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Increasing Motivation When Having Schizophrenia

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Header image of the article "Increasing Motivation When Having Schizophrenia" - a close look at the life Mike who has Schizophrenia and how he manages to increase motivation.

I have Schizophrenia, which means I have a complex mental disorder that disrupts my life. My thought processes and methods are different than the average person.

There are days that I feel detached from my body and like I am watching the world in cartoon form, which is called derealization.

My family was always prodding to motivate me, but they had no clue of my daily struggles.

I want to be motivated, but my body does not cooperate with me. 

I am a textbook case. Although there is strong genetic links in this mental illness, no one in my family suffers.

My problems came about after a tragic event that happened when I was 15 years old. My father was tragically killed in a car accident.

I lost control of my emotions, thoughts, and feelings during this period. However, things never got better.

After years of searching for answers, I was diagnosed with Schizophrenia at the age of 18, which is the average onset age for males. 

Increasing Motivation When Having Schizophrenia

1. What Schizophrenia Means to Me?

Having Schizophrenia means that my mental condition is unpredictable at times. I am not the crazy killer that is often portrayed in the movies.

Sometimes, I have faulty perceptions, I withdrawal from reality and personal relationships, and I have a sense of mental fragmentation.

All the world sees is the stigma perpetuated by the media, but the reality is far different.

I have a mental health disease that causes the chemicals in my brain to be off balance.

Thankfully, 25 percent of people with this condition will recover complexly, while 50 percent will be able to manage their condition effectively. I fall into the category of management. 

2. Finding the Right Medication Is Imperative

Most Schizophrenics are afraid of medications. I thought that I was being given poison or that I would be a zombie all day long.

Medication was the key to gaining control of my life.

For me to work towards recovery, I had to try several medications. Some made my symptoms worse, while others helped some. I finally found one that did work. 

I was non-compliant with my meds when I felt I was doing better. This caused my condition to worsen. I am a Paranoid Schizophrenic, therefore, I found the thought of putting something in my body horrifying.

For the first few times, my mother would hold my hand and assure me that she was there if something happened.

Once the medication got to an appropriate level in my system, I realized I was
no longer in danger. 

3. Therapy Is a Great Motivation Tool

Because of the many co-morbidities that can coexist with this mental illness, I began to withdraw socially. Schizophrenia and friendships don’t come easy, but I was lucky enough to build a support group.

I found a counselor who was very experienced in dealing with my issues.

She was like talking to a dear friend each week. Even when my brain wasn't making sense of the session and felt scrambled, just being close to her was helpful. She is a safe person. 

The first few visits were difficult. My mental disability is demonized by society, but my counselor understood the real me.

I struggle to cope with the symptoms of my disease and the side effects of my medications, but having my counselor in my corner helps me power through the difficult times.

She encouraged me to come to grips with my condition. I lived in denial, and I thought that I had done something wrong. 

Once I accepted the condition, I was able to find some peace and work on coping skills. 

Feautured image of the article "Increasing Motivation When Having Schizophrenia" - a close look at the life Mike who has Schizophrenia and how he manages to increase motivation.

4. Don’t Sit Around the House - Get Up & Get Moving

I didn't like to go out of the house much. For me, I felt like I needed to shout to the world that Schizophrenia is not multiple personalities, and I am just a human being. I am not a monster. Yes, I have a true medical condition, and no I don't deserve it. 

Two of my major problems when leaving the house was I would smell vinegar and hear a dog constantly barking.

These sensations drove me mad. When they occurred, the paranoia would also increase. I always think people are talking about me too, and I am afraid of what they are saying. 

To help me out, I got a dog. I have Champ, a golden retriever. He has been with me for more than five years now. We go on walks and enjoy each other's company, he really helps me get my exercise.

Some days, he is the only motivation I have to get up. When I am in public, he helps to take my mind off the smells and noises I hear and control my delusions. It's not always easy, but it works most times. 

5. Schedule Social Time

I did something that most people think Schizophrenics can't, I got a job. I only work 10 hours a week, but I still have some social interaction.

My employer understands that sometimes my thoughts are jumbled and my perceptions off, but he always breaks my tasks into smaller, easier chunks.

A support group was another major part of coping with my issues. It meets every Wednesday at 7 pm.

I am always there ready to meet with others and hear how their week has gone. It’s nothing major or exciting to most people, but to me it was a lifeline. 

6. Getting Back to Life

I am 25 years old and have suffered from this condition since I was 15. I am at a place where I can say I am doing alright.

I know that my medications will need to be adjusted periodically, and I will have some bad days.

However, I refuse to let this condition define me any longer. I have Schizophrenia, but it does not have me.

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Mike Jones is a Boston University graduate, with an MS in Mass Communication.

He is now a full-time writer, passionate about everything related to self-growth and positive thinking.  

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