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confused

Am I special snowflake or does my friend need to get out more?

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I am planning on starting a Hearing Voices support group and my work. One thing the man who is training me wants me to do is go through a workbook of questions with someone who doesn't have these sensory experiences (visions, voices, etc). My friend works as a life coach at a center for older, homeless, mentally ill. He said he could help me and go through it with me.

So, he was leafing through the workbook and asking me some questions and we were talking.  I had a late-onset with psychosis (39) although I had undx mood swings and anxiety longer. I had a period of 3 years where I was in and out of psychosis. Not sure if that was a number of relapses or periods of lucidity before I stabilized from the initial break,

I haven't really heard voices (once in a while I will have some breakthrough symptoms but not for long)

So, since 2006 I have been mainly psychotic free.

He said "You're my hero" jokingly, but that he had never heard of someone who had dipped into and out of psychosis like that. I know I am very fortunate that i respond well to medication. But, I don't really know what is "typical". I have met others with a psychotic disorder (schizophrenia) who are free of psychotic symptoms now. I am thinking maybe he just works with some of the worst cases and doesn't know others like me. And, I don't go about talking about my past to everyone.

My understanding was simplistic, but that with meds 1/3 recover symptom free, 1/3 have some lingering symptoms and 1/3 have no relief. If that is anywhere near correct there should be lots of people like me.

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I don't know what's normal. i'm glad you've gotten so much relief. 

I currently fall into the partial remission category, but i'm also there with bipolar disoder, so hopefully one will go away as the other does. 

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11 hours ago, confused said:

My understanding was simplistic, but that with meds 1/3 recover symptom free, 1/3 have some lingering symptoms and 1/3 have no relief. If that is anywhere near correct there should be lots of people like me.

My psychiatrist said that too.

 

I don't get relief from meds, so I don't take them, but with time... I have ended up being half-functioning. I cannot work and college is a bit chaotic but I can keep my room clean and cook a least once each two days.

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On 10/9/2016 at 5:37 PM, confused said:

My understanding was simplistic, but that with meds 1/3 recover symptom free, 1/3 have some lingering symptoms and 1/3 have no relief. If that is anywhere near correct there should be lots of people like me.

I had my psychotic break during puberty. Before that I suffered with severe anxiety that would bobble towards paranoia every so often but nothing close to my break symptoms. I didn't hear voices; my main hallucinations were visual and tactile. I was mainly consumed in paranoid delusions and disorganized thinking. My break was also within 3 years, but I do remember having periods where I was able to gain some insight. My memories in those 3 years are either sporadic or completely non-existent. Since then I have not had a severe psychotic episode but I do get paranoia and disorganized during depressive episodes (often with insight).

In all honesty I tend to stay away from forums and groups about psychosis. I also don't mention my past psychosis to anybody, including doctors, unless it's pertinent. I read this subforum regularly because I relate but I seldom post here. Being in remission, I am deathly afraid of sending myself back into that experience by relating my old symptoms to my current ones. When depressed or vulnerable to depression I stay away from psychosis topics completely because I feel it helps me hold onto my remission. Depression thins my line of anxiety and paranoia, so reading topics skyrockets my anxiety and makes me remember my break which holds some trauma. Those together make it easier for me to lose my insight and slip into psychosis. I hope I explained that well, I'm afraid of offending people.

I think a lot of people who are in remission of an illness tend to steer away from talking about it, and even more so with Mental Illness because of stigma. I also think the 1/3 who find remission and even some of the 1/3 with lingering or cycling symptoms are out there but don't discuss it or seek treatment because it isn't currently relevant. Similarly to the idea of your friend only seeing severe cases so doesn't know people like us exist.

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I'm currently in more or less complete remission, and have been for several years. Before that I had some lingering symptoms, but was able to keep things under-wraps. I don't know if everybody in remission tries to hide their illness, because lately I've been openly talking about it and writing about it. I think it's very individual. 

 

So, yeah. Probably lots of people in remission, mostly hiding. 

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