People often worry about simple things, like where to go for lunch. They also often see small disappointments as big failures, like a bad grade on a test. On the other hand, we often take priceless things for granted.
When was the last time you truly appreciated the air you breathe with your lungs, the earth you can feel under your feet, the colours of the world you can see with your eyes, the melodies of the crickets that fill the summer evenings? Because these things, the things we take for granted, are the important ones, and actually they are really valued by people who have learned to live with a condition, physical or mental. We want a car, people with a motor disease want to walk; we want new hairstyle, people on chemotherapy want hair; we want chocolate, people with addiction want to escape from their cravings; we want a beer to make us happier, people with depression want to get out of bed for once. Talking about depression, the stigma that marks the mental illnesses is still terrifying in our society and everyone who has been labelled with a condition has difficulties having a normal life.
Schizophrenia is one of the more serious problems that challenge people. There’s still no clear definition of it and its causes, but in general people who have it experience delusions, apathy, disorganized thoughts and problems in social functioning. The difference with the multiple personality disorder, so discussed in films and books, is that here the visions and voices are perceived as something coming from the outside, and that’s why it’s not hard for patients to believe they talk to aliens.
Learning to live with schizophrenia has some similarities with any other condition though:
1.) Understand your illness. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and treatment and stay informed. Read about it and create more awareness about the problem. Find the best doctor and collaborate.
2.) Learn the best ways to take you drugs or therapy. Be persistent and don’t let small improvements stop you from continuing with your treatment. Keep track of your results and thoughts and know your optimal level of comfort. Most of all, be patient and stay positive – you are fine.
3.) Don’t be ashamed and don’t suffer in silence. Use social network to help you re-socialise. You’re not alone and you can get inspired from people who’ve defeated that disease. You remember the film “A beautiful mind”, about the mathematician John Nash who lived with his condition, right? You still can be successful despite your condition; actually, you already are.
4.) Try a mind-body lifestyle to help you cope with the stress. Yoga, healthy food, exercises, looking after a pet or a plant, travelling, all this can be soothing for your wonderful soul.
Living with a condition requires bravery and patience. Most of all, don’t focus on what was before that or what could be without it. Accept yourself because you’re not different than other people – you are just a beautiful human being.