Jump to content

Why don't we hear more success stories?


Recommended Posts

Isn't anyone getting better, or do the people who get better just slip back into their normal lives without saying goodbye?

I just wanted to say that I'm all better. Still on meds, but my illness is in remission, and I'm back to a halfway normal life. Sure, I'm 26 and never had a girlfriend, but I'm trying, dammit! Hehe...

Tomorrow is my last day of work at my shitty retail job...I'm going back to college in January. Moving into my own apartment and everything.

To me, I am a success story. I think anyone who keeps their head up with this illness is a success story. That's all I have to say about that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Ben!

I remember your story...you were working at Walmart (or something like that) and feeling bad for having a crappy retail job. I think I told you that with your condition, the fact that you were working at all was something to be proud of, and once you were stable you could aways move on from there.

I am so glad to hear you are doing well and going back to school. I bet the girlfriend posibilities will increase once you get to school....and you being stable will help in that area a lot.

But as for success stories...I think you are right that people get better and move on...or at least that is what I hope.

Glad you stopped in for an update and best wishes for school.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Woot, a reply! Thanks wifezilla!

Yep, Walmart! After a while I stopped feeling so insecure about having a shitty retail job and realized that it payed the bills. I saved enough money to get a place of my own, without the possibility of living with a roommate who was weirder than I am.

Bedtime...tomorrow is a big day, my last day at Wally World!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know, but I have often wondered.

There was a thread a couple of years back, I thinkk it was by Benny (I don't know if thats your old nick from the old board) which basically said that he was better now and he didn't need us "f***ing crazy people anymore". was that you?

I think people should stay around... it's a good way to reality check.

I used my boss to reality check me last week because someone at work is being investiggated by the police and I thought it miight be my head playing with me... just because I saw and heaard and experienced that staff meeting doesn't mean it really happened, but apparently it did so alll is ok:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i'm not SZ and while my pdoc debated SA, he decided to stay wtih BP1 w/psychotic symptoms for a number of reasons.

so i'm not entirely in this group, however am doing really well compared to how i was doing.

i managed to get my own apartment, get my own car, and survive on my own (with some help from my grandparents, bless them). it hasn't been easy, and i've had to go to hunger banks (befoer my food stamps kicked in), but i made it. i didn't have to move back home.

i was actually working at a temp job at the time i found out i was going to receive SSDI. i was floored!

now, i've had the streee-free chance to heal and take time to reflect on myself and my life, and get it together. i hope that i'll be able to work in a couple of years. in a couple of years, if i feel up to it, i'll do my trial work period on SSD.

in the meantime, i'm waiting for some administrative work to be finished before my SSI is converted to my SSD. when that happens, i'll be able to work at some kind of job for some hours, and i'm very proud of that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congratulations Ben!

You know why *I'm* so glad you are writing? It's terribly important to see that people with this disorder CAN get better and they CAN lead a pretty darn normal life! You are what gives everyone else hope!!!! I honestly don't think there is a more powerful enabler than HOPE in our lives. Even normal, healthy people have ups and downs, better times than others, and so you would imagine that would happen with people with MI, regardless of their illness, too. Granted, the ups/downs may be "different" based on the illness but we just have to gauge the value of the good times in relation to what is truly a positive experience for us vs. gauging it against what we think everyone else considers to be "good". You know, for some people just carrying a conversation with someone is a sign of incredible success as compared to isolating themselves for days or weeks on end. It's all about perspective, don't you think!

Lastly, I am a mom of someone with psychosis. You make me realize that I can't ever give up even when things seem hopeless. You make me see that I am encouraging my dd in the right way - to do her best at trying to lead the most normal life she can because the truth is that normal is different for all of us.

I hope you check back in with your successes and don't forget we are here if you have struggles because we all have them and it's from that that we all grow!

BTW, the right girl will come along when the time us right. Yes, I'm an old woman (as my dd would say, in jest) but when you get to my ripe old age you just "know" things, o.k.?? Keep plugging away at doing what you want to make a life for you and it'll all fall in line!

Ben, seriously, thank you for "making my day"!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know, but I have often wondered.

There was a thread a couple of years back, I thinkk it was by Benny (I don't know if thats your old nick from the old board) which basically said that he was better now and he didn't need us "f***ing crazy people anymore". was that you?

I think people should stay around... it's a good way to reality check.

I used my boss to reality check me last week because someone at work is being investiggated by the police and I thought it miight be my head playing with me... just because I saw and heaard and experienced that staff meeting doesn't mean it really happened, but apparently it did so alll is ok:)

I don't think that was me that said that. I still don't remember a lot of things from when I was sick, though, so who knows. Saying something like that would be totally out of character for me. But if it was me that said it, I am sorry, and you can bet that I wasn't in my right mind when it was said.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First of all, a big hug and congratulations to the folk here who are living with this illness and battling on and succeeding despite things.

I'm really happy for you Ben! ;)

I'm a success story of sorts thanks to the good people of this board who took time out to answer me when I was in the depths of psychotic hell and gently persuaded me to go back on AAPs. Without the Olanzapine, I wouldn't have gotten my quality of life back.

I'm still on disability benefits and off work but I am studying and planning for a major career change and I feel better than I have done in years.

So a big hooray for sanity and those who have regained it!

blackbird x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have bipolar with psychotic features or maybe the psychotic symptoms are something separated. I don't know, but my pdoc have told me I've been psychotic, and looking back, I have to agree. So while I don't have the official diagnosis I'll post here.

I'm doing very well on Geodon. Currently in school, which I'm proud of.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We dont hear many success stories cause there arent many.

And with this i mean there is only the fight...when can u tell that u have accomplish much?

I think the same is for "regulars" people with less fight i guess.

Personally i have a job, i have degree in two fields, mechanical engineering and computers and i try to study more in the future even im a bit old for student.

But im not happy and satisfied and i have many social difficulties...spenting my time alone all the time. ( i dont even know if i prefer company)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We dont hear many success stories cause there arent many.

And with this i mean there is only the fight...when can u tell that u have accomplish much?

I think the same is for "regulars" people with less fight i guess.

Personally i have a job, i have degree in two fields, mechanical engineering and computers and i try to study more in the future even im a bit old for student.

But im not happy and satisfied and i have many social difficulties...spenting my time alone all the time. ( i dont even know if i prefer company)

But I'm going to say that your educational background and your ability to have a job are most definitely successes. I don't believe someone with psychosis that doesn't have a job is weak or simply unwilling. Having a dd in college with the memory, attention, and cognitive problems associated with psychosis has made clearly realize just how difficult it really is to be in a career-type of school or college. Many people with psychosis literally can't work for one reason or another, or who can't function in a college environment, and I'm sure they see your ability to do this as quite a success.

May I ask a question (I'm not trying to get too personal), have you considered that you might have more social skills than you think you do if you are able to hold down a job? I just wish we could all see the positives of where we are rather than what we don't have or wish we had.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry if I made anyone feel bad by my post...that wasn't my intention.

I forgot why I don't visit and post more often...dwelling on this shit makes me feel bad. Maybe I just like avoiding the fact that I'm schizoaffective. It's just not something that I need to think about day in-day out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

to me, achieving success is achieving what you want/need to achieve at your particular ability level. for some people, taking their meds and getting out of bed is a success. there is nothing less wonderful about that than if someone is able to hold down a job, raise a family, and do all those things we dream of doing that see so far away.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How does one define success?

The fact that i speak or communicate at all is success to my parents.

Living is success to me at times, considering epilepsy and all.

There are days where I am lucky just to wake up.

I still have rails on my bed.

I have lived on my own and moved home to take care of family.

I think everyday we get through is another day we've succeeded.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

right on maddy! considering this, i (and the rest of us) have succeeded in many more ways than the traditional job/family route. like taking care of our relatives, like stepping up to the plate, despite our disorders, when things go to hell, like waking up in the morning, like being able to sit in front of our pc and type. all of it is a success. no, i'm not married anymore (my marriage was not a success, though i did learn a lot and in that i was successful), and i don't have kids (but that is a success right now because i couldn't take care of kids on disability unless they raised it). i don't have a job, but i did get SSD, a huge success considering the archaic and evil system!

let the fun begin!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The idea of success is the achievement of something desired, or attempted. Success comes in al sorts of colors. From getting out of bed to holding down a job. Many successes are achieved but never recognized, but when they are recognized, like Ben's stability, it holds a great deal of hope for the rest of us.

Congrats Ben, I wish you well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess one of the main reasons you dont hear success stories is because sz tends to be a permanent condition unfortunately.

It can be managed well with medication and therapy, but getting the mix right is difficult enough for depression let alone sz.

The other point is that when people start to feel better, they sometimes stop using the boards as much as they have less need to use them. This is natural and understandable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah Chimpy, you can be so morbid ;)

Statistics vary but this is one study:

The British Journal of Psychiatry 150: 345-354 (1987)

© 1987 The Royal College of Psychiatrists

Five-year outcome and prognosis in schizophrenia: a report from the London Field Research Centre of the International Pilot Study of Schizophrenia

R Prudo and HM Blum

Department of Psychiatry, McMaster University Medical Centre, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

A sample of 100 schizophrenic patients admitted to London area psychiatric hospitals were examined as part of the International Pilot Study of Schizophrenia. Clinical and social outcome were variable. At 5- year follow-up, 49% had good symptomatic outcome and 42%, good social outcome. Poor social functioning at inclusion was predictive of poor symptomatic outcome.

And this from the schizophrenia fellowship of new south wales:

What is the prognosis?

"Even for the person facing great psychiatric disabilities, our souls can flower with hope. Hope is an essential ingredient for recovery" (Simon, a person who has experienced schizophrenia).

A diagnosis of schizophrenia does not necessarily mean that a life long illness is inevitable. People do improve and recover. The assumption that people with schizophrenia are likely to experience a progressively worsening course of illness is not supported in recent literature. The research reports a range of outcomes varying from full recovery to severe and continuous incapacity. Contrary to the expected downward and deteriorating course for schizophrenia, a significant proportion of people are able to achieve favourable outcomes. Indeed, favourable outcomes (varying from having mild impairment to experiencing full recovery) have been estimated for 21% to 57% of people with schizophrenia.

Recovery will mean different things for different people. It may mean 'complete' recovery in the sense of being symptom-free, or it may mean learning to live well with some residual symptoms of schizophrenia.

"I believe real recovery is far from a simple matter of accepting diagnosis and learning facts about schizophrenia and medication. Rather, it is a deep searching and questioning, a journey through unfamiliar feelings to embrace new concepts and a wider view of oneself. Recovery is not an event but a process that is, for myself and many others, a life-long journey" (Champ 1998, p.59).

As many people with schizophrenia do move in the direction of improvement, early negative prognosis must be avoided. Harding (1988) argues that every person with schizophrenia has the right to rehabilitation, no matter how 'chronic' they appear.

Nevertheless, it should be acknowledged that schizophrenia i.e. potentially a severe disorder. A significant number of people with schizophrenia experience negative outcomes. These include employment difficulties, social isolation, poverty, repeated hospitalisation, imprisonment, insecure and transient accommodation, homelessness, poor physical health and an increased mortality.

Suicide, accidents and disease are prevalent among people with schizophrenia. Research indicates the average man with schizophrenia dies ten years younger that the general population and the average female dies nine years younger. The largest single contributor to this excess in mortality is suicide. An estimated ten percent of people with schizophrenia complete suicide, which is disturbingly higher than the rate of one percent for the general population.

 

www.sfnsw.org.au

If you kinda take the mean of all the stats around it works ouut to roughly 1/3 of patients experiencing full recovery, 1/3 some recovery and 1/3 chronic illness (ie life long) but chroniic illlnness tends to include those who cap themselves, so that 1/3 could probably be more accurate as about 20% + a 10% suicide rate (higher for szA).

I'm sure everryone is sick of hearing me waffle about lack of insight, but it is a real aspect of schiz and often when sz patients do get better they either forget what they used to believe (delusions) and have gaps in their memory or continue beleiving thatthey were being persecuted etc but it just stopped... and that can be a success ie: full remission.

Something I thinnk is less researched is that also a lot of sz patients seem to think that their illness is worse than iit really is... and this is true for most forms of psychosis and the whole sz famiily of illnesses... Ben has a point abbout why he avoids this place, a positive outlook is impportant to recovery and sometimes thinngs here do tend towards dire...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes but what the articles describe as recovery is symptomatic.

Most of the "recovered" patients are still taking their meds, and will have to long term.

It is very common knowledge that when a patient with sz stops taking his/hr meds a relapse occurs.

So the real question is, am I "better" if I am taking 1 or more anti-psychotic medications indefinitely?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It may not be my place to write this but if success is defined by a lessening of symptoms

and if a lifelong commitment to medication is required for that to happen, then yes. I

am ready to make that lifelong commitment to my seizure meds and my mood stabilizers.

For now, it's probably the only lifelong commitment I'm ready to enter into.

For some of us success is not measured in leaps and bounds but in small everyday victories. Sometimes by redefining success it's been the only thing that has gotten us through some of our darkest moments into brighter days. I know that for me personally I would not be here had I clung to my previous definition of success.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I neither can be bothered atm nor can I afford to with my current innternet issues search for recent articles about recovery so i won't give references but it is well documented that particularly in the case of paranoid sz 3-5 years of AP treatment is often enough... My pdoc agrees that even iin mmy case with negative, cognitive and disorganised symptoms I have a high chance of beiing able to safely come off meds at some point in the not too distant future (within a few years that is).

The curent thinking is basically the opposite of the tradittiional view of premature dementia and manic depression... In the traditional view what was termed premature dementia was characterised by a slow downward spiral of degeneration while manic depression (now bp) had a bettter outlook... But the more it is studied the more it is coming to light that schiizophhrenia hhas a general outcome of either some recovery or full recovvery even after meds are withdrawn (after stabilised that is)... AP's are starting to be seen as a crutch which lets the brain mend itself whiich should be then taken away. Or for the more cautious of pdoc, abilify is proving to be a foloow up to other AP treatment in that it further stabilises an already stabilised psyche, and more meds coming out that ease the transtiton off meds once the psyche is stabilised.

Unfortunatley for the bp folk, the evidence of the kindling effect in bp is growing and showing that cycles get closer together and more servere as time progresses.

So in my case, this probably means that in time I may be able tto deal without AP's but have to continue AD's and AC's.

It's easy to get lead astray because the bulk of contemporary research focuses on chhronic patients... who onlly make up 20-30% of the sz population. I think CNS posted an article that shows how zyprexa stops the brain melting, but I'm not sure if it mentioned the possibility of then withdrawing the zyprexa.

And as Maddy said even if meds are a life time must then thats still successs if it stabilises someone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess one of the main reasons you dont hear success stories is because sz tends to be a permanent condition unfortunately.

It can be managed well with medication and therapy, but getting the mix right is difficult enough for depression let alone sz.

The other point is that when people start to feel better, they sometimes stop using the boards as much as they have less need to use them. This is natural and understandable.

I have lived with major depression with psychotic symptoms/schizoaffective disorder/bipolar disorder (theyre not sure what I have being that I have had 5 different docs and they all give different diagnoses) since my mid teens and am currently in my twenties. I attend a university and hold a job during the summer. I struggle but I am passing very demanding courses. When I have bad episodes I usually fail my classes for that semester.

My medication has been causing increasingly shitty symptoms since being increased to adult dosages.

Is there anyone out there similiar in age w/ a simliar situation?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just posted in my Springer Thread about my friend's son AJ...he is schitzoeffective. He is NOT a success story YET. A lack of follow up care during a transition to his own place led to a suicide attempt. So he has to start all over again and instead of being on his own, he will go to a group home setting.

These diseases ARE a constant ongoing struggle. Success is not like "He's Cured!" but more like "he is geting appropriate care and has medication without too many side effects and is living and enjoying his life". And an unsuccessful period of time CAN be changed with PROPER CARE into a sucessful period of time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...