if I get stressed out and sleep poorly, the distorted thoughts ensue. I get depressed easily, and getting out and about and being sociable easily wears me out. I can't concentrate very well, and my wit is a lot slower than what it was. My memory is hazy at best, and I am a slave to my whimsical mind.


I play guitar, but I don't have the motivation to practice. I write novels when my moods are elevated, and its about the only thing I do that I enjoy. I see friends now more than I used to, but just having a regular conversation is a huge struggle.


I crave foods that are not healthy, and even when I stick to my healthy diet, I will lose my mind until I eat whatever it is I am obsessed with. Quite often two whole boxes of bicuits can be demolished, even if I have already eaten dinner.


My doctors cannot do anything more for me, and instead study me, like they will learn something from my own battle with my mind. My psychologist is the only person who can help me now, and a measley hour every 3 weeks is hardly enough to move forward.


But somehow I persist. I refuse to give up. I do my best to forgive those fortunate enough to do even the simplest of things, of which I am unable to complete.


It is not fun being me. And thats not me being negative, thats me being realistic.


At this point, you might wonder what motivates me to further recovery? I think I have something to offer other people. I feel I can help other people through their inner turmoil, since it is impossible that it is greater than what I have been through. There are poems about people staring into the abyss, but I fully jumped into it. It swallowed me whole, and I fought for every millimetre to get back out again.


Sure, my mind isn't what is was, but its still pretty good. And the experience I have makes all the little hurdles easier to overcome.


I know I can get even better than I am now, but I'd just rather not have to go through it on my own.

Re: Not recovered; not coping.

Great post, @tesla-weapon — what you've been through and how you're handling it is really inspiring.


Feel free to share with us on Reach Out about anything you want — we even have a Hang Out section just for talking about, quite literally, anything you want. We'd love to hear it and we're always keen for more. We'd love for you to continue sharing how things are going with you and, well, anything else you like too, including what you're struggling with.


Welcome. I'm really glad you're here. Smiley Happy

Re: Not recovered; not coping.

My diagnosis is Schizoaffective Disorder, so I get the mixed bag. I don't see things when I get sick, or hear voices, but I can get pretty detached from reality. I suffer from depression as well, and anxiety so that doesn't help much.


So lots of pills every day, but I am very accustomed to taking them. I didn't like the idea of taking them in the first place, and I was in a fair amount of denial about there being anything wrong with my brain. But stopping my medication quickly results in a psychotic episode, and it became clear to me that something wasn't right. Its very difficult to admit to yourself that your concept of reality is false. Changing what you believe is the most difficult thing you will ever do. That is of course unless you are one of the lucky people whose beliefs are very close to the actual reality in the first place.


I think I read on this website, or maybe another one that most young people fully recover from a psychotic episode. I don't know if that is true or not. Its certainly not true for me, and for a lot of people that I have met in hospital. Giving people false hopes about recovering isn't helpful.


Its akin to parents telling children they can do whatever they like if they put in the effort. This simply isn't realistic. The mental health system is also very bad in this way in that it isn't very realistic. There is no where near enough money for the proper care of the mentally ill people, particularly in my state.


The only people that recover, are people who take it upon themselves to recover. Or have a very strong family. And even then it still comes down to chance. For some people, the medication simply does not work. I'm lucky that my medication works to some extent for myself, but I was unable so far to recover to a point at which I am happy with.

Re: Not recovered; not coping.

Hey @tesla-weapon 

Thanks for sharing the specifics of your story. 


First up, I had to remove the paragraph where you talk about the specifics of your medication as such details are against the rules here. You can find out more over in our community guidelines.


First and foremost, you're not alone in what you're experiencing. Others here have been through, or are going through, very similar things — they may not be ready to open up about it just yet but I hope that your courage gives them some courage to do the same.


It's clear to me that you're a strong person and very keen to overcome this, and I hope you can stick around and be an inspiration to people here, while also being inspired by them, too.

Re: Not recovered; not coping.

Hey @tesla-weapon 


You have really been through a lot and even though you struggle with so much it is amazing that you are still persistant and that is an admirable quality. I think you have something to offer too and your experience, your fight and your positivity can really encourage someone to keep on keeping on regardless of what they face. 


It is great that you are so amazingly creative and expressive with your writing. Music is so beautiful and I wish I could play guitar, I hope you will get the motivation to practice. Does talking to your friends help you feel a bit better from time to time? 


It is so awesome that you are trying to stick to a healthy diet, I crave for bad food all the time but I've just decided that I cannot deprive myself so I sort of have a plan like if I eat this junk food, I'm going to need to exercise more or cut down the junk food for the week like have 2-3 junk days or having 1 biscuit and doing something to distract myself so I forget the cravings. Although a healthy diet is a pain so its awesome to see you sticking to it Smiley Happy 


Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone and we are here to support you and encourage you to keep on keeping on. 


Take care of yourself. You are so amazing and strong, remember that. Smiley Happy




**Believe in the power of you because you are your own hero**

Re: Not recovered; not coping.

Yep sorry Lex, I did read the guidelines, and wondered what the go was with talking about medications. I'll remember that for the furture.


And yes Ruen, talking to friends helps, but mostly I try not to burden them with crap. It just makes me feel negative, and I'd rather spend my time with them being creative, or discussing other more interesting things. I leave my problems for my psychologist.


There is another forum type thingy I am on, which I will write stuff there about how I am going, but not much support, so mostly its just like a journal, in that I can go back and read what I wrote months ago.

Re: Not recovered; not coping.

Hey @tesla-weapon,


Yep, the guidelines can be a little tricky. Smiley Happy


I think I understand what you're talking about when you say you feel that young people are given false hope regarding recovering from mental health difficulties. I've always had mixed feelings about the use of the word recovery. Sometimes I think that maybe it gives people an idea that they will recover from a mental health illness the same way someone might recover from cancer. Like they simply won't have it anymore. Which is not a very accurate depiction. It's very unrealistic to think that someone might find the right combination of treatment options and then bam! eternal happiness from that point on. Very unlikely!

I had it explained to me once that the reason the mental health field started to use the word recovery was to try and give the exact opposite impression of that. It was to move people's expectations as far away from 'cured' and 'normal' as possible. To depict a journey rather than a destination. It's supposed to convey to people the idea that when someone struggling with a mental health illness gets the right support and the right treatment, and by right I mean the best fit for them, then their illness can become manageable. More like diabetes. There may be days when you barely notice it and there may be there days where you need to access all the support available to you but it's no longer taking over your life in a way that feels scary and dangerous. And because of that, you have the space to live your life and experience all the things you deserve to like love and happiness and joy and excitement and growth and learning and all sorts of other awesome things.

What do you think?

Re: Not recovered; not coping.

I think the words you have used, describe perfectly why I think it is false to say most people make a full recovery. That is unless of course that IS the case, and my case, and the others I know from first hand experience are just the exception and not the rule. But that is most unlikely.


I think instead of saying most young people can make a full recovery, it should say most young people can recover to be able to fully manage their illness. That way, you know from the beginning that this thing isn't going to go away any time soon, but that you will be able to beat it.


A friend of mine who was a psych nurse, once told me he was in charge of putting out a pamphlet about recreational drugs and psychosis. The beaurocracy made him alter the words used to describe the facts, which were that people are 7 times as likely to become psychotic after taking certain drugs. They made him change it to say, may be up to 7 times as likely.


They have data showing that its a bit more than just "maybe" but were afraid to use such strong words.


The words you use have power. We know this from CBT. Using the wrong words for things is harmful.


Re: Not recovered; not coping.

Hi @tesla-weapon 


Thanks for coming back and keeping us updated on your story.


I have also seen the words "make a full recovery" in some texts. Now that you have put it into perspective, I realised it too isn't the most accuracy way of putting concepts into words. I also don't believe you will revert back to the person you were before your diagnosis. Mental illness, like any illness or any life ordeal, changes a person. So, I agree with NigioC that recovery is not a destination but a journey. So you would "be on the road to recovery", rather "you will be fully recovered". But try not to get too caught up with wordings, because the person(s) who have written that sentence evidently only known recovery in a specific context.


Having said all that. I believe everyone has a chance to get better. I don't have a supportive family, medications also don't work on me. I have changed my team of therapists every year (so there is none of that continuity) and I am kinda lost with where I am heading. However, I have not allowed myself to let my mental illness take over my life. I think I am just fighting hard to stay in control instead of my illness controlling me. Sometimes to be in control, I have to do all sort things I don't like doing like-

1) Admitting I have issues and that I needed to face them

2) See therapists and dedicate time, money and effort into those sessions

3) Be willing to seek help and work cooperative with a therapist

4) Taking medications that I knew it may not work (but we don't know if it doesn't unless I've tried them)

5) Put up with study (the pain, pressure and stress of it all) becuase having an education would help me move forward in my life


I am glad you, tesla-weapon, have told us your story. I liked reading it.



Re: Not recovered; not coping.

'If you are going through hell, keep going' (Churchill). That quote by British war-time PM Churchill came to mind immediately as I was reading your post, tesla-weapon. I was really struck by your courage and persistence and tenacity, not to mention your flair for writing! I can see a bestseller in you! Keep up the fight and the writing, buddy. I believe in you.