As a three year old in the early 1940's, my thirteen year older sister evidenced schizophrenia and was institutionalized in a state mental hospital until 1979. It is the most profound experience that shaped our family and sensitized me to the cruelties of other children and the need, very strong at that time, to not let anyone know that you had mental illness in your family.
I have been…
Schizophrenia does not usually set in until age twenty or later, so those who experience the condition can remember how they used to be without it. They experience both positive (additive) symptoms—delusions and frank psychosis—and negative (subtractive) symptoms—a gradual loss of interest in and engagement with other people and the outside world.
Though medications exist to treat schizophrenia, they have many side effects, and a large percentage of patients never receive adequate treatment. The suffering can be terrible, and the rate of suicide is extremely high. The Mad Pride movement proposes that schizophrenia can be a valued identity, but many affected people do not subscribe to that view.scroll
As a three year old in the early 1940's, my thirteen year older sister evidenced schizophrenia and was institutionalized in a state mental hospital until 1979. It is the most profound experience that shaped our family and sensitized me to the cruelties of other children and the need, very strong at that time, to not let anyone know that you had mental illness in your family.View more
I am writing at the invitation of Andrew Solomon to broaden awareness of a widespread network of rehabilitation communities for people with mental illness which aims at realigning identities. The communities are based on the premise that the illness is not all-consuming. It is not the whole of a person. The design of some 341 such communities in 32 nations is called the Clubhouse Model, and it was…View more
More important than my story, i wish to thank Mr Solomon for writing what I think is one of the mostly timely and significant books of this century. I think you should win the Pulitzer for it. You have succeeded in writing the most profound and compassionate yet unsentimental study of the problems of identity and illness I have had the privilege of reading. You eloquently illustrate and articulate…View more
My son, John, is 31 years old and has been diagnosed with multiple leaning disabilities, RSD, Epilepsy and Schizophrenia. I believe he has been living with many of these conditions since he was 5 months old. In spite of his challenges he is living independently, speaks at local mental health conferences and has received training as a Peer Specialist with the goal of working in a field where he has…View more
I have an adult son with schizophrenia...probably. The only time he went to a psychiatrist the differential included schizophrenia, depression with paranoid features and/or schizoaffective disorder. All I know is he hears voices, has delusions and hallucinations, and is socially crippled. I eagerly read the chapter on schizophrenia in the book but since we are not a family with financial means, I…View more