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Dear Average American Citizen,
Please forgive my absence from this blog. I have been dealing with issues too numerous to mention. One calamity after another. I have a quiet moment and am determined to spend it here. I am counting on June to be a more productive month as far as my entries go.
The last month of my life has been productive in other equally valuable ways. I have gained much insight into my own position in the great big cosmic joke of life. It seems as though, my endless efforts to defend myself, have reached a level of understanding that has brought me such an enormous 'AHA', it bears sharing.
I have come to realize I've been defending myself against the paranoic suspicions of others all my life. Granted, it appeared for the most part as mere misunderstanding, or a failure to communicate effectively on my part. I've spent most of my life wondering what it is I've done or said to illicit such far fetched and unfounded suspicion by others. I look back in hindsight now and realize that virtually all of the figures in my life who have played a significant role had the misfortune of being paranoid to some degree, whether it was due to brain chemical, alcohol, or street drugs.
I'm not referring to the occasional dip into the state of paranoia that we are all privy to. I'm also not referring to a set of circumstances that creates the opportunity for rational suspicion. I'm referring to the strange and bizzarre accusations that could only eminate from the irrational source entrenched in a clinical state of paranoia. The kind of stuff, that makes your eyes squint, your nose wrinkle, you upper lip purse with that familiar question "Whaaaaaaat?"
I now realize, I have been conditioned to not only attract this type of chaos into my life, but also, to see myself as the reality check for this type of irrational thought. I have paid quite a price for this magnet and I am exhausted. It doesn't take much to knock the wind out of my sails these days.
I've decided I'm not defending myself any more. It is worthless to try to do so any way. Defending myself, or trying to get a paranoid person to see that I am not really up to something, only serves to display ownership of the accusation in their eyes. It only escalates the conflict and fuels the false belief. I'm simply not taking it in any more. My goal from now on when confronted with a false belief about me, is to simply say "It sounds like you really believe that about me."
But I digress. My purpose in this blog is to present a rather mind blowing concept to 'The Great Undiagnosed'. It is by far one of the most twisted and shocking revelations of my journey with a schizophrenic son. It is a simple concept really. But when faced with it, I was simply waylaid.
As a parent we are inundated with radio and television Public Service Announcements regarding the signs of drug and alcohol use and abuse in our children. I was hypervigilant in this regard. I was convinced, I would recognize it in my children and be able to intervene early. I was also painfully aware that my efforts to do so held no guarantee. But I remained determined to give it my best shot if neccessary.
Now here's the clincher:
Schizophrenia looks like drugs and alcohol.
Let me say this again.
SCHIZOPHRENIA LOOKS LIKE DRUGS AND ALCOHOL!
I spent the first month of my son's first psychotic break, searching his room, his car, the garbage cans, looking for proof.
If you find yourself doing the same thing with your child at some given point during their turbulent teens, please remember, irregardless of whether you find proof of drugs and alcohol or not, you may still be looking at schizophrenia. Even if you find an empty bottle of beer in the bottom of the garbage can outside, this does not rule out a mental illness! Get your son or daughter to a doctor. Early diagnosis is key to recovery for both addiction and mental illness.
The following list consists of excerpts from the signs of drug and alcohol use in your children. I have included only the signs that are also indicators of schizophrenia.
� Sudden changes in mood or attitude
� Withdrawing or isolating from family
� Paranoia, irritability, anxiety
� Abrupt decline in attendance or performance at school or work
� Resistance to discipline at home or school
� Unusual or disproportionate displays of temper
� Loss of interest in hobbies, activities, and/or sports
� Change in eating or sleeping habits
� Abandonment of long-time friends
� Heightened secrecy about actions or possessions
� Sexual Promiscuity
� Trouble getting up in the morning
� Dilated pupils, glassy eyes
� Appearing �spaced out�
� Excessive or inappropriate laughter
� Hyper, nervous physical energy
� Nonsensical speech
The way out is the way through. There is no way around.