April 22, 2004

My First Entry April 21,2004

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 Emerging

Posted by Butterfly Emerging at April 22, 2004 02:45 AM | TrackBack


Pam-I think you posted awhile back concerning Sec. 8 housing..(hope your the right person) I'm a para-legal who happens to be bi-polar.

Section 8, is a Fedrally funded program, and some rules SLIGHTLY vary from state-to-state.

As long as you and your mother meet all of Section 8 critieia...such as: your mother's property is all up to code-and you being able to prove your
income, disability, etc..They (Sec. 8) cannot
prevent her from renting to you.

A legal program for the indigent and disabled in your area should be able to confirm, what I've told you, and maybe could even represent you.

Good Luck..


Posted by: C. at May 5, 2004 04:41 PM

Hi Pam,

I have ready your story and I understand, intimately, unfortunately. I am an only child of a mother with severe paraoid schiz. All of the borads to which I've looked are out of date and I'm wondering if you or any readers know of any which I can access that are current. I do really need support now.

Thank you,


Posted by: Victoria at May 31, 2004 11:15 PM

Hello everybody,

My mother was first diagnosed as Schizophrenic in the mid eighties when I was a kid. She is now in a group living situation. I've devoted much of my adult life to understanding illness and the human mind. It's been very rewarding for me.

I'm always looking for outreach programs and people with experience with these kinds of situations. I'd be interested in talking more about your experiences and sharing my own.

Please write me back if you are interested at all.

Best of luck,

Posted by: Lonny at May 13, 2006 02:15 AM

Hi: I'm a schizophrenic who lives in Venezuela. I've been taking Leponex for 12 years and am in good condition, though some symptoms persist. I would like to have penpals with whom I could share experiences and thoughts.

Posted by: Alan Stallworth at December 7, 2006 12:59 PM

A schizophrenic, kenyan and I d like to hear your side. please, reply

Posted by: ERIC MONARI at February 10, 2007 02:46 PM

Dear Pam,
I would like the phone number to project return the next step in LA. Also could you tell me where a schitzophrenics anonymous in the San fernando Valley preferably near Woodland Hills.

Thank you,


Posted by: Aviva at November 2, 2007 05:40 PM

Hello Aviva, the phone number for Project Return; The Next Step is (323)346-0960. There is a Schizophrenics Anonymous at The Victory Clubhouse on Monday at 3p.m. It is located in Van Nuys though. I hope that that is not too far for you. The address is 14411 Vanowen Street. Also, Schizophrenics Anonymous has a website that lists its meetings. I hope you find this helpful.

Posted by: Heather at November 5, 2007 08:38 PM

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