It’s been awhile since I last posted. I’ve been going through some rough spots lately. I’m only now pulling out of the spell of depression I’ve lately had. When I have issues with being depressed, I often isolate myself a lot. I won’t be very talkative to even my close friends and family. I even somethings go for entire days without leaving my apartment. I was doing this quite a bit this winter as I just didn’t want to deal with the depression and anxiety that often arrive with no rhyme or reason with schizophrenia. I often would go entire days at a time where even going to the grocery store or pharmacy would seem like an ordeal. Naturally this would lead to a lot of loneliness for me. And I would get paranoid and begin wondering why no one would contact me or want to do anything with me. I wasn’t contacting my friends, I wasn’t leaving my apartment, and my social activities were next to nonexistent. This would generate depression because I was lonely. The depression would lead to anxiety were I literally could not force myself to leave my apartment even when I wanted to. From anxiety I would go into paranoid because my friends wouldn’t contact me because I wasn’t keeping up my end of the friendship and staying current with friends and family. This cycle would perpetuate itself, sometimes for days or weeks on end.
One example of my anxiety was that I was getting paranoid that people (I couldn’t figure out who in my delusional state of mind) were going through my garbage. So I would let it pile up in my apartment, sometimes for ten days to two weeks at a time before I’d finally work through my anxiety and force myself to throw it all out at once. I was also afraid that I would receive a few odd looks from people seeing me taking three to four bags of trash out all at once, often late at night just so I could avoid contact with people. Now that I’m passed that phase, I see how delusional that line of thinking was. I mean, if someone is going to go through the dumpster at a large complex the night time would be perfect for someone dumpster diving. At least it wasn’t as bad as when I was in college and taking my trash to the Wal-Mart half way across town because I thought that ‘people where going through my trash.’
The delusions that come along with schizophrenia no doubt seem very odd to the ‘chronically normal’ individuals that read this blog and/or have loved ones with schizophrenia. But to those afflicted, it seems very real and very possible. I sometimes even recently had delusional thoughts that I’m being watched and followed by people I don’t know (and don’t want to know). It doesn’t make it any better when I’m driving my car and someone will be taking the same streets I do and are following real close. This has been going on for as long as I’ve had problems with mental illness. At least it’s not as bad as it once was because I’ve learned how to reason such things out most of the time. It’s too bad I couldn’t reason out the stress and anxiety I have felt about working again. I would love to return to work even at something as small as ten hours per week. Anxiety and delusional thoughts playing over and over in my mind do make that prospect quite daunting.
Loneliness and delusions that go with mental illness are real serious problems for people with mental illness. I can tell you for a fact I didn’t choose these delusions. It would be great to be able to completely reason the delusions away. But I’m still working on that.