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Hi, I am a Schizophrenic woman and I am going to tell you a little about myself. I had my first visual hallucination at the age of five when my eighteen year old foster brother molested me. Later, at the age of fourteen, I became psychotic and suicidally depressed when there was abuse in the house. I was hospitalized for three weeks and took meds for a couple of years. Then I dumped them all down the toilet and went cold turkey (and I did pretty well) until I was 22, when I became psychotic when I moved out and went to a university. Ever since then I have been on medication. I wasn't correctly diagnosed until 1995 or 1996. I was first diagnosed Bipolar. I was persistant in returning to the Dr. complaining that I wasn't doing very well. I was on maybe fifteen different drugs before I starting taking Geodon. I was first on Prolixen, then Clozaril, then Zyprexa and now Geodon. Prolixen gave me terrible tardive dyskinesia in my jaw. Now, and I think from now on, I will have the constant movement of my jaws. It is like having your teeth chatter constantly and I wind up grinding my teeth a lot or holding my tongue between my top teeth and my bottom teeth. I have lots of headaches and pain in my jaw. Zyprexa made me eat a lot because it turns off the part of the brain that tells your stomach it is full. In fact, I gained over a hundred and fifty pounds. On Geodon though I have lost one hundred and twenty pounds now.
Part of my recovery process has been self-help. I began working as a Club Aide in Project Return: The Next Step in 1994. PRTNS is a client driven, client run organization that gives jobs to people with mental illness. I ran a two hour club once a week, for four years. This brings together consumers in a mutually supportive environment for socializing and advocacy. We take trips together to camp Big Bear in the mountains by a lake, to Laughlin, Tajoe, Rosarita, Ensenada, and the Grand Canyon. In 1997, they sent me in an exchange program with Japanese mental health clients. We gave speeches and toured a little. Some of our clubs have a particualr emphasis. Some are specifically for Gays and Lesbians, some are for Spanish speakers, one group of women has tea parties, and the one for Bipolar people is called Up's and Down's, then there is Schizophrenics Anonymous. We have over 100 clubs in Los Angeles County.
I worked as a special ed. assistant for three years. Now I have returned to PRTNS and am working as a Regional Aide. I oversee the clubs in the San Fernando Valley. Currently I am having trouble making it to my meetings due to uncontolled Hypoglycemia. I haven't gotten adequate treatment for this with my Medi-Cal, which is the state aid for the low income and disabled. The Hypoglycemia was caused by the Geodon. I am also suffering from depression. I currently take Effexor and Wellbutrin but sometimes I still get really depressed. I don't make enough money to afford an apartment and there is no section-8 housing now that it has been frozen. I am on a waiting list and will be served in 2007 or later. I am going to demonstrations against cuts to section eight housing. I must find a new place to live by May 3. That's all for now, Butterfly EmergingPosted by Butterfly Emerging at April 22, 2004 02:45 AM | TrackBack