Hanbleceya is a long-term, residential-like treatment program designed to teach those afflicted with a chronic mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar, depression and dual diagnoses, the skills necessary to live a happy, healthy and independent life.
"No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities -- always see them for they're always there."
~ Norman Vincent Peale, author, speaker and minister
Message From Kerry
Schizoaffective disorder is a life-long illness that can impact all areas of a person's life including daily living skills, work or school, social contacts, and relationships in general. At Hanbleceya, we strive to support our clients afflicted with this illness by helping them develop the tools necessary to overcome these surmountable challenges. With time, willingness and a supportive family system we know that life changing progress can result from treatment in a therapeutic community like Hanbleceya.
Enjoy our latest newsletter and please feel free to contact us if we can be of service to you.
~ Kerry Paulson, Owner/Business Manager since 2005
Message From Karlyn
Schizoaffective Disorder and its two subtypes – bipolar type and depressive type – is often challenging to accurately diagnose due to its consisting of both psychosis and mood symptoms. Patients with Schizoaffective Disorder meet the diagnostic criteria for both schizophrenia and a mood disorder – either a major depressive episode or a manic/mixed episode – so making an accurate diagnosis can be complicated. A thorough diagnostic interview, psychological testing, and review of medication and treatment history is essential for making a precise diagnosis, as is ruling out the influence of a substance-induced or medical condition.
A particularly important consideration in determining a diagnosis of Schizoaffective Disorder is the sequential relationship between the psychotic symptoms and the mood symptoms. For example, if the psychotic symptoms occur only within the context of a mood episode, the diagnosis would more likely be a mood disorder with psychotic features. For a Schizoaffective Disorder diagnosis, the psychotic symptoms (i.e. delusions or hallucinations) must occur concurrently with a mood episode, but the psychotic symptoms must be present for at least one month and for at least 2 weeks without the mood symptoms. As you can see, making this diagnosis can be very tricky and underscores the importance of obtaining an inclusive and accurate symptom history.
A comprehensive and multifaceted treatment plan is often indicated for the treatment of Schizoaffective Disorder that will include both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic elements. Depending on the subtype of the disorder (bipolar or depressive), medication treatment may include anti-psychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety or anticonvulsant medications, or a combination of such. Psychosocial approaches that include education, family and friend involvement, and psychotherapy techniques such as motivational interviewing and cognitive-behavioral therapy can help increase awareness of the illness, enhance symptom management and effective coping strategies, teach and improve social skills and foster greater life and relationship functioning. While the diagnosis of Schizoaffective Disorder may change over time based on the symptom presentation, it is typically treated as a long-term, possibly life-long condition.
“Everything is complicated; if that were not so, life and poetry and everything else would be a bore.”
~ Wallace Stevens, American Poet
~Dr. Karlyn Pleasants, Owner/Co-Program Director, a member of the Hanbleceya Community since 1997
Community Member Forum
When I first came to Hanbleceya on my 2-day assessment I was positive that I didn’t need treatment. I was an active addict and my schizophrenia was terrible. Yet I still believed that I could live without any treatment or help with my mental illness. I begged my parents to support me in getting a job and living without treatment. They refused and soon I was attending Hanbleceya.
The first few months were very stressful. I was lying a lot and that landed me a housing suspension for five days. At one point, I was able to convince everyone, including the psychiatrist, to take me off my medications. I soon found myself suffering from severe symptoms and I eventually ended up losing my job. Due to safety concerns, Hanbleceya staff also suspended my driving privileges and I was sent to the hospital four separate times. Eventuallay, I found that following the program and working hard was the only way to graduate from Hanbleceya and get what I really wanted out of life. I was soon doing ten hours a week of work development, including job training, and within three months I found a job. I was able to save up for a car and bought one from my neighbor for $600.
It took me months to get stabilized on my meds during which time I learned that my schizophrenia was “drug induced.” As soon as I was stabilized I got my old employer to take me back. Then I landed a better paying position working for a company in downtown San Diego. Since recovering from being taken off of my medication, I have been doing very well.
Living in a therapeutic community also helped me in many ways. I have a group of people that help to monitor my symptoms. Sometimes I don’t notice if I am particularly losing focus and other people can point it out to me. When I didn’t think that I had schizophrenia my roommate helped me identify times when I was exhibiting symptoms so I could see how my behavior was different than the times when I wasn’t experiencing symptoms. Without the observations given to me by my roommate and my peers in the community, it would have taken me longer to get a grip on my symptoms.
I thank Hanbleceya for teaching me how to live a sober life and manage my symptoms much better. While at Hanbleceya, I also learned many skills such as maintaining a clean bedroom and house as well as how to properly do my laundry and cook meals to name a few. Integrating these tools into my everyday life has helped me to overall become more healthy, productive and independent.
I recently transitioned out of Hanbleceya housing and I am now living on my own. I am confident that the skills I learned at Hanbleceya will serve me for the rest of my life. I continue to go to groups and therapy sessions at Hanbleceya and I continue to learn more about how to manage my symptoms.
I credit Hanbleceya for turning my life around. I was a hopeless addict and was suffering from horrible symptoms before coming here. Now I have a great job and I am able to live life like any normal person.
~Ryan R., a member of the Hanbleceya Community since July 2009
Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome
When we think of drug or alcohol addiction we usually focus on alcohol and drug symptoms and not the sobriety-based symptoms, such as Post-Acute Withdrawal (PAW). Yet, this is what makes sobriety a difficult process for an individual. Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) have been defined by the Ohio State University Medical Center as when the brain undergoes physical changes to cope without the presence of the drug in the body. As the brain improves, the levels of chemicals fluctuate in the process of approaching the new equilibrium. According to Terence T. Gorski, 75-95% of recovering alcoholics and addicts have illustrated brain dysfunction which has been contributed to many cases of relapse. In most cases, symptoms of PAW usually manifest themselves seven to fourteen days after stopping alcohol or drug use and peaks over three to six months. PAW symptoms are not the same for everyone, however, most common symptoms of PAW includes inability to think clearly, memory problems, over-active or numbness in emotions, sleep problems, coordination problems, and inability to cope with stress. The symptoms vary in severity, length, and how often they occur. It is important to keep in mind that PAWS is normal and it is a part of recovering from any substance addiction. According to Ohio State University Medical Center, the best way to keep the PAW symptoms under control is to pursue individual and group therapy, develop and utilize a recovery support network (such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous), and reevaluate behavior and thoughts. It is also important to exercise and keep a well-balanced diet that restricts sugar and fat intake, along with having a caffeine free diet since caffeine causes nervousness and restlessness.
~ Roza Parvin BA, CD Case Manager, a member of the Hanbleceya Community since 2010.
For more information on Post-Acute Withdrawal, please visit these sites: