‘The weather today will most definitely be schizophrenic,’ the weatherman announced with a big smile.

‘That man is a Time Bomb,’ the journalist wrote in the local newspaper.

‘It’s the Legacy of a Madman,’ screamed the headlines of another newspaper.

Insanity, what I prefer to call a mental illness, is usually equated with horror.

I saw the above and a lot more while I watched my son suffer. His diagnosis was  schizophrenia. I’d like to remind my readers what schizophrenia is. It’s a brain disorder that affects the way a person acts, thinks and sees the world. People with this illness have an altered perception of reality; often a significant loss of contact with reality. Thy may see or hear things that don’t exist, speak in strange ways, believe that others are trying to harm them, or feel as if they are constantly being watched. With this blurred line between what is real and what is imaginary, schizophrenia makes it difficult, even frightening, to negotiate the activities of daily life. In response, people suffering from this illness withdraw from the outside world or act out in confusion and fear.

We were told that most cases of schizophrenia appear in the late teens or early adulthood.  Although schizophrenia is a chronic disorder, there is help available. With support, medication as well as therapy, many people with this illness are able to function independently and live satisfying lives. However, the outlook is best when schizophrenia is diagnosed and treated immediately.

Unfortunately, the stigma accorded schizophrenia and mental illness in general, stops many from seeking the help they so desperately need as they are unable to deal with the reactions of others.

5 thoughts on “Schizophrenia

  1. june judge

    Thank you for continuing to give the facts about schizophrenia..and the people and families who have to suffer from lack of education about this disease..Thank you!

  2. Janice Holly Booth

    Jill, thank you for sharing your story. There is so much misinformation out there about schizophrenia. I recently published a book called “A Voice out of Nowhere” which is the true story of a young man with no history of violence who succumbed to the voices and delusions that told him he had to kill his family in order to save the world. His trajectory was steep: from happy-go-lucky 22 year old to mass murderer was a mere 46 days. He was not an evil person. He was not cold and calculating. He asked over and over again for his doctor and his family to help him with what he called his “possession.” The tragedy was completely preventable as are many of the tragedies that continue to play out on the news. We MUST get a mental health care system in place that works. Too many lives continue to be damaged, especially those who are ill who cannot get effective treatment.

  3. Pingback: Participation Opportunity for Schizophrenia Caregiver | NAMI South Bay

  4. Pamela Spiro Wagner

    Hi Jill, if I were not trying to write on the tiny screen of an iPod I would write a lot more, but for now I just want to thank you for your lovely blog… I’m still tearful after reading the lessons your mother taught you…

    Best wishes,
    Pam wagner

    1. Jill Post author

      Thanks for reading my blogs. I appreciate it as I am trying so hard to get people to lessen the stigma.


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