problem with sitting and staring instead of getting into life

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    A year ago I was hospitalized and my medication was changed. Ever since then it seems like I’ve lost interest in everything and am very unmotivated. I spend most of my time sitting and staring instead of doing anything constructive or anything entertaining. Nothing is entertaining and my mind is very blank. I have a hard time even thinking of anything that interests me to research online. I feel lost and stuck. Its hard to make myself stick to doing activities because I become very frustrated and bored quickly. The medication is for schizophrenia, so it helps me a lot. I can’t get off of it. Does anyone have any advice for me of what to do?

    Anagha Sonde

    1) When you’re stuck, surrender to being stuck. Just observe your thoughts as a witness. Just see the play of thoughts and surrender to what comes. By doing this you will enjoy being stuck and there comes a point when you will get bored being stuck and at that time your mind will automatically direct you to do things that interest you.
    2) Observe the gaps between the thoughts. Enjoy yourself. If you cannot force yourself to do something, then enjoy sitting alone. Embrace the loneliness.
    3) Write – Just get a notebook and write without a system or structure. Write down everything going on in your head. No censoring. No looking back. Let everything out, especially the nasty bits. This will make you more aware and read and re-read what you have written.


    Dear Danielle:

    I am sorry that you suffer from schizophrenia and I hope that it will be managed better than it is managed now, given that the side effects of the medication you are on are problematic. Maybe lowering the dosage of the current medication, or a change of medication will be helpful: under medical care and supervision, of course.

    Can you share about your life before the hospitalization of a year ago, and before the medication you’ve been taking since: what were your interests, what used to motivate you…  and what used to entertain you back then?



    Hi Danielle

    I agree with all of the above advice which I believe will be useful.

    However I guess it helps to understand how the medications work as well. (P.S. This, by no means, replaces any professional medical advice that you would receive from the doctors, and if you have any concerns, I suggest that you consult a qualified professional that will prescribe the correct dosage, and can assure you of the benefits/side effects of the medications that you are taking).

    From what I understand, schizophrenia is known to be a condition where there is increased dopamine activity. (Another note: this is only based on the current understanding of how the condition could be a result of different reasons, and no one can be sure of how the brain works.) Dopamine is a chemical that is responsible for focus and motivation as well. So by taking medications that lower the dopmaine levels in an attempt to control the symptoms that you might be experiencing due to the condition, then you might also suffer from the side effects, which is due to the low dopamine activity that causes a loss of interest in things that you used to enjoy doing, and lack of motivation, etc.

    I know that there would be people out there arguing that dopamine levels have nothing to do with “depression” which is related to serotonin, and thus medications should be used to control the serotonin levels, etc. Then you end up taking a whole lot of medications that further mess with your brain with an attempt to control the symptoms by messing with other chemicals that don’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

    I would say, for the most part, even scientists are not sure that their theories are correct, and taking medications that they are not sure about the mechanisms of how they control the targets, which results in greater uncertainties, combined with the opinions of the doctors that you are seeing that could potentially be different to what others might think, add another layer of “bias” that makes it even harder to see the “truths” of what might be best for you.

    This is one of the reasons why I left medical school. I got flying colours and I was told (especially by my parents) that this is what I am going to do, I will be a successful doctor. But I did not like the idea of learning a whole bunch of concepts that do not seem to have any correlations with reality, and all the things that I would be doing as a doctor is to follow a set of policies that are not based on evidence from “pure” science, but rather, one’s decisions that are affected by many factors and could potentially lead to a lot of biases, and could be misused by the ones that are “self-proclaimed” experts who want to make money and do not actually have the knowledge of how things work (most of us don’t).

    I guess my answer, in short, is that having a greater understanding of how it works would provide you with answers that you are looking for.

    From what I understand, it seems that the medications have a greater impact on your “behaviour” than your “thoughts”. What I mean is that you are clear about what is going on through your mind, and you have good awareness of what the issues are, however you might have problems expressing it and controlling the ways you “think” or “act” that you really think shouldn’t be the case. So you feel that you want to change the situation. But it is impossible given your situation.

    I am really open-minded so I do not believe the schizophrenia, or any illness, should have a defined course with particular signs or symptoms to look out for, as everyone can have different experiences, and we can all be “delusional” at some point in our lives, and depending on how we present ourselves to the doctors and how we are perceived by the doctors, then this could result in different diagnoses, which is proven by some of the social experiments that have been done before.

    So I guess I don’t have a conclusion for you. As a person that is quite open-minded, I do not believe that it is a “chronic” condition as such. If you want, you can seek other ways that will help you to feel better about yourself such as therapy. Or you might want to go to another doctor to seek a second opinion, if you trust this process does well to you, as having a second opinion would either confirm or reject the previous diagnosis which can do nothing bad to you.

    Also the power of positive thinking can bring the best out of every situation.

    I hope I am not being overly critical here. I am aware that my opinions are based on my own circumstances, and it might not accurately reflect your situation.

    My message for you is that I feel you, and I hope everything works out fine for you. I hope, by getting a better idea of how and why things are the way they are, then it gives you the answers you need, although I am well aware that everyone can have different opinions including myself.


    How are you, Danielle?


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