I got a call this morning from a clinic that wants me to participate in a study for a new medication for schizophrenics. The lady asked me if she could forward my information to the doctor doing the study. I said yes, but that I'd only be interested if it was an outpatient study. Exciting! The drug is supposed to help stop paranoia. I could sure use that! Especially in the mornings.
I highly recommend that anyone with schizophrenia should see the movie "Gothika," especially if they've had some difficulties with the mental health industry. Not only is the movie about a psychologist who has the tables turned upon her when she ends up in her own mental institution, but it actually has some realistic depictions of hallucinations and losing touch with reality. Of course, it turns out the main character actually isn't having hallucinations, but the movie could still give the viewer a sense for what it's like to be thought of as crazy. At least, a lot more than "A Beautiful Mind."
I've been taking some exams so that I can try to go back to school. There are elections going on today, and I wore a button that said "A Voting American with disAbilities." I have trouble with the voices during exams. When I was in high school, I had voices during exams, but at the time I didn't know that they were voices from my brain. I thought they were people screaming in the back of the room. I complained to my teachers a lot. Now they scream, and I know they are just from my brain. But I still have a hard time concentrating. I can't bring myself to ask for disability accomadations for exams, like a longer time for each exam. If I did it that way, it would feel like cheating. It would feel like I didn't get a degree at all. That it was given to me. I don't want to have that happen. I hope I pass these exams.
At the time I write this, I'm away from my computer. It's 6:24 AM 9/2/04, and I'm wigging out on the way to volunteer to the zoo, as usual. This always happens because I don't get enough sleep on Wednesday nights, even though yesterday I fell into a sobbing nap after work and then felt better.
Anyways, I'm writing so that I'll distract myself from my symptoms. I've decided (for right now) to think about my problem as a philosophical one, like the author Joseph Campbell does. That way, I won't feel like an idiot for focusing on the lady with the death-mask, who has been following me for a quarter of a mile, who I feel is stealing my thoughts away with her hand guestures in order to slow me down... Anyway...
One of the key characteristics of psychosis is the "distorted perception of self." I mean, the root of my problem is obviously that I don't know whether the things I'm experiencing are from within me or without... An idea that Joseph Campbell would consider a hero's journey to a foreign (and divine) environment. This dissolution of self is why women with post-partem psychosis, unaccustomed to this experience, sometimes kill their own infant. It is a desperate attempt to regain a sense of self by severing their most obvious link to the external. This makes me ponder further the myth of the mother Goddess and sacraficial God that is played out during the wheel of the year.
Back to the practical... I hate how stress aggrivates my schizophrenia. I'm going to talk with my doctor about whether or not any of my anti-psychotics are fast-acting in case I want to use one intermittantly in emergencies. All my life, I have worked best under pressure, and I've never been able to hack it at a boring job for long. How am I ever going to make it in the working world? There are no jobs that keep a person busy and driven while allowing them to take random days off to pop a pill and hide from the world to recover. Oh well, I'm not depressed, and I'm not beaten yet. I have to keep reminding myself that I've only spent a year and three-fourths with this disease. I'll find a way.