MHAM: Surviving COVID-19 with Schizophrenia

For Mental Health Awareness Month this year, I invited my favorite advocates and friends to talk about how they are doing in these strange times. This is the first of the commentary, by schizophrenia advocate Lamont Derrickson. Lamont is an author and blogger and is a personal friend.

Surviving COVID-19 with Schizophrenia 

For Mental Health Awareness Month, I wanted to talk about my mental status with what is going on in the world as of right now. Having schizophrenia and living through the pandemic plaguing the world I thought I would share my personal experiences. 

When the pandemic hit, I was worried about my psych and how I would be affected. I was taken back by the situation because it is hard enough dealing with my brain on a daily basis. The thought of having to keep the rest of me closed away from the outside world was something I didn’t want to have to deal with since being out there is one of the ways I cope with my schizophrenia. 

I have found some other ways to cope. I’ve spent more time streaming on Twitch and building a brand that people will enjoy, I’ve listened to tons of music and I even found some newer songs that I liked. Music is one of the biggest things I do to keep my head calm and I like all types of tunes. Of course gaming with friends is something I take pride in doing especially since it immerses my mind. It is a vast world where all of my real problems don’t exist. 

It isn’t always easy during these harsh days, though. I have my sister to care for and that is another thing I worry about with all of her health issues. Her immune system is so weak that it isn’t safe for her to even be on the front porch unless she’s dressed properly. Her health risk gives me more stress than I need with the COVID-19 fiasco and the strong pull from the voices are often so much that I space out. I once stayed up for 24 hours because I was so worried about the both of us having to deal with multiple ways to get sick. 

I am trying my absolute best to keep a straight face with the drama of this pandemic and I am doing my best to keep fighting the voices. I am strong and I can win this.