Here is a continuation of yesterday’s post.
A loss of internet connection is much like the loss of contact with the world and, like everything else, is frustrating and distressing. The inability to connect with people or situations is like not being able to connect with people through email, or not being able to access information for a research project. Loss of internet connection on a computer limits what you can accomplish on the computer. Schizophrenia and the depression associated with it and schizoaffective disorder can degrade you to a point of isolation and loneliness, especially from those who do not understand it. Laziness is someone who is fully capable of carrying out tasks or working, but does not do so simply because they choose to sit on the couch and watch television all day. The effects of schizophrenic illnesses is are distressing and uncomfortable while a lazy person is perfectly comfortable doing nothing. They aren’t experiencing “pop-ups” or slow speed or processing issues. They simply choose to live the lifestyle. Schizophrenics and depressives would live otherwise if the illness didn’t plague them. They often try to work or function, but things like delusions, paranoia, hallucinations, and severe anxiety can push them deep in a hole they cannot escape from. Lazy people are tuned in. They haven’t lost their internet connection, but rather they ignore it.
There is a difference between illness and sloth and it is a terrible crime of judgment to call one who is mentally ill “lazy” or “stupid” because they aren’t as involved as other people. I do believe that if one is able, they must do all they can within their ability, but it is not helpful to push them into a situation that could trigger fits of psychosis or panic. Doing all you can is the only thing you can do when afflicted with this disorder, even if it is just cleaning the house or writing, drawing, or playing music at home. People must find ways to be productive with the capabilities they do have, especially when being treated with medication and therapy. However; when people do not understand why someone isn’t working forty hours a week like everyone else, or can’t commute or drive to work on their own (due to hallucinations while driving or panic and anxiety that can endanger themselves and others if it causes the mind to go blank), or doesn’t work out in the workforce and simply earns a little money by writing from home, or even lives with their parents at age thirty-five, they judge that person as being inferior in society and lazy without any understanding of the hell in their minds. They are trying to do their best while dealing with an unmerciful illness. The struggle is terrible and people often cannot understand how the mind, a metaphysical entity that many are able to control, can eliminate the physical and emotional capabilities of someone.
I find it difficult to bear when people dismiss the concept of mental illness. Medical science can prove alterations in brain chemicals in different parts of the brain associated with emotional regulation, memory, sensory perception, and cognitive functioning, that can disrupt the processes of the neurons and cause the abnormal transmission of information. Also, many people who deny the idea of a mental disorder are in no position to do so having not struggled with the immensity of it. It angers me when people have no compassion for a person with depression or psychosis, but can only have compassion for someone with diabetes or heart disease. Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder will cost more money than any other illness due to lifelong care, expensive drugs, hospitalizations, vocational rehabilitation, supplemental security income, and various therapies. For me, one of my medications is more than $1500 a month, over $18,000 a year, and my hospitalizations (I only had two whereas some people have many throughout their lives) were much more than that. That doesn’t include the years of therapy, and rehabilitation (the latter of which thankfully was funded so it was no cost to me personally). Trips to the emergency room can be thousands of dollars and if psychotic episodes cause many trips there over a period of twenty or thirty, or even forty years, the money piles up. It is not a light hearted issue and it doesn’t go away; if I were unable to get my medication, I would become so ill I would not be able to live in society due to paranoia that causes me to erupt and lose complete touch with reality, and depression that makes me persistently suicidal. Please understand that mental illness is real and it isn’t something that doctors make up. Psychiatry is not a farce (though it can be corrupt like other areas of medicine and I can expand on my ideas about that in other posts).
I decided in my next post I would devote it entirely to the positive symptoms of schizoaffective disorder (paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized thoughts and speech) since there is a lot I can say about them. Most of what I have described so far is depression, anxiety, and negative symptoms (lack of functioning or deficiencies in personality and mental functioning).
I will post Part 3 tomorrow.