2. Mental balance: psychotherapy and conscious lifestyle
Here, I refer to those consultants too who can help us get back from psychosis to our functional state as soon as possible. It may mean processing disease-related frustration, but also how to respond to the impulses of the outside world and how to communicate. I continue attending the consulting sessions even when I don't seem to need it. Psychotherapy helped me a lot with my managing the disease and with developing a conscious lifestyle and coping mechanisms to deal with the illness.
One of the basic characteristics of schizophrenia, in my experience, is that I did not feel sick in the early stages of the disease. But maybe because of my education, my love for my family and my sense of duty, I worked with my doctors and helpers. I faced up to the cruel reality of this disease only more than ten years after I’d been diagnosed. Finally, I admitted to myself that I am a mentally ill person. This was when I acknowledged the presence of my disease, which was the result of years of therapeutic preparation and, parallelly, of a deeply distressing mental period.
Psychotherapy helped me a lot with being able to acknowledge the existence of my illness and developing a conscious lifestyle. What do I mean by a conscious lifestyle? On the one hand, a daily routine, on the other, a guided diet. Separate routines are followed for times of episodes and for times of balance, an important part of which is day-to-day regular exercise and time spent in nature.
Over the years, Me and my wife have experienced what works and what doesn’t in our daily activities. For example, I should avoid watching fantastical movies with negative outcomes and unrealistic storylines, shouldn’t stay out late at night, and refrain from positive-negative emotional swings.
It is important to lead a personalized lifestyle, both during the episodes and otherwise, in order to maintain long-term balance. Thankfully, living an everyday life in a state of balance is possible for me now. This doesn’t mean that there are no challenging days or periods, but I can live a greater part of my life in balance.
© 2019 Dániel Oravetz - Teodóra Kulcsár