Categories

Paranoid Schizophrenia – Be Patient. Be Kind.

Diagnosis to Success Part 6

Click this video thumbnail to see this post’s complementary content in video form.

Being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, you are endlessly suspicious of everyone and everything. Dog on the street? It’s going to bite me. Woman on the street? I bet she’s going to harass me. Man in a hoodie? He’s up to something. Man in a suit? Also up to something. I don’t like it. The suspicions never end. Living like this can make you quite cynical. Worse yet, it can make you hostile and even aggressive toward others. This is why it so so critical to practice kindness and patience. As a side note, I also employ a low-carbohydrate diet to reduce my psychotic symptoms, including paranoia.

I was in a group meeting with Les Postnikoff, a mindset mentor and business coach where he gave this bit of wisdom. He said (and I’m paraphrasing here), “we judge ourselves by our intentions, but judge others by their actions.” The idea is that if you look past someone’s actions, and instead judge them by their intentions, you’re more likely to treat them as a human.

As an example, someone who is against vaccines can no doubt cause harm to their children and their community. If we judge them by their actions, we see them as evil, selfish, and malicious. However, if you look into the intention behind the anti-vaccination movement, it is about protecting themselves and their children from (albeit false claims of) devastating side-effects. You can certainly blame them for not understanding what a verifiable, reputable fact is. You cannot, however, blame them for wanting to protect their children.

Patience begets patience

When you’re giving people the benefit of the doubt, they’re more likely to do the same for you. Picture this: you’re eyeing someone up and down, wondering what to make of them. You’re not very good at hiding it. It’s obvious. Now all of a sudden, they’re becoming suspicious of you. You’re acting erratic and now they’re wondering if you’re a threat to them. Now they’re going into defensive mode and your alarm bells are picking up on that. Confrontation is likely.

Every time this has happened, I decided to own up to it. I opened up in a moment of vulnerability and outright stated what was going on. I would say something like this:

“Hey man, I’m sorry if I’m acting weird. I’m diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and I’m having this delusion that you’re about to hurt me. I know that you’re not, but the belief has me scared, so if I’m acting weird, that’s why.”

Every single time, I was met with patience and understanding. A couple of times, it broke a lot of tension and we had a big laugh about it. It turned out to be a great story that we would both tell for years after the event.

A tip for the logically inclined

Let’s say, for argument sake, that you’re not being overly paranoid. Let’s say the person you are encountering truly does have malicious intentions. Paranoid schizophrenia aside, this person has had a bad day and you’re about to be on the receiving end of their wrath. Now, what happens if we extend some kindness and patience with them? What if we are the first person in weeks to show compassion and treat them like a human being? Barring extreme examples, I’d wager they would show some kindness and patience in return. Whether you’re paranoid or not, kindness and patience have their benefits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Om girl feels peace patience. Attractive carefree relaxed happy young woman curly shirt hairstyle close eyes smiling delighted meditating hands sideways nirvana lotus pose, breathing practice yoga.

Subscribe for More Schizophrenia Stories.

Life is an ongoing series of lessons. Because I live with schizophrenia, my hope is that the lessons I learn and the solutions that come from those lessons will help you and anyone else dealing with schizophrenia or mental illness/mental health issues.

I will only send updates that I am completely convinced will be valuable to you. I respect your time by respecting my time. I don’t send frivolous bullshit.

AGHKGH! [email protected]&# OFF POPUP!

Sorry, sorry! I just thought since you've been on this site for longer than average, you might hear me out?

Why do you do this to me, Ian...

Okay, okay, I'll be quick! I have a newsletter to keep you up-to-date on my content and projects. If my stuff tickles your pickle, help us both out by subscribing!

Also, I don't do anything shady or aggressive with your email address. I'll only send you the good stuff and won't share your email with any person/provider that isn't working for me to serve you better.

'Serve me better.' What deliciously vague jargon. Is this where you pretend to be me and you make me respond with a contrived form of consent because you're bold enough to assume this cute little chat interface gimmick is enough to actually get me to sign up?

Ummm... uhhh... ahh... Sign up and get exclusive discounts and early access!!!! Come ooooon! Induced scarcity is fun!


...alright, well, I'll leave it up to you.

Ian's Creations

Enderbook

The social app for Minecrafters. Share creations, follow friends, set up trades, & live chat.

Art & NFTs

Much like the poetry, another vehicle for humor, social commentary, & occasional beauty.

Homicide App

Arbitrary gatekeeping systems like laws, morals, and forceful intervention make murder more difficult than ever. With Homicide.app, murder from the convenience of home!

The Meme Hotline

Serving dad jokes over automated voice and meme text messages via SMS completely toll-free!

Objektiv Digital

Making websites for successful local businesses. The most effective one-man-agency you'll likely ever find.

Like this nav? It does what every marketing-oriented web designer will tell you not to do: shove as many things in your face as I can!