My Life with Symptoms of Paranoid Schizophrenia
When talking about paranoid schizophrenia, we must remember that everyone has a different experience with the illness. Some people live with few or no symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia, while others live with significant symptoms. I had one period in my life where I lived symptom-free for almost a decade. During that time, I held a full-time job, completed training programs, was involved in hobbies, and was more independent than at any other period in my life. But I haven't had a day entirely symptom-free in the past 10 years.
Symptoms of Paranoid Schizophrenia as Paranoia
My most frequent symptom of paranoid schizophrenia is paranoia, and much of my paranoia involves food. I struggle with thinking that food is poisoned or will make me sick. I rarely eat expired food. I never eat food left unattended in public, like in a car, at a picnic, or in an office break room. Many people delight in trying new foods, but if I taste something different than what I'm expecting or familiar with, I won't eat it.
These examples only touch the surface of my difficulties with food and are examples of my daily paranoid schizophrenia symptoms. I also struggle with a lack of motivation, social isolation, anxiety, and occasional hallucinations.
Symptoms of Paranoid Schizophrenia as Hallucinations and Psychosis
My hallucinations are generally not visual but involve touch and smell. For me, psychosis is the most challenging state because I lose touch with reality completely, hear voices, and have delusions like believing Elvis is alive or that I'm a famous religious figure. When I'm psychotic, I often require hospitalization and a medication change. The last time I was in a state of psychosis, a period that lasted six months, I was able to stabilize after an increase in my dosage. I must work hard to stay stable, and I often tell people it is a full-time job.
To participate in life more fully, I stick to routines. I make sure to get enough sleep every night. I eat a well-balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. I exercise almost daily. I schedule my meals around when I take medication because they must be taken with food. I have frequent doctor visits and blood draws. And I have a partner who helps me with all of these things, like attending each doctor appointment with me, monitoring my medications, helping me overcome difficult symptoms, and helping with all of the chores of daily living like cooking, cleaning, and paying bills.
It is unlikely that I could live outside of a treatment facility without medication, but that is where my experience with schizophrenia falls on the spectrum. Even though I'm not entirely symptom-free with medication, I'm grateful for every bit of peace, comfort, clarity, and moments of creativity I experience.
What are the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia that you experience? Share in the comments.
Chamaa, R. (2022, October 5). My Life with Symptoms of Paranoid Schizophrenia, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, June 1 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2022/10/my-life-with-symptoms-of-paranoid-schizophrenia