A prayer for all with Schizophrenia

Welcome to my blog!  I will include this short bio in all my blogs so if you are a return viewer scroll to the bottom to read the latest post.

My name is Victoria and I suffer from Schizoaffective Disorder; this blog journals my progress from fall 2013 to now although I was diagnosed in 2008.  I have experienced both the positive and negative symptoms of Schizophrenia and while the positive symptoms have been under control with Risperdal, since being diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder by UCLA in 2008, I have still suffered from the negative symptoms until recently when my psychiatrist added Latuda. Post diagnosis I received my Masters Degree in Psychology and work in the mental health field currently.  I plan to go on to earn my doctorate in Psychology in the future.

I started this blog in fall 2013 which journals my personal recovery from Schizophrenia.  The earliest entries chart my psychotic period 2006/2007 with much in between and my current focus is managing the negative symptoms of Schizophrenia. I welcome all feedback and enjoy meeting new people  through this blog and other articles I have written.  I have also written a book which is available on Amazon by Victoria Marie Alonso- My personal recovery from Schizophrenia, which is for loved ones or those afflicted with this disorder.

Please feel free to email me to share your story or that of a loved one at: victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com

Other mental health providers or researchers are welcome to ask any questions, as well.

Newest Blog:

I saw my psychiatrist today and it was great to report how well I am doing on the Latuda.  No changes and I don’t have to see him for 6 months.  I am much more connected to God these days, and friends and family.  Work is great although demanding.  Sometimes I even forget I have this disorder.

Others do not do so well; for others with Schizophrenia medicine does not work well and doctors don’t try different combinations as did mine.  For these people I send up a prayer, that they may get help as I have done and be able to live happy and productive lives!

Pax

Victoria

Side effect of Latuda

Welcome to my blog!  I will include this short bio in all my blogs so if you are a return viewer scroll to the bottom to read the latest post.

My name is Victoria and I suffer from Schizoaffective Disorder; this blog journals my progress from fall 2013 to now although I was diagnosed in 2008.  I have experienced both the positive and negative symptoms of Schizophrenia and while the positive symptoms have been under control with Risperdal, since being diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder by UCLA in 2008, I have still suffered from the negative symptoms until recently when my psychiatrist added Latuda. Post diagnosis I received my Masters Degree in Psychology and work in the mental health field currently.  I plan to go on to earn my doctorate in Psychology in the future.

I started this blog in fall 2013 which journals my personal recovery from Schizophrenia.  The earliest entries chart my psychotic period 2006/2007 with much in between and my current focus is managing the negative symptoms of Schizophrenia. I welcome all feedback and enjoy meeting new people  through this blog and other articles I have written.  I have also written a book which is available on Amazon by Victoria Marie Alonso- My personal recovery from Schizophrenia, which is for loved ones or those afflicted with this disorder.

Please feel free to email me to share your story or that of a loved one at: victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com

Other mental health providers or researchers are welcome to ask any questions, as well.

Pax

Victoria

Newest blog:    Well, unfortunately I suffered from a side effect of the Latuda and had to call my pdoc.  He lowered the mg and the side effect has diminished quickly.  Thanks to all for all the support.  This blog is really helpful in meeting new people and discussing the many facets of this condition.

Pax

Victoria

Positive and negative symptoms of Schizophrenia

Welcome to my blog!  I will include this short bio in all my blogs so if you are a return viewer scroll to the bottom to read the latest post.

My name is Victoria and I suffer from Schizoaffective Disorder; this blog journals my progress fromfall 2013 to now.  I have experienced both the positive and negative symptoms of Schizophrenia and while the positive symptoms have been under control with Risperdal, since being diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder by UCLA in 2008, I have still suffered from the negative symptoms until recently when my psychiatrist added Latuda. Post diagnosis I received my Masters Degree in Psychology and work in the mental health field currently.  I plan to go on to earn my doctorate in Psychology in the future with a research emphasis, focus being on Schizophrenia, particularly the negative symptoms.

I started this blog in fall 2013 which journals my personal recovery from Schizophrenia.  The earliest entries chart my psychotic period 2006/2007 with much in between and my current focus is managing the negative symptoms of Schizophrenia. I welcome all feedback and enjoy meeting new people  through this blog and other articles I have written.  I have also written a book which is available on Amazon by Victoria Marie Alonso- My personal recovery from Schizophrenia.  I have a second book underway but it will not be available until much later due to starting school this fall.

Please feel free to email me to share your story or that of a loved one at: victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com

Other mental health providers or researchers are welcome to ask any questions, as well.

Pax

Victoria

More social lately

Another benefit of the Latuda is that I have been making more social connections.  And with the savings card I now pay only twenty five dollars a month for it!

Today I went to a memorial for my neighbor.  I wasn’t close to him but my husband was so I went to show my respect.  I respect death too, today I have pondered much about the meaning of death….  I am just glad I am no longer passively suicidal.  Today I felt the wind and had such peace.  Life is good again after a long stretch of sorrow.

Pax,

Victoria

Still doing well on Latuda

Just a quick check in.  I am doing really well on the Latuda.  I have mostly good days yet life isn’t perfect, it never is.  If things continue to go well, I will be starting a doctorate program in fall 2015.  I want get my doctor of psychology degree with a research emphasis.  Of course I will be focusing on Schizophrenia for my dissertation.  This year will be a year of helping my son with his high school studies and some travel plans too.  Life is good right now.  I am back to working 40 hours at work and the house is in order.  Next the gardens and getting out of my house which is hard for me.  Maybe I will get the kids to help?  I hope everyone is doing well too.

Pax

Victoria

Dealing with the negative symptoms of Schizophrenia

So often we hear about the positive symptoms of this disorder- hallucinations, delusions etc… but I have found that the negative symptoms are not written about very much so I hope to relay my experience and what has helped me to deal with the negative symptoms of Schizophrenia.

From Harvard Medical School we learn what the negative symptoms are:

“These “negative” symptoms are so called because they are an absence as much as a presence: inexpressive faces, blank looks, monotone and monosyllabic speech, few gestures, seeming lack of interest in the world and other people, inability to feel pleasure or act spontaneously. About 25% of patients with schizophrenia have a condition called the deficit syndrome, defined by severe and persistent negative symptoms.”

To read more about negative symptoms please go to:  www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update0706c.shtml

For the past 6 years, my psychiatrist was able to get the positive symptoms under control with Risperdal 3mg, but my quality of life was not as good as it could be and I realized this after a relapse in 2013.  I had just accepted this way of life until I began researching this disorder more.  I have since been trying various antipsychotics to help me with the negative symptoms, mainly loss of motivation, seeming lack of interest in the world and other people, and the  inability to feel pleasure or act spontaneously.

I have been on 80 mg of Latuda for one month now and the negative symptoms are diminishing slowly.  I am more interested in people again especially my immediate family, am more motivated, am  more interested in the world and am starting to feel pleasure again.  Before I was dead I feel to emotions but I have been enjoying people more and my hobbies and my work has improved; although, I always work very hard, now it is different.  I am more thorough and making more connections increasing my productivity greatly at work and at home.

Everyone will be different in what medication works for them.  I also tried Geodone which worked well for the negative symptoms but made me nauseous so I was unable to take it.  Latuda is expensive but I checked on line for coupons and found a saving program so I can get Latuda for $125 instead of $200 with my insurance.  Every little bit helps!

The bottom line is that we don’t have to suffer unnecessarily with negative symptoms!

Here is to a new lease on life,

Pax

Victoria

 

Latuda kicked in…

Victoria here,

Under my doctor’s care, I was just weaning myself off the Latuda when wham, it happened, it kicked in.  More motivated, more connected to friends and loved ones, creative again at last!  Some drugs take longer to work I guess.  I am glad I followed my doctor’s lead; he hasn’t steered me wrong yet.

Pax,

Victoria