Mental Health Awarness Month: Schizophrenia

May is mental health awareness month. When I started this blog in late May of last year (2014) it was in response to how I as an advocate, am going do my part to help stomp out the stigma of mental illness. In fact, it still is the goal of this blog to educate other’s on mental illness in hopes that it will reach enough people to make a dent in the stigma that mental illness brings.  I’ve realized over the last year that I haven’t done much educating on mental illness with the exception of me blogging about my personal experience with a mental illness and how those with a mental illness are productive members of society.

With that being said, I decided that today’s educational topic will be Schizophrenia. Please keep in mind that I am not a medical professional and am unable to diagnosis people if you think you have Schizophrenia or another mental health diagnosis please seek out professional help from a doctor or mental health professional. The information I am about to share on Schizophrenia, with you is info I got from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website at https://nami.org/.

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that interferes with a person’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions and relate to others. It is a complex, long-term medical illness, affecting about 1% of Americans. Although schizophrenia can occur at any age, the average age of onset tends to be in the late teens to the early 20s for men, and the late 20s to early 30s for women. It is uncommon for schizophrenia to be diagnosed in a person younger than 12 or older than 40. It is possible to live well with schizophrenia.

Symptoms

It can be difficult to diagnose schizophrenia in teens. This is because the first signs can include a change of friends, a drop in grades, sleep problems, and irritability—common and nonspecific adolescent behavior. Other factors include isolating oneself and withdrawing from others, an increase in unusual thoughts and suspicions, and a family history of psychosis. In young people who develop schizophrenia, this stage of the disorder is called the “prodromal” period.

With any condition, it’s essential to get a comprehensive medical evaluation in order to obtain the best diagnosis. For a diagnosis of schizophrenia, some of the following symptoms are present in the context of reduced functioning for a least 6 months:

Hallucinations. These include a person hearing voices, seeing things, or smelling things others can’t perceive. The hallucination is very real to the person experiencing it, and it may be very confusing for a loved one to witness. The voices in the hallucination can be critical or threatening. Voices may involve people that are known or unknown to the person hearing them.

Delusions. These are false beliefs that don’t change even when the person who holds them is presented with new ideas or facts. People who have delusions often also have problems concentrating, confused thinking, or the sense that their thoughts are blocked.

Negative symptoms are ones that diminish a person’s abilities. Negative symptoms often include being emotionally flat or speaking in a dull, disconnected way. People with the negative symptoms may be unable to start or follow through with activities, show little interest in life, or sustain relationships. Negative symptoms are sometimes confused with clinical depression.

Cognitive issues/disorganized thinking. People with the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia often struggle to remember things, organize their thoughts or complete tasks. Commonly, people with schizophrenia have anosognosia or “lack of insight.” This means the person is unaware that he has the illness, which can make treating or working with him much more challenging.

Causes

Research suggests that schizophrenia may have several possible causes:

  • Genetics. Schizophrenia isn’t caused by just one genetic variation, but a complex interplay of genetics and environmental influences. While schizophrenia occurs in 1% of the general population, having a history of family psychosis greatly increases the risk. Schizophrenia occurs at roughly 10% of people who have a first-degree relative with the disorder, such as a parent or sibling. The highest risk occurs when an identical twin is diagnosed with schizophrenia. The unaffected twin has a roughly 50% chance of developing the disorder.
  • Environment. Exposure to viruses or malnutrition before birth, particularly in the first and second trimesters has been shown to increase the risk of schizophrenia. Inflammation or autoimmune diseases can also lead to increased immune system
  • Brain chemistry. Problems with certain brain chemicals, including neurotransmitters called dopamine and glutamate, may contribute to schizophrenia. Neurotransmitters allow brain cells to communicate with each other. Networks of neurons are likely involved as well.
  • Substance use. Some studies have suggested that taking mind-altering drugs during teen years and young adulthood can increase the risk of schizophrenia. A growing body of evidence indicates that smoking marijuana increases the risk of psychotic incidents and the risk of ongoing psychotic experiences. The younger and more frequent the use, the greater the risk. Another study has found that smoking marijuana led to earlier onset of schizophrenia and often preceded the manifestation of the illness.

Diagnosis

Diagnosing schizophrenia is not easy. Sometimes using drugs, such as methamphetamines or LSD, can cause a person to have schizophrenia-like symptoms. The difficulty of diagnosing this illness is compounded by the fact that many people who are diagnosed do not believe they have it. Lack of awareness is a common symptom of people diagnosed with schizophrenia and greatly complicates treatment.

While there is no single physical or lab test that can diagnosis schizophrenia, a health care provider who evaluates the symptoms and the course of a person’s illness over six months can help ensure a correct diagnosis. The health care provider must rule out other factors such as brain tumors, possible medical conditions and other psychiatric diagnoses, such as bipolar disorder.

To be diagnosed with schizophrenia, a person must have two or more of the following symptoms occurring persistently in the context of reduced functioning:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorganized speech
  • Disorganized or catatonic behavior
  • Negative symptoms

Delusions or hallucinations alone can often be enough to lead to a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Identifying it as early as possible greatly improves a person’s chances of managing the illness, reducing psychotic episodes, and recovering. People who receive good care during their first psychotic episode are admitted to the hospital less often, and may require less time to control symptoms than those who don’t receive immediate help. The literature on the role of medicines early in treatment is evolving, but we do know that psychotherapy is essential.

People can describe symptoms in a variety of ways. How a person describes symptoms often depends on the cultural lens she is looking through. African Americans and Latinos are more likely to be misdiagnosed, probably due to differing cultural or religious beliefs or language barriers. Any person who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia should try to work with a health care professional that understands his or her cultural background and shares the same expectations for treatment.

Treatment

There is no cure for schizophrenia, but it can be treated and managed in several ways.

With medication, psychosocial rehabilitation, and family support, the symptoms of schizophrenia can be reduced. People with schizophrenia should get treatment as soon as the illness starts showing, because early detection can reduce the severity of their symptoms.

Recovery while living with schizophrenia is often seen over time, and involves a variety of factors including self-learning, peer support, school and work and finding the right supports and treatment.

Medication

Typically, a health care provider will prescribe antipsychotics to relieve symptoms of psychosis, such as delusions and hallucinations. Due to lack of awareness of having an illness and the serious side effects of medication used to treat schizophrenia, people who have been prescribed them are often hesitant to take them.

First Generation (typical) Antipsychotics

These medications can cause serious movement problems that can be short (dystonia) or long term (called tardive dyskinesia), and also muscle stiffness. Other side effects can also occur.

Second Generation (atypical) Antipsychotics

These medications are called atypical because they are less likely to block dopamine and cause movement disorders. They do, however, increase the risk of weight gain and diabetes. Changes in nutrition and exercise, and possibly medication intervention, can help address these side effects.

One unique second generation antipsychotic medication is called clozapine. It is the only FDA approved antipsychotic medication for the treatment of refractory schizophrenia and has been the only one indicated to reduce thoughts of suicide. However, it does have multiple medical risks in addition to these benefits. Read a more complete discussion of these risk and benefits.

Psychotherapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for some people with affective disorders. With more serious conditions, including those with psychosis, additional cognitive therapy is added to basic CBT (CBTp). CBTp helps people develop coping strategies for persistent symptoms that do not respond to medicine.

Supportive psychotherapy is used to help a person process his experience and to support him in coping while living with schizophrenia. It is not designed to uncover childhood experiences or activate traumatic experiences, but is rather focused on the here and now.

Cognitive Enhancement Therapy (CET) works to promote cognitive functioning and confidence in one’s cognitive ability. CET involves a combination of computer based brain training and group sessions. This is an active area of research in the field at this time.

Psychosocial Treatments

People who engage in therapeutic interventions often see improvement, and experience greater mental stability. Psychosocial treatments enable people to compensate for or eliminate the barriers caused by their schizophrenia and learn to live successfully. If a person participates in psychosocial rehabilitation, she is more likely to continue taking their medication and less likely to relapse. Some of the more common psychosocial treatments include:

  • Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) provides comprehensive treatment for people with serious mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia. Unlike other community-based programs that connect people with mental health or other services, ACT provides highly individualized services directly to people with mental illness. Professionals work with people with schizophrenia and help them meet the challenges of daily life. ACT professionals also address problems proactively, prevent crises, and ensure medications are taken.
  • Peer support groups like NAMI Peer-to-Peer encourage people’s involvement in their recovery by helping them work on social skills with others. The Illness Management Recovery (IMR) model is an evidence-based approach that emphasizes setting goals and acquiring skills to meet those goals.

Complementary Health Approaches

Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in fish oil, have shown some promise for treating and managing schizophrenia. Some researchers believe that omega-3 may help treat mental illness because of its ability to help replenish neurons and connections in affected areas of the brain.

Additional Concerns

Physical Health. People with schizophrenia are subject to many medical risks, including diabetes and cardiovascular problems, and also smoking and lung disease. For this reason, coordinated and active attention to medical risks is essential.

Substance Abuse. About 25% of people with schizophrenia also abuse substances such as drugs or alcohol. Substance abuse can make the treatments for schizophrenia less effective, make people less likely to follow their treatment plans, and even worsen their symptoms.

Helping Yourself

If you have schizophrenia, the condition can exert control over your thoughts, interfere with functioning and if not treated, lead to a crisis. Here are some ways to help manage your illness.

  • Manage Stress. Stress can trigger psychosis and make the symptoms of schizophrenia worse, so keeping it under control is extremely important. Know your limits, both at home and at work or school. Don’t take on more than you can handle and take time to yourself if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
  • Try to get plenty of sleep. When you’re on medication, you most likely need even more sleep than the standard eight hours. Many people with schizophrenia have trouble with sleep, but lifestyle changes such as getting regular exercise and avoiding caffeine can help.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs. It’s indisputable that substance abuse affects the benefits of medication and worsens symptoms. If you have a substance abuse problem, seek help.
  • Maintain connections. Having friends and family involved in your treatment plan can go a long way towards recovery. People living with schizophrenia often have a difficult time in social situations, so surrounding yourself with people who understand this can make the transition back into daily social life smoother. If you feel you can, consider joining a schizophrenia support group or getting involved with a local church, club, or other organization.

If you live with a mental health condition, learn more about managing your mental health and finding the support you need.

Helping a Family Member or Friend

Learning about psychosis and schizophrenia will help you understand what your friend or family member is experiencing and trying to cope with. Living with schizophrenia is challenging. Here are some ways you can show support:

  • Respond calmly. To your loved one, the hallucinations seem real, so it doesn’t help to say they are imaginary. Calmly explain that you see things differently. Being respectful without tolerating dangerous or inappropriate behavior.
  • Pay attention to triggers. You can help your family member or friend understand, and try to avoid, the situations that trigger his or her symptoms or cause a relapse or disrupt normal activities.
  • Help ensure medications are taken as prescribed. Many people question whether they still need the medication when they’re feeling better, or if they don’t like the side effects. Encourage your loved one to take his or her medication regularly to prevent symptoms from coming back or getting worse.
  • Understanding lack of awareness (anosognosia). Your family member or friend one may be unable to see that he or she has schizophrenia. Rather than trying to convince the person he or she has schizophrenia, you can show support by helping him or her be safe, get therapy, and take the prescribed medications.
  • Help avoid drugs or alcohol. These substances are known to worsen schizophrenia symptoms and trigger psychosis. If your loved one develops a substance use disorder, getting help is essential.

Related Conditions People with schizophrenia may have additional illnesses. These may include: Substance abuse Posttraumatic stress disorder Obsessive-compulsive disorder Major depression Successfully treating schizohprenia almost always improves these related illnesses. And successful treatment of substance abuse, PTSD or OCD usually improves the symptoms of schizophrenia.

Thank you for reading. I know today’s blog is quite long. I felt like it is necessary to give the above information to better educate myself as well as you the reader and/or follower. Please remember I am not qualified to diagnosis anyone of any physical or mental health condition. I hope to blog more about other diagnoses as well as various treatments for mental health conditions as time goes on. Well, I’m going to end this blog for now. Have a good day and Peace Out!!

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Happy May Day!!! It is officially the first day of May and that means it is mental heath awareness month. Unfortunately, many people are unaware that May is mental health awareness month. It saddens me that the media (as whole) does not make it a major deal like they (the media) do in October when it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Don’t get me wrong we need education on Breast Cancer as well as other cancers however mental health deserves just as much attention as other health issues, such as cancer.

People like myself fight the stigma of mental illness on the daily basis. Discrimination is a major issue for those of who struggle with a mental illness and it is also something our loved ones have to deal with as well. No one and I mean no one deserves to be discriminated against because of an illness they struggle with or loved one struggles with.

Here are some facts I got from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website:

Prevalence of Mental Illness

  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.7 million, or 18.6%—experiences mental illness in a given year.
  • Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—13.6 million, or 4.1%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.2
  • Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder in a given year. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%.3
  • 1.1% of adults in the U.S. live with schizophrenia.4
  • 2.6% of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder.5
  • 6.9% of adults in the U.S.—16 million—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.6
  • 18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.7
  • Among the 20.7 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 40.7%—8.4 million adults—had a co-occurring mental illness.8

Social Stats

  • An estimated 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness and an estimated 46% live with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders.9
  • Approximately 20% of state prisoners and 21% of local jail prisoners have “a recent history” of a mental health condition.10
  • 70% of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition and at least 20% live with a serious mental illness.11
  • Only 41% of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year. Among adults with a serious mental illness, 62.9% received mental health services in the past year.8
  • Just over half (50.6%) of children aged 8-15 received mental health services in the previous year.12
  • African Americans and Hispanic Americans used mental health services at about one-half the rate of Caucasian Americans in the past year and Asian Americans at about one-third the rate.13
  • Half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14; three-quarters by age 24. Despite effective treatment, there are long delays—sometimes decades—between the first appearance of symptoms and when people get help.14

Consequences of Lack of Treatment

  • Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.15
  • Mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults aged 18–44.16
  • Individuals living with serious mental illness face an increased risk of having chronic medical conditions.17 Adults in the U.S. living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than others, largely due to treatable medical conditions.18
  • Over one-third (37%) of students with a mental health condition age 14­–21 and older who are served by special education drop out—the highest dropout rate of any disability group.19
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.,20 the 3rd leading cause of death for people aged 10–2421 and the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15–24.22
  • More than 90% of children who die by suicide have a mental health condition.23
  • Each day an estimated 18-22 veterans die by suicide.

I hope that I will be able to continue to educate people on mental illness for the rest of May and beyond. I hope to share more of my personal story to give hope to those who a struggling with mental illness and show them that recovery is possible. Recovery is not easy but it is possible.

I also hope to discuss current laws in regards to mental health and pending bills that are being discussed in the House as well as the senate. One of which is Murphy’s Bill. All of what I hope to discuss is dependent on how busy life gets. Life being busy is partly why I haven’t  been able to blog the last month and half. I love blogging and sharing my recovery with others as well as educating others. I hope to blog again at some point this weekend with more educational material if not more of my personal recovery story.

Have a good weekend! Please do not forget to educate people on mental illness and make people aware that May is mental health awareness month. Peace Out!!

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

It’s the end of the work week and I haven’t blogged in nearly a week. I have not only been busy with work but with life in general. I mentioned in my last two blogs that once mental health week was over with, that I would continue educating you on a particular mental health diagnosis. That is what I plan on doing this evening. I plan on educating you on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I have been diagnosed with a mild form of OCD. The information I am about to tell you I got off of the Natation Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website at nami.org.

What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

     Obsessions are intrusive, irrational thoughts – unwanted ideas or impulses that repeatedly appear in a person’s mind. Again and again, the person experiences disturbing thoughts, such as “My hands must be contaminated; I need to wash them”; “I may have left the gas stove on; I need to go check it fast”; I am going to injure my child by accident; I need to be very careful or else something bad will happen.” On one level, he or she fears these thoughts might be true. Trying to avoid such thoughts creates great anxiety, distress and dysfunction.

     Compulsions are repetitive riturals such as hand washing, counting, checking, hoarding or arranging. An individual repeats these actions many times throughout the day and performing these actions releases anxiety, but only momentarily. People with OCD feel they mush perform these compulsive rituals or something bad will happen to them or their loved ones.

Most people at one time or another will experience obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviors. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder occurs when an individual experiences obsessions and compulsions for more than an hour each day, in a way that interferes with his or her life. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that more than 2 percent of the U.S population, or nearly one out of every 40 people, will be diagnosed with OCD at some point in their lives. The disorder is two or three times more common than schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

OCD is often described as “a disease of doubt.” Individuals living with OCD experience “pathological doubt” because they are unable to distinguish between what is possible, what is probable and what is unlikely to happen.

Who gets OCD?

People from all walks of life can get OCD. It strikes people of all social and ethnic groups and both males and females. Symptoms typically begin in childhood, the teenage years or young adulthood. The sudden appearance of OCD symptoms later in life merits a thorough medical evaluation to ensure that another illness is not the cause of these symptoms.

What causes OCD?

People with OCD can often say “why” they have obsessive thoughts or “why” they behave compulsively, but the thoughts and the behavior continue. A large body of scientific evidence suggest that OCD results from a chemical imbalance in the brain. For years, mental health professionals incorrectly assumed OCD resulted from bad parenting or personality defects. This theory has been disproven over the last few decades. People whose brains are injured sometimes develop OCD, which suggest it is a medical condition. If a placebo pill is given to people who are depressed or who experience panic attacks, nearly 40 percent say they feel better. If a placebo is given to people who experience obsessive-compulsive disorder, only about two percent say they feel better. This also suggest that OCD is a biological condition as opposed to a “personality problem.”

Genetics are thought to be very important in OCD. If you, or your parent or sibling, have OCD, there’s close to a 25 percent chance that another of your immediate family members will have it.

OCD has been found to be connected with dysfunction in certain parts of the brain, can cause the repetitive movements and rigid thinking that effects people with OCD. Successful treatment with medication or behavior therapy changes the activity in these brain regions, which decreases the symptoms of OCD. Two specific chemicals in the brain – a neurotransmitter called serotonin and a hormone called vasopressin – have also been studied by scientist who have found a link between these chemicals and OCD. Researchers believe OCD, anxiety disorders, Tourette’s and eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, can be triggered by some of the same chemical changes in the brain.

A world-renowned expert, Judith Rapopart M.D., describes OCD by writing, ” something in the brain is stuck, like a broken record.”

Now that I have educated you on OCD, I hope that you have learned something. I got the above information  from NAMI’s website at nami.org.

I plan on blogging on one mental health diagnosis a week so I can be able to continue to educate others on mental illness. I just want to  lessen the stigma of mental illness. I am going to call it an evening. Peace Out!!

Book Review on: The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness by Elyn R. Saks

     Hey! I finally finished the book The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness, by Elyn R. Saks. I am going to give you a book review on the book. I have never done a book review in my life unless of course if you count book reports that you had to do in elementary school and junior high. I hope that the following review gives some insight of mental illness and hope of some sort of recovery for those of us who struggle with mental illness.

     The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness by Elyn R. Saks in my opinion is an extremely good book. It kept my attention and that is difficult to do especially since one of my many struggles happens to be ADHD. Well, the book is a memoir of Ms. Saks life and her struggles with Schizophrenia. Ms. Saks is an accomplished woman. She graduated from Vanderbilt, Oxford and Yale Law School and doing all that in the height of her illness. She is a professor at USC school of law. The book is her journey to a life worth living for her and in her terms. Its very inspiring. She is what “society” views as a success. I hope that one day I can be a success in societies eyes like her even though my career path is not like hers and my educational path is nowhere close to hers. That’s okay because everybody’s path is different. I highly encourage you all to read it. It is my opinion that it would be a condition of employment if you work with people who struggle with mental illness. Ms. Saks gives insight that no text book can ever do. 

     This book gives me hope for my own recovery with my mental illness even though I don’t struggle with Schizophrenia. I hope that if a person who struggles with mental illness reads the book that they can get hope from it as well. It is also my hope that the book gives some insight about someone’s struggles with mental illness to those who don’t struggle with one as well as those who work with those who struggle with one. It’s not easy dealing with a mental illness and the stigma that goes along with that doesn’t make it any easier.

     I don’t think my book review is all that great but the book is absolutely amazing. It’s a must read. Now that I am done with the review I will end this blog entry for now. Have a good evening everyone and enjoy the rest of your Wednesday. Peace out everyone.

Boyfriend, Brother and Books

     Hey! It’s a beautiful sunny Saturday where I live. After I got home from work I received a text from my boyfriend, seeing if I wanted to do something. I of course said yes. He came and picked me up and we went to a local park that has a lake and we had a picnic. He made some fried chicken, potato salad and chocolate chip cookies for us to eat our picnic. It was all really delicious. After we ate we walked around the lake which 3.3 miles. We of course held hands. I honestly thought I would never fall in love because of the struggles I have with having a mental illness. My boyfriend a normie. A normie is a normal person. In my opinion it takes a great deal of strength on his part to be my partner. I’ve known my boyfriend for 14 years now but we have only been dating for a year. He has been a great support for me over the years and is a pretty amazing dude. I know without a shadow of doubt that if I didn’t choose to be in recovery I would not be in a positive romantic relationship at the moment.

     After our time at the park my boyfriend dropped me off at my place where I decided to call my lil brother. He is a sweet kid even though he is a grown man. Despite our 11 year age difference we are close. I like to call him two or three times a week to check up on him. I check up on him because he has his own struggles with a disability or two. I still haven’t asked him if I can tell you all what his disabilities are. I think the reason why I haven’t is because I am being the protective older sister. That’s why I haven’t shared his name with you. I’m debating if I want to use his real name if I have his permission or a pseudonym. In all honesty I probably will end up using a pseudonym for his protection. My brother means the world to me. He is the only family member I trust with my life. My brother is one of the funniest people I know. He should be a stand up comedian.

     So after talking with my lil brother, I picked up the book I am currently reading and read a couple of chapters. I’m still reading the memoir, The Center Cannot Hold; My Journey Through Madness, by Elyn R. Saks. It’s about her struggle with schizophrenia and how she managed to get her education at three of the most prestigious colleges in the world. I don’t want to give too much away. I’m almost done with the book. I have only about a hundred pages left and am kind of sad that I am almost finished with it. Whenever I end a book if feel like I’m saying goodbye. I’m not to keen on goodbyes. For me reading helps me a great especially if I am struggling. Thankfully I am not struggling at the moment but I do read on the regular basis because I enjoy it immensely. Elyn R. Saks story is extremely inspirational.

     I hope that someday I can be an inspiration to others like Elyn R. Saks is to me and many others. Elyn R. Saks is also in recovery from mental illness. I started this blog in hopes that I can show others struggling with mental illness that recovery is possible. I also hope that normies (or “normal” people) can see that people with mental illness are just like. I hope that I can change someone’s negative thoughts toward the mentally ill to become neutral or positive because I was to eliminate the stigma of mental illness.

    I’m wanting to get back to reading so I’m going to end this blog entry for now. I hope you have a good Saturday evening and enjoy whatever you are doing at the moment. Peace Out.

It’s Been A Good Tuesday

Hey!! It’s another Tuesday!! Today, didn’t start off in the most desirable way. I woke up with a nightmare. Not the way anyone wants to start off their day. Apparently and unfortunately it was a screaming nightmare. I found this out when the police showed up at my door. Once again, I was highly embarrassed that they were called and that I disturbed my neighbors again due to the PTSD I struggle with on the daily (and nightly) basis. The police did their jobs and thanked me for understanding. When the police left, I decided to stay up and get ready for the day.

As I was getting ready for my day my boyfriend called me to make plans for the day. I was more than pleased that we made plans because having such a rude awaking from a nightmare can cause my day to be rocky. We made plans to meet up Downtown to have lunch after his doctors appointment. So I met up with my boyfriend and we decided to go to Johnny Rockets. I love the atmosphere of Johnny Rockets and their food is absolutely awesome. I had the Houston while my boyfriend had the Smoke House Double and we shared a Chocolate Shake. As, we ate we made plans to do with the rest of our day.

After we ate we walked around the Downtown area of the city we live in. We decided to go into Barnes & Noble to look around. There I bought three books. In fact all three book are classics and I personally think they are books that I should have been assigned to read in school despite being in a special education English class. (Don’t get me started on the education I received in high school or the lack there of it.) It is my humble opinion that even though I was in a Special Ed English class I should have been required to read the three books that I bought today. The books I bought today are: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I love to read and enjoy it immensely despite having dyslexia and other reading issues. After buying books we decided to come home to his place.

When we arrived to his place we worked on a jigsaw puzzle together. We both love to do jigsaw puzzles. After that we both decided to read. I of course picked up the book that I am currently reading. The that I am reading is The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness by Elyn R. Saks. The book is a memoir of Elyn R. Saks life. She writes about her struggle with Schizophrenia and her struggle with the illness as well as her recovery and how her education helped her through her struggle. While I was reading my mom called from my little brother’s place.

When my mom calls that means it’s 6pm on Tuesday. I had to set a specific time for her to call because she would (and still tries to) call me multiple times a day. I talked with her. Thankfully, she wasn’t as full as drama as she usually is. I think the reason being is because she was over at my little brother place. My little brother and I extremely close despite our 11 year age difference. He is my hero. He too struggles with his own disabilities but I wont share them here unless I have his permission. Since my mom was at my brothers place I talked to him as well. I love his sense of humor. After about an hour of talking to my mom and brother I decided to call my dad and talked with him for about a half an hour.

After my conversation ended with my dad at 7:30pm (Pacific Time), Josh asked what I wanted to eat. We agreed on Spaghetti, so he is started fixing dinner as I blog. The spaghetti sure smells great. My boyfriend is an awesome cook. His food is almost as good as my grandmas food. Of course nobodies food is ever as good as grandmas food. Well I better end this entry and help my boyfriend finish dinner since it is now 8:07pm (Pacific Time). Have good rest of your evening, night or day wherever you maybe in the world.