cannabis cuddles & conversation


Schizophrenia and Interpersonal Relationships

Presenting a real-deal look into schizophrenia and my first-hand ongoing challenges face to face with interpersonal relationships. The main thing my therapist and I got to while in session was that there were inevitable effects on me when there is conflict with those close to me. This is inevitable because I can feel empathy. Of course, this is a good thing overall, but comes with a price. I actually feel the consequences of how others feel which is much better than not having empathy. But this is why I think my doctor keeps stressing the importance of interpersonal relationships; when we feel empathy, interpersonal relationships matter whether we like it or not. Thus, we benefit from figuring out where people fit into our lives and what we can expect of them. This is complicated, but essentially we can look at it as a spectrum. There will be a few people who we will always want to keep around as much as possible, and a few we will never want to have around. Then there's everyone else. This is where most people will fit. My friend who came over to visit may be a good example of someone I may want to keep around very casually. I may not want to expect much from him, but I may not want to completely banish him. My caregiver is someone I would expect more from but I may need to accept that I cannot expect as much from her as I  did from certain other people and so on. One problem I will have is when a situation creates cognitive dissonance. This is where we cognitively want one thing, but behaviorally do the opposite. For example, when I feel conflicted about my caregiver, I am thinking "I want to fire her." However, given that she may be better than most home health care people and isn't so bad, etc. I find myself knowing it's probably best to keep her. So the solution is to find a way to accept her in general. This doesn't mean accepting everything she does or doesn't do, but accepting she is probably going to be around for awhile and I may need to assert myself or utilize my therapist to do so when I am frustrated. It seems like a lot of work and it is. But ultimately this work will help me navigate the crazy world of interpersonal relationships in a manner that doesn't come back at me and make me distressed. For those closest to me, it's a marathon, not a sprint. The more careful I can be in assessing what's going on and how I want to react the more efficient I will be in navigating the relationships and the less distress I will feel from any blowback. Onward bound!    


Mental Health Recovery Strategic Planning

Get an intimate inside look into a therapy session with a person diagnosed with schizophrenia.
The main issue we discussed had to do with the weekends and how tough they can be for me. This is something that is pretty consistent and so I think my therapist and I should problem-solve and figure out a way to make them easier for me. I think they're hard, because it's unpredictable whether I'll feel comfortable being around other people, which isn't so much of an issue Monday through Thursday because there tends to be more activity going on around my property on those days. Plus, my caregiver is usually around of course.  However, on the weekend, she is gone, we don't have our sessions, and my wife may need to make plans, lest she stay home by herself.   
Some important things for me to remember:
-My wife wants to spend time with me.
-My wife also understands why I may not want to be around other people sometimes and she doesn't judge me when I want to be alone.
-Her making other plans is healthy and has nothing to do with me personally.  
But I can see how I may find myself alone when I don't want to be. So that's what we need to figure out. My wife’s suggestion of using the "Peer Linkers" is a good one.  I think we should follow up with that.   
We can also see if my caregiver can make an extra effort to offer to spend time with me on Thursdays and to double-check with me to make sure I am stocked for the weekend with the things I need.
Otherwise, my wife's idea regarding my new project is simply a vehicle to spend time with me and do something together. But something like this can be overwhelming to think about. So my therapist will investigate this idea slowly and make sure we're not looking at it in black-and-white. For example, I may want to do some type of project together, but maybe not one so big. 
I have really been enjoying and benefiting from my setting our sessions up with the chairs and the taping. I think it lends itself to more organization.  I must remember that there is no pressure to make each session amazing.  Some will be, but some will be average. And if I am having too many flights of ideas I shouldn’t forget that my doctor takes notes and I am recording sometimes.  
Overall, I have been doing great!


Let It Be: Using Mindfulness to Overcome Anxiety and Depression

Stop fighting your negative thoughts and let it be what it is going to be.



The listener's task. Considering I've been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, PTSD, borderline personality disorder, Tourette's syndrome, diabetes, anxiety and depression, a rare blood disease, dyslexia, and cancer, I am doing okay. I'm fine, but I'm just not happy, and I'd rather be honest than impressive.


A Question of Love or Lust

The Morning After [Feature Length Film] A Question of Love or Lust (2015)
Hello everybody! Before viewing this particular edit of "A Question of Love or Lust," you might find the quality and soundtrack to be more appealing found on my Vimeo Pro site: Nonetheless, a beautiful film where love and grief are eternally entwined. Please enjoy an example of schizophrenic art in this new film by former Hollywood/now independent outsider filmmaker Jonathan Harnisch (voilà, that's me) in "A Question of Love or Lust" I competed The Morning After in December 2014 while undergoing a dark, deep experience with depression, existential despair and with new tears for old grief. This is a demonstration of the feature length film version. I am glad to see so many people have been appreciating my movies’ inherent beauty, especially this one, which has such a deeply personal meaning. I thank you, all, to God, and to all my fans, friends, and family for playing such a very special role in the short experimental pieces within this short film series of sorts; this being said, perhaps without others knowing how many have inspired my art. The holiday seasons often bring me to a deep sense of nostalgia for good times long gone, from lost film footage in the archives, including a great deal of footage I shot during my days as a student of film and TV production at Tisch School of the Arts at NYU in the mid 1990s and also films kept here at the production office. I believe I have experimented into the depth of a new ground, and renewed visual voice of artistic expression keeping my goal intact, to find and redefine myself, through the arts. A new original soundtrack for these films, originally shot on both Super 8 film stock and Hi-8 video, will be developed and inspired by the final cut of The Morning After, Chance Encounter, and Emptying His Pockets. All 3 films in this series focus on my often-recurring themes of loss, love, and life and may be recreated with a revised original score, or soundtrack, in time. Please leave comments, if you would. The responses for all the working cuts of these generally short pieces have inspired me to bring The Morning After to the independent film festival circuit. It has been years since retiring from Hollywood film and professional TV work. It might, however, be time to see what I can do to reconnect with an audience in the world beyond the Internet, once again, in some way, and if not, I don’t think the Internet is going anywhere anytime soon. Professional financing and marketing, etc., will often cause me a great deal of unwanted stress, which I prefer to do without. I suffer from rare and comorbid mental health diagnoses, namely those within the schizophrenia and autistic spectra. My mental illnesses have blessed me over the years with many creative gifts. So, with immense gratitude, I thank you, my muse, wife, and my family and friends without hesitation. Onward bound, as always.
—Jonathan Harnisch, Harnisch Productions, LLC


Jonathan Harnisch In Session Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) Part 2

Get an intimate inside look into a therapy session with a person diagnosed with schizophrenia.