Four years ago, I started blogging in an effort to reduce the blame, shame, stigma and discrimination against people with mental illnesses. I have come a long way since then as the response has been tremendous. I was rather naive in thinking that one person could change anything, but today, I understand, that even if I have helped one person to feel better about themselves or their loved ones, I can call that success.
I realize that even today, there are people in the world who are short of information on this subject. There are individuals out there who need to make contact with someone who has personal experience of living with an ill relative; in my case, a son, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. I receive mail from people who are desperate for personal contact from someone who has been there and it saddens me that they cannot find help nearer to where they live. I sincerely hope that in time, more and more people will speak out about their experiences, eventually turning the subject of mental illness into one that is spoken about the way people talk about diabetes, arthritis and other physical illnesses. After all, schizophrenia is a brain illness and our brains are very much a part of our bodies, so I ask once again – why the terrible stigma?