Seeing as how schizophrenia has been in the news recently (and even made the top stories of the national news briefly) I feel like I should write about this. But as all I can think about when I see the articles from a few days ago is that they have been watered down and sugar coated, I'd rather not raise my blood pressure writing about it. It is after 11 pm after all and this is my second attempt at writing a blog post. My first attempt deleted itself and is now hidden deep within the Blogger app along with 17 odd socks and a hair slide.
As you may have guessed from that last sentence, I'm in a sarcastic random mood. I may not make much sense in this but then again, I rarely do. So I shall continue my mindless chunnering.
As you may or may not have known, I have been reducing the last psychiatric medication I am on. I have not been on anti-psychotics for very nearly a year. In fact, Monday will be a year since I came off the last of them. I almost feel like sticking my tongue out at all the doctors who told me that I would be on anti-psychotics for several years and especially at the one who told me I would be on them for life. So unless the definitions of "several years" and "life" has changed to "three years" without my knowledge, they were wrong. The sad thing is, they were probably giving me a standard answer when I asked how long I'd be on APs for. This is why mental health care needs to be PATIENT oriented! Designed with individuals in mind, not just taking everyone as a whole and treating us all identically!
When I started my first job back in 2004, I was given standard training that all council employees were given. The training was very general and frankly, very boring but at the same time very necessary. One talk we were given was equality training. We were asked if equality meant that everyone is treated in the same way. A few nods and murmurs indicated that everyone thought it did. The woman who was doing the talk turned to us and said that we were wrong. She then started talking about shoes. I thought it a bit random but then she told us about how she was a shoe size 2.5 and usually struggled to find shoes that fitted her. She asked us if every shoe shop should only sell shoes in a size 2.5 and when the unenthusiastic murmurs indicated a no, she told us how everyone is different and therefore needs to be treated differently. However, she said that everyone deserves to be treated with the same amount of respect. Despite my boredom at the time, this talk stayed with me. It has become even more relevant these days.
So like I said earlier, everyone needs to be treated like an individual, not as an illness or diagnosis. If every cancer patient was given exactly the same treatment, there'd be a lot more deaths. This is because of how diverse cancer is. But schizophrenia is just as diverse! I don't think that schizophrenia should be used as a diagnosis for many reasons but one of them is because it covers so many different things! If the "professionals" insist on keeping that diagnosis, then it should be split into far more categories than it is at the minute. Cancer patients aren't diagnosed with cancer and then left with the broad diagnosis. It is narrowed down to the location of the body where the primary tumour(s) is/are. So if schizophrenia is still to be used, then it should never be left as a diagnosis. It should be narrowed down further and most importantly, the sufferer should be treated individually and with respect. It sounds basic and I believe it is but as individual care takes more time, this is why it quite often isn't implemented.
So I've proven the "professionals" who told me I'd be on APs for a long time wrong by coming off those meds. But I'm still on Sertraline. Thankfully, I'm on a low dose of 50mg a day but I had been hoping to be off it by Christmas or shortly into the New Year. I tried to reduce it a couple of weeks ago to 50mg every other day but unfortunately that didn't work out. After a couple of days of frequent crying that couldn't be blamed on hormones, I had to tell my parents that I couldn't manage on that level of Sertraline. I immediately went back up to 50mg daily and made a doctor's appointment for that week. The doctor did his best to tell me that I was doing the right thing etc but I was still disappointed. I felt that I had failed. I'm trying to convince myself otherwise but I am my harshest critic. That probably won't change anytime soon either!
I'd love to write more and make this a truly memorable post. But I can't and it won't be (there's the critic coming out!) so I'll end it here.
Nos da pawb!