Kristin Bell's Video Blog

April 27, 2008

Kicking Stigma!

Stigma sucks and it is unnecessary. Everyone will have their own way of dealing with it, but I think it is best just to kick it out the door! Below is my video discussing stigma from mental illness and how I handle it. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at Thanks for stopping by!

April 22, 2008

As I Turn 35: Hope For the Next 20 Years

Just a little time of reflection for me as I turn 35-years-old. I think living with schizophrenia aided by treatments will make life easier and better for us all. Please check out my video and if you feel like it, you can drop me a note at! Thanks for stopping by! :)

April 16, 2008

What Can We Do About Relapse to Psychosis?

A friend of mine was wondering if I had any tips about how to recognize or otherwise deal with symptoms of relapse, so I thought I'd make these videos about that subject. With each person the situation will be different of course, but I think it is possible to notice the signs of relapse if you are looking carefully at changes in behavior, mood and thinking. I hope you enjoy the videos. There are two parts, because I ran out of time in the first part. Please feel free to email me any time at!

Relapse Discussion Part 1 of 2

Relapse Discussion Part 2 of 2

March 17, 2008

What's In A Name? Ph.D. M.D. PMHNP, etc.

For those of you who are new to the mental health field, you might be wondering about the differences between all the different sorts of doctors, therapists and nurses that you might be seeing. Here is a brief introduction to the main differences between some of the provider types. As always, feel free to email me with any questions or comments at

March 11, 2008

More On How We Find Support

In my last video I asked viewers to help me brainstorm ways in which people with mental illness can find support, especially when family and friends are not available. You all came up with some great options. For more information, please watch the video below. Once again, if you have any more ideas, please email me at

February 23, 2008

Another Diagnostic Tool In The Works

The Associated Press brings us this story about researchers in Jerusalem who have developed another kind of diagnostic test that might be useful in diagnosing schizophrenia. One thing they don't discuss is its efficacy depending on if someone is or isn't currently in a psychotic state. This won't replace current diagnostic tests, but looking toward the future, there may be more precise and hi-tech ways to diagnose this illness. I say: hooray for science!

February 23, 2008

How Do We Find Support?

In this video I want to hear from you all about how you find support. A few people have asked me about how people with no support go about getting support and how people deal with losing support systems. I wonder about these same things and I thought maybe we could brainstorm ways of dealing with finding support systems. Let me know what you think by emailing me at since the comments aren't working. I'll compile the responses and make another video about this topic. Thanks!

February 4, 2008

My Participation in the NIMH Schizophrenia Research

In this video I talk about my recent trip up North to Seattle where I participated in the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) Research Study conducted in conjunction with the University of Washington and the VA Medical Center. Thank you to my wonderful researchers who made the entire process a joy!

Here is a Link to More Research Trials
Here is a Link to the Research that I Participated In

January 18, 2008

Comment Glitch

Hi Everybody!

If you were trying to leave comments and it wasn't allowing you to or it was telling you to sign in repeatedly, I am very sorry. It was not your fault. We are having some issues with the software right now and the comments part is not working. If you would like to send me a message, feel free to email me at and I will get back to you. Thanks for your patience. Hopefully we will get everything working soon.

:) kristin

January 14, 2008

Real Meds Talk

Okay everyone, let's get real about our medications! Here I discuss my own struggles with accepting medications. I know all the reasons for NOT taking them. How about some reasons FOR taking them!

For more discussion of medications check out these links:
Schizophrenia Treatments
Schizophrenia Biology & Genetics

And, remember, you are not in this alone. There are millions of us in the world who have schizophrenia and need to take meds! We know it is a struggle!

January 14, 2008

Angel's Movie About Her Schizophrenia

I found another great Youtuber who has made a documentary about her life with schizophrenia and some of the reactions that people have had to her and her illness. How does your situation compare to Angel's? Please feel free to leave comments below. What do you think of Angel's documentary?

December 18, 2007

On Forgetting I Have Schizophrenia

In this video I talk about the weird phenomenon of forgetting that I have schizophrenia despite all of the evidence that I have it. I wonder: what is it supposed to feel like to have schizophrenia? Why do I forget sometimes?

December 17, 2007

Pets For Companionship & Therapy

Pets can be a great comfort for those of us with schizophrenia. I know that for me, my cats are like family members! Not only do they provide much-needed companionship, but they can also take your mind off of things that you are worrying about and even aid in alleviating anxiety. If you live in a group home, perhaps you could have a small pet like a fish or a hamster. Whatever you do, think about the responsibility that comes along with caring for a pet, but if you are able to handle taking care of another being, you will find it very rewarding!

For another article about pets as therapy helpers, click the following link:
Psychiatric Service Dogs

Written By Kristin Bell

December 16, 2007

Discussion of Negative Symptoms

Hi Everyone! Kristin here!

In this video I talk about those pesky negative symptoms that people don't often think so much about compared to the delusions and hallucinations of schizophrenia. Negative symptoms include poverty of speech, social isolation, lack of motivation, lack of expressive emotion, etc. Sometimes the negative symptoms are the hardest to get a handle on once the delusions and/or hallucinations are gone. Do you all have any tips for dealing with these symptoms?

For a great discussion and delineation of the negative symptoms related to schizophrenia, please see the following page:

Diagnosing Schizophrenia

Written By Kristin Bell

December 12, 2007

Imagining Schizophrenia

I found this interesting and thought-provoking video called "It Self" on YouTube. It is not a literal statement in any way, but is very expressive and relays some of what it feels like to have schizophrenia (in my opinion). Be warned that this may be unsettling to some people as it is a bit odd and experimental. If you are easily triggered by scary things, you might not want to watch.

While I am trying to bring you mostly positive videos in my video blogs, I think it is also helpful to show cinematic representations of schizophrenia that echo some of what it is actually like to have the disease--the uneasiness, the disruption in thought, the frightening aspects that we know all too well.

So much of what is represented by the media and the larger cinematic community is just plain wrong and disrespectful of people who have the disorder, I think it is imperative that we, especially those who have gone through the experiences of the disorder, provide alternative media to try and show what the disease is actually like.

I hope you enjoy this little film that I found. I thought it was very interesting and very well done. Let me know what you think! You can also email me at .

For other media depicting schizophrenia, check out the following link:
The Media and Schizophrenia

Written By Kristin Bell

December 11, 2007

1970's Tale of Schizophrenia

This is a short film about a guy named Gary who became schizophrenic among the decadence and bright lights of the disco era. In this video he gives a good description of the strange associations that people with schizophrenia often make--things like thinking numbers have mystical meanings and thinking that there are bizarre, super-spiritual connections to things that most people would consider benign. It is not clear whether or not his schizophrenia was brought on by drug use and it is also not clear what happened after his onset of symptoms.

Written By Kristin Bell

To see more stories by and about other people with schizophrenia click the following link:
Schizophrenia Stories

December 11, 2007

A Little Brain Silliness

While looking for schizophrenia-related videos, I came across this cute, if not quick, overview of the brain parts featuring the cartoon characters Pinky and the Brain. It is both educational and fun to watch and I imagine if you memorize the song while watching the video, you will have good knowledge of brain anatomy! Enjoy!

For more brain pictures, check out the following:

Brain Pictures

Written By Kristin Bell

December 11, 2007

Stress and Schizophrenia: How Do You Deal?

Hi Everyone! It is me, Kristin, again!

Since some of us are people living with schizophrenia, I wanted to talk about different ways of dealing with stress in day to day life. In these first two videos I talk about the stress of "normal" living as opposed to how we live when we are fully psychotic. In the first video I discuss basic living issues that we need to keep in mind: eating, taking meds, sleeping, bathing, not doing drugs or alcohol, the kind of stuff every doctor will remind you about.

In the second video, I talk about some things that I like to do to keep my stress-free bank account high, so when something takes a hit on my happy bank account, the effects will not be to terrible or long-lasting.

Also, please feel free to share in the comments what kinds of things you like to do to help you deal with stress in your day to day life! I feel it is important for those of us living with schizophrenia to be tuned into how stress shapes our lives, because if we undergo too much stress we can often find ourselves in a bad position with more symptoms.

Please check out these links with more info. on coping with schizophrenia:

Mental and Physical Exercise Helps in Schizophrenia

Playing Soccer To Alleviate Symptoms

Intimacy: An Important Aspect of Recovery

Written By Kristin Bell

December 6, 2007

Join Me, Kristin Bell, In Schizophrenia Research Participation!

I wanted to let you all know that I recently found out about a research project funded by the National Institute of Mental Health through the site here at and I am hoping that any of you out there who might qualify for the research study will join me in being a research participant. I am going to be documenting as much of my journey through the research process as I can, so stay tuned for further videos!

In the following video I talk about the benefits of volunteering for research and a little bit about what the research will be like. My whole family is going to be involved, so I'm going to try to get them in the video, but they are very camera shy, so it will be a major accomplishment if you get to view them!

I originally made this video for my YouTube channel. Anyway, I hope you will consider joining me in this fight to find out more about schizophrenia so someday no one will have to suffer! Our participation is very important!

Mentioned in the Video:
My Blog Entry on Research Participation

Also, please check out the following related links for more opportunities to participate in research and further scientific understanding about schizophrenia:
Opportunities to Participate in Research - A List

Researchers Helping Advance Knowledge and Understanding of Schizophrenia

Written By Kristin Bell

November 30, 2007

3D Simulated Experience of Schizophrenia

I've found a video on ABC's website, which I think does a decent job of giving people who don't suffer from schizophrenia a look into what those of us that do suffer from it experience. The video is a 3D simulation that mainly focuses on the hallucination symptoms of the disorder and the whole experience provides visual (seeing), auditory (hearing) and olfactory (smelling) examples.

You'll have to bear through a few seconds of advertisements to watch this video, but it is pretty interesting. Apparently, the drug company Janssen has developed this 3D simulation experience for police and mental health care workers, to give them some idea of what schizophrenia is like. The goal is that by watching this video, police and mental health care workers will have a better understanding of how to help people with schizophrenia in real life situations.

I think it would be pretty cool if every city could have one of these contraptions to train people with, because I think it would be somewhat effective in sensitizing people to what it might be like to have schizophrenia.

I know I have personally been in situations where mental health workers and the police have been completely baffled about what was going on with me and how to properly help me, because I was acting so oddly.

What would really be awesome would be if they had this thing outside a grocery store or something so everyone could try it out. Now THAT would really increase awareness about schizophrenia in a BIG way!!!

To Watch the Video on ABC's Site--Enjoy!
Learn More About Janssen's Creation of the Simulation

Related Reading:
Personal Stories of Schizophrenia
Hearing Messages An Early Sign of Schizophrenia?
Voices in Schizophrenia