Stigma & Discrimination

Culture Changers (Artists) And The Mentally Ill

I must be naïve. I always get the most hurt and disappointed when good writers show their mentalist attitudes (think racist or sexist but referring to the mentally ill). If a good writer, one who gets on a best seller list like the New York Times or Los Angeles Book Review, were to write something racist or something sexist or homophobic, people would be outraged, but when the same writer allows their prejudices and derogatory...


Stop Scapegoating The Mentally Ill

When I think about the social issues surrounding paranoid schizophrenia, and mental illness in general, it makes my mind swirl. There really are no easy answers to the problems that plague our society.

For instance, people are screaming and fighting to get background checks for firearms in order to prevent people with a history of mental illness from owning a gun. I am all for strict laws regarding gun ownership – in fact, I’m so heartsick and...


Supporting the Mentally Ill

I envy other minority groups. I don’t envy their struggles (I know firsthand what many of those are like) but I envy their ability to be seen, heard, gather support, and organize.

When marriage equality was being voted on, social media turned into a rainbow of color. There were millions of people ready to show their support for the LGBT community. I thought it was amazing to watch.

Earlier in the year, after many unarmed black men were...


The Big Picture Can Be Healthy

People who have a mental illness, and particularly people who write about their mental illness, are often locked inside their own head trying to figure out triggers, trying to figure out symptoms, trying to communicate to others what it is like to experience mania, depression, psychosis, etc. Although I think it is necessary to spend the time to become self-aware and educating people about the thoughts and experiences of the mentally ill, it can also make...


Hiding My Diagnosis

I live in a culture where the media, reporting on a mass shooting, is often quick to speculate that the shooter is mentally ill before any real evidence is in. I live in a culture that sells and wears Halloween costumes of “mental patients” (usually a straitjacket of some kind). I live in a culture where it is perfectly acceptable to make jokes about the mentally ill. I live in a culture where on a daily...


Schizophrenia: A Weighty Word

My friend sent me an e-mail that said, “Couldn’t you have an illness that has less letters and is easier to spell?” I laughed at my friend’s frustration in trying to type the name of my illness every time she wants to ask me a question or comment on something she has read.

I think the spelling of schizophrenia is perfect because it is a weighty word. When people hear the word schizophrenia they often think of...


Welcome to Life with Schizophrenia

Living with schizophrenia is unlike living with any other condition, and no two people who have schizophrenia have the same experience. While most people know of schizophrenia through extreme (and too often-times inaccurate) portrayals of the condition in movies or on TV, the reality of the disorder is much different.

Part of the challenge is that many people with schizophrenia don't share their experiences with others. Or they're busy dealing with our broken mental health...