I was angry that I had been hospitalized. I didn’t understand why they thought taking me away from my family was a good idea and why they couldn’t have called someone when they couldn’t handle me.
My family of origin thought that the time I spent on the computer contributed to my illness and didn’t want me to go on. I typed up this outline of how I would like them to treat me, but they dismissed it and were just upset I had been on the computer.
I am not sure if this has anything worthwhile. It was right after I was diagnosed and I was still very ill. I made some sweeping generalizations and I don’t think people need a manual to talk to someone with a diagnosis,
my first first thought was to edit, but I decided to leave it as is. If this bothers anyone I can edit or remove it. Mainly I am just surprised I was well enough to write. I was pretty symptomatic.
HOW I WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED
I. I can control my behavior with the guidance of professionals
A. You can not cause reactions I have, like the paranoia that led to my hospitalization, but if we had asked for guidance from a professional he would have told us that relocating someone in that condition often leads to paranoia.
B. Trying to modify my behavior without asking for my input makes me feel paranoid that I am being controlled. I am willing to discuss an issue that troubles you with my psychiatrist, therapist or support group.
C. All I expect from my family is to listen and be understanding. I appreciate how helpful everyone has been.
II. I have an illness
A. I know under other circumstances it would be wonderful that I am spending more time on myself, but pointing that out while ignoring that the underlying reason is because I am unable to do many things because of my illness, is hurtful to me.
B. I can not just cheer up or snap out of it. I can take my medications and follow my Dr’s orders.
C. Once my illness is under control, it may be helpful to remind me if I seem a little more irritable or anxious, but right now that is expected with a mood disorder while they try to find the right medications and they take effect.
III. Realistic Expectations
A. I don’t know what are realistic expectations for me yet. My Drs seem to feel I will be able to return to working, driving and taking care of my daughter and son.
B. Please don’t compare me to others. There are some things that are too stressful for me.
C. I have high standards for myself, and I like my life the way it is, when Ii’m healthy
IV. The psychotic episode was a traumatic experience for me
A. I don’t want to discuss the thoughts, because I am afraid it may trigger another episode
B. That was the scariest experience i’ve ever had
C. I will work through the anxiety and paranoia with my therapist, but I do still have to recover from being psychotic and hospitalized.
V. I hope we can all learn something from this experience
A. I think there is a less traumatic way to get help. Many people wouldn’t willingly go to a locked psychiatric facility, but they would go to the Behavioral Health Unit of a hospital
B. I do worry about our family members on SSRI drugs without mood stabilizers, zoloft triggered mania in me.
C. The difference between an obsession and a passion is if it is interfering with the rest of your life. I am trying to use this time to remember what is really important.
I will treat everyone as respectfully as my illness will allow, and I expect to be treated with respect in return. I understand that you may be afraid, I am too, but my therapist thinks there is a good chance never have another psychotic episode.
HOW I WOULD COMMUNICATE WITH A PSYCHOTIC/ PARANOID PERSON
I. When I was in this state I regressed to a child-like state
A. Explain any changes clearly and in advance
B. Emphasize any key words and make sure the person is listening
C. If you think they are hearing voices, written communication is probably better than verbal. I tune-out some things but I pay attention if key words are emphasized either by talking louder or writing and circling key words
II. Include the person in any plans
A. People with schizoaffective disorder are resistant to change
B. Plans made without their input may increase paranoia
C. Offer to go to psychiatrist appointment with them, if they seem to tune out sometimes, and discuss having them sign release of medical information.
IDENTITY VS ILLNESS
Introduction: It can be difficult to distinguish between the individual’s true identity and those behaviors that are due to the illness
I. I have some traits that I consider part of my identity that are not highly valued in our society. I want to treat my illness but not give up who I am. Some of these traits for me are:
B. stronger written than verbal communication skills
II. There are traits of the illness that seriously impair my life and I need medication, coping skills, and support to deal with these. Some of these are:
C. Irrational Thinking
III. There are some things I may enjoy that others may not understand, but it IS normal behavior
A. long baths
B. Solitary walks
D. Computer Interaction
Some things I wouldn’t want to hear
A.i want the old you back. I am still here, hiding behind this illness
B. You need to do this I don’t take orders and I prefer to take advice from professionals (others may vary on who they trust)
C. You are being too emotional. i do understand the sentiment, but I can’tc ontrol how I feel