by Guest Author Jared
Dealing with schizophrenia will put anyone who is diagnosed with the disorder on a long road to learning more about psychology, medication and themselves. I speak from experience when I say that although being diagnosed as schizophrenic can feel like a prison sentence, it can also be one of the most freeing experiences of your life. You are given license to contemplate how and why your mind performs the way it does, as well as the information necessary to have a greater understanding of your disorder. While the symptoms of schizophrenia are sometimes frightening manifestations, they can also be key to understanding and embracing your deepest spiritual self.
Schizophrenia, literally meaning split mind, can manifest in a variety of different ways. Some of the most common symptoms of the disorder are disorganized thoughts, paranoia and auditory hallucinations. I have experienced all of these things. One of my greatest struggles in dealing with schizophrenia was the need to find peace despite the unrelenting idea that something terrible was about to happen. In order to do that, I had to confront my paranoid thoughts and fears, even the irrational ones. I had to come to understand that some of the fears I was experiencing were pathological and rooted in childhood abuse. By understanding the triggers of those irrational and paranoid fears, I developed a coping mechanism that helped me to self-correct when I was having an episode.
As a result of delving into my own psychological makeup and emotional history, I have developed a deeper understanding of the meaning and significance of the field of psychology. I suffered with schizophrenia for two years without seeking help, but now that I have, I have a great sense of respect and compassion for myself. I no longer taunt myself or make myself feel guilty for what I can or cannot accomplish on any given day. I extend that respect to other people, both those who suffer from mental disorders and those who do not. I understand that everyone faces their own challenges and fears, and that no one deserves to feel belittled or inferior because of what they can or cannot manage.
Before I had a deeper understanding of myself, I rejected the idea of spirituality, thinking that no intervening God could allow bad things to happen to me, or allow me to be as sick as I was. After experiencing schizophrenia and studying the many books that are sympathetic to this illness, I don’t feel that way any more. I have come to embrace the spirituality that comes from the interconnectedness of all of us, the fact that each of us carry our own unique burdens and still find a way to love one another. When I am given the opportunity to make a choice that will affect myself or someone else, I try to make the choice that will inherently lead to the most good for everyone. I try to be unselfish, kind, respectful and decent, as my understanding of spirituality is that compassion and goodness are the most powerful things we can put into the universe- and they will come back to us. I don’t claim to understand religion or have the ability to solve the eternal mysteries, I just know that doing good things leads to a cycle of good things, and that’s the most deeply spiritual and loving thing that anyone can do for the world.
About the author: Jared writes about schizophrenia at Schiz Life, his site created for the sole purpose of disseminating quality information in one easy-to-find place for those new to the journey. Schizophrenia unexpectedly altered Jared’s life for the better and can do the same for you with the proper care and reverence for the adventure!