Tips for Relief from Always Thinking About Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a big part of my life. There are times (almost always) when I think it is too big of a part of my life. I doubt anyone wants to believe that their whole life and thoughts revolve around their mental illness, but hardly a moment goes by when I'm not thinking about schizophrenia. For example, I frequently have symptoms that make me aware of my illness.
But thoughts about schizophrenia are so much more than my schizophrenia symptoms. When I think of traveling, I think of what I will do if I lose my medications or how I will make sure to get the food I need at the time I need to take my pills. Those are just two examples of things that go through my mind when traveling comes up. There are also fears about being unable to meet the commitments I make. I frequently have to cancel plans because I'm struggling.
Forgetting to Think About Schizophrenia
I don't know of any way to have a thinking-of-schizophrenia-free day. Still, I have learned that there are short periods when I can momentarily forget about the illness. In the new year, I want to practice as many of those activities that give me respite from the constant awareness of my diagnosis.
One of the ways I lose the weight of living with a chronic mental illness is through laughter. Laughing, especially with your whole body, makes it difficult to focus on other thoughts. Deep belly laughs seem to take up all the space in our bodies and minds. My husband makes me laugh harder than anyone else, but there are ways to laugh even when we find ourselves alone.
To try to get laughing when I am alone, I turn to the animal channel, and the silly things that pets and farm animals do can make me laugh. I also try to watch comedians that I find funny; TikTok videos of babies and toddlers are often laugh-out-loud funny, and some movies and books can give me a good chuckle.
Another way I can find relief for a few minutes is to listen to a song that I know and love and sing along. I find it hard to hold the thought about living with schizophrenia in my head simultaneously as I'm trying to sing and remember lyrics. If I sing loudly and enthusiastically, it can, on occasion, also start a laughing fit.
Solving puzzles often makes me enter that zone where I don't think about my problems, symptoms, or how difficult it is to live with schizophrenia. I play the New York Times Wordle, Mini Crossword, and Spelling Bee daily. It's difficult when your brain is activated in problem-solving mode to hold thoughts about much else.
Having schizophrenia can be overwhelming, and thinking about schizophrenia all the time can color our days and moods (I also find it can lead to feelings of self-pity, which I dislike). So, I use these mini self-care ideas to break from the heaviness of living with mental illness. They aren't magic, but they give me some relief, and I'll take what I can get to avoid thoughts of schizophrenia, if even for a moment.
Chamaa, R. (2023, January 11). Tips for Relief from Always Thinking About Schizophrenia, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, March 22 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2023/1/tips-for-relief-from-always-thinking-about-schizophrenia