Stress and Schizophrenia go hand in hand.
When I think about how my symptoms begin to suffer during episodic phases, it all relates to stress. When I’m stressed, things get way worse than they usually are. Episodes don’t always happen, but when they do, it can attributed most likely to stress.
It seems to all start with a strenuating factor. For me, it’s when I have a lot on my plate with my 7-month-old, cleaning my house to near perfection due to my obsessive compulsive issues, helping my dad who has moved in and is dealing with cancer (actually, caregiver stressors), and some other things. When my anxiety is inflating from being overwhelmed, I can feel the paranoia become triggered. The depression can also go hand-in-hand, but it doesn’t always have to.
I become discombobulated by anxiety and stress usually, and it all starts to trigger a response in my brain that is flight, in this case. My brain is trying to go to another reality to replace the amount of stress that is impending on it. The reality is tries to go to, though, isn’t better, it’s just a reality that supersedes the one I’m in. The paranoia flares up and I get scared and even more anxious.
The hallucinations don’t always come about, but they can. They can come in the form of tactile, voices (auditory), or even visual. I can fear that someone is following me to my car from the store I’m at, or vice versa, to the store from my car. That’s just an example. I can think that someone is listening to my in my walls or that there are cameras that I don’t know about somewhere in where I live.
Stress can really bring on an episode badly. For me, the amount of stress I have can almost dictate how bad the episode is going to be. Medication doesn’t always stop the episodes, but it does minimize them. On lesser stressful days, the medicine can help the episodes be almost non-existent. On more stressful days, episodes have a possibility to be mild. Although, on extremely stressful days, episodes can be so overwhelming and sometimes outrageous. Although, the latter is likely for me personally, with the type of medication I’m on. I can’t speak for if something happened to my parents, as they both deal with cancer and something WILL inevitably happen to them one day. I can’t imagine the episode I go into that day, but I can say that the amount of support I have from people, the help will be swift and I’m going to guess decent.
I can’t speak for everyday but I can gives examples and I can share my personal story. I hope in some way, in the way that this finds you, that you can understand the role of stress in Schizophrenia and other Schizophrenia spectrum disorders As well as, anxiety and depression.