Nobody can really fully understand what schizophrenia is. The world's finest psychiatrists often contradict themselves when it comes to the treatment and long term prognosis of sufferers. Since my daughter had her latest 'mini-relapse' (which is really what it was), she's managed to get some professional help in treating a) the anxiety and b) join an association to help support her in times of real crisis. She is going to a meeting this month and the guest speaker is none other than Dr. Eugene Allers who was her first psychiatrist and who brought her back from the brink of certain commitment to an institution. I have something like a God fixation when it comes to this man, without him I would have lost my daughter for good.
During my daughter's recent episodes, she sent me an email to me wherein she tried to articulate exactly what happens when she feels like she's going into a psychotic state. I'm very fortunate in that my daughter does seem to appreciate the nuances of her condition and is mature enough to know when something is not right and seek help. At the time of her episode, she was suffering from anxiety and this, I believe, was brought about by many external factors - such as her boyfriend and the relationship with him that is up and down all the time, moving back into her brother's house while she finds her feet (yet again) and of course, missing me and her big sister (extended family, niece and nephew). She has also started a new job and was having some issues and insecurities where this was concerned. Her hormones are up and down all over the place and we found out this week that she started a menstrual cycle, shortly after her condition normalised. Since she was diagnosed with schizophrenia all those years ago, she has only had about five cycles in that whole time. Her medication definitely messes with this part of her physiology and hormones play a huge role in the ongoing management of her mental stability. This is something that I don't believe any of her doctors are taking seriously and a topic that I want her to bring up at the meeting with Dr. Allers.
Several people who read this blog regularly are aware of my daughter's schizophrenia and the history of it. I am posting the gist of her email here, to see if anyone can shed any further light on the subject.
[R is the boyfriend, other initials also relate to family or other individuals]
Hi Mom,I didn’t go to work today because I had a real bad episode last night around R. I woke up this morning completely Schizo. Its very difficult for him to understand and I really strongly believe that Im projecting thought patterns into his head that he can pick up. Ive been dropped off at A' house this morning and I seem to realize that when Im on my own I seem to come back down to earth. Im realizing that I have these panic attacks when Im around people. This is why Im so afraid of losing my job over this. I can see in R's body language that he is very irritated at the problem.I don’t know how to explain my situation these past few days but I will try –Last night I went to the room and climbed into bed after having a bath. I lay there for a few moments with crazy things going through my head and hearing voices. I was trying to relax and calm down. It didn’t work. I eventually dozed off into a light subconscious sleep mode. While Im lying there trying to relax my mind, I started to dream lightly or best I can explain it is think lightly about all sorts of things. I then heard R's voice in my head all of a sudden say “agh no” as if he was tuned into every thought going through my head and as if he was dreaming with me in my head. It bolted me awake and scared me and then I went into a flat panic. I start to swear in my head and think of horrible things. And because Im still believing that he is inside my head he can hear all the ugly things. It gets so twisted mom. I don’t know how to explain it. It is so strong that I cannot stop it. It lasted a long time and then I eventually passed out from exhaustion of been afraid to fall asleep.I had horrible dreams last night. I dreamt of cooking dead dog meat. D's dog. And that I put the meat on a sandwich and prepared bugs and worms and all sorts to go on top of the sandwich. That’s just the jist of the dream but I woke up sensing a death presence. Like something is dying or is dead. I also woke up with the thoughts of blood in my head. Mommy Im so frightend.I think I had a prediction a week ago when my teeth started hurting. I never dreamt of teeth which is normally a very bad sign of bad luck but I physically experienced the teeth symptons. My teeth were hurting for 3 days. It was a warning of the bad episodes Im having and the bad voodoo Im letting off. The mind is such a powerful thing that it can bring mental things to reality.I am trying to get hold of Dr. .... but they are not answering their phones. I will keep trying so that I can ask if he can fit me in for an emergency appointment today to see him. I need to get help. But its so strange, while typing this email and being alone at home I am relaxed and I can think properly. Im not having an episode now. Its when Im around people, I start freaking out.I'm trying to understand the problem and to treat it. If you want to skype me please let me know so that I can talk to you.Love you very much.xxxxx