Stigma, Circle of Life and~

Tonight I am writing from my heart, as suggested by Grace of the Sun, about the most difficult topic for me to wrap my head around.

Now that I am in full remission, I can tackle this imperfectly and hope and pray for a world that stigma surrounding Schizophrenia does not exist…

In my thinking, there are several types of stigma around mental health issues. I’ll start here but first an overview. When someone gets physically sick, the troops are ready with love, support, dinners, flowers, and for some even gofundme’s or other donations. But when someone suffers a mental breakdown this, in my experience, does not happen. Maybe it’s going to be popular one day but it isn’t right now at least not to my knowledge.

The reason why this is is often because there are so many unknowns with a diagnosis having to do with mental health. Is this fair? Like my mom said, “Life isn’t fair”. And I hated that growing up. I still do to a varying degree. However, I do see a shift towards more acceptance with depression and anxiety and even bipolar but not with Schizophrenia. I almost always capitalize the word Schizophrenia because I respect my diagnosis and its limitations when suffering, of which I no longer suffer.

I don’t disclose my diagnosis to most people, even now that I am in remission and the reason is because of stigma or perceptions that I have been the brunt of for the past 16 years. It started with my mom, then my sister, who even to this day stigmatize me as being less than due to my diagnosis. I am somehow broken and not capable of having an opinion that matters very much, because I have Schizophrenia. The only family that do not stigmatize me are my children and husband, which is wonderful!

I could stop here but I shall continue because this needs to be said. I stigmatize myself and others with Schizophrenia. There I said it. I believe my mom and my sister more than my children and husband. Tears forming. I think very highly of my mom and sister, and my mind has been through hell up until recently. So why shouldn’t I believe them. I shouldn’t because it isn’t true, even when I was psychotic, my opinion mattered. And I have witnessed different people with Schizophrenia accomplish much, as I have done, psychotic or not.

A recent question on Quora alerted me to the seriousness of what I am writing about tonight. Someone asked if people with Schizophrenia were human beings? A lot of the time on Quora I doubt a lot of questions that come my way if they are real, but I answer them sometimes anyway because I’m trying to do my best to spread awareness in the best way I know possible.

Education is key, but also normalizing mental health issues in our schools and through the media with correct information, rather than name calling every person who commits a heinous crime as having Schizophrenia. In reality, most people with Schizophrenia are harmless except to themselves.

I hope this post is helpful. It was helpful for me to write it. I want to believe that I matter, that I am not to be feared; and yes, we who have Schizophrenia are most definitely human beings with feelings, and love and so much more, no matter what stage of our disorder we are in.

So let’s put our heads together and find a way to stop the stigma surrounding Schizophrenia. Together I believe we can find a way to end this unfairness. Done.

Thanks Grace of the Sun and Wordy Spirit for the encouragement to write this post; you both started following me at the same time I believe and I consider you both my friends:) That is the kind of support we need- to believe that what we think matters.

As usual comments are always welcome.

I wish to dedicate this blog tonight to my late brother-in-law who passed almost 2 years ago of cancer. We are having his Celebration of Life next Saturday and my sister, and I agree that his death wasn’t fair. He was a fighter, but he lost the battle of his life and left behind his legacy, that of non-judgement towards all people. Jim wherever you are, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me so much when I was first diagnosed with Schizophrenia in 2008. Your kindness towards me in those first years will never be forgotten. Now there was a kind soul who never stigmatized me nor treated me different because of my diagnosis. Rest in peace dear Jimmy.

Pax

Victoria

5 thoughts on “Stigma, Circle of Life and~

    1. Thank you so much! I’m sorry to reply so late but your comment went to my spam:( I don’t get many comments so my blog was unsure of what to do:) Appreciate your kindness and support!

  1. Wow, just simply Wow. You did it Victoria! You managed to portray your thoughts and feelings so well and discussed an all too taboo topic in todays society.
    I believe that people with mental health struggles are stronger, more powerful and braver human beings. They fight a challenge which is brutal and so difficult.
    Kudos to you, my friend! You give me hope and courage. ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿฅฐ

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