Early intervention in Psychosis and Neurosis is vital, to have a better prognosis as well as live a satisfying, purposeful and meaningful life. Early intervention allows for the opportunity to treat the symptoms before they become worse. Research have shown that most people who had early intervention to their mental health issues have a better prognosis or recovery journey than the others.
I am high functioning as a result of early intervention to nip my symptoms in the bud before they became unmanageable. Folks if you are reading this post and are experiencing mental health issues please seek help by contacting the early intervention team if you have one in your area or your doctor, for the earlier the better. Don't be ashamed because if you don't seek help early, your symptoms will get worse and become difficult to manage.
Finally adhere strictly to your prescribed treatment which may be a combination of medication and psychological input.
Before I commence on this contentious topic I must put a caveat that I strongly have a personal relationship with my Heavenly Father. However I do not get overwhelmed with religious practices nor get intoxicated by it. As Karl Max once said "Religion is the opiate for the masses". Religious extremism that preach against medical model and abstinence from taking medication is not only toxic but act as a cog in the wheel of mental health recovery.
Most people with mental health issues in developing countries are brainwashed against taking medication as it's believed they will be cured by religious practices. I experienced situations whereby loved ones were denied intervention until their symptoms became chronic due to religious believes.
Folks I will encourage you to wise up in your quest in getting a broader knowledge and understanding in your treatment plan. Remember men of God /leaders whilst unwell seek the best medical intervention available. Although the word of God nourishes the spirit and have a positive impact on our state of mind. It is also my view that medication and psychological intervention has been shown to improve the quality of life of people with a diagnosis of both Neurosis and Psychosis.
In my case I have been able to balance my recovery with various types of protective factors this includes listening to music, work, family, and friends. I have always adhered to my prescribed medication strictly and been able to discuss any known or potential side-effects with my doctor. I will encourage you also to do so. If you are reading this post and lives with mental health issues or have a family/ friend who suffer similar issues please encourage them to seek treatment.
In most cultures mental health issue is associated with unclean spirit, demon possession and witchcraft.
Research have shown that 1 in 4 will experience mental health issue in their life time. Does it mean therefore 25% of the world population are witches or possessed by evil spirit or demons?
I know this is an uncharted territory that will raise eyebrows however I want if possible many responses to help me solve this enigma. I am very interested in this topic as I want answers for my sordid experience and abuse in my childhood. At age 9 in September 1978. I was sent to boarding school by my lovely parents who wanted the best education for me. 2 weeks into my stay I was accused of inflicting malaria through witchcraft. I was beaten, deprived of sleep and ostracised this was a game changer in my life.
I became condemned and damaged psychologically. Most people did not want anything to do with me. I was publicly humiliated, tortured and subjected to inhuman degrading treatment. This was when I lost trust in people. In the culture I was growing up it was believed someone can be initiated through food and when one passed away the witchcraft will be found in the stomach. This was when I stopped eating peoples food because I was scared of being poisoned. From my experience/education/treatment both CBT & EMDR. I can now say the genesis of my mental health issue especially delusional symptoms stem from my false accusation as a child witch.
Research carried out by University of Warwick concluded that people abused nor bullied as a child have a tendency to develop mental health issue later in life. From the foregoing it can be said that is not mental health issue that is demon possession nor witchcraft but the abuse melted out on innocent people by wrongly accusing them of being witches that triggers or caused mental health issues in people. Those fake men of God especially in developing countries who constantly accused innocent people of being witches are not only tortiously liable but also destroying innocent people excellent mental health.
Folks today I would like to talk about domestic violence and mental health. There is a general consensus that people with mental health are perpetrators of domestic abuse. The media has done nothing but exacerbate this theory. I must confess there has been incidents when some awful things have happened and it turns out that the person had a diagnosis. However one thing the media has failed to do is to talk about people with mental health issues can also be the victim in the relationship. I have spoken to so many men with mental illness in this kind of situations whereby they are victims of domestic violence.
Research have shown 1 in 4 women suffers domestic violence and 1 in 6 men too. Research have also shown the correlation between domestic violence and onset and worsening of mental health issues on the victims. People with a diagnosis of mental health issues especially depression suffer a great deal in domestic abuse. This is exacerbated by the perpetrators making the victim feel worthless and this make the victim mood down spiral which in turn affect their self worth and dignity. Most victims of domestic violence put up with abusive relationship because of fear of rejection coupled with mental health stigma which is very prevalent in our society.
Folks a diagnosis of mental health issues is not a license for the perpetrators of domestic violence to violate or abuse their victims. I would like to urge folks reading this post to stand up tall and fight against domestic violence. Always remember mental health issues diagnosis is a label not who you are. You are an extraordinary and exceptional being. Don't let your dignity or self worth be compromised for you are unique and special. Don't stay in an abusive relationship for you deserve better. There are nice and kind people out there that will love you the way you are irrespective of your label or diagnosis.
Stress exacerbates mental health issues is a fact underpinned by empirical and medical research. Stress can emanates from societal and media stigmatisation of people experiencing mental health issues, as well as being unemployed, financial difficulties, family and relationships. People with mental health issues ability to cope with stress can be very challenging.
Stress triggers low mood in me as well as my ability to do things or think rationally become impaired as my symptoms especially positive ones become worse. However I have learnt over the years to try to minimise stressful situations. I know is inevitable but good stress management by doing what makes me happy. As well as listening to all genre of music helps.
Sleep helps me too. I ensure I have quality sleep. When not able to sleep hypnotics and benzodiazepines facilitates good sleep for me. Secondly eating good food especially fruits, vegetables, and fish. I ensure I look good as this boast my confidence and helps me to erode the status quo and stereotypes of someone with Psychosis who is always seen in negative light.
Making new friends especially people with similar symptoms and experiences like me as well as raising mental health awareness to all and sundry helps me to keep stress away. However I tried to stay away from toxic environments or people who may be bad influence. No drugs nor alcohol due to the fact I take my medication religiously.
My primary objective is that people with mental health issues must endeavour including those without mental health issues however with a genetic predisposition must ensure they are not overwhelmed by stress as they can be very vulnerable and susceptible to mental health issues.
A friend of mine asked me recently. Johnson why are you always happy? I answered friend I have much to be happy for in my life. I cannot enumerate because the list is endless. I was bruised, battered, and broken however I refused to give up. I always believe in never ever to give up. For is not over until is over. A time in my life I was deprived of water and I had to drink urine. I remembered begging for Coca Cola and a generous police officer bought me one. I remembered when I had only one shoe adidas trainers and a relative wanted it and I gave it and worked barefooted.
I remembered sleeping with 16 people in one room and confined to an area with a violation attracting sanction. I remembered working in a farm picking flowers and paid peanuts and called a slave and not allowed to eat with them. I remembered losing my memory completely and was like a vegetable and Zombie combined. I remembered been giving an injection and it was like I was crushed by a Bulldozer because of the excruciating and agonising pain. I remembered being mocked and ridiculed.
Then came the antithesis I decided either to be down or get up and I decided on the latter. I remembered going to German lessons and not understanding a word but I was determined to succeed and I forged ahead. I remembered attending law lectures and seminars at Queen Mary experiencing thought block however I was determined to succeed. I remembered attending lectures at London South Bank and was confused albeit determined.
Conclusively my friend said "Whaoooooooooooo" I can now see the reason for your happiness. From nothing to something. He went on to say there is no testimony without a test. Dearest folks don't let anyone write you off. You can make it if you don't give up. Be tough like a Cookie!!
Healthy eating play a pivotal and pertinent role in mental health. Research shows people with mental health conditions especially those on antipsychotics medications are more likely to have their life span reduced by 25 years due to plethora of issues including metabolic syndrome a side-effect of taking antipsychotic. However this can be controlled by eating healthy especially fruits and vegetables.
Most antipsychotic medication induced hunger and care must be taken to eat wisely and healthily to minimise damage to ones health. I was once obese due to an antipsychotic medication. I could not stop eating and I was mostly eating junk food and my cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar went over the roof. Until the medication was changed I have to be on antihypertensive medication however today I know better because of my acquired knowledge and listening to other people who suffered similar problem.
Folks I know is not easy to change ones eating habit however considering the longterm effect of binge and unhealthy eating especially when on some antipsychotic medication. I will strongly advice medication review as well as eating healthy. I benefited from Aripripazole and my food cravings is minimal. I must put a caveat here that what work for me may not work for you however let us endeavour to watch what we eat. Kudos to Jamie Oliver and others for promoting healthy eating.
The myth about child witchcraft in Africa.
Children in Africa most specifically in Nigeria are accused of witchcraft. This is an area that affects me psychologically, as I was once accused of witchcraft as a child. I was accused of inflicting someone with malaria in my boarding school and I was marginalised, stigmatised, abused, ostracised, tortured, victimised, scorned, and subjected to inhuman degrading treatment.
Most recently my attention has been drawn to this Nigerian child that was rescued by Anna Ringgren Loven. This was a starving child whose parents have abandoned him, citing that he is a witch. When I came across this story. It triggered my pain and ordeal in the hands of my accusers and abusers. I was so ignited that I felt I needed to pen down my experience.
One thing that baffled me is the so called churches which are run by very powerful so called men of God who have seized upon the fears of the Nigerian People by making them believe that these poor innocent children are actually witches. I cannot mentioned names but some have made money in film productions and others have resulted in physically abusing these children by subjecting them to physical and psychological torture to confess being witches.
Those who prey on the vulnerable and subject them to torture and inhuman degrading treatment will face justice. Fake pastors, fake prophets are sprouting out everywhere and they tell people what they like to hear. "You are not prospering because you are bewitched".
People are the architect of their misfortune. Don't blame anyone for your poverty rather add value to yourself and acquire knowledge and understanding. African leaders Shame on you for allowing this barbaric and wicked practices of burning and abusing children alleged to be witches.
How can a child you brought into this world be a witch? This is clearly child abuse. I use this platform to urge African leaders to criminalise and sanction anyone who perpetrate such wickedness on a child. At present the UN convention on the Right of the Child needs to be ratified by all countries.
A life enduring illness is suppose to attract sympathy, empathy, love, support, and warmth. However being diagnosed with schizophrenia not only rob you of your social status but your dignity and self worth. One is seen as a plague, a walking time explosive ready to explode any second, because of the negative press and beliefs about schizophrenia. The biggest stereotype is VIOLENCE. In reality this is not the case. Most people with diagnosis of psychosis including schizophrenia are gentle, meek, and humble. Research shows that they are more likely to be attacked and marginalised by others due to stigma attached to the condition.
I lost my good friends due to my diagnosis. Most people like me at first meeting but when they know about my diagnosis they drop me like is hot. (GO AWAY) However I have decided to forge ahead in life because I'm not the architect of my illness. If I was suffering from a lifelong and enduring physical health illness I will attract support and love. What a double standard? I will never ever give up the fight to ensure mental illness attract similar parity with physical health with the associated societal understanding and love for the ill.
However I won new friends due to my diagnosis too. All we need is love and acceptance. I vow never to give up until a diagnosis of Mental illness including Schizophrenia attract same sympathy and empathy like Cancer.
Its written for my people perish for lack of knowledge and in your getting get wisdom and understanding. Psychosis is an enduring and in most cases life long illness. However it can be managed by understanding the illness and treatment and this entails a great deal of knowledge.
Knowledge will enable you to accept your diagnosis and not be in denial. Psychosis either Bipolar or Schizophrenia is synonymous with physical health condition called Diabetes Mellitus either type 1 or 2. Diabetes we all know is caused by ones Pancreas not producing insulin or not producing enough and this is always treated by medication and Insulin daily. Failure to treat this condition can be life threatening. On the other hand Psychosis requires medication which must be taken religiously to help with our chemical imbalance in the brain. However, as a result of societal stigma, people choose to be in denial coupled with people who are myopic and ignorant who believe and think there is nothing like mental illness.
My advice to such people is how about suffering bouts of delusional symptoms, paranoia, hallucination, thought disorder, thought insertion, thought withdrawal, word salad, neologism and mood swings? But then again I think its because a lot of people are in denial and have refused to acquire the knowledge about Mental Health illness.
That being said my advice to my fellow service users is to be knowledgeable about your mental health condition and get a greater understanding about all available resources to you. Most significantly be very aware of what type of medication and therapy suits you best. Its important to research about medication and its potential and known side-effect before commencing treatment. When in crisis is better to have someone who can advocate for you as well as have an advance directive in relation to your treatment. This should be initiated before any relapse.
Knowledge give you what is called INSIGHT. Being insightful is a key factor in the treatment of psychosis. Being insightful help you in regards to your medication adherence, to seek help on time, being pro-active, and essentially to accept your diagnosis. Having insight come with time however it should be the priority of every service user. I know it can be difficult when one is newly diagnosed however it come with time. It took me 4 hospital admission and enormous support from professionals and good protective factors to arrive at my destination.