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    kind of lost looking for information
    lost011 posted:
    i am not really sure where to start but um iv recently hit a point in my life where i kind of feel like i need to look at whats really wrong instead of just ignoring my problems. im almost 22 and i was told by a close frien who is studying psychology in college that i should look into schizophrenia and it might be an answer to my problems, i struggle through relationships and i am happy with the girl i am with now, we are engaged, but i am having a big issue and its bringing me down, um for abotu 2 years iv gone through spells of paranoia where i think that people are out to harm me, ill be in a crowded place such as a concert and ill notice people who keep looking at me and i get intense anxiety and just leave or withdraw from whatever is going on, for the past few years my hygiene has tanked and i dont feel the motivation to do anything really i have to force myself to eat, i rarely ever leave my apartment for fear that someone is following me trying to get me, i hear my fiancee whispering with her friends and i think they are plotting against me and my mind starts picking up on things, over the last few weeks one paranoid thought has grown into a huge almost conspiracy idea, and im losing sleep because i feel that if i fall asleep that someones gonna get me, i have to stay up till i literally cnt keep my eyes open, i just dont know what to do with myself anymore, and even over the last year and a half or so iv kinda felt at times like im just not connected to my surroundings like im not really there, i have cut all connections with my friends and trying to make new ones suck because i cant trust anyone, my fiancee is getting upset with me because i wont hang out with anybody or go to parties and im to afraid to tell her what exactly is going on in my fu**ed up head, i mean when the paranoia and everything isnt bothering me or when iv kinda relaxed my suspicions im a normal and happy guy, but lately things have just been getting worse to the point where i cant even leave my apartment without somebody with me, i am just hoping somebody out there can give me some answers. i appreciate it a lot.
    larsstarscanary responded:
    Sorry you are suffering so. It doesn't sound as if your medication is working. Are you going for therapy? It sounds like you need something very intense in therapy--a day treatment program, or a PROS program, and maybe even a supported housing or intensive housing.

    I can relate to some of the issues you described. (I know of a schizophrenic woman who refuses to use her apartment and bathe herself--In her paranoia, she believes her artwork has been stolen from her in her apartment, which is not true. She therefore lives on the streets for all the seasons, and is quite funky.) I also have a friend with schizophrenia who wants a girlfriend, but won't clean himself up. He's in his mid-forties, he's paranoid and won't leave the house most of the time. His paranoia makes him do things that impede his normal functioning--Therefore, he might have to be put into a supervised living unit with 24-hour watch.

    My friend eats or drinks fatty, salty, soda, and starchy food or drinks and has diabetes, high cholesterol, and has a fatty liver. He's got heart trouble. He obsesses about symptoms and his death from symptoms. He says voices tell him of his impending death and they always set a new date when he survives the last one. No matter how many times the voices are wrong, he still chooses to believe them.

    Why won't he choose good mental health? He'd rather believe his delusions and hallucinations and paranoia, than his friends, his mental health team, and what is rational.

    He avoids his life. It's unfortunate--He won't even do simple things related to his own well being. His teeth are rotting, but he won't go to the dentist and he won't brush and floss his teeth. His clothes are smelling but he'd rather continue to wash his clothes in the tub. Of course his clothes don't get clean. He might occasionally take a bath, but most likely he won't. He smells. He'd rather get mad at anyone who tells him he needs to clean up than to clean up.

    He's got all sorts of elaborate paranoid conspiracies going on is his head that keep him a prisoner in his own home. He calls his friends obsessively, 10 or more times a day, if they allow it. He writes his friends dozens of letters in a very short amount of time, demanding that they read them immediately. He listens to the voices in his head that always lie to him. This keeps him in the mental health system, which is where he should be right now, because he is almost no longer able to take care of himself.

    I'm beginning to think my friend is self-absorbed in a way, because he is always the topic with the paranoia. He's going to lose everything he has, and will probably never have the things he wants because he's unwilling to relinquish the paranoia, no matter how ridiculous it is, no matter how it isolates him from his own life. I think he's chosen the paranoia over having a girlfriend.

    His psychiatrist thinks he should be in a state psychiatric hospital, and his caseworker thinks he should be in a round the clock residence.

    The thing is suspending belief in things that haven't worked for us and that don't work for us (paranoia), and believing instead in those who can help us. For me, that's my mental health team and support network.

    A Beautiful Mind is a good movie that gives an example of how a man with schizophrenia learned to understand and deal with his disorder. Have you seen it?

    PS: My friend has a heart of gold.

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