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10 Things I learned After A Year of Living Openly With Schizophrenia

 

I posted this essay on my Facebook page on March 15th, 2015.   The post that I linked to is how my in-laws and friends found out that I have been secretly living with a mental illness for over twenty years. The past year since I came out, has been a unique one in my life because I have talked and written about mental illness almost continuously. Here are a few surprising things I learned from going public with the fact that I have schizophrenia.

  1. No one close to me or who is important to me ended our relationship. In fact, I am closer to some people than I was before talking about my mental illness.

 

  1. No one was mad at me for keeping such a big part of my life hidden.

 

  1. No one said anything hurtful or mean.

 

  1. Some people rallied around me and supported me.

 

  1. I am comfortable talking about my illness in almost any setting now. (I accept more of myself and have more self-confidence).

 

  1. I have become an advocate and writer for other people living with schizophrenia.

 

  1. No one was embarrassed by me.

 

  1. I made new friends and increased my network.

 

  1. I was openly accepted at church.

 

  1. People treat me as someone they love, like and respect. In other words, I am treated with dignity, and as a trusted member of a community of people.

 

  • Note: I came out publicly with the support of my psychiatrist and my husband. Not everyone has the necessary support to live openly as someone with schizophrenia. I understand that we have not completely eliminated stigma and coming out can have negative consequences for some people.

 

10 Things I learned After A Year of Living Openly With Schizophrenia


Rebecca Chamaa


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APA Reference
Chamaa, R. (2016). 10 Things I learned After A Year of Living Openly With Schizophrenia. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 17, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/schizophrenia-life/2016/03/10-things-i-learned-after-a-year-of-living-openly-with-schizophrenia/

 

Last updated: 17 Mar 2016
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