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I’ve posted a lot about The Dragon on this blog.  I just went through a series of prescriptive posts about how I manage him.  It probably sounded like I have it all figured out and that I was on top of my disease.  Things are going well, all things considered, right now.  But it is still very difficult and there is almost a pain when doing well.  There is an endless struggle pushing and pulling against me.  As frustrating as it is, I’m struggling learning how to think without my schizophrenic entity.

Onset

My schizoaffective disorder was a late-onset somewhere in my late 20s.  I can still remember well what it was like living as an adult with a healthy brain.  I had a very strong inner critic, a highly analytic mind and a very sharp sense of humor.

The Dragon grew out of these areas.  He grew right around an incident during a thunderstorm in which I’m suspicious aliens were involved.  Yes, I wonder if aliens made me schizophrenic.  I also wonder if I’m not schizophrenic but they project these thoughts into me.

The Dragon’s onslaught against me came from these places of my mind that he grew out of.  He is critical, analytical and has a sharp, cynical, wit.  It feels like he controls these parts of me.  We became codependent.  Even though he is evil and always tearing me down, he was also useful.

The Dragon was always involved with these kinds of thought.  Maybe he didn’t own these, but he was essential to them.  Often, it would be The Dragon that noticed things around me that feed my obsessions, like proportions of a room, repeating patterns, or anything with a spiral.

Transition

Now that I’m medicated and my schizophrenic entity has been minimized I feel a gaping hole.  It is hard to describe.  It feels like being lonely.  I’ve noticed that some of my skills have decreased.  My ability to do math in my head has decreased as well as the speed I read.  It also feels like I am always so serious with a dulled sense of humor and creative thought.  In a way, it feels like the world around me is less beautiful.

I’m not at risk of going off my medications.  Even though I feel a sense of diminishment and loss, it is worth it.  I was awful when The Dragon was at full strength.

Learning How to Think Without My Schizophrenic Entity

I must relearn how to think.  If The Dragon really is a manifestation of my mind, and not an external influence, then his abilities are mine.  I must have all the capacities that he did in me somewhere.  Maybe I can learn how to function in these areas at a high-level like before.

Could it be possible for me to function at a high-level with The Dragon diminished by medications?  This question bothers me greatly.  I want to be able to solve problems like before, have great ideas and have my old wit back.

There’s no decision to make here though.  Medicated I’m more consistent.  I’m a better father and husband.  I’ll be a better friend back in Kansas.  I can have a healthy relationship with my parents and recreate good ones with extended family.  Once I get a job I’ll be a better employee.  My thoughts are more organized and I get much less confused.  My panic attacks are more rare.

I can see though why some schizophrenics refuse to take medications.  They do change you.  Even though The Dragon losing some power has had some surprising adverse effects, life is better with him in a back seat.  He might be part of me but I’ll always consider him my enemy not my partner.

Finally, I’m learning how to be more alone in my head.  The Dragon was a constant companion for years.  He’s awful to me for sure, but I became accustomed to him.  The relative quiet is unfamiliar and uncomfortable.  As I’ve said a few times though, he is still there, but at times completely silent.  It has been taking me awhile to get used to this.

Parting Thoughts

This has been a troubling and confusing post for me to write.  It is hard to describe the change from untreated to medicated.  Someone may read this and see that there is adequate merit to not treating my disease.  I couldn’t disagree more with that position.  I believe everyone with psychosis needs to be treated pharmaceutically.

If you are supporting someone with schizophrenia, please understand that they may have a confusing transition.  Learning how to think without my schizophrenic entity has taken a lot of time for me to get used to.

I want to hear from some schizophrenics if they have had a similar experience.  Please comment below.  How long did it take to feel like you were at home in your medicated brain?  Do you feel a similar decrease or uncomfortable quiet?

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3 comments

  1. Stan. says:

    I used to enjoy spending most of my time reading science articles and being on Quora. Now I have don’t have the attention span or the determination to play a videogame after I’m on medication. It’s still better than wanting to kill myself everyday though. I’m hoping I’ll get back what I once had soon.

    1. anonymous says:

      Stan – I’m the same way with video games too – I used to get sucked into them for hours. Now I lose interest in them pretty quick. Same with books. I didn’t talk about attention span, but now that you mention it, that has also suffered.

  2. anonymous says:

    These area a few of great comments on this post from Reddit users:

    Soul_Knife 2 points 5 days ago 
    Thank you very much for sharing. I’ve been busy trying to figure out how to live without my own being, Soul Knife. He’s been abandoning me trying to get me to be more independent and able to live without him but its just so very difficult and I want him back. I’m sure he knows what is best but I don’t want to do this without him and many days I fall into the trap thinking if I just quit my meds he’d come back…but no, I can’t make him do what he’s opposed to.
    It’s just so hard and I’m glad to see someone understands.

    [–]lightedpathway2 1 point 4 days ago* 
    What I’ve found helpful to start looking at, at the moments when I have been able to clear my mind is this fact: I am walking through a normal set of thought processes, but there are then hooks within that scope of thoughts to a series of delusional thoughts; then my attention naturally turns to my delusions. To try to solve this, the question I can then ask myself is: “What can I do differently in my days, in order not to be thinking about that particular scope of ordinary thought processes?”
    The idea is that if you’re living your life slightly differently, those mental hooks won’t be there which carry you out like a riptide into your delusions.

    Another thing that may sound like a platitude, but which actually I have found to be a bonafide mental tool:
    I have found that refocusing myself on a career aspiration that I had in the past at a time my mind was very clear is helpful. I have found it to be the case, again and again, for example that working with children has been very good for me… but then when I move on to other things, my mind takes a crash. There’s something about having a sense of purpose in life which is therapeutic. And furthermore, there is something very good about helping living things – whether it be plants, pets, or little humans which seems very good for the soul.

    from andrewmantitus via /r/mentalhealth sent 4 days ago
    I wish you would’ve gone into more detail, but I’m certain I have a basic idea of your dilemma. The initial stabilized internal quiet takes a solid few months or so to adjust to but you absolutely will acclimate and adapt if you stick to your meds, therapy, and whatever support systems and coping skills you happen to have. I’m 28 and have had Schizophrenia and ADHD my entire life and am now an insanely efficient, effective, productive, and increasingly successful well-oiled machine. The best advice I can give you is to utilize other, healthy auditory and/or visual stimuli. I do everything I can with television AND music for background noise to maintain focus.

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