Saturday, 10 December 2011

beautiful ppl

Today.........its going to be a long, wordy post (again). This time its (possibly) going to be even longer than all my previous posts. I used to think blogging with a lot of words is actually kinda pointless because, hey, who's going to be so free to read that chunk of who-knows-what-you're-trying-to-say-crap-its-all-complaints-anyway right? Then I realise that I'm blogging for myself. To release all the pent-up frustration/stress/angst/whatever. If I even have readers, I thank each and every single one because I know y'all are my beloved friends! 

Firstly, friends. I'm so afraid of letting anyone in already. By that I don't mean another random dude that's going to capture my heart and break it in the end again, but just anyone that even wants to be my friend. All the people you love, will let you down. And vice versa, you will also be a letdown to the people you love in one way or another. I don't want to let down the people I love, neither do I want to be let down. So many things have been happening these days, I wonder when its ever going to end. I treasure each and every person I'm friends with, aquaintance or best bud. I cry a lot whenever I lose someone in my life. I don't know why I'm such a softie. I may be guilty of saying harsh things - so harsh they may ruin everything I ever have with that someone I was harsh to. But everytime after I say all that mean crap, I feel guilty and bad even if I wasn't so much in the wrong. No, I am not saying that I don't have faults at all, I do. 
Anyway, I just want to say that I am very thankful for the people who have stuck around since I knew you. Really. I appreciate each and every one of you a truckload I don't know what I did to deserve y'all. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!! 

Monday, 20 June 2011

Mengukur Eksistensi


Sejauh mana Anda eksis di dunia internet? Ini pertanyaan menggelitik namun grudgingly banyak blogger yang tertarik. Dan kini ada cara yang lumayan konyol namun menurut saya sahih juga.

Bukalah situs Google (anda gagal dalam eksistensi tahap dasar bila masih menanyakan URL). Google kini dilengkapi dengan instrumen "suggestion" yang akan memberikan beberapa alternatif bersamaan dengan Anda mengetik. Inilah barometer eksistensi.

Coba ketik nama Anda. Semakin eksis Anda, Google hanya membutuhkan sedikit mungkin karakter untuk menampilkan nama di barisan suggestion. Vice versa. Anda yang tidak ngetop butuh mengetikkan semua huruf yang ada di nama Anda.

Barack Obama butuh 5 huruf diketik (B-A-R-A-C) sebelum Google menampilkan suggestion yang tepat. Untuk itu ia patut iri kepada fenomena Bieber. Hanya mengetik J-U, Google telah mendapatkan Justin Bieber dalam kolom sugesti.

Dalam konteks lokal, Presiden SBY hanya butuh 4 huruf untuk memunculkan "Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono". Aktris Agnes Monica yang sejak lama ingin eksis internasional boleh berbangga. Cobalah ketik A-G, maka Agnes akan muncul bersamaan dengan Agni Pratistha dan Agung Podomoro. Ini jelas "mengalahkan" Anggun yang membutuhkan empat huruf sebelum ditampilkan Google.

Suggestion ini merupakan hasil rangkuman entry yang ada dikandung Google (alamat URL, situs dan sebagainya), ditambah dengan kecenderungan nama atau kata tersebut diketik di bar pencarian. Di satu masa, ketika heboh dengan videonya, Luna Maya bisa muncul bahkan ketika kita mengetik huruf L! Sekarang effort sedikit bertambah karena harus menambahkan U-N sebelum si cantik muncul.

Nah, kini cobalah mengukur eksistensi Anda. Saya sendiri membutuhkan 10 huruf sebelum nama "Akbar Fajri" muncul. Ya, itu semua huruf dan satu spasi! Rupanya saya tidak begitu beken di dunia maya.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Daddy Is Amazing

I like the idea of celebrating the Father's Day, even if there is no official Father's Day date in my country (Indonesia). We just celebrate the Mother's Day on December 22, and I'm not sure either why my country has no official date for Father's Day, but I just love the idea of honoring the man that gave us his legacy.

Even if, naturally a father is the provider in the family, I think it will be great if we say our gratitude and do something special for this special man. There was actually a declaration about Father's Day in Indonesia (November 12, 2006 in Solo-Central Java and Flores-East Nusa Tenggara), but still, there are many Indonesian people don't know about this. (It's kind of weird isn't it? haha) And so many date on international declaration about father's day. And one of is today, 19th June.

But anyway, Father's Day has been so popular in Asia too, and many Asian countries celebrating the Father's Day with the same way as Western countries. Evidence of days or festivals celebrating fathers can be found as far back as 4,000 years ago. However, it is widely acknowledged that the efforts of a Ms. Sonora Dodd were what led to the eventual creation- in 1972- of the formal holiday as it is known today.

More than himself, a Father would like his children have more opportunities, face just a few difficulties, more independent and (but) always need his presence. Daddy only ask you to do the work you like. Daddy let you win the game when you were young, but he won't let you win when you're grown up. Daddy won't be in the family album because he took the pictures. Daddy always keep his promise. He will keep his promise to help a friend, though your invitation to go fishing actually is more interesting . Daddy will always set your electric train toys for years, though you have been bored, because he still want you to play the train. Daddy will a little bit sad when his children play with their friends. He realize that it's the end of their childhood. Daddy start to plan your life when he knew that your mom is pregnant (you), but at the time you were born, he started to make revision.

Daddy will help you to make your dream come true and he can assure you to do impossible things, like floating on the water after he release you. Daddy perhaps does not know the answer of everything, but he helps you find it. Daddy perhaps looks fierce in your eye, but in your friend's eyes he looks funny and care.
Daddy is hard to face his gray he blamed his barber of cutting to much hair of him. Daddy will always love to help you do your homework, unless the newest math homework. Daddy is slow to have friend, but he is friend for life. Daddy is really love to help someone..but he hardly asked for help. Daddy always postpone to bring the car to the workshop, because he thinks he could fix it himself. Daddy is in the kitchen. He thinks cook is like science discovery. He has his own formula and only him will understand how to explain the complicated equation. And the result ? mmmh not bad. He will boast that only him who's able to cook the fusion dishes, like sushi and wienerschnitzel mix with potato salad. Daddy may never touch broom when he was young, but he could learn fast. Daddy will really love if the whole family eat dinner together though the electricity went off. Daddy will know the most how to pull the swing high enough to make you happy but not afraid. Daddy will give you the best seat, put you on his shoulder when the parade started.

Daddy will not spoil you when you're sick, but he won't sleep for the night. In case you need him. Daddy think you should independent, so he won't tell you what you have to do, but he will express his disagree.
Daddy believe that you should on time that's why he always wait for you with his old car, to take you on your first day to school. Daddy is generous..he will forget what he wants, so that he could give you what you needed.  Daddy let your scarecrow wears his sweater. Daddy will buy you lollipop that you ask, and eat it if you don't like. Daddy will stop everything that he worked on, if you like to talk..

Daddy always think and work hard to pay your tuition fee, though you never help count his wringkles Even he will love to hear your advice to stop his smoking habit. Daddy will lift your burden from your shoulder with his hands around the burden. Daddy will said "Ask your mom" when he liked to say "no". Daddy was never angry, but his face will be red-faced when his daughter was staying at a friend's house without permission. And he almost never angry, except when he found his son smoking in the bathroom.

Dad says "it's okay to take a little risk only you have to prepare lose what you expect."  The best compliment for daddy was when he saw you do something just like his way .... Daddy is more proud of your accomplishments, rather than his own accomplishments ... Daddy just will shake your hand the first time you left the house, because if he hugged you it probably never be released. Daddy thought a hundred is a tip ..; Thousand is allowance ..; Your first salary is too big for him.

Daddy does not like to shed a tear .... when you were born, and he heard you crying for the first time, he was very pleased until the tear out of his eyes (ssst.. but again this is not crying). When you were little, he can hold you to expel your fear when you dream ... to be killed the monster ... but ..... he was able to cry and could not sleep through the night, when his favorite daughter in the foreign country does not give the news for nearly a month.

I think my daddy once said: "If you want to get a sharp sword and a high quality, do not look it in the market much less from flea market, but come and order directly from the good iron. As well as with love and friends in your life, if you want to find true love someday, then asked for and order to Him that created them "

For his son future, daddy told his son: "Be strong and tougher than me, choose a mother for your future children a better woman than your mother, give a better for daughter in law and my grandchildren, than what have I give to you"

For his daughter future, daddy told his daughter: "Do not wimp though you're a woman, be my little angel and is always the best angel to the father of your children someday! A man who can protect you more than me, but never replace my position in your heart."

Daddy insisted, that your children will have to be better than you used to ....
Daddy can make you believe in yourself ... because he believes in you ...
Daddy did not try to be the best, but he's just trying to do the best ....

And most important is ... Daddy never stop you to love God, even he would spread a thousand roads so you can reach His love, because he loves you because of His love.

Dedicated to all daddy in the world.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Chocolate Factory Experience

Alkisah Charlie Bucket, seorang anak lugu dan sederhana dari keluarga yang secara memprihatinkan sederhana pula. Tinggal disebuah gubug reyot di pinggir kota yang terkenal dengan pabrik coklat terbesar di dunia-nya. Pabrik yang dulunya menjadi generator penduduk untuk bermukim di sekitar dengan sebagian besar mata pencaharian bergantung pada kelangsungan industri cokelat tersebut. Suatu saat, si pemilik pabrik yang eksentrik, Willy Wonka memutuskan untuk mem-PHK semua pekerja di pabrik tersebut, dan secara misterius menjalankan pabrik-nya seorang diri. Hal ini menjadi misteri terbesar bagi semua orang.
Sementara dalam pandangan lugu Charlie, pabrik cokelat adalah "dunia fantasi". Suatu negeri yang penuh dengan makanan kegemarannya itu. Dalam jumlah banyak dan gratis yang mampu ia konsumsi. Bagaimana mungkin sebuah bangunan bisa menjalankan roda fantasi bagi berjuta-juta anak-anak. Ada apakah di dalamnya?

Impian Charlie tersebut mungkin sama dengan imajinasi masa kecil kita dahulu. Gw pernah mempunyai "mimpi" tentang mall. Seperti "dunia fantasi"-kah jika kita terjebak di dalam mall yang penuh dengan mainan-mainan sepanjang malam sampai pagi. Dengan gratis kita memilih, menjalankan, bermain sepuas hati. Dunia tak berbatas yang sesuai dengan impian kita.

Demikian Tim Burton yang memang ahli dalam "menerjemahkan" alam mimpi menyusun konsep untuk film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, yang aslinya dikarang oleh Roald Dahl sebagai karya sastra untuk anak-anak yang sarat dengan pesan moral. Burton tidak memberikan fokus kepada si eksentrik Willy Wonka seperti film pendahulunya (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) melainkan (lagi-lagi) setting luar biasa, gaya Inggris-industrial (gothic atmosphere), gridded city, gubug reyot dalam arti sebenarnya, atau sungai "coklat" yang nampak seperti sungai citaum yang lagi banjir, tetapi dalam citarasa yang nikmat. Burton menghadirkan realita dari fantasi Charlie Bucket tentang dunia fantasi-nya.

Satu hal gw suka banget adalah apresiasi Burton terhadap film "A 2001 Space Odyssey" karya Kubrick. Film lawas yang fenomenal itu menjadi scene sendiri dalam adegan (spoiler alert) Mike Teevee tersedot dalam teleport. Blackbox yang ada di Space Odyssey pada awalnya berubah menjadi sekotak Wonka's Chocolate. Hehehehe, lengkap dengan musik dan suasana "putih"-nya. Dalam interkoneksi, dua film ini menjadi suatu bentuk manifestasi imajinasi. Space Odyssey merupakan imajinasi futuristik dari futurolog Arthur C Clarke, sementara Charlie and the Chocolate Factory adalah hasil "teleportasi" Burton ke dalam otak seorang anak bernama Charlie Bucket yang menjadi simbol kesederhanaan anak-anak oleh pengarang buku-nya, Roald Dahl.

Satu lagi, quote yang brilian adalah ketika si kakek skeptis menganjurkan Charlie untuk "experience" Golden Ticket-nya ketimbang dituker dengan sejumlah duit (yang emang dibutuhkan oleh keluarganya. "Uang itu akan terus dicetak, dan kamu tidak bakal kehilangannya. Sementara pengalaman itu datangnya sekali dalam seumur hidup, apa kamu akan menghilangkannya?". It's time to give our life meanings

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Good Movie?

Not so long ago, one of my bestfriend said: "...Constantine (Frank Lawrence) tuh film yang perfek banget! Ngga ada cacat-nya sama sekali...". Quite shocking am I? Yup I agree kalo Constantine emang film yang entertaining. Tapi ketika kita memberikan suatu komentar apresiasi, doesn't it bit too naive to said so...Constantine adalah film dengan banyak cacat menurut gue. Especially karakter utama-nya, John Constantine, yang amat sangat terribly miscast by Keanu Reeves. I'm a comic book fans, jadi ekpektasi gue adalah John Constantine as tough as John McClane di trilogi Die Hard, atau Tyler Durden-nya Fight Club (David Fincher). They're really bad as mothe'fucker...kata orang sono. Sementara cast Keanu sangat "kalem" dan kata temen gue cool-nya sok sok Matrix gitu...maksutnya mungkin cool yang cuek tapi ngga bandel. Indeed gue setuju kalo blunder terbesar dari film Constantine adalah jatuhnya cast John Constantine ke tangan Keanu. Selain itu ada juga beberapa screenplay yang monoton (seperti misalnya adegan zombie-like) khas horror Hollywood beserta music score-nya. Pfuih, to me it's a far from perfect movie!

But, soal selera emang berbeda-beda. I agree. Constantine bisa dibilang menarik karena memang konflik dan dasar ceritanya udah menarik. You know what? The worst film I've ever seen...Batman and Robin (Joel Schumacher)...itu masih enak juga ditonton karena emang dasarnya menarik. Tapi sebagai movie fans yang mencermati banyak hal dari film, Batman and Robin adalah scumbag yang even ngga layak ada di antara Batman dan Batman Returns-nya Tim Burton sebagai prekuel. Bahkan masih jauh mendingan Batman Forever-nya Joel Schumacher sebelumnya. However, daya tariknya emang ada di: "'s Batman.."-nya. Like or dislike, sang Ksatria Kegelapan bakal narik box office. Troy juga quit pro quo. Secara film menurut gue adalah film yang sangat jelek (despite for the set). Tapi karena temanya udah menarik, jadi whatever it might come tetep aja jadi film yang menarik untuk ditonton, tapi tidak untuk dimasukkan sebagai film yang bagus.

Film yang bagus bagi gue adalah film yang memiliki handicap untuk mewujudkan sebuah cerita yang mungkin biasa saja menjadi sesuatu yang menarik. In the Name of the Father (Jim Sheridan), Shawshank Redemption (Frank Darabont), The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola), Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola), Cidade de Deus (Alejandro Meirelles), Dead Man Walking (Tim Robbins) atau Mystic River (Clint Eastwood). Itu hanya beberapa contoh saja film yang menurut pendapat gue adalah film berkelas! Tema yang mereka ambil bukan tema yang populis. Not everyone like for being an Irish, lifer or death prison, atau bahkan orang yang berpikir dirinya "just being in a wrong place and at the wrong time". Tapi secara visual film-film tersebut mampu memberikan gambaran how does it feel to be like that, melalui permainan akting, sinematografi, alur dan penceritaan yang solid. Itu adalah film yang ngga semua orang bakal mampu ngerjain-nya. Cidade de Deus lebih dahsyat lagi, karena tema yang diangkat was EXTREMELY UNPOPULIST. Itu adalah film semi dokumenter tentang kekerasan di lingkungan kumuh sudut kota Rio de Janeiro. Masalahnya adalah sang sutradara, Meirelles, bisa membuat suatu visualisasi dahsyat gabungan antara sinematografi dan twisted plot untuk membuat penceritaan-nya ngga serboring kita dengerin Wardah Hafidz orasi. That's what I called brilliant.

Film Fight Club (Fincher) adalah film yang bagus (even menurut IMDB dan user comment-nya). Ceritanya memang sudah menarik, tetapi versi naskah-nya yang ditulis Chuck Palahniuk adalah naskah yang sarat atas filosofi-filosofi post-strukturalis yang berat dan "not visual friendly". Hebatnya, Fincher berhasail menyampaikan (at least menurut gue) tema "berat" tersebut nge-blur dalam satu jalinan cerita yang solid dan sinematografi yang mantap. Adegan memorable seperti ketika perabot Ikea dari si Narator (Edward Norton) muncul adalah refleksi dari kehebatan sinematografi untuk menyampaian pesan "consumers life" yang menjadi objek kritik film. Atau Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino) yang selalu menjadikan setiap adegan sebagai media mengeluarkan statement si sutradara (dan pembuat naskah - Tarantino himself) dalam bentuk dialog-dialog yang ekstra panjang. Who cares about McD and Burger King in France anyway?! Tapi dengan cast yang pas (John Travolta dan Samuel L. Jackson) adegan itu jadi memorable dan menjadi fitur film yang sangat berkesan. That what I considered as a challenge.

Peter Jackson menyadari bahwa he's dealin with fire ketika menangani trilogi epik saga Lord of the Rings. Indeed, he need a bloody research mulai dari awal dekade 90-an untuk mewujudkan film hampir 10 tahun kemudian! It's a heavyweight composure dan terbayar dengan visualisasi brilian yang memberikan gambaran terpatri tentang Middle Earth Creature-nya Tolkien. Sama yang dilakukan Ridley Scott dalam Blade Runner tentang visi masa depan. They deal with a good script but they didn't ever think to spoil it. Dance With Wolves (Kevin Costner) juga membutuhkan riset untuk hadir dengan Siouxense speech-nya, just like the Elven language on Jackson's trilogy. It's not as easy untuk membuat satu film yang bagus meski kita sudah mempunyai bekal cerita yang bagus. Take a look at the Alamo, Alexander atau Hulk. Siapa yang mendebat bahwa saga benteng di Texas, ksatria penakluk dunia dan ikon komik Marvel itu adalah cerita yang bagus? But they didn't manage to visualize it well!

Anyway, I'm enjoying Constantine...dan relatif ketika dibilang itu adalah film yang bagus. I agree! It's a good adaptation from comic book to movie. Dan indeed selera orang memang berbeda. Tapi ketika dibilang Constantine it's a perfect movie? Well, gue cuman takut film-film grand kaya yang banyak gue sebut di atas ngga ada lagi. Film yang butuh pengorbanan ekstra untuk mewujudkannya dan disukai banyak orang. Film yang dibuat for the sake of art dan duit bukan segalanya. Gue sangat yakin bayaran dan keuntungan trilogi Lord of the Rings ngga bisa nge-cover semua proses mulai dari riset di awal 90-an sampai video release-nya. Tapi at least Peter Jackson udah bisa senyum lega karena dia menghasilkan mastrepiece yang bakal jadi ikon film di awal milenia. Seperti halnya George Lucas dengan Star Wars-nya. I'm pretty sure it will!

Monday, 28 February 2011

how important to manage stress

There are various causes of stress; when we  experience something unusual or unexpected and it demands too much from us, we either face the experience or run from it. Various individuals have different ways to handle stress levels. Others can simply overcome their stressful events while others simply cannot that they experience chronic or persisting stress.

Doctors connect health risks to stress since our body react to combat unusual experience, we experience the manifestation of stress through regular headaches and colds. Stress imposes great pressures on our brain, immune systemm,  blood vessels, digestive system, sensory organs and  lungs. But, if stress is not at all addressed, we risk more our health to the following health issues:

  • heart disease 
  • depression 
  • diabetes 
  • hair loss 
  • sexual dysfunction 
  • hyperthyroidism 
  • obesity 
  • obsessive-compulsive or anxiety disorder 
  • tooth and gum disease 
  • ulcers 
  • cancer 
  • alcoholism
  • drug addiction
  • allergies and skin problems
  • coursework!!! The most frequently appear!!!!
 To handle stress, it is imperative that we have stress – intervention strategies which include:

  • regular and steady exercise
  • correct healthy diet
  • positive social life
  • fun recreations including poker for mac
  • positive outlook towards life, problems, people, work among others
  • support system with and through friends and family

Stress can be remedied and if properly and promptly addressed, we can use stress to fuel us to do better. Acknowledging the cause of our  stress and finding ways to face this issue, we reduce our health risks. It is quite important that we have the right  mechanisms to handle stress and with the right information how to battle it, we don't allow chronic stress to persist.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Overview Avatar

Every fantasy built from a true story...

Itu bukan kutipan Sigmund Freud, atau persona sohor lainnya. Gw hanya berpikir seperti prakata yang menjadi narasi film "Arthur", bahwa mitos, folklor, legenda, dan kisah-kisah di luar rasio memiliki fondasi yang dibangun dari sebuah rasio.

Simpelnya, bahkan JRR Tolkien memerlukan latar hidupnya untuk mengomposisi saga fantasi modern Lord of the Rings. Let alone puluhan skrip sci-fi yang lahir di era cyberpunk.

Maka, gw pun mencoba menalar apa yang ada di pikiran James Cameron kala dia membuat Avatar. George Lucas membuat dunia Star Wars, di era film modern, menggemakan dunia imajinasi yang menyemarakkan absurditas Wonderland-nya Alice yang berasal dari tradisi tutur. Bedanya, George Lucas menyiapkan fantasinya untuk tradisi pirsa, sehingga detil-detil dunianya harus ia siapkan dalam pemahaman visual yang masuk ke ranah rasio.

Dan teknologi makin mendukung perkembangan gagasan nirbatas, sehingga apa yang James Cameron lakukan adalah membuat protagonisnya berupa makhluk berwarna biru setinggi tiga meter, yang mungkin merupakan evolusi seekor singa, lantaran adaptasi morfologinya masih menyisakan surai, taring dan ekor berujung rambut.

Itulah bangsa "Na'vi", penduduk indigenus planet Pandora. Dari perilaku dan juga kosmetik tribal-nya, gw menebak landasan bangsa tersebut adalah bangsa asli Amerika, migran dari Eskimo, yang karena kebodohan Colombus maka dinamakan Indian. Bangsa yang membentang dari bekunya Alaska, sampai ke hutan hujan di Amerika Selatan. Itu mengapa tribal protagonisnya diberi nama Omaticaya, nama yang mirip dengan lafal suku Inca.

Ada pula folklor di Amerika yang bersetting pada masa formatif dunia baru, berupa romansa antara kaum indigenus yang diwakili Pocahontas, dengan seorang "alien" berkebangsaan Inggris, John Smith. Meski tak yakin alterasi nama Neytiri ke Pocahontas, tapi bagu saya inisial JS bisa mewadahi John Smith atau Jake Sully. Jake Sully dan Neytiri adalah dua protagonis utama di film Avatar.

Lalu, apa dasar lain yang digunakan oleh James Cameron untuk ciptakan saga Pandora-nya?

Rancangan film ini sudah dibuat sejak tahun 1994, yang artinya melewati masa administrasi Bush, ketika mereka menginvasi dengan kekuatan militer dengan dalih "pre-emptive strike" dan "war on terror" untuk berbarrel-barrel minyak bumi, sumber energi utama yang digantungi 80% penduduk bumi. Di Avatar, ada mobilisasi militer untuk mendapatkan logam unobtanium.

Atau bila kita kembali ke era Indian, hasilnya adalah "ecstasy of gold" (dan perak untuk kasus Potosi) yang dibawa conquistador, atau pemukim peloper yang halalkan semua cara, termasuk menghabisi atau memperbudak pendududuk asli.

Meski secara jalan cerita Avatar cukup standar, tapi yang patut dikagumi adalah bagaimana alam Pandora diciptakan dengan keseimbangannya, meski secara ekosistem penggambaran keragaman hayatinya masih sedikit kurang menurut gw.

Dalam alegori Indian, mungkin ada role bison yang diambil hybrid badak, banteng dan kumbang. Tunggangan berupa kuda, dan juga dua hewan angkasa yang disakralkan: elang (banshee) dan kondor besar Amerika (Toruk). Ditambah dengan kehadiran kucing besar solois (cougar) dan anjing semi-nokturnal (serigala), universal Pandora merupakan refleksi kedua dari dunia kaum Indian di Amerika, kecuali secara botani sample-nya adalah hutan hujan tropis, kediaman Indian Amazon dan leluhur mereka.

Manusia menjadi alien kali ini, dalam versi Cameron, kritik untuk perilaku spesies kita yang serakah dan jauh dari sikap menghargai alam. Atas nama peradaban, kita menganggap kebudayaan primitif itu adalah sebuah setback yang senantiasa bisa dicerahkan dengan sistem pendidikan dan kedok bantuan sosial tanpa rasa ikhlas. Sementara yang kita anggap bodoh malah memperlakukan keseimbangan di atas segalanya.

Gw terus menerus tercekat memikirkan unsur ekstrinsik yang membangun dunia Avatar oleh James Cameron. Hingga, unsur intrinsik sebuah film, yang selain visualisasi sebetulnya diselesaikan dengan cara sederhana, tak terlampau merisaukan dengan generalisasi kisah epiknya.

Namun, sekali lagi, sebuah karya yang bagus kadang bukan berpijak ke kompleksitas, namun kedalamannya. Ini laras dengan prinsip hidup kaum primitif yang sederhana namun memiliki makna yanh dalam. Maka bagi gw, Avatar adalah penggambaran yang tepat untuk membenturkan kompleksitas hidup kaum modern versus kebersahajaan.

Satu hal harus dicatat, kesederhanaan yang dilakukan dengan berakar dalam, hasilnya jauh dari sifat mediokritas.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Sydney Opera House Part 2

Bangunan ikonik yang menjadi simbol dunia baru, khususnya Sydney dan Australia. Salah satu pencapaian terbaik dalam arsitektur. Coba hitung, ada berapa bangunan yang mampu mendefinisikan sebuah kota? Colleseum di Roma, Tembok Cina, Piramida, Menara Eiffel. Itu semua masuk dalam keajaiban dunia. Dan rasanya status Opera House juga sudah masuk ke dalam kategori itu, sehingga UNESCO menahbiskan status perlindungannya, setara dengan Stonehenge, sebagai landmark peradaban. De facto dan de jure, SOH mendapatkan legitimasinya.

Opera House dibangun di lahan yang berkontur. Lokasi bangunan sedikit lebih tinggi dibanding level jalan dan plaza. Akses utama menuju SOH berupa trap tangga, dengan akses ramp di sebelah kiri dan kanan. Atraksi utamanya tentulah sebuah struktur bangunan metafora dari layar terkembang (diperkuat oleh bentuk logo resmi SOH), yang bila diamati dari depan juga mirip dengan cangkang-cangkang raksasa. Sebuah derivasi dari bentuk organik yang menjadi ciri dan insiprasi para seniman ekspresionis. Dari dekat, terlihat detail-detail arsitektural yang membuat bangunan ini membutuhkan lebih dari satu dekade untuk selesai. Gurat-gurat linear dari beton membuat satu alur menarik yang bertabrakan dengan material kaca, sebagai dinding pembatas. Di kulit luar, beton ditutup dengan keramik berwarna krem dengan mozaik putih, sehingga bila dari jauh kadang terlihat putih, lain waktu agak keemasan, dan kadang sedikit kuning.SOH sebetulnya berorientasi menghadap ke Harbour Bridge, dengan halaman utamanya adalah laut! Tiga pasang cangkang menghadap ke laut, dan sepasang cangkang dan dua set cangkang kecil menghadap darat. Bangunan utama, di bawah empat pasang cangkang adalah gedung opera untuk pertunjukan (performance). Sementara dua set bangunan kecil dipakai untuk restoran dan museum.

Akses dari arah darat adalah plaza yang sangat luas, membentang sampai ke Circular Quay melewati area historis pendaratan koloni pertama, Sydney Cove. Area tersebut digunakan oleh warga sebagai sarana publik untuk berolahraga, berjalan-jalan menggunakan stroller bersama bayinya, bersandar ke pagar melihat Harbour Bridge dan sebagainya. Akses untuk menuju Opera House sangat terbuka, dan luas tanpa pagar sama sekali (apa kabar Monas?). Ini laras dengan kriteria bangunan landmark yang membutuhkan ruang apresiasi luas agar bisa menciptakan perbandingan skalatis dengan manusia. Di perbatasan jalan raya (hanya ada satu jalan kuldesak untuk mengakses) dan plaza, ada semacam papan informasi dan display mengenai bangunan, beserta brosur tentang acara-acara yang dijadwalkan pentas.Tepi bangunan adalah plaza observatorial, yang memungkinkan kita melihat-lihat menyeberangi laut. Di sebelah kiri adalah Harbour Bridge dan visi kota Sydney. Di sebelah kanan terlihat Royal Botany Gardens, yang dibelakangnya menyembul vista area permukiman elite, Rose Bay dan Double Bay. Di depan bangunan, menyeberangi laut adalah Sydney bagian utara. Di belakang bangunan terlihat skyline sentra bisnis, termasuk Sydney Tower. Sehingga secara sirkular kita bisa memandangi utuh Sydney, tanpa harus berada sekian level di atas permukaan tanah. Betapa briliannya inisiator ide yang memutuskan lokasi landmark akan dibangun di tanjung Bennelong tersebut.Ini adalah karya arsitektur yang mampu mendefiniskan sebuah kota. Seperti termaktub dalam notasi hadiah Pritzker yang diterima Jorn Utzon, sang arsitek dari Sydney Opera House, pada tahun 2003:

"Salah satu bangunan ikonik terbesar di abad ke-20. Sebuah gambaran dari keindahan yang membawanya ke seluruh dunia. Simbol tak hanya dari kota, tapi juga negara dan benua."

Foto Atas: Metafora layar dan komposisi struktur SOH. Foto Bawah: SOH dari arah orientasi utama dengan latar CBD kota Sydney

360 Degrees Restaurant @Sydney Tower

Nama 360 Degrees sendiri diambil karena restoran ini berotasi! Yap betul, dengan mengoptimalkan tinggi Sydney Tower (sekitar 260 meter sans antenna) yang notabennya merupakan struktur tertinggi di Sydney, restoran ini menawarkan view 360 derajat, dengan lantainya berputar. Perlahan pastinya, karena bakal banyak sup tumpah bila sekencang komidi putar. Ini tentu godaan yang meruntuhkan iman bagi semua photographer-wannabe dengan kesempatan untuk mengambil foto lansekap Sydney secara 360 derajat! Restorannya sendiri terletak di lantai 3 dari puncak menara yang berbentuk seperti ember. Artinya kalian harus melalui tinggi kurang lebih 250 meter lebih untuk ke sana. Bila lift kantor kakak gw aja untuk ke lantai 5 aja kadang boring, how about this?, maka berapa lama harus ke ketinggian yang kira-kira setara dengan 60 lantai itu? Hmm, can't imagine *_* Bersyukurlah pada teknologi, karena dengan lift ekspress jarak itu ditempuh hanya dalam waktu sekitar 10 detik saja. WOW! 10 detik saja guys!! Yap puncaknya, sedikit kecewa karena area pinggir yang berbatasan dengan view ke kota Sydney sudah terisi penuh.

Sebagai appetizer, menu andalan Sydney ya Bertajuk "Fresh Seafood". as you know guys , ternyata semuanya mentah!!! Selidik punya selidik, ternyata memang fresh seafood ala Sydney ini disajikan "fresh" alias mentah, dan hanya disiram dengan air panas untuk sterilisasi. "OMG, if for raw foods, my mouth and stomach can only accept just sushi :p"

Hidangan lain yang cukup diminati, adalah daging kanguru, (Kalo gw gakan tega untuk memakannya, bahkan gak ada niatan untuk memesannya, hbu? :D). Pengunjung restoran ini memang rata-rata wisatawan asing. Mungkin mereka penasaran dengan rasa daging kanguru yang konon bertekstur seperti daging sapi (sedikit lebih lembut) namun berbau seperti daging kambing, (Yuck,especially gw gaksuka daging kambing).

Gimana? Menurut kalian? Apa yang kalian bisa bayangkan jika kalian berada disana? Kl gw sih udah kelimpungan duluan bisa pergi kesana doang :p

Lakemba, Kota Muslim di Sydney

Miniatur kota muslim, mungkin itu yang banyak dikatakan para muslim maupun non muslim ketika mereka singgah sejenak di tempat ini, berlokasi dibagian South-West kota Sydney. Lakemba sebuah nama yang senantiasa di ingat dan dikenang. Dimanapun kita berjalan baik di pusat perbelanjaannya maupun di wilayah sekitarnya akan senantiasa kita temui kaum muslimin dan muslimah berjalan dengan nyaman dan tenang. Dari yang berkerudung biasa hingga yang yang bercadar. Rasanya seperti di Timur Tengah bukan di Sydney Australia. Wajarlah bila PM negeri Kanguru ini mengeluarkan pesannya bagi muslimah yang ingin bercadar silahkan memilih tempat di Lakemba. Ya, karena disinilah mereka diterima, bukan lagi sesuatu yang asing karena mayoritas kaum muslimin di Sydney memadati kota ini.

Wajar pula bila biaya hidup menyewa rumah di Lakemba menjadi lebih mahal dibandingkan dengan di daerah lain di luar Lakemba.Karena semua ingin tinggal disini bahkan juga orang bulenya atau non muslim, aneh kan??? Kaum muslimin yang tidak bisa menemukan tempat tinggal di daerah ini terpaksa tinggal di daerah yang berdekatan dengan kota Lakemba  seperti Belmore, Punchbowl ataupun Bankstown. Sebagian besar kaum muslimin yang tinggal di kota lain tetap berkewajiban mengunjungi Lakemba. Karena hanya di sinilah di dapati pusat kebutuhan kaum muslimin dari daging, makanan, grocery, buku-buku islam sampai pakaian. Dari Timur tengah hingga Asia.Dan tentu saja harganya lebih miring dibandingkan berbelanja di tempat lain.

Salah satu tempat di Kota lakemba, Indonesia banget kan?

Khusus di hari jumat Lakemba memiliki kesibukan tersendiri,..ya karena pada hari itulah kaum muslimin memadati kota ini untuk menunaikan shalat jumat. Lakemba menjadi macet dan padat, penuh sesak dengan kaum muslimin. Masjid di Lakemba selalu penuh dengan jamaah. Terutama setelah selesai shalat jumat jangan ditanya bagaimana ramainya. Terkadang penulis harus bersabar menunggu hingga mereka bubar untuk berbelanja  bila tidak mau ikhtilath dengan mereka. Atau harus bersabar dengan macetnya jalan disekitar Lakemba karena semua jamaah yang shalat datang dengan mobil. Duuh Lakemba,!!!

Ingin mengaji salaf?? Datanglah ke Lakemba kajian untuk muslimah biasa diadakan di Mushala Lakemba pada hari Kamis atau untuk ikhwannya pada setiap hari sabtu. Di Lakemba pula berdiri organisasi kemanusiaan islam yang bertugas membantu kaum muslimin duafa di berbagai belahan dunia yang bernama Human Apeal. Organisasi muslimahnyapun tak kalah pula aktif membantu kaum muslimah disini yang baru memeluk islam maupun yang sudah lama agar istiqamah diatas manhaj salaf yang bernama IWWA (Islamic Woman Welfare Association) jatah kaum muslimah yang berasal dari Indonesia, Malaysia maupun Singapura adalah pada hari Jumat sisa hari lainnya diisi oleh ummahat dari Timur Tengah dan Australia.

Berdasarkan data sensus tahun 2001 jumlah kaum muslimin di Australia mencapai 282.578 jiwa dan 35% adalah lahir di Australia. Kaum muslimin di Australia adalah minoritas karena jumlah mereka hanya mencapai 1,5% dari jumlah total penduduknya yang di dominasi oleh kaum Kristen dengan persentase  67 % atau 12.764.342 jiwa.

attracted to live there Guys? ;)

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Overview of Schizophrenia

Hallo blogger? how are you anyway? sorry for this time, i'll write in english version. I wanted to share my little knowledge about Schizophrenia with friends all over the world (especially my virtual friends in usa, he specifically requested to me ;)), Well let's start!


Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disease. Approximately 1 percent of the population develops schizophrenia during their lifetime – more than 2 million Americans suffer from the illness in a given year. Although schizophrenia affects men and women with equal frequency, the disorder often appears earlier in men, usually in the late teens or early twenties, than in women, who are generally affected in the twenties to early thirties. People with schizophrenia often suffer terrifying symptoms such as hearing internal voices not heard by others, or believing that other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. These symptoms may leave them fearful and withdrawn. Their speech and behavior can be so disorganized that they may be incomprehensible or frightening to others. Available treatments can relieve many symptoms, but most people with schizophrenia continue to suffer some symptoms throughout their lives; it has been estimated that no more than one in five individuals recovers completely.
This is a time of hope for people with schizophrenia and their families. Research is gradually leading to new and safer medications and unraveling the complex causes of the disease. Scientists are using many approaches from the study of molecular genetics to the study of populations to learn about schizophrenia. Methods of imaging the brain’s structure and function hold the promise of new insights into the disorder.

Schizophrenia As An Illness
Schizophrenia is found all over the world. The severity of the symptoms and long-lasting, chronic pattern of schizophrenia often cause a high degree of disability. Medications and other treatments for schizophrenia, when used regularly and as prescribed, can help reduce and control the distressing symptoms of the illness. However, some people are not greatly helped by available treatments or may prematurely discontinue treatment because of unpleasant side effects or other reasons. Even when treatment is effective, persisting consequences of the illness – lost opportunities, stigma, residual symptoms, and medication side effects – may be very troubling.
The first signs of schizophrenia often appear as confusing, or even shocking, changes in behavior. Coping with the symptoms of schizophrenia can be especially difficult for family members who remember how involved or vivacious a person was before they became ill. The sudden onset of severe psychotic symptoms is referred to as an “acute” phase of schizophrenia. “Psychosis,” a common condition in schizophrenia, is a state of mental impairment marked by hallucinations, which are disturbances of sensory perception, and/or delusions, which are false yet strongly held personal beliefs that result from an inability to separate real from unreal experiences. Less obvious symptoms, such as social isolation or withdrawal, or unusual speech, thinking, or behavior, may precede, be seen along with, or follow the psychotic symptoms.
Some people have only one such psychotic episode; others have many episodes during a lifetime, but lead relatively normal lives during the interim periods. However, the individual with “chronic” schizophrenia, or a continuous or recurring pattern of illness, often does not fully recover normal functioning and typically requires long-term treatment, generally including medication, to control the symptoms.

Making A Diagnosis
It is important to rule out other illnesses, as sometimes people suffer severe mental symptoms or even psychosis due to undetected underlying medical conditions. For this reason, a medical history should be taken and a physical examination and laboratory tests should be done to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms before concluding that a person has schizophrenia. In addition, since commonly abused drugs may cause symptoms resembling schizophrenia, blood or urine samples from the person can be tested at hospitals or physicians’ offices for the presence of these drugs.
At times, it is difficult to tell one mental disorder from another. For instance, some people with symptoms of schizophrenia exhibit prolonged extremes of elated or depressed mood, and it is important to determine whether such a patient has schizophrenia or actually has a manic-depressive (or bipolar) disorder or major depressive disorder. Persons whose symptoms cannot be clearly categorized are sometimes diagnosed as having a “schizoaffective disorder.”

Can Children Have Schizophrenia?
Children over the age of five can develop schizophrenia, but it is very rare before adolescence. Although some people who later develop schizophrenia may have seemed different from other children at an early age, the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia – hallucinations and delusions – are extremely uncommon before adolescence.

The World of People With Schizophrenia

  • Distorted Perceptions of Reality
People with schizophrenia may have perceptions of reality that are strikingly different from the reality seen and shared by others around them. Living in a world distorted by hallucinations and delusions, individuals with schizophrenia may feel frightened, anxious, and confused.
In part because of the unusual realities they experience, people with schizophrenia may behave very differently at various times. Sometimes they may seem distant, detached, or preoccupied and may even sit as rigidly as a stone, not moving for hours or uttering a sound. Other times they may move about constantly – always occupied, appearing wide-awake, vigilant, and alert.

  • Hallucinations and Illusions
Hallucinations and illusions are disturbances of perception that are common in people suffering from schizophrenia. Hallucinations are perceptions that occur without connection to an appropriate source. Although hallucinations can occur in any sensory form – auditory (sound), visual (sight), tactile (touch), gustatory (taste), and olfactory (smell) – hearing voices that other people do not hear is the most common type of hallucination in schizophrenia. Voices may describe the patient’s activities, carry on a conversation, warn of impending dangers, or even issue orders to the individual. Illusions, on the other hand, occur when a sensory stimulus is present but is incorrectly interpreted by the individual.

  • Delusions
Delusions are false personal beliefs that are not subject to reason or contradictory evidence and are not explained by a person’s usual cultural concepts. Delusions may take on different themes. For example, patients suffering from paranoid-type symptoms – roughly one-third of people with schizophrenia – often have delusions of persecution, or false and irrational beliefs that they are being cheated, harassed, poisoned, or conspired against. These patients may believe that they, or a member of the family or someone close to them, are the focus of this persecution. In addition, delusions of grandeur, in which a person may believe he or she is a famous or important figure, may occur in schizophrenia. Sometimes the delusions experienced by people with schizophrenia are quite bizarre; for instance, believing that a neighbor is controlling their behavior with magnetic waves; that people on television are directing special messages to them; or that their thoughts are being broadcast aloud to others.
  • Disordered Thinking
Schizophrenia often affects a person’s ability to “think straight.” Thoughts may come and go rapidly; the person may not be able to concentrate on one thought for very long and may be easily distracted, unable to focus attention.
People with schizophrenia may not be able to sort out what is relevant and what is not relevant to a situation. The person may be unable to connect thoughts into logical sequences, with thoughts becoming disorganized and fragmented. This lack of logical continuity of thought, termed “thought disorder,” can make conversation very difficult and may contribute to social isolation. If people cannot make sense of what an individual is saying, they are likely to become uncomfortable and tend to leave that person alone.

  • Emotional Expression
People with schizophrenia often show “blunted” or “flat” affect. This refers to a severe reduction in emotional expressiveness. A person with schizophrenia may not show the signs of normal emotion, perhaps may speak in a monotonous voice, have diminished facial expressions, and appear extremely apathetic. The person may withdraw socially, avoiding contact with others; and when forced to interact, he or she may have nothing to say, reflecting “impoverished thought.” Motivation can be greatly decreased, as can interest in or enjoyment of life. In some severe cases, a person can spend entire days doing nothing at all, even neglecting basic hygiene. These problems with emotional expression and motivation, which may be extremely troubling to family members and friends, are symptoms of schizophrenia – not character flaws or personal weaknesses.

  • Normal Versus Abnormal
At times, normal individuals may feel, think, or act in ways that resemble schizophrenia. Normal people may sometimes be unable to “think straight.” They may become extremely anxious, for example, when speaking in front of groups and may feel confused, be unable to pull their thoughts together, and forget what they had intended to say. This is not schizophrenia. At the same time, people with schizophrenia do not always act abnormally. Indeed, some people with the illness can appear completely normal and be perfectly responsible, even while they experience hallucinations or delusions. An individual’s behavior may change over time, becoming bizarre if medication is stopped and returning closer to normal when receiving appropriate treatment.


There is no known single cause of schizophrenia. Many diseases, such as heart disease, result from an interplay of genetic, behavioral, and other factors; and this may be the case for schizophrenia as well. Scientists do not yet understand all of the factors necessary to produce schizophrenia, but all the tools of modern biomedical research are being used to search for genes, critical moments in brain development, and other factors that may lead to the illness.

Is Schizophrenia Inherited?
It has long been known that schizophrenia runs in families. People who have a close relative with schizophrenia are more likely to develop the disorder than are people who have no relatives with the illness. For example, a monozygotic (identical) twin of a person with schizophrenia has the highest risk – 40 to 50 percent – of developing the illness. A child whose parent has schizophrenia has about a 10 percent chance. By comparison, the risk of schizophrenia in the general population is about 1 percent.
Scientists are studying genetic factors in schizophrenia. It appears likely that multiple genes are involved in creating a predisposition to develop the disorder. In addition, factors such as prenatal difficulties like intrauterine starvation or viral infections, perinatal complications, and various nonspecific stressors, seem to influence the development of schizophrenia. However, it is not yet understood how the genetic predisposition is transmitted, and it cannot yet be accurately predicted whether a given person will or will not develop the disorder.
Several regions of the human genome are being investigated to identify genes that may confer susceptibility for schizophrenia. The strongest evidence to date leads to chromosomes 13 and 6 but remains unconfirmed. Identification of specific genes involved in the development of schizophrenia will provide important clues into what goes wrong in the brain to produce and sustain the illness and will guide the development of new and better treatments.

Is Schizophrenia Associated With A Chemical Defect In The Brain?
Basic knowledge about brain chemistry and its link to schizophrenia is expanding rapidly. Neurotransmitters, substances that allow communication between nerve cells, have long been thought to be involved in the development of schizophrenia. It is likely, although not yet certain, that the disorder is associated with some imbalance of the complex, interrelated chemical systems of the brain, perhaps involving the neurotransmitters dopamine and glutamate. This area of research is promising.

Is Schizophrenia Caused By A Physical Abnormality In The Brain?
There have been dramatic advances in neuroimaging technology that permit scientists to study brain structure and function in living individuals. Many studies of people with schizophrenia have found abnormalities in brain structure (for example, enlargement of the fluid-filled cavities, called the ventricles, in the interior of the brain, and decreased size of certain brain regions) or function (for example, decreased metabolic activity in certain brain regions). It should be emphasized that these abnormalities are quite subtle and are not characteristic of all people with schizophrenia, nor do they occur only in individuals with this illness. Microscopic studies of brain tissue after death have also shown small changes in distribution or number of brain cells in people with schizophrenia. It appears that many (but probably not all) of these changes are present before an individual becomes ill, and schizophrenia may be, in part, a disorder in development of the brain.
Developmental neurobiologists funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have found that schizophrenia may be a developmental disorder resulting when neurons form inappropriate connections during fetal development. These errors may lie dormant until puberty, when changes in the brain that occur normally during this critical stage of maturation interact adversely with the faulty connections. This research has spurred efforts to identify prenatal factors that may have some bearing on the apparent developmental abnormality.
In other studies, investigators using brain-imaging techniques have found evidence of early biochemical changes that may precede the onset of disease symptoms, prompting examination of the neural circuits that are most likely to be involved in producing those symptoms. Meanwhile, scientists working at the molecular level are exploring the genetic basis for abnormalities in brain development and in the neurotransmitter systems regulating brain function.


Since schizophrenia may not be a single condition and its causes are not yet known, current treatment methods are based on both clinical research and experience. These approaches are chosen on the basis of their ability to reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia and to lessen the chances that symptoms will return.

What About Medications?
Antipsychotic medications have been available since the mid-1950s. They have greatly improved the outlook for individual patients. These medications reduce the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia and usually allow the patient to function more effectively and appropriately. Antipsychotic drugs are the best treatment now available, but they do not “cure” schizophrenia or ensure that there will be no further psychotic episodes. The choice and dosage of medication can be made only by a qualified physician who is well trained in the medical treatment of mental disorders. The dosage of medication is individualized for each patient, since people may vary a great deal in the amount of drug needed to reduce symptoms without producing troublesome side effects.
The large majority of people with schizophrenia show substantial improvement when treated with antipsychotic drugs. Some patients, however, are not helped very much by the medications and a few do not seem to need them. It is difficult to predict which patients will fall into these two groups and to distinguish them from the large majority of patients who do benefit from treatment with antipsychotic drugs.
A number of new antipsychotic drugs (the so-called “atypical antipsychotics”) have been introduced since 1990. The first of these, clozapine (Clozaril®), has been shown to be more effective than other antipsychotics, although the possibility of severe side effects – in particular, a condition called agranulocytosis (loss of the white blood cells that fight infection) – requires that patients be monitored with blood tests every one or two weeks. Even newer antipsychotic drugs, such as risperidone (Risperdal®) and olanzapine (Zyprexa®), are safer than the older drugs or clozapine, and they also may be better tolerated. They may or may not treat the illness as well as clozapine, however. Several additional antipsychotics are currently under development.
Antipsychotic drugs are often very effective in treating certain symptoms of schizophrenia, particularly hallucinations and delusions; unfortunately, the drugs may not be as helpful with other symptoms, such as reduced motivation and emotional expressiveness. Indeed, the older antipsychotics (which also went by the name of “neuroleptics”), medicines like haloperidol (Haldol®) or chlorpromazine (Thorazine®), may even produce side effects that resemble the more difficult to treat symptoms. Often, lowering the dose or switching to a different medicine may reduce these side effects; the newer medicines, including olanzapine (Zyprexa®), quetiapine (Seroquel®), and risperidone (Risperdal®), appear less likely to have this problem. Sometimes when people with schizophrenia become depressed, other symptoms can appear to worsen. The symptoms may improve with the addition of an antidepressant medication.
Patients and families sometimes become worried about the antipsychotic medications used to treat schizophrenia. In addition to concern about side effects, they may worry that such drugs could lead to addiction. However, antipsychotic medications do not produce a “high” (euphoria) or addictive behavior in people who take them.
Another misconception about antipsychotic drugs is that they act as a kind of mind control, or a “chemical straitjacket.” Antipsychotic drugs used at the appropriate dosage do not “knock out” people or take away their free will. While these medications can be sedating, and while this effect can be useful when treatment is initiated particularly if an individual is quite agitated, the utility of the drugs is not due to sedation but to their ability to diminish the hallucinations, agitation, confusion, and delusions of a psychotic episode. Thus, antipsychotic medications should eventually help an individual with schizophrenia to deal with the world more rationally.

How Long Should People With Schizophrenia Take Antipsychotic Drugs?
Antipsychotic medications reduce the risk of future psychotic episodes in patients who have recovered from an acute episode. Even with continued drug treatment, some people who have recovered will suffer relapses. Far higher relapse rates are seen when medication is discontinued. In most cases, it would not be accurate to say that continued drug treatment “prevents” relapses; rather, it reduces their intensity and frequency. The treatment of severe psychotic symptoms generally requires higher dosages than those used for maintenance treatment. If symptoms reappear on a lower dosage, a temporary increase in dosage may prevent a full-blown relapse.
Because relapse of illness is more likely when antipsychotic medications are discontinued or taken irregularly, it is very important that people with schizophrenia work with their doctors and family members to adhere to their treatment plan. Adherence to treatment refers to the degree to which patients follow the treatment plans recommended by their doctors. Good adherence involves taking prescribed medication at the correct dose and proper times each day, attending clinic appointments, and/or carefully following other treatment procedures. Treatment adherence is often difficult for people with schizophrenia, but it can be made easier with the help of several strategies and can lead to improved quality of life.
There are a variety of reasons why people with schizophrenia may not adhere to treatment. Patients may not believe they are ill and may deny the need for medication, or they may have such disorganized thinking that they cannot remember to take their daily doses. Family members or friends may not understand schizophrenia and may inappropriately advise the person with schizophrenia to stop treatment when he or she is feeling better. Physicians, who play an important role in helping their patients adhere to treatment, may neglect to ask patients how often they are taking their medications, or may be unwilling to accommodate a patient’s request to change dosages or try a new treatment. Some patients report that side effects of the medications seem worse than the illness itself. Further, substance abuse can interfere with the effectiveness of treatment, leading patients to discontinue medications. When a complicated treatment plan is added to any of these factors, good adherence may become even more challenging.
Fortunately, there are many strategies that patients, doctors, and families can use to improve adherence and prevent worsening of the illness. Some antipsychotic medications, including haloperidol (Haldol®), fluphenazine (Prolixin®), perphenazine (Trilafon®) and others, are available in long-acting injectable forms that eliminate the need to take pills every day. A major goal of current research on treatments for schizophrenia is to develop a wider variety of long-acting antipsychotics, especially the newer agents with milder side effects, which can be delivered through injection. Medication calendars or pill boxes labeled with the days of the week can help patients and caregivers know when medications have or have not been taken. Using electronic timers that beep when medications should be taken, or pairing medication taking with routine daily events like meals, can help patients remember and adhere to their dosing schedule. Engaging family members in observing oral medication taking by patients can help ensure adherence. In addition, through a variety of other methods of adherence monitoring, doctors can identify when pill taking is a problem for their patients and can work with them to make adherence easier. It is important to help motivate patients to continue taking their medications properly.
In addition to any of these adherence strategies, patient and family education about schizophrenia, its symptoms, and the medications being prescribed to treat the disease is an important part of the treatment process and helps support the rationale for good adherence.

What About Side Effects?
Antipsychotic drugs, like virtually all medications, have unwanted effects along with their beneficial effects. During the early phases of drug treatment, patients may be troubled by side effects such as drowsiness, restlessness, muscle spasms, tremor, dry mouth, or blurring of vision. Most of these can be corrected by lowering the dosage or can be controlled by other medications. Different patients have different treatment responses and side effects to various antipsychotic drugs. A patient may do better with one drug than another.
The long-term side effects of antipsychotic drugs may pose a considerably more serious problem. Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is a disorder characterized by involuntary movements most often affecting the mouth, lips, and tongue, and sometimes the trunk or other parts of the body such as arms and legs. It occurs in about 15 to 20 percent of patients who have been receiving the older, “typical” antipsychotic drugs for many years, but TD can also develop in patients who have been treated with these drugs for shorter periods of time. In most cases, the symptoms of TD are mild, and the patient may be unaware of the movements.
Antipsychotic medications developed in recent years all appear to have a much lower risk of producing TD than the older, traditional antipsychotics. The risk is not zero, however, and they can produce side effects of their own such as weight gain. In addition, if given at too high of a dose, the newer medications may lead to problems such as social withdrawal and symptoms resembling Parkinson’s disease, a disorder that affects movement. Nevertheless, the newer antipsychotics are a significant advance in treatment, and their optimal use in people with schizophrenia is a subject of much current research.

What About Psychosocial Treatments?
Antipsychotic drugs have proven to be crucial in relieving the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia – hallucinations, delusions, and incoherence – but are not consistent in relieving the behavioral symptoms of the disorder. Even when patients with schizophrenia are relatively free of psychotic symptoms, many still have extraordinary difficulty with communication, motivation, self-care, and establishing and maintaining relationships with others. Moreover, because patients with schizophrenia frequently become ill during the critical career-forming years of life (e.g., ages 18 to 35), they are less likely to complete the training required for skilled work. As a result, many with schizophrenia not only suffer thinking and emotional difficulties, but lack social and work skills and experience as well.
It is with these psychological, social, and occupational problems that psychosocial treatments may help most. While psychosocial approaches have limited value for acutely psychotic patients (those who are out of touch with reality or have prominent hallucinations or delusions), they may be useful for patients with less severe symptoms or for patients whose psychotic symptoms are under control. Numerous forms of psychosocial therapy are available for people with schizophrenia, and most focus on improving the patient’s social functioning – whether in the hospital or community, at home, or on the job. Some of these approaches are described here. Unfortunately, the availability of different forms of treatment varies greatly from place to place.

  • Rehabilitation
Broadly defined, rehabilitation includes a wide array of non-medical interventions for those with schizophrenia. Rehabilitation programs emphasize social and vocational training to help patients and former patients overcome difficulties in these areas. Programs may include vocational counseling, job training, problem-solving and money management skills, use of public transportation, and social skills training. These approaches are important for the success of the community-centered treatment of schizophrenia, because they provide discharged patients with the skills necessary to lead productive lives outside the sheltered confines of a mental hospital.

  • Individual Psychotherapy
Individual psychotherapy involves regularly scheduled talks between the patient and a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, psychiatric social worker, or nurse. The sessions may focus on current or past problems, experiences, thoughts, feelings, or relationships. By sharing experiences with a trained empathic person – talking about their world with someone outside it – individuals with schizophrenia may gradually come to understand more about themselves and their problems. They can also learn to sort out the real from the unreal and distorted. Recent studies indicate that supportive, reality-oriented, individual psychotherapy, and cognitive-behavioral approaches that teach coping and problem-solving skills, can be beneficial for outpatients with schizophrenia. However, psychotherapy is not a substitute for antipsychotic medication, and it is most helpful once drug treatment first has relieved a patient’s psychotic symptoms.

  • Family Education
Very often, patients with schizophrenia are discharged from the hospital into the care of their family; so it is important that family members learn all they can about schizophrenia and understand the difficulties and problems associated with the illness. It is also helpful for family members to learn ways to minimize the patient’s chance of relapse – for example, by using different treatment adherence strategies – and to be aware of the various kinds of outpatient and family services available in the period after hospitalization. Family “psychoeducation,” which includes teaching various coping strategies and problem-solving skills, may help families deal more effectively with their ill relative and may contribute to an improved outcome for the patient.

  • Self-Help Groups
Self-help groups for people and families dealing with schizophrenia are becoming increasingly common. Although not led by a professional therapist, these groups may be therapeutic because members provide continuing mutual support as well as comfort in knowing that they are not alone in the problems they face. Self-help groups may also serve other important functions. Families working together can more effectively serve as advocates for needed research and hospital and community treatment programs. Patients acting as a group rather than individually may be better able to dispel stigma and draw public attention to such abuses as discrimination against the mentally ill.
Family and peer support and advocacy groups are very active and provide useful information and assistance for patients and families of patients with schizophrenia and other mental disorders. A list of some of these organizations is included at the end of this document.


A patient's support system may come from several sources, including the family, a professional residential or day program provider, shelter operators, friends or roommates, professional case managers, churches and synagogues, and others. Because many patients live with their families, the following discussion frequently uses the term "family." However, this should not be taken to imply that families ought to be the primary support system.
There are numerous situations in which patients with schizophrenia may need help from people in their family or community. Often, a person with schizophrenia will resist treatment, believing that delusions or hallucinations are real and that psychiatric help is not required. At times, family or friends may need to take an active role in having them seen and evaluated by a professional. The issue of civil rights enters into any attempts to provide treatment. Laws protecting patients from involuntary commitment have become very strict, and families and community organizations may be frustrated in their efforts to see that a severely mentally ill individual gets needed help. These laws vary from State to State; but generally, when people are dangerous to themselves or others due to a mental disorder, the police can assist in getting them an emergency psychiatric evaluation and, if necessary, hospitalization. In some places, staff from a local community mental health center can evaluate an individual's illness at home if he or she will not voluntarily go in for treatment.
Sometimes only the family or others close to the person with schizophrenia will be aware of strange behavior or ideas that the person has expressed. Since patients may not volunteer such information during an examination, family members or friends should ask to speak with the person evaluating the patient so that all relevant information can be taken into account.
Ensuring that a person with schizophrenia continues to get treatment after hospitalization is also important. A patient may discontinue medications or stop going for follow-up treatment, often leading to a return of psychotic symptoms. Encouraging the patient to continue treatment and assisting him or her in the treatment process can positively influence recovery. Without treatment, some people with schizophrenia become so psychotic and disorganized that they cannot care for their basic needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter. All too often, people with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia end up on the streets or in jails, where they rarely receive the kinds of treatment they need.
Those close to people with schizophrenia are often unsure of how to respond when patients make statements that seem strange or are clearly false. For the individual with schizophrenia, the bizarre beliefs or hallucinations seem quite real – they are not just "imaginary fantasies." Instead of “going along with” a person's delusions, family members or friends can tell the person that they do not see things the same way or do not agree with his or her conclusions, while acknowledging that things may appear otherwise to the patient.
It may also be useful for those who know the person with schizophrenia well to keep a record of what types of symptoms have appeared, what medications (including dosage) have been taken, and what effects various treatments have had. By knowing what symptoms have been present before, family members may know better what to look for in the future. Families may even be able to identify some "early warning signs" of potential relapses, such as increased withdrawal or changes in sleep patterns, even better and earlier than the patients themselves. Thus, return of psychosis may be detected early and treatment may prevent a full-blown relapse. Also, by knowing which medications have helped and which have caused troublesome side effects in the past, the family can help those treating the patient to find the best treatment more quickly.
In addition to involvement in seeking help, family, friends, and peer groups can provide support and encourage the person with schizophrenia to regain his or her abilities. It is important that goals be attainable, since a patient who feels pressured and/or repeatedly criticized by others will probably experience stress that may lead to a worsening of symptoms. Like anyone else, people with schizophrenia need to know when they are doing things right. A positive approach may be helpful and perhaps more effective in the long run than criticism. This advice applies to everyone who interacts with the person.

The outlook for people with schizophrenia has improved over the last 25 years. Although no totally effective therapy has yet been devised, it is important to remember that many people with the illness improve enough to lead independent, satisfying lives. As we learn more about the causes and treatments of schizophrenia, we should be able to help more patients achieve successful outcomes.
Studies that have followed people with schizophrenia for long periods, from the first episode to old age, reveal that a wide range of outcomes is possible. When large groups of patients are studied, certain factors tend to be associated with a better outcome – for example, a pre-illness history of normal social, school, and work adjustment. However, the current state of knowledge, does not allow for a sufficiently accurate prediction of long-term outcome.
Given the complexity of schizophrenia, the major questions about this disorder – its cause or causes, prevention, and treatment – must be addressed with research. The public should beware of those offering "the cure" for (or "the cause" of) schizophrenia. Such claims can provoke unrealistic expectations that, when unfulfilled, lead to further disappointment. Although progress has been made toward better understanding and treatment of schizophrenia, continued investigation is urgently needed. As the lead Federal agency for research on mental disorders, NIMH conducts and supports a broad spectrum of mental illness research from molecular genetics to large-scale epidemiologic studies of populations. It is thought that this wide-ranging research effort, including basic studies on the brain, will continue to illuminate processes and principles important for understanding the causes of schizophrenia and for developing more effective treatments.


Information, support, and advocacy organizations:
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI)
Colonial Place Three
2107 Wilson Blvd., Suite 300
Arlington, VA 22201-3042
Phone: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or (703) 524-7600

National Mental Health Association (NMHA)
2001 N. Beauregard Street, 12th Floor
Alexandria, VA 22311
Phone: 1-800-969-6942 or (703) 684-7722

National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse
1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1000
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: 1-800-553-4key (4539) or (215) 751-1810
National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD)
60 Cutter Mill Road, Suite 404
Great Neck, NY 11021
Phone: (516) 829-0091
Infoline 1-800-829-8289
For more information on research into the brain, behavior, and mental disorders contact:
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Office of Communication and Public Liaison
Information Resources and Inquiries Branch
6001 Executive Boulevard, Rm. 8184, MSC 9663
Bethesda, MD 20892-9663
Phone: 301-443-4513
Fax: 301-443-4279
Fax back system: Mental Health FAX4U at 301-443-5158
Web site address:

How do you think? if there are people with such indications around you, you already know what you should do right? And I post about Information, support, and advocacy organizations in a variety of regional representatives throughout the world, may be useful people ;)