Jonathan Harnisch Podcast

20
Jul

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Schizophrenia [7-1-16]

Here's the main stuff we addressed:

I let my therapist know that the "same issues" were bothering me; my caregiver, my wife, my dad, money issues. And feeling neglected. We talked about how these things are unlikely to change globally for many reasons, and that it seems like there's this vicious cycle that always ends up frustrating me and messing with my quality of life. My therapist was stressing that "accepting" these things is not healthy or necessary b/c I deserve to speak my mind and influence changes. And my therapist does think things can change on a minutiae level. For example, if I would like more or less company, or need a particular type of food, or other specific things, that can likely be taken care of. It's just the global stuff (e.g. that I am not in direct control of my own money) that is unlikely to change.

So, as opposed to "accepting," my therapist was suggesting "adapting" to the situation. The goal of this would be to roll with the stuff that can't change, focus on the stuff you can change, and thus not get so frustrated. So, for example, if my casita is not livable while the renovation workers put in the floors, and I feel trapped by your other choices, I can calmly discuss things with my wife and/or my therapist to come up with an arrangement. This would help them, help me. This would be as opposed to getting so angry and frustrated over the fact that I have to have this discussion in the first place! When this happens, it makes it harder for my medical team to help me.

I also discussed how difficult it is to communicate, mainly b/c my mind goes faster than I can verbally get the ideas out. This may be why it's so upsetting when things aren't going the way I'd like; b/c it presents a situation in which you need to communicate. My therapist wonders if I become afraid I won't get your point across, and thus it comes out in a way that makes it seem like you're angry with my wife, etc.

20
Jul

Living Another Day w/ Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a challenging disorder that makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and unreal, think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others, and function normally. But that doesn't mean there isn't hope. Schizophrenia can be successfully managed. The first step is to identify the signs and symptoms. The second step is to seek help without delay. With the right treatment and support, a person with schizophrenia can lead a happy, fulfilling life.

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19
Jul

To Close The Day With Positivity Relaxation And Love

Facebook Live Monday, July 18, 2016

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18
Jul

Music and Mental Health Monday July 18 2016

Schizophrenia is a challenging disorder that makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and unreal, think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others, and function normally. But that doesn't mean there isn't hope. Schizophrenia can be successfully managed. The first step is to identify the signs and symptoms. The second step is to seek help without delay. With the right treatment and support, a person with schizophrenia can lead a happy, fulfilling life.

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18
Jul

Let Go and Flow

Schizophrenia is a challenging disorder that makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and unreal, think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others, and function normally. But that doesn't mean there isn't hope. Schizophrenia can be successfully managed. The first step is to identify the signs and symptoms. The second step is to seek help without delay. With the right treatment and support, a person with schizophrenia can lead a happy, fulfilling life.

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17
Jul

#‎WHATDEPRESSIONFEELSLIKE SUNDAY, JULY 17, 2016 VIA @JWHARNISCH

Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.

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16
Jul

Schizophrenia Saturday July 16 2016

Schizophrenia is a challenging disorder that makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and unreal, think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others, and function normally. But that doesn't mean there isn't hope. Schizophrenia can be successfully managed. The first step is to identify the signs and symptoms. The second step is to seek help without delay. With the right treatment and support, a person with schizophrenia can lead a happy, fulfilling life.

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16
Jul

Schizophrenia Symptoms Friday, July 15, 2016

Schizophrenia is a challenging disorder that makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and unreal, think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others, and function normally. But that doesn't mean there isn't hope. Schizophrenia can be successfully managed. The first step is to identify the signs and symptoms. The second step is to seek help without delay. With the right treatment and support, a person with schizophrenia can lead a happy, fulfilling life.

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15
Jul

Facebook Live 7-14-16 Schizophrenia Symptoms Social Interactions and Psychiatry

Schizophrenia is a challenging disorder that makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and unreal, think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others, and function normally. But that doesn't mean there isn't hope. Schizophrenia can be successfully managed. The first step is to identify the signs and symptoms. The second step is to seek help without delay. With the right treatment and support, a person with schizophrenia can lead a happy, fulfilling life.

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14
Jul

Manikin Pannikin: A Self Admission

Facebook Live, Wednesday, July 13, 2016, in Corrales, NM

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13
Jul

Facebook Live: Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling.

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13
Jul

Got Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling.

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13
Jul

Cold Turkey?

Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling.

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12
Jul

Facebook Live: Schizophrenia Overcoming Overstimulation And Cognitive Impairment

The exact cause of schizophrenia isn't known, but genetics, environment, and imbalanced brain chemicals may play a role. Schizophrenia is characterized by abnormal social behavior. In severe cases, patients may see or hear things that aren't real. Treatment is usually lifelong and often involves a combination of medications and psychological and social therapy.

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11
Jul

Room of Books: The Brutal Truth

A collection of personal essays exploring the author's experiences battling schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. Prolific writer and filmmaker Harnisch (Porcelain Utopia, 2016, etc.) explores his personal struggle with mental disorders in this short collection of autobiographical pieces that he originally wrote for his "online community dedicated to mental health." Throughout his adult life, he writes, he's received myriad diagnoses from doctors, including PTSD, depression, and schizoaffective disorder. His book elucidates the day-to-day activities of a person who suffers from such conditions, and the author mentions frequent communication with therapists, a demanding cigarette addiction, and many sleepless nights. At times, the prose is hard to parse and the content can feel repetitive. However, the author shares some incredible insights into what it's like to suffer from the rarely understood symptoms of schizophrenia. In one essay, for example, he describes his experience of paranoia: "We have become the target of a vast conspiracy stretching on invisible webs....It lives in the telephone wires, the cell towers, the papers, and even online....It nests in the hearts and minds of my family, friends, and loved ones." He also sheds light on what it's like to suffer from delusions: "Symbols, mythology, and connections, even coincidences, take on a very deep and personal meaning, a very deep and personal context." Ultimately, although this work is challenging and heavy, it's also uplifting, as the author never loses hope for recovery; instead, he remains tirelessly optimistic: "I keep moving ahead, as always, knowing deep down inside that I am a good person and that I am worthy of a good life." A courageous, if difficult, self-portrait of one man's suffering, as well as his hope for recovery. — Kirkus Reviews

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8
Jul

History of Sex [Audiobook] – July 8, 2016, by Jonathan Harnisch (Author)

“It’s like I'm too far away, in time, from when I would actively participate in things, enjoying them while they were happening…” Ben Schreiber mostly inhabits a world within himself, sharing it with his alter ego Georgie, living often non-linearly in a process of psychosis with visions and images of characters that fade in and out. In reality, Ben is in sessions with his therapist, Dr C, who is inviting him to recall family memories. Inside his own world, Ben is in front of the cameras he has set up in his home office, telling his story. In it, he recalls his sex education as a child, the sex ed. in class counterpointing his father’s pornography and the relationship his father may or may not have had with Gladice, a sexually provocative woman who has similarities to and elements of Claudia, a woman Ben meets aged thirty. Claudia captivates Ben when they share an early ‘moment’ together while smoking and a physical one that involves Ben’s foot fetish in which he paints her toes and makes love to her feet. Claudia urges Ben to go ahead and write about his life and experiences. Ben again begins to recall his early sexual experiences. A particularly vivid one is the day he is with his grandmother at the gym and he sees her friend fully naked in the changing room. Darlene, at least in Ben’s version of the scene, temptingly and languorously dresses herself in front of him. Ben also sees his own funeral, attended by numerous ex-girlfriends (even an ex-boyfriend) who talk about how, in spite of Ben trying to be considerate at first, the relationship always failed when Ben’s behavior degenerated. Ben discusses his failure to engage with life with Georgie. Georgie encourages him to make changes, to find work (even though Ben is rich), to find friends, to seek whatever it is he really wants, to face up to why he acts and lives life as he does. Back in therapy, Ben is with Dr C, where he begins to relate a story of his grandmother, of her toughness during his childhood. Flashing forward to another session, Ben as Georgie is very agitated. Inside his mind, the ghost of his grandmother visits Ben at home. Georgie is there too, helping Ben to recall and face the subdued memories of this woman. Georgie is eleven years old… he thinks he wants to do anything to help his sobbing, lonely grandmother until… Although he wants her to leave his bedroom, he is frozen as she sexually assaults him, the experience mixing with the pornography and sex ed. he has recently been exposed to. Again with Dr C, Ben is highly anxious, pacing. Georgie encourages Ben to open up to Dr C. He does and breaks down, crying hard. In Ben’s internal world, a number of characters attempt to console Ben, including his wife, Kelly, who may or may not have been real, as he comes to terms with his childhood memories in the following days. Ben looks up to the cameras, says his goodbyes, and leaves. Author, Jonathan Harnisch has written the bestselling and award-winning novels, Lover in the Nobody, Living Colorful Beauty and When We Were Invincible. He is also a noted controversial mental health advocate, and fine artist, blogger, podcast host, patent holder, hedge fund manager, musician, and film and TV writer and producer.
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4
Jul

Room of Books: Living Colorful Beauty

Living Colorful Beauty is a twisted, intensely character-driven ride. In Living Colorful Beauty, author Jonathan Harnisch tells the story of Ben, a man diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome, schizoaffective disorder, and several other issues. Ever since his youth, Ben has been both plagued by mental illness and obsessed with venality. As he navigates through an unstable, directionless life and leaves a string of shattered romances in his wake, he generates a fictional character, Georgie Gust, to deal with his many paraphilias and neuroses. But with the introduction of a new psychotherapist, Ben may have a chance to let go of his doppelgänger as well as his overwhelming insecurity. Though the book is saturated with Ben's sexuality, its prevailing theme is actually his struggle to come to terms with his mental health. The entire book reads like a Freudian therapy session, so the ultimate resolution of Ben's problems is appropriate. Ben's internal creative process is integral to the book's effectiveness, since much of the psychoanalysis Ben receives seems to come from himself through the lens of his fictional creation, Georgie. The book features an almost claustrophobic amount of navel-gazing, which may be intentional. At times, the reading experience leaves no doubt as to how the book's main character could drive himself crazy with his recursive, obsessive self-examination. Ben and Georgie have an interesting and nuanced relationship. At times Ben seems completely unable to control his double while simultaneously being one with him. He often reassures himself that his creation is the inferior man, citing Georgie's pumpkin-like body as the reason that nobody will ever want him. On the other hand, of the two of them, Georgie seems to have the more active love life. Ben reaches for emotional intimacy through relationship after relationship, but his illness, issues with women, and physical demands--the Georgie in him--constantly hamper his progress. As the narrator, Ben's point of view colors all of the other characters. Several of these, in addition to Georgie, are or may be fictional, mere expressions of Ben's illness. This is especially true of the women in Ben's life. There are comparatively very few men in this story, but the women are usually of a seductive and even predatory type. Ben aggressively sizes up the ladies he knows, from his girlfriends to his therapist, in terms of their attractiveness, perhaps in an attempt to balance the scales, since in his own perception, women are domineering copies of his own terrifying mother. Part of Ben's evolution is to move toward a valuing of women beyond his mother issues, a satisfying direction for this character to travel. Living Colorful Beauty is a twisted, intensely character-driven ride that ends on a hopeful note. It may interest fans of Charles Bukowski and Tom Robbins.

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2
Jul

Room of Books: When We Were Invincible

Written in the vein of Catcher in the Rye or The World According to Garp, Jonathan Harnisch’s When We Were Invincible is a coming-of-age novella, which details the experiences of outsider Georgie Gust navigating the fictional St. Michael’s Academy, a prestigious East Coast boarding school. Georgie suffers from Tourette’s Syndrome and early onset schizophrenia, which makes his journey all the more poignant.

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2
Jul

Room of Books: Lover in the Nobody

A young man battling extreme mental illness brings his sadomasochistic fantasies to life in Harnisch's (Sex, Drugs, and Schizophrenia, 2014, etc.) latest novel. As this riveting story opens, Georgie Gust, a suicidal Tourette's syndrome patient, tells his doctor he wants to leave the mental institution where he's been committed. When the doctor puts him off, Gust finds himself buffeted by violent fantasies of escape, and he even prepares to hang himself. The novel plunges readers into the mind of a man at war with his own urges, memories, and sexual obsessions. After a scene shift, Gust's chauffeur, Ben, delivers him to his empty home, where Margaret, his only friend, visits to check on him. However, she annoys him because "she seems to care." Later, Gust, a foot fetishist, gives a pedicure to his sexy neighbor, Claudia, in a scene lit with unexpected poetry and poignancy. As the narrative viewpoint flickers among Gust, Ben, and a quasi-omniscient third-person perspective, Gust's voracious appetite for pain prompts him to hire Claudia to torment him. (He has wealthy parents, so he spends cash liberally.) When Claudia's house goes up in flames, she moves in with him, and their sadomasochistic bond descends into extraordinary, hallucinatory violence. In Claudia's hands, Gust discovers new depths of masochism, and she finds joy in tormenting him. Despite the garishness, brutality, and squalor of many passages (which are not for the squeamish), more sophisticated readers will appreciate the extraordinary feat Harnisch has accomplished. He lucidly, poignantly conveys a mind riven with what are, after all, human vulnerabilities: mental pathologies, shameful fantasies, anguished doubts about the natures of reality, love, and memory. In the hands of a lesser writer, these themes would splinter the narrative. Fortunately, the author masters his material; readers will believe the voices that vivify it and compassionately wish them to find the healing that eludes them. An extraordinary, harrowing odyssey into an embattled self, full of humor, compassion, and a rare understanding of mental illness.

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1
Jul

Living Successfully With Schizophrenia On Facebook Live

Thursday, June 30, 2016, in Corrales, NM; Schizophrenia is characterized by abnormal social behavior. In severe cases, patients may see or hear things that aren't real.

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