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Living a Full Life with Schizophrenia

Navigating a Psychotic Break

Navigating a Psychotic Break

As any schizophrenic knows, symptoms can come on sudden and hard.  This type of acute psychotic break can be terrifying and confusing for the sufferer and those in support roles, but it is important to recognize the vast opportunity commencing.  Depending on how this experience is navigated, the schizophrenic, in worse case scenarios, can become condemned as a dangerous psychotic and placed in assisted living or even possibly harm himself or others.  On the positive side, if traversed with skill and grace, madness can be avoided and genius level insight can be gained.

We all know that schizophrenia is somewhat of a forced adventure into mysticism.  If the individual can persist from a place of courage, hope, and faith, they will find themselves passing through the crucible and ascending to an internal state of mental salvation.  In any sacrifice, something is lost.  But it is forfeited purposefully in order to gain something of higher value.  The acute psychotic break, then, appears as an attempt by the psyche to surrender parts of itself in order to have a fresh start.  The sick framework of cognition is deconstructed in order to lay a healthier and stronger foundation.  Then the mind can rebuild a clear perception and method of thought that is conducive to greater functioning.

The Spiritual Significance of a Schizophrenic Break

An acute psychotic break will involve the most severe of symptoms.  There will be hallucinations.  There will be delusions.  There will be catatonia at times.  Consider some of the most famous instances of our spiritual heroes in the light of a schizophrenic break.  Jesus spent forty days alone in the wilderness, resisting the temptations of Satan.  He offered many delusional blessings, showed many illusions, all if Jesus would simply succumb to him.  The Buddha sat still, resolutely refusing to move from his meditation spot, almost catatonically while fighting off the temptations of Mara.  He was offered gifts, made to fear and disbelieve, and more.

This experience of the schizophrenic break is akin to Dante’s Inferno, before he climbed through Purgatory and on to Paradise.  We have that opportunity as well, and I’ve compiled what I feel are great pieces of advice for properly navigating the labyrinth of symptoms and emerging from the other side a new and better person in all facets of life.  So take this vision quest of the shamans.  Allow your five senses to be pierced and crucified upon the cross.  Feel the loneliness of the dark night of the soul, for after your descent into the fire, you will rise to a personal heavenly realm.

Traversing the Acute Psychotic Break

This state of improvement is the climax, the end result of all of the spiritual stories involving this psychosis.  The fragmented psyche, if the experience is successfully traversed, will be reconciled.  It is possible to accelerate and improve the chances of this happening.  Below is my own personal advice on staying safe and moving forward through this experience.

Schizophrenic Break: Tips for Success

Please keep these tips in mind and take them very seriously to help minimize your suffering, maintain your privacy, and increase your probability for not only recovery but an overall improvement in functioning!  It is possible and it is likely, so keep the faith and persevere.  With your hard work, you can succeed.

Be Silent and Be Private

It is extremely important for you, as a person in a state of vulnerability and ‘strangeness,’ to not share your current ideas with others.  You have to realize that you may thinking from a state of delusion and that your ideas, while completely valid, may seem quite strange to others.  Your deep thoughts are likely philosophical, conspiratorial, and alien to the uninitiated, average person who may judge you from a bias of stigma and fear.

If the fear of your ideas is strong enough, you may attract the attention of unwanted medical practitioners.  While there are times it is very important to use the assistance of medication, if you can stay with your suffering and process it, that may be the very act that helps them not return.  However, if at any point you feel too uncomfortable, or a danger to others or yourself, then you should seek the help of psychiatrist, psychologist, or any other authority in the field.  There will be other chances for you to perform this self-analysis and betterment.  Please keep safety at the forefront of your mind at all times.

Abstain from Certain Substances

There are substances that will drastically worsen your symptoms.  Absolutely, under no circumstances, partake in any psychedelics, including marijuana.  Not only are they illegal, but they can mimic the symptoms of schizophrenia and make the situation more confusing for you.  You should also avoid caffeine and sugar as much as possible, as they are stimulants and will excite your central and peripheral nervous systems more than they already are.  Don’t allow any substance, such as alcohol or nicotine, to become a crutch for you to lean on or escape from the internal work you must pursue.  Embrace the groundlessness and integrate it.

Mend and Foster Relationships

One of the most important things in life are relationships.  The universe is composed of connections and interactions, and we are as much a part of this as anything else.  Recognize the vast importance of your relationships, including your friendships, romances, and family.  Mend any broken relationship and foster and strengthen all that you can.

Take an opportunity to let everyone who is important to you know that you love them personally.  Form a bond with an animal pet and actually get to know them.  Learn their personality and observe the entire process of relating with the pet.  They are a blank canvas, a mirror, and you will project your own mind upon them.  This can offer insight into your own cognition.  Observe your own speech and thinking as well, as it can reveal the programming that is in place.  These habits can be enhanced or removed to better your psyche.

Control Your Cognitive Behavior

Don’t ruminate.  Don’t sit around and ponder the deepest philosophical questions that the brightest humans who’ve ever lived haven’t solved.  Most of these are meant to be transcended or accepted as they are, unsolvable.  Ruminating can arouse existential anxiety, which will only worsen your predicament.  Angst is to be dealt with through surrender, acceptance, and through the slow gathering of life’s experiences, not by conquering it mentally.  You will not solve the universe’s koans or crack the ineffable mysteries of reality.  It’s better to sit in awe and wonder than to attempt to crack the code.

Do not allow yourself to have negative thoughts.  You can’t stay in meditation forever, which means at all other times you will be thinking something.  So make sure those things are positive.  Make that choice and promise to yourself and work towards it.  You can reinforce this positivity habit by red-flagging every negative thought and immediately transforming it into positivity.  Think of a playful puppy, a joyful kitten, or ice cream.  It doesn’t matter what you choose, just smile!

Similar to ruminating, don’t engage in constant prayer or mantra repetitions. You aren’t guilty, so don’t ask for forgiveness.  You are working on assembling an internal locus of control, so don’t pray for help.  You aren’t totally under the current of fate, destiny, or divinity, so don’t give all the power to some external force.  You will make forward strides based on your own efforts and power!  If you want to pray, you should only give thanks and praise, which are based in positivity, faith, and hope.  Be grateful for the power to fix your own situation, and the strength to cope as you pursue this growth opportunity.

 See the Big Picture Clearly

It has been said that anybody looking for the answers can be trusted, while anyone claiming to have them should not be trusted.  No scientist, no theologian, no historian, and no mystic has the answers.  The rare person that has gained a sense of enlightenment will not able to explain their experiences or insights to you, because by definition they cannot be put into words.  A valid enlightenment is not sharable.  The Tao that can be told is not the true Tao.

Stop seeking solutions, as we discussed before.  If you stop asking questions, you suddenly no longer need answers.  Then, when you are ready, the answers will reveal themselves to you gently, and the questions that don’t matter will drift away on an ocean of peace and serenity.

Try to comprehend the paradigms of the present and past.  Meta-programming occurs in every culture and instill beliefs that are enveloping beyond the point of recognition oftentimes.  Try to grasp these by paying attention to your experiences.  They likely contradict these beliefs and cause cognitive dissonance.  Recognize religion and science as consensually agreed-upon myths.  Whether these myths are true or false don’t matter, so concern yourself with the possible effects they have on the believers, and choose your beliefs appropriately.

And remember, this is not your fault.  You did not do this to yourself, nor do you deserve it.  These acute psychotic breaks are a result of a combination of nature and nurture, environment and genetics, and your luck in the birth lottery.  We don’t choose our parents or what society we will be programmed in.  But take responsibility, for the journey is yours, and you will be made to embark upon it regardless of your choice.  It is your cross to bear, but at the end of your journey, your reward awaits.  Others will never know the pleasure of the heights that you will attain.

Break the Cycle

If you act negatively, you will think negatively.  Fix this behavioral aspect.  If you think negatively, you will feel negatively.  Heal the psychological aspect.  If you feel negatively, you will act negatively.  Soften this emotional aspect.  Break the cycle of negativity at at least one, but preferably all three points in this samsara whirlwind.

Take in positivity.  This means you should deny all negative forms of entertainment.  Deny negative people.  Form a routine that includes frequent and regular exercise and taking in properly balanced meals.  If a balanced diet is not easily accessible for you, try to take a multi-vitamin when needed.  Routine is good for building a predictable structure to your day.  Go to sleep and wake up at the same every day and try not to over or under sleep.  This can lead to a sense of detachment, depersonalization, and derealization most of the day.

Take Advantage of Medication if Needed

Don’t hesitate to seek out the symptom-reducing help of medication.  Just remember what the true goal is and don’t become complacent because things aren’t quite as intense as they were.  Lasting recovery involves a medication and a cognitive behavioral approach of self-analysis.  Take extreme care if you attempt to self-medicate with over-the-counter medicines such as 5-HTP or St. John’s Wort.  Always seek the advice of a medical professional before taking any medications.  There are more effective medications that are only available through the prescription of a psychiatrist, so don’t hesitate if you feel this is something you need.


The schizophrenic break is by no means anything less than hell and extreme suffering.  It is anguish and it is lonely.  You will take this adventure largely alone without guidance.  You must carve your own path and slay the dragon that is the broken part of yourself.  But remember, the hero always slays the beast, and always returns with riches and blessings beyond those obtainable through any worldly means.  Walk your path, and build your new cognitive framework one board and one brick at a time.  Your mansion will be heavenly.


  1. I had a psychotic break in september of last year. I am on ziprasidone and stable now. Still have the occasional symptom but I am doing pretty good.

    My advice to someone who thinks that they are psychotic or becoming psychotic is that once you can’t trust your family or your friends then you should take that as sign that you should ask for help. Also, just because you are psychotic, doesn’t mean that you aren’t having a spiritual awakening. What I mean is that spirituality and mental illness don’t have to be mutally exclusive.

  2. I had a psychotic break from ecstasy they never were able to fully diagnose me
    after a year of treatment. It lasted what felt like 3 months and in reality was about that
    I’m still trying to understand it 2 years later, it was the defining moment of my life.
    This article really helped me feel at ease with something’s I experience like asking for forgiveness and questioning everything. Thank you for writing this, it has helped me more then I expected

  3. Brendan and Gaspar, thanks for commenting! I’m glad that all of us who have traversed this path can share some experience and wisdom gained along the way to help those who are finding themselves in this new and extremely aware state of consciousness. We should always pass it on and help give meaning to others, which helps create meaning for ourselves too!

Click Your State to View the Surrounding Schizophrenia Treatment Centers

To view the the schizophrenia treatment centers in your local area, please click the state in which you live on the map above or find your state in the alphabetized links above. Each respective page will lists the name, address, and contact number for each individual treatment center. You may also visit the top level page of the directory by clicking here and navigate further from there.
Read the description and visit the personal webpage of each treatment center to find out more information. You can contact them from there, but we understand that this is a tedious and intimidating process, so we've provided a form you can fill out with the requested information and we'll set you up with the most appropriate treatment center for your needs.
If you require further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us at Schiz Life. We are here to serve the needs of the schizophrenia community and are happy to do so!

Schiz Life - Living With Schizophrenia

living with schizophrenia
For many of us, living with schizophrenia is our reality. And instead of struggling with the wish of how things “could be,” we finally come to an acceptance of our predicament and ultimately we embrace the fact of our lives: We are people dealing with schizophrenia. So then the question becomes not “Why” we suffer from this illness, but “How” we will cope and continue to enjoy our lives. We certainly will not give up! We have every right to demand the niceties, freedoms, and enjoyments of life to which all living creatures are entitled. This is what Schiz Life is all about.

Mission Statement Concerning Schizophrenia Information and Culture

Schiz Life serves to…

  • • Provide a safe haven for persons who wish to converse, cope, and share their experiences with schizophrenia in a positive manner in an attempt to celebrate the beauty of life, especially concerning our unique perspective on existence.
  • • Provide the highest quality of information concerning our psychological difficulties, including a frame of reference on the symptoms, treatment, history, and the future of schizophrenia.
  • • Take corrective action to dispel the myths and stigma surrounding schizophrenia, such as false ideas surrounding the cause, associations with violence, and others, all being perpetuated by the media by providing truth through scientific research and statistics.

Schiz Life intends to achieve this goal in the following manner:

The Schiz Life Schizophrenia Action Plan

  1. 1. We will continue to take advantage of internet outreach, contacting news agencies and other medical bloggers in hopes that they will join us in raising awareness of schizophrenia.
  2. 2. We will continue to promote this website through video and media outlets, including the dissemination of informational videos and graphics such as the first official schizophrenia infographic.
  3. 3. We will all contribute where possible off-line, including at health expo’s, psychology conferences, and any other relevant opportunity to spread the good word.

Thank You for Your Part in the Schizophrenia Journey!

We all thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for playing your role in the developing journey surrounding schizophrenia awareness and research. With all of our combined efforts, we will change the way the world perceives this illness and we will advance the medical efforts of professionals in their search for a cure and effective medicines. Thank you again!

Do Your Part!

Do you know of a great schizophrenia resource out there? Let us know! Do you see a person in need inside the comments of this site? Lend them some advice or encouragement! Are you a graphic designer or artist? Show us your work and I'm sure we can find some way to include your skills here on the site. Are you a writer who would like to contribute to the site? Shoot us an email and we'll discuss it. This site is for all of us and excludes none of us. Contact us for any reason and get involved!

Who Else is Helping?

Our content has been linked to or distributed by...

Mental Health TalkHealthy DebateTechnorati
Wellness WordworksVisuallyexaminer

...and also the sites listed below and more!

Try This Quick Schizophrenia Mini-Quiz:

This is but a quick quiz to test your general knowledge of schizophrenia. If you would like to take the extended and in-depth quiz, venture over to our Schizophrenia Quiz page and see just how much you know! Try the Schizophrenia Test to gauge your symptom levels.

Schizophrenia Quiz Directions: Please select the correct answer for each question and then press the button below to grade your quiz.

1. What is the term for perceiving stimuli that doesn't exist?

2. Which is NOT a type of schizophrenia?

3. Which of the following is a symptom of schizophrenia?

4. How common is schizophrenia in the general population?

5. Who can diagnose a case of schizophrenia?

6. How can schizophrenia be treated?

7. Are the causes of schizophrenia genetic or environmental?

8. What is the most common age of onset?

9. Catatonia is categorized as what type of symptom?

10. Is Schiz Life the best website about schizophrenia?


Show me the answers!


Question 1: The correct answer is the Hallucination.
Question 2: The correct answer is Hyperlipid.
Question 3: The correct answer is All of the Above.
Question 4: The correct answer is 1%.
Question 5: The correct answer is A Doctor.
Question 6: The correct answer is All of the Above Should Be Used.
Question 7: The correct answer is Both.
Question 8: The correct answer is 25.
Question 9: The correct answer is Negative.
Question 10: The correct answer is DON'T BE A PARTY POOPER!.
You answered them all right! Good job! You know a little something about schizophrenia, don't you!


How To Use This Site

If you're brand new to this site, it might look overwhelming until you get a sense of where things are at.  Schiz Life is a content-based site, much like a newspaper or a magazine.  However, we focus strictly and solely on schizophrenia.  So where does all of this content reside?  We have decided to separate our articles into several categories, as described below:


This category will be of the most interest to those who wish to gain a very broad but shallower overview of the entirety of the academic view of schizophrenia.  We cover all of the topics you'd expect to find in an abnormal psychology text book here, and at a similar depth.  It is a great introduction to this illness and will guide you further along into deeper topics.


We cover various angles such as statistics, research, and more factually based views of schizophrenia and place them in this category.  One could say that it is almost a repository for article that don't fit into the other categories, but it is more than that.  Go check it to find out more!


The name says it all.  This category of content covers all topics related to the treatment and prevention of schizophrenia and its relapses.  We've started with the empirically sound and scientifically backed methods first, but we intend to venture into more holistic and alternative therapies as well.  Without investigating all options, progress wont' be made, and so we do.


There are countless symptoms involved in schizophrenia. We cover them in depth in this category, including the positive (outward) and negative (inward) symptoms of every type of this disorder.  There is much to read here, so if a particular symptom is giving you or a loved one trouble, this is the place to go and learn more about it.


What use is all of this information when we simply don't feel good enough to read it and learn?  The category for coping provides many ideas that you can apply to your own life to help you maintain the best health possible, physically, psychologically, and spiritually.  Schizophrenia is a mental illness that some of us simply cannot escape, but we can learn to live with it, minimize its problematic aspects, and take advantage of some of the aspects it unlocks within us that others don't have!


Let's face it.  People are afraid of what they don't understand.  This category addresses the cultural issue of schizophrenia and it's impacts on the way we are treated or perceived by the masses.  It is up to us to represent ourselves in the best light and to combat the myths and misunderstandings that exist in the world concerning our plight.  Learn about these issues here and apply them in your lives!


There are other classifications of illnesses that are very closely related to schizophrenia.  The only differences might just be a research label actually, but we have found it useful to place these articles in a category of their own.  We deal with schizophreniform and psychosis disorders and their respective symptoms here.


While the medical community deals with schizophrenia as a psychological or physical disorder of the brain, those of us who actually experience it know it is much more.  It is a philosophical, spiritual, metaphysical, and mythological issue.  Coming to terms with this, confronting it, integrating it, and reconciling it leads to much higher functioning not only as an individual diagnosed with schizophrenia but as a member of society in general.  We have a deeper access to this aspect of life and have a great opportunity for learning and healing.


Many of us past and present have chosen to express ourselves through the arts.  Whether this is painting and drawing, poetry, dancing, or any other artform, it is healthy and beautiful.  We are writing biographies, displaying artwork, and welcoming submissions from our own community to be included here in this category!  Please submit if you have something to share!


The internet has opened up the world.  There is a constant flow of news concerning our illness but you wouldn't know it by watching the television.  We cover new research topics, treatment modalities, and nationwide and worldwide coverage of schizophrenia or incidents related to it in this category!

Other Items

We have also included other items of interest throughout our website.  For instance, we are producing a series of infographics to help educate the public on this topic.  We also are collecting and reviewing books concerning the illness.  In addition, we have created a directory for the United States of all treatment facilities and hospitals that have staff that are trained to work with schizophrenia cases.  Please look around and find these sections and more.


There is something that was slightly mentioned in the footer of the site, but that could be overlooked easily so we felt it was the responsible thing to do to create a large disclaimer to be displayed here on the homepage.  This has to do completely with safety.  Let us explain.

Individual Uniqueness

unique individualEvery individual on this planet is a unique person.  Even more so, those of us dealing with this special psychological difficulty are even more unique, if that makes sense.  On this site, we are talking about one of the most complex brain mysteries ever and it expresses itself through every person differently.  Every case is going to have it's own peculiarities and all we are able to do in the articles on the site is speak in generalities.  We invite anyone to leave appropriate comments and engage in discussion, however we can't take responsibility for their words.  Nor can we take responsibility for the actions of any individual or group who have at one time or another visited our website.

Always Consult a Medical Professional

medical professionalIf you find yourself in a situation where you're trying to learn more about your condition or are trying to cope through a moment of crisis, please do not act upon any of the information listed on this site, whether in the main content or comments, without first corroborating the accuracy of the info with a medical professional first.  Reach out to a general practitioner, psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor.  Even then it's always helpful to have a second opinion from a separate professional as well.  Again, we must stress... always act with safety as the foremost concern, and this means consulting professionals before engaging in any practice intended to treat your condition.

Please Be Considerate About Delusions

delusion discussionWe understand that delusions can be very confusing and convincing.  We also understand that delusions can center around topics that simply are too philosophical to be proven wrong or correct and thus are tempting to explore in-depth.  We have no problem with this exploration as long as it is not harmful to those discussing it.  Please use your best discretion in this regard.  If the staff of Schiz Life step in and begin deleting comments or halting a conversation, please respect their decision and understand it is not personal.

Investigating delusions is encouraged.  Delusions are interesting due to their nature of being understood as strange and outside the norm of the culture of the experiencer, but there is a vast number of individuals visiting this site from many cultures.  There is a subtle difference between discussing these topics, and encouraging or trolling.  Please find that balance and abide by the above suggestions.

We also, under no circumstances, will tolerate anyone discussing or suggesting harming themselves or others.  Past-tense symptom discussion in this regard is fine, but nothing in the future tense will be allowed.

General Discussion Guidelines

We encourage discussion in the comments as much as possible and are looking into offering a forum and personal blogs as well.  In all of these mediums when carrying on conversation, there are some useful questions to ask yourself before posting that comment or response.

The main question to ask yourself is the following:

Is what I'm about to post going to help and support or will it further entrench illness and suffering?

Please consider this as you enjoy Schiz Life.  Try not to post angry or hurtful comments.  Try not to criticize or blame others.  Be as supportive, encouraging, and respecting as you can.  Accepting and negotiating differences is key to carrying on constructive conversation.

Remember, there is a real person on the other side of the screen.  It's easy to assume the other person is in a similar situation as yourself, but you don't know the extent of their emotions, symptoms, nor their age or even gender.

Let's Do This Together!

Let's have a supportive and comforting community where we all feel open and able to share as much as possible.  If you receive support from someone, please pay that forward and try to help out someone else.  If we all do this, we should all be okay!  Thank you for reading and enjoying this thing we are building together.

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