Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a long term mental health condition which is often described as a type of psychosis. This means that the person with schizophrenia is unable to distinguish between their own thoughts and ideas from reality. It causes a range of different psychological symptoms. 

The media wrongly portray schizophrenia as such a violent and dangerous illness which is such a massive misconception. There is more media misinformation about schizophrenia than about any other type of mental health problem out there via things like TV shows and newspapers. They often present people with schizophrenia as being highly dangerous to society even though most people with schizophrenia dont commit violent crimes.

Some people describe their thoughts as being controlled by someone else, that their thoughts aren't their own, or that thoughts have been planted in their mind by someone else. 

 Some symptoms of schizophrenia include:
  • Hallucinations, hearing voices, seeing things, smelling things, tasting or feeling things that only exist in their mind, they're not really there.  
  • Delusions, which can include paranoid delusions, which are strong beliefs held with complete conviction, even though it's based on a mistaken, strange or unrealistic view. It may affect the way the person behaves. Delusions can begin suddenly, or may develop over weeks or months.
  • Not taking care of yourself or wanting to. 
  • Wanting to avoid social contact.
  • Feeling disconnected from your feelings and the world. 
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • A lack of interest in things.
  • Changes in behaviour.
  • Muddled thoughts which are based on hallucinations or delusions. 
The causes of schizophrenia is currently unknown, but links have been made to genetic and environmental factors.

There isnt a test which can test to see if you have schizophrenia, it is usually diagnosed by a mental health care professional such as a psychiatrist after a mental health assessment.

Some milder symptoms of schizophrenia include:
  • Feeling suspicious or fearful.
  • Worrying about people's motives.
  • Hearing quiet voices now and again.
  • Finding it difficult to concentrate.
Medication such as antipsychotic medication and CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) are the most common used form of treatment for people with schizophrenia. Many people recover from it yet the occasional relapse can happen. However, if it is well managed, the amount of severe relapses can be reduced significantly.

Self care practices for schizophrenia includes:
  • Preventing illness or accidents.
  • Maintaining good physical and mental health. 
  • Avoiding drugs and alcohol.
  • Effectively dealing with minor ailments and long-term conditions. 
  • Stopping smoking.
If you're experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia, you should see a doctor as soon as possible in order to get the right treatment, because as soon as it is treated, the better. 

Friday, 27 July 2018

3 Things I Would Do If I Wasnt So Afraid

Irrational fears greatly control many of our brains without having reason for doing so, for example, we have had no previously bad experiences with our fears. Maybe it is just the unknown? Maybe it is embarrassment? Maybe we just have extremely irrational fears? But there is no doubt about it that these irrational fears hold us back from things that we would really like to do.

Something I have always wanted to do, but always known that I would be way too scared to do is driving. Although driving is a totally normal thing and there are millions of cars on the road every day, I am still absolutely terrified of driving and I somehow dont think that I will ever manage it. Maybe that is why I am so afraid, that it is such a normal thing and I am worried that I may not be able to do it? I know many, many people are terrified to drive but overcome that fear whilst having lessons but for me it just seems a completely impossible thought that I could maybe be on the road one day. It isnt just the driving itself that absolutely terrifies me: its the idea of crashes, being physically injured or just having to exchange details with someone to sort the mess out. Police just driving about, it makes me nervous even though I am only the passenger sometimes! Maybe one day I will overcome this fear, at least, I hope I do.

I think going diving somewhere warm would be an absolutely amazing experience, but it is something I also cannot see myself doing. Even just swimming in the sea on holiday makes me extremely nervous for a few reasons. One being waves. I. Dont. Like. Big. Waves. I like the sea to be still, thats when I am somewhat comfortable in the sea. Also, funny story whilst I am at it, I was in the sea on holiday one time, stupidly wearing my glasses. A big wave came and went straight over my head and my glasses were never seen again. Luckily, I had enough pairs of contact lenses to last me the rest of the holiday or that could've been an issue. Anyway, moving on from my glasses trauma. I also have a massive fear of deep water, I hate not being able to touch the floor (but at the same time, I hate touching the floor!). Not knowing what is underneath me scares the heck out of me, fish, crabs, seaweed ect, honestly I am like a big baby when it comes to being in the sea. I prefer to just chill inside a ring. But, maybe one day I will pluck up the courage and do this, even just snorkelling or just swimming in deep water would be enough!

When I go on holiday, part of me loves being in a plane and another part of me absolutely despises it. I love the view from the window, the fields from so high up, the lakes, buildings, clouds and whatever else you see from the plane window, but I hate the height, it scares me. For the beautiful view, I would love to do a skydive. I think it would be the most empowering experience, yet there are so many factors that terrify me! Like, what if the parachute didnt work? What if I got there and I couldnt do it? What if I landed funny? I so hope to do it one day, maybe with someone who wouldnt be scared to do it at all so that I could feel their energy and they could motivate me. What would be even better would be to do it for a charity, raise money whilst conquering a fear.

Maybe one day I will accomplish all of these, maybe not. But I am going to set myself a realistic goal. Ebony, your challenge is to complete at least one of these by 2024, that gives you just over 5 years, good luck.