My goal in being an advocate for people with schizophrenia is to dispel myths and educate people about the side of schizophrenia they don’t see on television. I like to write so that people know I am an average woman, who is married, finished college, and had a successful career as a social worker. Of course there have been problems, episodes, and challenges that I won’t lie about or hide.
I read a lot about mental illness and I like to include stories (links) to other sources — usually a story I want to comment on from a personal perspective. I am passionate about the plight of people with schizophrenia who do not have access to the same resources I do. I never want to forget that I am fortunate to have a support system, good doctors, health insurance, a home, and no criminal record (among other things like clean clothes, a shower and food).
So, I hope that my blog can be personal and universal at the same time. I want to share what works for me, things about my personal life, but I don’t want to forget that schizophrenia looks different in many people and my experience while not unusual, is certainly not the only manifestation of the disease. I would hope to start my blog off with an introduction about how I hid my diagnosis for over twenty years before coming out publicly in 2015, and why I chose to live in silence and in secret for so long. Then maybe tell a few experiences I have had with discrimination, or stigma, and then branch out into issues like homelessness, or the mentally ill in prison, or the new mental health laws currently being brought before congress.
In reality I am interested in all things and people who make up the community of people living with schizophrenia and that is why I am able to keep up an almost daily personal blog. I hope to achieve a balance in the blog that allows people to feel they know me but at the same time informs them about issues in the larger community and country.
About Rebecca Chamma
Rebecca Chamaa is a retired social worker turned writer with paranoid schizophrenia. She wrote the book:Pills, Poetry & Prose: Life with Schizophrenia. She has published her poetry and essays on/in Yahoo Health, The Mighty, Role Reboot, Manifest Station, Transition, Structo, San Diego Reader, and others. You can follow her on her website: http://www.ajourneywithyou.com.