The Blog

The Gift of Love

I’m sure you have all heard the story about a king that had two sons and he was trying to decide who would inherit the family throne. One day he told his two sons that they had 24 hours to fill the largest room of the castle with anything.  Anything that would fill the room completely.  Both sons went to town to try to find what would completely fill this large room.  The first son brought back straw and jammed all the straw he could in this room.  The father agreed that he had done a good job.  The second son brought back a candle and filled the room with light.  It filled every possible spot in that room.  Guess who won.  Yes the second son.

The only obstacle to everyone’s candle shining brightly (peace of heart) is fear.  Fear of receiving and giving love.  Where love is feared, there is always uncertainty, limitation and pain. Remembering that everything changes; thoughts, emotions, our body (yes that means wrinkles…) it gives us hope.  By seeking love and peace outside ourselves we will weep each time another idol falls.  Looking inward for moments each day, the power to light your heart with peace is all yours.

Christmas is celebrating LIFE.  Celebrating your own life every day, beholding your body with love and respect as a vehicle that will help you accomplish your life goals. Christ did try to show us what unconditional love is all about.

Welcome the effects of love this Christmas. Host the gift of a Presence (LOVE), that will bring more than a temporary smile.

Rejoice this Christmas and celebrate YOUR LIFE with others.

 

Merry Christmas!

 

A Man’s Story: When and How Do You Tell People You Are Schizophrenic?

Telling someone you are a schizophrenic can be as difficult as coming out of the closet for a gay person or telling someone you are a Yankees fan.

We are all mutated cells, meaning we are not perfect. If more people could see a mental illness like that, then the world would be a better place for those diagnosed with schizophrenia. There is little education about how to be friends with a schizophrenic. Even though they may have symptoms under control, many schizophrenics feel they cannot be open about their illness for fear of being judged or labeled.

So when do you tell someone you are schizophrenic? I usually use this response, “I had a mental breakdown when I was in the Army,” and then I leave it at that. If the person inquires further, I might answer that I don’t want to talk about it.

I have told people I am schizophrenic before, and for the most part, they had no response. If it is another veteran such as myself, they usually say, “I am sorry you had to go through that.”

I often wonder if someone would understand if I told them about my diagnosis? When I tell someone, will they imagine a gunman, like the one in Arizona or the one at Virginia Tech?

Once when I was going to get a haircut, I had some time to kill, so I went to the bar beside my barber shop. There was a man sitting at the bar having a conversation with himself. Many of us diagnosed with schizophrenia have conversations with ourselves. Someone had told me that this person was schizophrenic. They used the gesture where their finger goes around in circles close to the temple on their head to tell me what was wrong with the man.

They said, “He has issues. He is crazy.”

This response made me mad so I said, “So am I.”

They laughed. “No, I mean he’s like schizophrenic.”

I smiled and nodded.

Back at the bar near my barber shop, a lady was sitting on the other side of the man, along with her friends. She stared at him for a few seconds and then turned around to her friends.

“He asked me if I was a spy,” she told her friends.

I eventually got my haircut and decided to go back to the bar to see if I could talk to the man or even help him in some way, but he was gone.

Usually when I tell someone about my diagnosis of schizophrenia, it is because our conversation is about feelings or emotions. Some of those people have gone on to ask me, “What is it like?”

I do my best to explain by answering that I constantly question what is real and what is not. I become the educator, trying my best to explain to them that this mental health diagnosis can be treated.

About A Psychotic Relapse

I am not sure why but sometimes people have to live circumstances again and again until they understand the truth or reality.   I guess we need it to hurt enough to let go of addictions or vicious circles.

In 2011, after being off marijuana for 5 years, my son admitted publicly that he could never smoke marijuana again, because he knew for sure this was the trigger for his psychotic episodes.  In early 2013 he had a few puffs and he claims it didn’t bother him.  He kept taking small puffs here and there and still says he didn’t see it coming.  What he didn’t know is that marijuana does cumulative damage, in the same realm as cigarette smoking or not paying your credit cards; it catches up with you.

When it happens to you, you can’t see what’s happening because your brain function is altered and you truly think this is reality.  As the saying goes “you can’t see the forest for the trees”; or is it the other way around?

He didn’t seem worried about money even thought he didn’t have a job. He was talking and thinking in grander, thinking that his investments in the stock market were going to do so well that he wouldn’t have to work again; so he quit his job.  He kited his credit cards and told no one.  He kept bragging me for my wisdom.  At this point I communicated with his wife and told her to check him for drugs.   In November 2013 he was calling his wife and stepdaughter in code names and talking very religiously.  He was admitted to the hospital and was diagnosed as schizophrenia (dull).

Our brain and nervous system has a protective sheath called myelin, like in electrical wiring, that protects your whole nervous system,. Some people are born with high sensitivity and unusual neural wiring.  With abuse and aging the wiring (nervous) system gets more fragile  and may encounter challenges.

The reason I write this blog is to try to inform people exactly how circumstances unveil themselves when someone is becoming psychotic.  When you nip it in the bud, the psychosis will not unravel as far and will create way less damage in your body and your personal life. My son is one of the lucky ones.  He knows that in 4 to 6 months he will have the tools to hopefully wean himself off his meds and return to a normal life.  The question is did he learn his lesson this time?

 

Kindest regards

Charlotte LeBlanc

Nutritionist

Mental Health Advocate

 

 

Meditation For Health

Things can get pretty hairy and overwhelming at times when dealing with day-to-day ups and downs.  How can we slow things down at a more manageable pace?  Stop.  Just stop.  It’s easier said than done.

Sometimes your mind just wants to keep racing and running off on tangents that don’t even pertain to your daily life.

How can you stop?  Concentrating on our breath slows down the thinking process, therefore slowing down the nervous system and relaxing the rest of the body.

Find a comfortable and quiet spot.  Sit with a straight spine, with your eyes semi-opened, hands on your lap. Closed eyes have a tendency to send you in dreamland, therefore more thoughts and stories.  Scan your whole body starting from your head and finishing with your feet.  This two-minute exercise puts you back in your body and grounds you. Imagine a white light going through and comforting you as you do this scanning.  Let go of thoughts as they come up; go back to your breath.  It is a constant movement of letting go of thought and coming back to the breath.  The breath is the thing giving us life.  Being grateful for your breath also helps calm the mind.

If you find this difficult, start with five minutes twice a day.  If you find you are falling asleep, it means your body is thanking you; you needed it more than you thought.  Go back to your breath.  Going to the breath brings us back home to our body in the present moment.  What creates anxiety is going to the future or the past and worrying about the present.  Meditation brings you to the present and helps your mind and body to slow down.  Calmer mind, clearer thoughts, healthier body.

Simple:

  • Sit in an upright position, hands on your lap, preferably with eyes semi-opened. 
  • Scan your body slowly, being gentle and kind.
  • Concentrate on breath, being grateful this breath is giving you life.
  • Let go of thought
  • Go back to the breath

At first it is like anything else, when you learn to drive a standard you stall it.  The more you drive it the smoother it gets.  Meditation is the same.  At first your mind will throw you all kinds of curve balls.  Why am I wasting my time doing this?  I don’t see any difference.  My mind is racing so fast, I can’t do this etc.

The time invested in meditation brings you subtle changes and is free insurance for your health.

When you find yourself going too fast in your daily routine, you may want to try walking meditation.  Slow your walking pace down and concentrate on your feet and nothing else.  Yes your eyes are open… (ha! ha! ) Concentrate on your whole foot, heel to toe, touching the ground.  Keep your natural walk and concentrate on the movement of the foot. You can do this anywhere at any time.  This exercise also slows the mind and brings you back to your body.

 

Good luck!

Being peaceful in our body is a choice, moment by moment

Please check http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23954146# for more information on mindfulness and psychosis

Rehospitalization less likely for psychiatric patients given smoking-cessation treatment

Patients who participated in a smoking-cessation program during hospitalization for mental illness were able to quit smoking and were less likely to be hospitalized again for their psychiatric conditions, according to a new study led by a Stanford University School of Medicine scientist.

The findings counter a longstanding assumption, held by many mental-health experts, that smoking serves as a useful tool in treating some psychiatric patients.

Smoking among such patients has been embedded in the culture for decades, with cigarettes used as part of a reward system. Indeed, clinicians sometimes smoke alongside patients as a way of creating a rapport with them, said Judith Prochaska, PhD, MPH, associate professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and lead author of the study.

Cont. at http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/264909.php