Sunday, September 15, 2013

Schizophrenia Breakthrough

My Experience with Schizophrenia - Mindfulness !!

Below I have listed out my symptoms, the difference between autism and schizophrenia, what happened to me. I would really appreciate it if the readers can give their comments.

What we know so far


Difference between schizophrenia and autism


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34xoYwLNpvw
autism is characterized by overload of sensory input.
And schizophrenia is characterized lack of sensory input. A schizophrenic is not able to observe and take in as much information when he/she sees things around them.


What now

Please read about the difference between autism and schizophrenia online.

Now if indeed autism is characterized by overload of sensory input and schizophrenia is characterized by lack of sensory input then my contention is that if a schizophrenic can get more sensory input then he/she should feel normal. I believe what I am able to do is to somehow get more sensory input which makes me feel normal.

Symptoms

Below are the symptoms that I have.

Positive symptoms
  • Delusions. I had false beliefs and dreams of grandeur. I also had many symptoms of OCD like turning lights on off repeatedly, touching corners of wall before sleeping , etc..
  • Thought disorder. Difficulty speaking and organizing thoughts 
  • Disorganized behavior. silliness (sad to admit) and agitation (irritability and agitation when someone disturbs me when I used to prepare for exams).
  • Its difficult for me to make friends with the 2nd and 3rd category of symptoms above.
Negative symptoms
  • Loss of interest in everyday activities
  • Appearing to lack emotion
  • Reduced ability to plan or carry out activities
  • Neglect of personal hygiene
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of motivation
Cognitive symptoms
  • Irritability

My Experience

Well until age 16, I did not understand that there was something wrong with my actions (I was good at studies, was athletic enough and loved by parents, family and teachers). 

When I went to college, I began to realize things that were wrong with me. The obsessive thoughts which were not logical yet I helplessly complied to and which wouldn't stop. And after a few months of trying to understand my own odd behaviour, I was at a point where I had no clue what was wrong with me. I did not have access to internet and was not sure if I was completely crazy. 

About 4 years later I realized it was actually a disease called Schizophrenia that I had.

But what happened between these 4 years is what defines me today and I am trying to explain that here in this blog.. During these 4 years I analyzed my behavior a lot, came up with number of explanations to what was happening to me and how I can control them. Like trying to not give in to the strange illogical thoughts, concentrating on something, meditaton, physical activity, etc.. Nothing worked of course.

But something strange did happen to me one day. I was very tense and finally gave up trying to analyze myself and fight the strange thoughts and I just relaxed. At that point all of a sudden I was calm, felt like the disturbance in my mind was gone. I felt like time came to a standstill and I was experiencing the moment.
Over the course of the next few years, I have tried and am able to produce this (not sure how to define) and feel normal.

Somebody pointed me to mindfulness which is the same thing.

How to reproduce this

Now if someone who has schizophrenia wants to try this out, I am not really sure how to explain it.
Mindfulness is the way to go !!

Try letting your thoughts and everything on you mind go and let something around you occupy your mind. Like the thought in your head should be replaced by the object you are seeing. 
When that happens you will notice and observe things about that object and feel like you are noticing it for the first time. Its really not that simple to do and I have got it wrong so many times before getting it right on a regular basis. And I cannot even do this when I am doing something intense like (programming or watching a movie).
Best of luck !!

What happens with me

Some of the symptoms I am able to overcome when I renew that feeling are
  • Depression ( I am cheerful like i feel that life is worth living)
  • I am aware of my body language all of a sudden.
  • I am motivated to do things like meet people and have a few laughs or read/connect with  people when I am talking 
  • Disturbances in my head are gone.
  • I am relaxed and feel like I am experiencing the moment & not just passing by.
  • I feel like I am noticing things around me which I did not earlier.
  • I stop pacing around
  • I feel smarter for some reason like things and my own life do not seem that complicated. I feel like I am able to see things clearly. 

Open Questions and Next steps

Now I do not know how to take this forward unless someone else can do this.
Whether I should let myself become an object of some experiment and go under ER scanner or something to see if some chemicals are produced in my brain when I do this ?
If someone is reading this, can you please comment ? 


Well, Is it that simple ?

I do not have visual or audio hallucinations. I get only strange thoughts. I guess the positive symptoms I had were not extreme. So I was able to do this and manage without meds.

Medicines only concentrate on the positive symptoms, and I do believe what I am able to do should help people with schizophrenia.

5 comments:

  1. Somebody pointed me out to this - http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brainstorm/200812/back-the-present-how-live-in-the-moment

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  2. https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1374969059406754&id=363813953745017&comment_id=554&reply_comment_id=652&offset=0&total_comments=3&notif_t=share_comment

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  3. Hi Moon, I would love to interview you about schizophrenia. I am a student at Arizona State University and I am currently doing research on this subject. Please email me at aaden2@asu.edu if you are interested.

    ReplyDelete
  4. A certain professor from UCLA responded:

    Hello,

    It is very noble of you to pursue this with the intention of sharing and helping others.

    My expertise is in general 'systems neuroscience', not schizophrenia. However, I have thought about this topic a great deal and have some comments on your experience and ideas.

    This are only my informal 'thoughts' on this topic … not scientific facts.

    One of my areas of interest is brain laterality. It is clear to me that the brain is designed to offer us two parallel depiction of 'reality'. One that is anchored in direct experience (sensory), and one that created by us via 'words and language' (thought).

    My sense is that schizophrenia involves problems coordinating these domains. In particular, the domain of thought is supposed to be constrained/informed by the domain of experience, but with schizophrenia the domain of thought seems to exist on it's own … even to the point that it can infer 'experience' from information that is entirely 'thought generated' (i.e., hallucinations).

    In your case, the thought domain seems to get lost in itself. I'm not sure whether this is via the brute force of organized logic that moves forward in an endless linear progression, or because it moves non-linearly out in multiple directions (i.e., tracking multiple associative thoughts in parallel).

    In either case, I believe the domain of thought is meant to be constrained by direct sensory experience.

    Imagine an expert musician who endlessly analyzes a piece of classic music versus one who emphasizes 'experiencing it directly'. There is something fundamentally important about us 'knowing a piece of music' as a direct experience (i.e., as it physically is), that balances the extent to which we can know it as a set of integrated ideas. In other words, the ideas should not have free reign to feed on themselves … they should be anchored to experience.

    IN short, it makes sense to me that teaching yourself to access a brain-state that emphasizes direct sensory experience is a very good thing.

    OCD is also a liability associated with 'the world of thought' … so yes … your 'balance/health' seems to be very much related to you learning to better access direct experience and learning to put your powers of thought in the back seat (i.e., thought' should act as subsidiary of direct experience … not the other way around).

    Someone you might enjoy reading is Jeffrey Schwartz … he has extreme OCD and is a psychiatrist at UCLA. He's gone through a very similar experience as your own.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_M._Schwartz

    Cheers,

    ReplyDelete
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