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Replying to Topic: psychosis
Created On 6/4/05 11:02 PM by Sarah


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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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7/25/05 1:48 AM
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Sarah-
Thanks for the website- it is clear and well organized.
A Lynn
 
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MR
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7/25/05 5:44 AM
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Hi Sarah,

It’s great to hear that this may be just a first episode psychosis and not schizophrenia. As Dr. Lynn mentioned in an earlier post, the prognosis and outlook is much better for psychosis that results from stress. I wish you the best of luck and I hope this passes quickly and I hope your daughter is back on her feet again before you know it.

I am amazed that your daughter dedicated a book for her classmate and wrote music, too. Your daughter must be very talented and artistic. Wow.

Thank you for the compliment. I am articulate, If I may say so myself.
You are right, I should be more understanding of my mother, she has such a hard time, it must be harder than I can possibly imagine having to deal with all my issues. I should thank her for even small compliments and with time she will slowly but surely start to see more good in me. Thanking her for small compliments will help improve our relationship.

As far as my history is concerned:
I was first hospitalized after I had just turned 17 and was diagnosed with depression and unspecified psychosis. Then I spent some years going to school and working, but I was not doing very well and eventually I stopped working and could not find a job. I was hospitalized again at 20 and was then diagnosed with some type of schizophrenia, I’m not sure which type. In any case, right now my diagnosis is schizoaffective disorder, which is slightly different than just schizophrenia because it includes a mood disorder as well. I have never been psychotic again since that episode at 20, but have been hospitalized again due to depression. I am still dealing with depression. I need to be on top of my sleep habits, for example, that is always a big issue for me. I also still deal with what is called ‘negative symptoms of psychosis’ which just means that I have a hard time interacting appropriately with other people. I am very quiet, I am not very expressive when I talk. This is not acute psychosis at all, but these are symptoms of schizophrenia, for some reason they are called ‘negative symptoms.’ So these are the two things I am dealing with right now. I am 22 now. I am still very young and there is still a lot of time for me to improve and grow.

So long,
MR
 
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Sarah
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7/25/05 10:27 PM
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Hi Malka,

I started replying to you and opened another tab but my reply just went away so here I go again. Thank you for your Brochos! We wish you a Refuah Shleimah too.

My daughter is actually very average. At present she is suffering from all the negative symptoms. This really bothers me because at the present time she is really not presentable to the public. I take her out with me for shopping tasks, to the library, etc. The last time we went to the park on Shabbos we met another frum woman who said my daughter was "so cute" and then asked me if she was okay. I said "Yes, Boruch Hashem and went away." People sometimes put one in difficult spots. Actually the symptoms you mention are psychosis symptoms. I am waiting for the anti-depressant to start working and then I hope my daughter will improve.

Got to go now. All the best.

Sarah


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Daven to Hashem - He always listens to you!
 
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MR
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7/26/05 4:37 PM
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Hi Sarah,

You are right that ‘negative symptoms’ ARE psychosis. And I suffer a lot from these symptoms that effect social interactions.

I’m sorry about the difficult situations your daughter presents. I’m also an embarrassment to my family at times, and I feel this very strongly, I can tell from their reactions and from how their interaction with me changes as soon as we are in public. It becomes very formal, very distant. I’m sure, though, that they do their best. They are in a difficult position. It makes me feel bad to constantly be a burden.

Lately I have begun to tell my parents (and my therapist) that I would like to live in a residential program. One of the reasons for this, although there are many reasons, is that I am constantly embarrassing myself and embarrassing my family. Another reason is that I am hoping to meet other woman in my situation so that I can make friends. But there are many disadvantages to living in a residence, like no privacy, a strict curfew, yucky meals, etc. It is very comfortable living at home, but for how long can I go on living here? It seems endless. I can’t depend on my parents forever. My parents are very against this idea, they want me to continue living at home. They have their own reasons, one of which is, I think, that they don’t want my illness to become public knowledge- the privacy factor. I can understand that. I’m not sure what the best decision is.

I’m sorry about the difficulties your daughter is having. I wish her a Refuah Shleimah, too. I don’t know if this is appropriate for this board, but if you let me know what her Hebrew name is, I would daven for her. If this is inappropriate, I apologize in advance.

M.R.
 
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Sarah
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7/26/05 6:59 PM
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Dear Malka

I would really like to email you privately. Perhaps I can ask admin@frumsupport.com for your email address.

Meanwhile I agree with your parents that a residential home is not a good idea if you have a good home environment. Don't you have a social worker or psychiatrist or family therapist who can meet with your parents and yourself and discuss all the issues you and your parents have?

If you want to meet other people in a similar situation as yourself I am sure there is a support group in your area. Why would you want to live with people in a residential home for a long period of time? I think that your answers and socialization can be found in a support group.

When my daughter was in hospital I met a few patients, some of whom were Jewish who were waiting to be placed. These people I found were in terrible situations at home, parents abusing them financially or them being on drugs, etc. In my point of view, group homes or foster homes etc are for people in very difficult situations with not much money.

Unless this is different in the U.S. I strongly agree with your parents on keeping you at home. Perhaps Dr. Lynn would like to comment on this major decision.

Kol Tuv

Sarah


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Daven to Hashem - He always listens to you!
 
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MR
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7/26/05 7:17 PM
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Hi Sarah,

I think you can e-mail me throught the system without my having to write out me e-mail address on the discussion board. I think if you press the 'lock' icon on the upper right corner of this message, you will be able to send me a private message. I will also try to private-message you.

Meanwhile, here are two referalls that might be of interest to you.
http://www.newyorkcityvoices.org/
New York City Voiced is a newpaper run by and for people with psychiatric disabilites. The stories on their web site are very inspiring. Many people seem to be doing very well, I even read an article of a woman who was pregnant and gave birth to a healthy child without going off her medicine. Many other inspiring stories, too.

Also, There is a magazine called Schizophrenia Digest that seems interesting, although I've only read one back issue. Perhaps you have allready heard of it, because I think they have a separate Canadian and American edition. Again, very inspiring stories about people working, going to school, getting married, owning homes. Their website is:
http://www.schizophreniadigest.com/
http://www.schizophreniadigest.ca/

I hear what you have to say about the residential program and it sounds like you are right in many ways. I will think about what you are saying.

Malka
 
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MR
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7/26/05 7:45 PM
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I just want to add that the residential program I'm thinking about is a Jewish, frum program that is supposed to be a very good one. The way the program works, is that you live in the residence for a while, and then when you are doing well the organization helps you find an apartment of your own with a roommate. So it is not permanent. You get to move out of the residence after a while if you are doing well. (I am doing well)
Conversely, without the help of this organization I would never be able to find an apartment of my own, so I would just have to continue living with my parents for a very long time. It is only natural for me to want some independence. Perhaps I am willing to sacrifice some discomfort and even some invasion of my privacy for the long-term potential of one day having my own apartment and living with a roommate.
Anyhow, I just wanted to explain the way this program works; it is not a permanent situation.

MR
 
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Sarah
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7/26/05 10:56 PM
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Dear Malka,

If you are doing well, why would you want to go into the resident home? If your parents give their consent, will you be able to move back with them should it not work out? Lastly, maybe you are too high-end for the resident home. Wouldn't they be able to partner you up with a frum person in a joint apartment?

Just some thoughts of mine.

Schizophreniadigest.ca is excellent. They have lots of copies in the hospital. I have lots of other websites but right now I have to prepare for my guests.

So until next time,

Sarah


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Daven to Hashem - He always listens to you!
 
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MR
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7/27/05 4:32 PM
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Hi Sarah,

You are absolutely right- I am doing a bit too well to fit in at the residence program. Never-the-less, I see no other way for me to get some independence, some 'space'. Unfortunately, my parents are not willing to help me find an apartment or to help me look into other options. (Are there other options?) They want me home, period.

I appreciate your input. It is a major decision and ultimately my therapist and doctor will help me make this decision.

Wishing you well,

MR
 
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MR
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7/27/05 4:43 PM
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Hi Sarah,

I just got your private message. Did you get mine?

Enjoy the guests. Shep Nachas!

MR
 
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Sarah
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7/27/05 6:32 PM
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Hi Malka,

Yes I got your private message. I am sending you email. Please email me back.

Sarah


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Daven to Hashem - He always listens to you!

Edited: 7/27/05 at 6:56 PM by Sarah
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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7/28/05 12:41 AM
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MR-
I do not feel I know you well enough to advise you. Better to bring it up with your therapist. If you want to "transition" into independent housing, I am not opposed to the idea- very often taking steps is the best way to address a problem rather than plunge in. My reservation about living in a "group home" is the possible future social ramifications for you regarding shidduchim. Again, I do not know you, the residence, your parents, etc, but this concern crossed my mind. I would ask the residence what percentage of ex-residents get married, if that is a goal for you. Also, I like Sarah's suggestion about group therapy/support group.
a lynn
 
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MR
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7/28/05 9:04 AM
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Dear Dr. Lynn,

Very few of the residents go on to get married. Many are very low-functioning and need to remain in the residence indefinitely. But since I am doing well, it is likely that I will be considered a candidate for the supportive housing program at some point in the future, and that I will be able to move on. Those that do move in to supportive housing are usually self-sufficient and lead independent lives while the organization subsidizes their rent. Only a select few get married, and they are likely to marry within the mental health community.

It is true that a support group should help alleviate loneliness, and that the desire for friends is not a valid reason to move into a residence. This is something for me to think about. I will try to locate a support group in my area. I know of two, actually, but neither of them cater to people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective. Perhaps I might fit in to a group for depression and bipolar, perhaps it is worth a try, perhaps there are a variety of participants in the group whose diagnoses do not exactly fit into those two categories, in which case I might fit in. I will look into this.

I am learning to make peace with the fact that I may never marry. It is sad, but there are other ways in which to be productive and lead a satisfying life. If I do marry, I will marry someone else with a mental illness, perhaps even someone who also lives in a residential program. In that case, my living in a residence will not be considered a disadvantage. To the contrary, we will be able to understand each others situation.

In any case, the first step would be to look into support groups in my area and see if that satisfies my need for companionship and support.

If anybody knows of a support group geared towards schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorders in the New York City or Brooklyn area, I would appreciate a referral.

Thank you Dr. Lynn and Sarah for your input.
MR
 
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Sarah
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8/6/05 11:24 PM
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I'm wondering if anyone knows anything about orthomolecular medicine in treating mental disorders?

I heard that cold-pressed flax seed oil has omega 3 in it and together with niacin and other B vitamins can be a cure for some types of schizophrenia.

At what point will psychiatrists allow one to try these remedies together with conventional medicines?

Kol Tuv

Sarah


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Daven to Hashem - He always listens to you!

Edited: 8/7/05 at 8:30 PM by Sarah
 
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Dr. Lynn, Psy.D.
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8/10/05 1:04 AM
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Sarah-
Never heard of that.

MR-
You may want to try some of the clinics in Brooklyn like Tikva or Counterforce- they may offer groups. In the city, you can try the Metropolitan Clinic for mental health on the West Side or Postgraduate Center for Mental Health in midtown on the East Side. Let me know how your search goes.
a lynn
 
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Sarah
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8/10/05 10:47 PM
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Dear Dr. Lynn

Today my daughter was diagnosed as having schizophreniform disorder. I read on the internet that after 6 months she may be alright if she is one of the lucky ones.

She is starting to do different tasks on her own like baking cookies. It is very slow but it is a milestone after being very ill for 11 weeks.

Her Day Hospital is going well.

Sarah


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Daven to Hashem - He always listens to you!
 
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MR
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8/12/05 3:19 PM
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Thank you Dr. Lynn.
I will look into your suggestions.

MR
 
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Sarah
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8/14/05 1:21 PM
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Sarah
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8/21/05 8:26 PM
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Our GP told me that using orthomolecular medicine requires approximately $400 worth of Vitamins a month. You are not guaranteed of a successful outcome.

Sarah


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Sarah
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9/18/05 12:07 AM
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Finally my daughter has a diagnosis.

She has undifferentiated schizophrenia.

If anyone has gone through the same illness, I would love to hear from them.

Sarah


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