The Mental Illness Awareness Week blog, sharing stories of recovery, personal experiences, and mental health/mental illness news.


Further Medical Counsel

Something tells me there is more to my story than I currently know.

By no means am I a medical doctor and this is not medical advice. Rather, it is a very brief account of symptoms that exist prompting me to seek further medical counsel to see if I have co-morbid schizophrenia and autism. I speculate that the autism (in this case I refer to high functioning autism or Asperger's Syndrome Disorder along the autism spectrum) occurred first, followed by childhood trauma, then depression and anxiety, and finally the break from reality with schizophrenia from the lifelong trauma.

I take three drugs for schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety, and two of those types (anti-psychotics and anti-depressants) are also used for treating autism symptoms. Although reliability and validity of online tests may be open to criticism, I feel that I should seek face to face medical counsel to discuss early childhood symptoms, (including hand biting from frustration of not achieving independent child play goals) and adult symptoms.
Two of my biggest symptoms are short attention span on subjects I am not interested in (even if important) and intense focus in other subjects where there is interest (even if unimportant).

Other symptoms include:
• rigidity to routine
• discomfort to forced novelty
• social aversion of social situations
• intense need for privacy (much more than the average person)
• required rigid organization (when untreated with medication and counselling)
• hyperactivity, obsessive compulsiveness, addictive personality
• extreme sensitivity to information overload that the average person would process as normal
• prolonged childhood night terrors
• attention span and concentration difficulties (possibly related to ADHD)

I also have a hint of a narcissistic personality at times. I am also highly independent, require lots of alone time (much more than the average person), and I have a fascination and fixation on geometric properties and algebraic functions (so much so, my mind draws geometric shapes and equations--in my mind and superimposed onto reality--when I am not focused upon other thoughts).

David Albert Newman, CGA, CIA, ACCA (UK), B. Comm. (Hons.) with Distinction
"Anything is possible if we let our mind wander away from standardization towards creativity."
φ = π - 2^2/φ^2 + e

Learn more about autism


Hoarder, Positive Self Talk and the Internal Monitoring System

I am a pack rat/hoarder.

Before I was treated for schizophrenia, I used to be somewhat of a pack rat/hoarder but I was very particular about being organized (everything MUST be in the right place and at correctly precise angles--such as right angle, diagonal, etc.). After being treated for schizophrenia with medication and rehabilitation counselling, I am a much more relaxed person. Only problem is that in daily life, I have become VERY disorganized and an extreme hoarder. I am slowly learning to stop doing so with help from my brother, Kevy Newman. I am learning to group similar items together and to put objects away when I am done with them. In a sense, I am learning early grade school skills again.

When I sometimes get overwhelmed about this and even depressed, I reach back into my mental health toolkit that I learned at CMHA Winnipeg Region to practice positive self talk. I use positive self talk daily since, for me, schizophrenia is a chronic condition (I hestitate to fully call it a mental illness since that denotes only negative imagery and it dismisses benefits such as extreme creativity and innovation).

I still get visions in my mind during the morning that are neutral image events that run like movies in my mind from the past day, but then somehow the visions silently speak to me in a negative manner. It is very hard to explain. It is as if there is an injection of something into my mind that makes neutral images negative. But the positive self talk helps, since I tell the neutral images with the negative message to be quiet (I say this aloud), and then I re-affirm myself about my positive life with positive self talk.

A lot of this would not be possible, if it were not for what I have coined the brain's "Internal Monitoring System" (IMS). I assert that this IMS keeps the individual connected to reality. For instance, I still have symptoms of thinking that songs on the television weather channel are specifically designed/played for me with reference to my girlfriend as chosen by her and played by her, for me, by her contacting the television weather channel and telling them what to play. I may have a connection but so too may many other individuals. As such, my IMS brings me back to reality to know that my delusion is untrue. Another current delusion was that my girlfriend is really my nurse. Now, she has very caring and comforting qualities, in addition to being very attractive and intelligent, but she is not a nurse in the purest form. Thus, my IMS had to be reactivated to remind me that is a delusion and to enable me to share the delusion with her.

I like to think of the IMS similar to the disk check/diagnostic system of the Central Processing Unit (CPU) for a computer. It can self-check for errors and correct the file, registry, and logic errors. I think similar circumstances occur for schizophrenia once recovered. But, before recovery, the IMS goes into remission/hibernation. That is why sometimes individuals with schizophrenia,
1) become disconnected from reality (in probably most, if not all, cases),
2) cannot tell right from wrong (not in all cases).

Therefore, a critical key to studying schizophrenia acute and chronic psychosis (and other mental health issue psychosis) is to understand what the IMS is, and what activates, deactivates, and reactivates it.

David Albert Newman, CGA, CIA, ACCA (UK), B. Comm. (Hons.) with Distinction
"Anything is possible if we let our mind wander away from standardization towards creativity."
φ = π - 2^2/φ^2 + e