Archive for » May, 2010 «

Help for Parents, Caregivers, and Families of Schizophrenics

I have met so many parents who have children (minors and adults) who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia.  I have received e-mails from people who are at a loss as to how to help their family member with schizophrenia.  So many of these people are stressed out and at their wits end…feeling that they have exhausted all options and that there is no longer room for help.  I really empathize with people in this situation.  Having schizophrenia, I know how hard it can be for my own parents to understand how to help me at times.  I know the pain that it causes them to see me when I am psychotic or a danger to myself.  I understand the helplessness they feel.  Therefore, I wrote this for people in this situation…people who do not know how to help their diagnosed loved one any more.  Through my own personal experiences, listening to the opinions of others, and research I have read, I have gained an idea of how parents, caregivers, and families can help.

First, you have to accept that your son or daughter has schizophrenia. We have to do the same thing…accept that we have it as well. Its a huge step. Its a hard step. By accepting it, I not only mean that you have to fully recognize that your son or daughter has this illness, but you have to do so in a specific manner. You have to stop blaming yourselves, your child, the world…whatever you blame. You didn’t give us this disease by raising us poorly. All parents make mistakes just like you did…not all children grow up to have schizophrenia. If your child did drugs and then got the disease, stop blaming them. Drugs cannot cause it. They can help begin psychosis but the underlying disease was already there. Blaming your child (for any reason, not just due to drugs) will only create a shame that they can feel and only anger can fester from that. They need to know you support them, not that you resent them. You also have to stop feeling shame. Your child can sense that as well. Don’t hide the illness from all your friends and loved ones. Don’t feel ashamed of your child. Not only does that ruin the support system of your child, but it ruins your own support system. If you are too ashamed to tell anyone about your child’s illness…how can you get the support that you need?  And don’t fool yourself, you do need support. All of these things, you child is having to do as well. I know that it took me months to accept that I have schizophrenia. It was a hard journey. Now I don’t blame anyone. Now I am not ashamed. I’ll tell anyone who wants to know that I have schizophrenia…just so that I can bust the stigma that people like me are crazy, raving lunatics. Help your child and do the same. more…

Labor Brings Happiness

One knee is cut and bruised.  The other knee hurts and seems to be twisted.  My hips and back hurt so much that I can’t sit or lay down comfortably.

I wasn’t in an accident.  I didn’t suffer a trauma.  I welcome this pain because it was hard earned.

Today some boots that I purchased for Sheriff arrived in the mail.  I bought them so that I don’t have to worry about injuring his feet as he walks on hot pavement this summer.  They will also be helpful in other situations as well.  In order to get Sheriff desensitized to his boots, I put them on him and then we immediately went for a walk.  Because I didn’t give him a chance to worry about what was on his feet and I kept the experience really positive…he is now completely unconcerned with the boots.  He even took a nap after we returned from the walk with the boots still on!

Sheriff Wearing Boots

After the walk, I turned my attention to caring for two ducklings that I am raising.  They are a week old and are Mallard/Swedish Black Duck hybrids.  I named them Daffy and Darkwing after two cartoon ducks that were likely based upon the Swedish Black Duck.  Because a bulldozer that was digging a trench in the yard smashed all the duck pens my dad and I built years ago, they are currently being housed in a large birdcage.  However, we were able to find a pen with the least amount of damage so today we worked on repairing it.  It was overgrown with poison ivy vines, thorn bushes, and a host of other plants.  It was filled with dead leaves and sticks.  There was a termite mound sitting on part of the wood frame.  I had to use hedge trimmers to cut all the vines from the wire fence then I had to scoop all the leaves and sticks from the pen.  The bulldozer detached one side of the fence from the frame and almost removed a few of the wooden posts that are part of the frame.  I stabilized the posts then set about to cleaning the bird cage.  My dad worked on the fence because he didn’t want me to cut my hands on the wires.  While the ducklings were swimming in a makeshift pool, one of them decided to jump out and run off.  In an effort to stop it from disappearing into the woods, I took a dive on the concrete to catch it. more…