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Recognizing My Challenges- Motor Skills, Memory, etc.

Posted May 10 2013 12:00am
In general, mental illness can effect a person's mood, behavior, cognitive skills, and speech, and thus, a person's ability to function in the workplace, school, and/or social situations. When I had my psychotic break in 2007, I was not able to think rationally, complete assignments, or to stay focused. I heard voices that hindered my ability to engage in conversations with others. 

In fact, I failed a competency test provided by the correctional system in California that requested answers to general questions such as who is the president of the United States and what is the date; my mental illness oppressed my understanding to the extent that I could not answer these questions.

While I was in the state hospital recuperating; taking medication, and learning more about my diagnosis I even recognized my motor skills were not up to par. Whenever my mother visited me we would exercise because a side effect of my medication caused me to walk very stiff- some peers made fun of me and called me a "robot." While we exercised I noticed I moved my limbs very slowly and I could not speed it up even when I wanted to.

Prior to my psychotic break, other people described me as sharp, and a person who had a good memory. However, as a direct result of my mental illness my motor skills, memory, and socialization skills are challenged. Sometimes, I feel like my memory, reactions, and understanding are delayed. 

Recently, I had discussions with peers who are also living with a mental health diagnosis that are different than mine, and who recognize similar delays. I am so glad I am not the only one who experiences this!

I think the anti-psychotics helps me with my cognitive skills. I can think clearly, complete assignments, and play an entire game of Scrabble in under eight minutes online. And I do not hear voices. My memory still needs improvement. I have short term memory loss sometimes. 

In addition to the medication, I believe playing word games such as Scrabble and writing in my journal and this blog, helps me practice focus and speed which improves my motor skills and reactions. Although, I know my memory and cognitive skills could be sharper, I believe my engagement in Scrabble and writing helps me in these areas. 

If you are an individual living with a mental illness, have you noticed delays of any kind as a direct result of your mental illness?

If you are a family member- have you noticed a delay of any kind in your relative as a direct result of their mental illness?

Comment. I would like to hear from you and how you cope with this! Thank you.

To learn more about schizophrenia visit NAMI , Choices in Recovery , and Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada).

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