Schizophrenia Remission Criteria

I’m going to give information here that gives hope for those of us living with a diagnosis of SZ and our family members:

Clinical remission is possible without having to wait years and years or decades to to achieve it.

The criteria for remission is at least six months of mild, minimal, or absent symptoms. According to the Remission in Schizophrenia Working Group you can achieve remission in as little as six months.

! want to list the criteria for remission from schizophrenia according to the Remission in Schizophrenia Working Group:

“Criteria include a score of 3 (mild), 2 (minimal), or 1 (absent) for at least six months for all of the following items on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS)*:”

  1. Delusions (P1)
  2. Conceptual disorganization (P2)
  3. Hallucinatory behavior (P3)
  4. Unusual thought content (G9)
  5. Mannerisms and posturing (G5)
  6. Blunted Affect (N1)
  7. Passive/apathetic social withdrawal (N4)
  8. Lack of spontaneity and flow of conversation (N6)

*A score of <3 suggests a level at which symptomatology does not have appreciable affects on daily functioning.

The stages of remission go from acute phase to stabilization phase to stable phase to remission.

Elsewhere it’s been indicated that upwards of 85 percent of individuals diagnosed with SZ reach the stable, stabilization, and recovery phases of the illness.

Fifteen percent have a refractory or treatment-resistant version.

“The journey to recovery can start at any time point throughout the stages of illness to achieving remission.”

This criteria is taken from “Striving Towards Recovery: Setting New Expectations in Schizophrenia”–a poster session that Ronald Diamond, MD presented at the NAMI convention in Washington DC in 2006.

Other research indicates that you can be in remission without achieving a better level of functional recovery. And that clinical remission in one study predicted functional improvement.

The bottom line: you can have a full and robust life living in recovery regardless of whether or not you’re in remission.

I offer this six-month guideline to give blog readers living with SZ and family members of loved ones with SZ hope that remission is not impossible to achieve.

Recovery is not impossible to achieve either.

It’s a mistake to set the hoops higher and higher that people diagnosed with SZ have to go through to be considered to be recovered.

So-called normal people have gotten a free pass at being jackasses and no one insists they live up to the impossible demands that people with SZ are expected to adhere to.

The criteria for remission is six months according to the Remission in Schizophrenia Working Group. Understand?

Inspiration for Risking Change

Yes: I think that I succeeded because I have a diagnosis of SZ not in spite of it.

You have two options in how you respond to a diagnosis that could change your life plans:

Give up and buy what other people are selling: that there’s not much you can do.

Or like I did you can become more determined to defy everyone’s expectations.

That’s the difference: the diagnosis motivated me to try my best to succeed.

Before the diagnosis I always wanted to live an artist’s life in the city. After the diagnosis I quickly realized that I could do this because it was under my control whether I at least tried to do this.

As long as I gave my goals my best shot, it wouldn’t matter if I failed. The same goes for you. The only real failure is the failure to try.

As a kid, as a younger person, I lived on Staten Island–the borough where the cop killed Eric Garner in a choke-hold. It wasn’t the place I wanted to continue to live.

It was a world of white conformity in every way–devoid of color; devoid of culture.  I wanted to escape ever since I was in college.

After I was diagnosed I realized that if I acquiesced to the life plan I was being sold [collecting SSI forever and forced to live in public housing] I wouldn’t ever get out.

Take this tip from me as to what I did next:

I had the courage to risk change because I believed that tomorrow could be better.

Know this as I did then:

Whatever you want to do in life is under your control because it’s up to you to take action to try to get there. The choices you make today will help you get to where you want to be tomorrow.

Start your engines. The road is wide open.

Pizzoccheri

pizzocheri

This time around I’ll use more cabbage.

The Pizzoccheri recipe is  from thekitchn.com. The link will take you to the recipe since it’s kind of long so I won’t repeat it here. The recipe might be copyrighted.

You can print the recipe up from thekitchn.com.

It calls for pasta, potatoes, and cabbage.

I used bionaturae organic 100% whole wheat chiocciole.

You shred the cabbage in strips.

I bought a mandoline–is that what it’s called–a kind of slicer in a housewares store years ago. This might help shredding the cabbage into strips.

There you have it: a tasty meal you can make year-round on weeknights.

Strong is the New Beautiful

Strong is the New Beautiful by Olympic gold-medal skier Lindsey Vonn is the number-one fitness book I’ve ever read.

I urge you to go out and buy this book or install it on a device.

Turn to page 156 for this gem alone which makes it worth buying the book:

“The more muscle mass you have, the less likely you are to die early from any cause, according to research.”

Lifting weights twice a week and doing cardio once or twice a week can be all that’s needed to get a person in peak condition mentally and physically.

You might be turned off by the photos of Lindsey Vonn without clothes on. Yet if you ask me she poses that way to show women of all shapes and sizes that we’re beautiful just the way we are.

After winning Gold, Lindsey Vonn interacted with celebrities and started to question if she was beautiful because she had a muscular build. She wasn’t stick-thin like the women who are movie screen idols.

What Lindsey Vonn wrote bears repeating here because I’m living proof of what she speaks: you can gain a few pounds from lifting weights and drop a dress size.

Indeed, I didn’t lose any weight when I started strength training. However, I did drop one pant and one skirt size.

I’ve fit into the same size pant and skirt for over 5 years now. No–I didn’t lose weight I actually gained a few pounds. Yet I fit into a smaller size.

The secret is to not give up after only two months. It takes one year at least of consistent, dedicated strength training to see significant results that will last.

The number on the scale really shouldn’t be a woman’s concern in this regard.

As it is, I’m muscular not skeletal thin and I prefer to have muscle.

This summer I will be posting here photos of meals and recipes that readers can try at home.

It’s Greenmarket season–my favorite time of year.

I will also be posting lists of exercise motivation tips and other fitspo as it’s called for fitness inspiration.

Swiss Chard Dinner

2017 swiss chard csa box

This was a weeknight dinner.

The Swiss chard arrived in a CSA box. I bought the chicken like that from an online grocer. The pepper jack cheese was accidentally packed in with the groceries.

The cheese slice is only 80 calories and has calcium and if I remember 9 gm of protein.

The chicken was precooked and arrived in a plastic container.

I sauteed the Swiss chard in olive oil until it was soft not totally wilted.

Perfetto: a summer dinner that takes only about 10 minutes to cook.

I will return early next week with a recipe for pizzocheri. It’s an Italian pasta dish you make with cabbage. I have a photo for that meal too.

Garlic Scape Dressing

garlic scape dressing

I received another CSA box with an unusual produce item that looked like scallions with a tiny green bulb at the end.

It was fortuitous: at a Greenmarket I found the item featured in an egg frittata sample to taste. I brought home the one-page recipe for the garlic scape dressing.

The person I served the salad to claimed the dressing I created was the tastiest he’d ever tasted.

This recipe is from thespruce.com:

Garlic Scape Dressing

Ingredients:

2 garlic scapes, coarsely chopped

2 green onions, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon honey

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard or similar brown mustard

4 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

dash salt

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions (see my clarification below this):

In a blender, combine the garlic scapes, onions, honey, mustard, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. With blender on low, slowly add the olive oil until well blended.

Makes 1 cup.

The trick is to add a little olive oil, PUT THE LID ON the blender, and turn the blender on low. REMOVE the lid, pour in a little more olive oil, put on the lid, and repeat.

I couldn’t figure out which button on my blender was the “low” option so I used the puree button to blend the olive oil into the mixture.

Listen: using lemon juice by squeezing real lemons is preferable to using the lemon juice in a plastic container. The store-bought lemon juice contains sulfur dioxide.

Real lemons are plentiful in produce departments at food markets so I recommend buying lemons instead of the juice in a plastic container.

This salad dressing recipe takes about five to seven minutes to create. It’s a quick and easy recipe for salad dressing you can use with summer salads.

I happen to think that red leaf lettuce is delicious. If you ask me it tastes better than the usual ho-hum spring mix salad greens.

Organic or not, I urge you to give red leaf lettuce a try in the summer. One head of lettuce can sometimes last a single person two days.

Forget iceberg lettuce.

Chilled Avocado Soup Recipe

Here’s a photo of a dinner where I created a chilled avocado soup recipe:

avocado soup

The salad is easy to make with red leaf lettuce.

In the summer, I run to butter lettuce and red leaf lettuce because they’re tasty. Just add colorful tomatoes, onions, and radishes. Even olives and chickpeas can be used.

The shrimp I cooked are from a shrimp scampi recipe I found in a Food Network magazine years ago.

Chilled Avocado Soup

1 large avocado

1/2 cup plain yoogurt

1 1/2 cups milk or cold vegetable stock

salt and pepper to taste

  1.     Peel avocado. Cut into large chunks.
  2.     Place the avocado in a blender and add the yogurt. Blend until creamy.
  3.     Turn off the machine. Scrape down the sides.
  4.      Add the milk. Blend for 15 seconds.

You can season the soup with salt and pepper. It can be garnished with some tomato salsa, chopped fresh herbs, or chopped green onion.

This isn’t one of my favorite recipes yet I repeat it here because readers might like it better than I do. The recipe is quick to make. The soup is a cool version of soup to have in the summer.

The recipe was found in The Jumbo Vegetarian Cookbook which is a collection of recipes for teens.